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Thread: Bear Problems!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Nassau,NY,USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Bear Problems!

    Has anybody out there had bear problems? I had a bear attack my hives over the weekend. I want to know if anyone has had the same problems and what they did to deter them. I was looking into getting a solar electric fence and wanted to know if this solution worked for anyone out there. If bee keeping wasn’t tough enough with mites and nosema and now to add to it bear attacks. Sometimes is seems like this hobby is a money pit. Since this is first year I got to taste the sweet rewards I think I can stick it out another year or two.

    Do do solar electric fences work to deter 200 lb bears?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Yes, there is a workable solution! The following is from one of my previous posts.
    Steve

    ELECTRIC BEAR FENCE FOR BEE YARDS

    I live in bear country and before I got my first colony I built my bear fence. It consists of three 16'X4' cattle panels, one cut in half to make a 8'X16' yard. Four corners consist of heavy steel pipe with fiber optics conduit slid over as an insulator. The cattle panels are secured to the insulation and off the ground. The panels are wired together with bare copper wire and soldered. This is the "hot" side.
    I use a Paramak brand Magnum 12 volt solar fence charger which is expensive but of reliable quality to charge the system. (Shop for best $)
    CO is very arid so I put an 18" wide "skirt" of sheet metal on the ground 6" outside the cattle panels & spiked to the ground. Chicken wire as suggested above would work. The fence charger is grounded to an 8' copper clad ground rod & all of the "skirt" is bare copper wired/soldered together & tied to the ground rod. System has been tested by the bears & it works well. Look at http://www.kencove.com/fence/76_Bear+Fence_resource.php for info. Good luck & be safe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Columbia, Goochland, VA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Usually once a bear has found your hive they will keep coming back, and the fence will just make them a little angrier ounce they get to them. You will need to move the hives if possible and then build the fence.

    Another method that works if you can't move the hives are 3/4 in ply with nail through them about every 6 inches and place them around the hives. You will have to move them every time you go in the hive, but they do deter returning bears and other critters.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hampden County, Mass, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Shoot them, Not to be sarcastic or jump to conclusions, but if you own a gun, let your neighbors know what the situation is and ask them if they don't mind you shooting the bear in your yard assuming the hives are there, shoot it. It will keep coming back

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,938

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Pemission from your neighbors may be all that is required in Massachussets but in NY you must make the DEC aware of the problem. Shooting without notifying the DEC will make you little more than a poacher and it may make dealing with nuisance bears more difficult for other beekeepers in the future .

    Follow NY's laws.

    I've been working some bees not far from you and bears are a problem there also. Electric fences have been working well for many here. I would try that first.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lander, WY
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Electric fence, when properly used is VERY effective, even if the bear has been rewarded. I was involved in the development and testing of a portable system for back country use, food storage and even sleeping area protection. We tested in many ecosystems, desert, forest and even arctic tundra. Tested on Black, grizzly and polar bears. Here in Wyoming the game and fish dept had 100% success keeping bears off of elk carcasses. The fences for back country are powered with a small battery, some may have solar backup now, for a bee yard you can make a much more powerful fence.

    I have not watched all of this (I'm at work) but the beginning looks promising.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KAm1CtbL_4

    Good luck with the bear.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Valdosta GA USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    If you cant kill this bear then move them out he wont stop now.good luck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    I had a bear problem and put up an electric fence. I was advised by the Wildlife Dept here that an electric fence won't stop bears unless the shock is to their nose or mouth. He suggested I smear strips of aluminum foil with peanut butter and fold the strip up so the peanut butter doesn't show (this is so you don't attract other critters) and then twist them onto the eletric wires. Worked like a dream for me. The following morning, some strips were gone. . .and so were the bears! Haven't seen them since.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    889

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    I'm wondering if in addition to using the electric fence for the bee hives, that maybe a decoy dummy hive could be set up outside of the protected area. Have that look easy to get at but have it charged and baited. Maybe the bear would tend to leave most other hives alone even if they weren't inside electric fencing due to his education. Probably not 100%, but could be interesting.......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Be sure you fencer is min 10,000 volt, the standard fence is only 3-4,000 volts and will not work.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    >>min 10,000 volt

    POW! ya, we use a 15000 on our cattle fences, they run miles at a time. 10000 on a short fence should be more than enough to make that bear think twice. Hard time for a solar fencer to keep that volage up though
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Gresham, Shawano, Wisconsin
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    I am using a 50 mile, 2 joule, plug in fencer on my little beeyard and have had no problems. I have a solar powered fencer but I don't think it has enough pop to deter a hungry bear. I have the advantage of being able to use a 110 volt powered fencer but would definately try the solar fencer if I were not able to plug in and hope for the best.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >>min 10,000 volt

    POW! ya, we use a 15000 on our cattle fences, they run miles at a time. 10000 on a short fence should be more than enough to make that bear think twice. Hard time for a solar fencer to keep that volage up though
    I run mine on a deep cycle battery, I think I brought it home twice this year to charge it up. The unit I bought is a Fi-shock ss-2000x, got it for $69 on amazon.
    Fi-shock is the same company as Zareba

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Bear Problems!

    Electric fence is the only practile solution.

    How you set up your electric fence is just as important. I see too many bee yards with 2-3 wires spaced 2-3 feet apart. WRONG! To deter a bear they need to be 6" apart. Mine start at 3" above the ground and continue at 6" spacing to 5 feet. I have a solar charger that is 2.5 joules. The line voltage varies between 8500 and 10000 volts depending on soil moisture.

    I live in black bear territory and have not had any issues.

    Like a stupid kid I buried my finger in the soil and touched the fence with the other.........WOW! Not doing that again. Got my attention and that's a strong pop.

    Mike

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