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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hampden,MA, USA
    Posts
    4

    Sad Honeybear did not care

    I just joined your site as I need advice with a problem. It is deer hunting and a hunter must have disturbed a bear yesterday, as last night a bear busted my hive apart ate all the honey and I've lost half of my bees. We have had a cold week and last night it was 27 degrees with a high of 34 today. We moved the hive into a well ventilated shed where they will be safe but with no food and winter coming is all hope lost for their survival.
    Thanks, Sue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: Honeybear did not care

    If you are saying the bees are OK, but have no stored honey anymore, it is possible to feed them sugar to get them thru the winter. There are quite a few options, this page from Michael Bush's site discusses many of them:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm

    Personally, I'd just use granulated white sugar, placed on a sheet of newspaper above the frames where the bees are clustered. Put an empty hive body over the sugar to protect it.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Honeybear did not care

    How many frames of bees do you think you have left?

    If you have 5-6 frames left I think you will be ok. I would reduce them down to one deep box and and either dry sugar feed or make a candy board.

    If you need help with the hive or with a candy board pm me. We are only a few miles apart.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Honeybear did not care

    What does a deer hunter have to do with you having a hungry bear? Did the hunter show the bear where your hives are? Seriously, do you have an idea if you still have the queen in the mix some where. WVMJ

    Quote Originally Posted by oh!honey View Post
    I just joined your site as I need advice with a problem. It is deer hunting and a hunter must have disturbed a bear yesterday, as last night a bear busted my hive apart ate all the honey and I've lost half of my bees. We have had a cold week and last night it was 27 degrees with a high of 34 today. We moved the hive into a well ventilated shed where they will be safe but with no food and winter coming is all hope lost for their survival.
    Thanks, Sue
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Honeybear did not care

    u could feed the bees some honey too just saying.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winsted, CT, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Honeybear did not care

    These few bees are not worth the efforts of survival. You need to keep the bee yard behind an electric fence or will have a visitor time and again. Sorry.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    580

    Default Re: Honeybear did not care

    Bear steaks are good eating. Buy a tag and eliminate the problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,867

    Default Re: Honeybear did not care

    Sorry about your loss - I once lost 10 colonies to bear. Never again. 3 of my 5 yards now have electric fences powered by solar energizers. The other two are in areas where I'm not overly concerned about bears.

    The bears should be hibernating soon, so you've got a bit of time to put together your defense. There are lots of resources on the internet about bees and bear fencing; the most important point is the fence needs to be up and operating before bears learn of the tasty treats waiting for them. While bears will and do eat honey what they are generally after in spring is bee brood. Protein for bruins. Spring and early summer are the times when bears are most problematic for beekeepers, but as you found out they can do damage late in the year too!

    Unfortunately in agriculture your best efforts and desires are often not enough to accomplish what you want. Given what you report the hive is unlikely to survive as a solo unit. If it were me I'd combine the surviving bees with another colony.

    So it goes.

    Bear fencing is not a physical barrier so it does not need to be super strong. What I have is electric netting, commonly sold as sheep fence, with additional grounding. 36-40 inches tall is plenty. The fence should be far enough away from the hives so that a bear can't reach over the fence and get to the hive. Be sure to test the fence once you have it up - either by grabbing it yourself or using a tester. Grabbing it will tell you if it works - the tester will tell you how well. I suggest the tester.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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