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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Urgent Bear Help

    So I had a bear attack last night. It was at an out apiary. This guy practically lives in town so it was what I least expected. I have 2 Warre hives at his house. One I started last year and one that I started this year. The one from last year was spared. It has three full boxes-one honey and two brood. It is working on a supered box and a nadired box. The other I started this year and is only in 1 box.

    The bear tore apart the new hive. The top box was tossed around 15 feet from the hive. Most of the comb was eaten, but a couple of brood combs were just tore out. To add insult to injury we have had thunderstorms and hail all day long. So the bees were wet as well. They were in two clusters. One in the feeder and a larger one in the bottom box (has no comb). Plenty of dead bees, but there was a sizable cluster still alive. I rubber banded whatever comb I could back into the box and put whatever comb was left on the top bars back into the top box, got as many bees as I could back in, and closed things up. I made sure that they had some feed above and below.

    So now my question...wtf now? I cannot forsee myself getting an electric fence anytime soon. I see two overall problems.

    1. What do I do with the destroyed colony?

    2. What do I do with the established colony?

    The first thing I plan on doing is moving both hives. I have a trailer that I emergently borrowed. I plan on reducing the small colony to one box. I plan on doing my best at removing whatever boxes I can that are partially drawn and hauling them beeless. The other three I may haul the other three together or separate. I am not sure.

    So what do you think? Any suggestions? I put urgent in the title as I plan on going back tonight to move the bees as I would hate the good hive to get torn apart tonight.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Urgent Bear Help

    If you can't get an electric fence up today, then moving is the best option.

    Not sure what your situation in MN is, but I imagine it is a bit late in the season to expect the torn up hive to recover and have stores for winter, so combining it with the established colony would probably be your best bet. I don't use Warre hives, so I'm not sure exactly the best method for that, but I'm sure it is probably not too difficult.

    Good luck and sorry about the bear!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: Urgent Bear Help

    Good plan on moving them to a safe place ASAP. The destroyed/repaired colony and the established one.
    On the destroyed colony, check in a couple days to see if they still have a queen. If they do and you were able to save some brood, with some feeding and maybe some flow she might rebound right back.
    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Urgent Bear Help

    Whatever brood is there is likely dead. I picked these combs off the ground and shook the water off of them. I then attached them to my half frames with rubber bands. So I suspect that everything in there is dead. I figured that saving a few combs may give them somewhat of a head start as opposed to just melting it down.

    I am seriously considering dumping them into an empty Lang nuc so I can provide them some brood from one of my two Langs. I should also mention that I just made up a TBH nuc as a spare. It has a queen, a few combs, and bees. Maybe combine them?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: Urgent Bear Help

    Did the queen make it? If yes, was she laying good before the bear attack? Not sure how your flow is where you are...But if your queen is laying good, she might surprise you. If you do not feel comfortable waiting and taking a chance, making a Lang nuc and fortify it with some resources from other hives, would also work. Ultimately, if that does not pan out, you can combine with one of your stronger hives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Urgent Bear Help

    I feel your pain,I had a bear tear up some of my hives last Friday morning.The bees were so mad I could not go in the back yard with out being stung,my dog got it three times before i realized how mad they were.I did move one hive out but still having some trouble.I also added straps to some of the other hives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Urgent Bear Help

    So just a quick update to my day. After going over there to reassemble the messed up hive I arranged a trailer on my drive home (out apiary around 30 mins away). I got home, sat down for a minute, assembled some ventilated bottoms and went back. I was able to get both hives back home. Warre hives sure are tipsy while in a trailer, going uphill, on a gravel road, and 5 boxes tall. It rained most of the time. It rained all day. In fact...my driveway is a temporary lake and it's still raining. So with the help of the guy at the out apiary we got them loaded and with the help of my wife we got them unloaded. Event free. So far I have not seen any evidence of comb collapse, but then again I didn't do a lot of looking either. The damaged hive with the rubber banded combs held. So there they sit on my stand, which is now practically full. They were able to down some syrup while I was gone, but I will go back and fill it in the morning.

    I still have no idea what I am going to do with this poor hive. I have a TBH nuc that I have setup that I may combine them with. I am not sure how I will be able to examine the warre easily even with my half frames. I suppose I could put a queen excluder between boxes and smoke the top. Then examine the excluder. Thoughts?

    Do you think ratchet straps to my hives would keep the bears out? Maybe then at least they would just tip over and not get devoured.

    What a crap week...

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