What happens to electric fences in snow?
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2005
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    Washington County, Maine
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    Default What happens to electric fences in snow?

    We got about 8 inches of snow day before yesterday and bears are still moving about. What is going to be the effect of 8 inches of snow on my netting style electric fences? I would imagine the snow would short out the fence. I'll visit them this afternoon and measure the voltage. I'll post my results - but in the meantime please speculate on what I'll discover. 1 Fence has a 12 volt Parmak solar energizer and other is another brand of solar energizer - 6 volt I think.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Johnson City, TN
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    Hi, first off I am not not knocking your equiptment. I found specs for bear proofing beehives from the state of VA they have done extensive research on the matter. Basicaly they say you need 14gauge aluminum wire because it is more conductive. With a low impedance charger of at least 1 joule. At least six strands on the fence alternting hot and cold, starting hot on the bottom. They don't recommend the mesh type fences. From what people say it will scare them off the first time but not keep them out. I am interested to see what you find.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  4. #3
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    Nov 2011
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    Johnson City, TN
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    I want to add that I have found many people who say that you can use a heavy duty cargo strap around the hives. They say if the bear does get the hive, that they will usually give up before they get in because it is so difficult and they usualy want a quick meal. I strap mine for various reasons. But I think you are better off being safe,thats just my opinion take it for what it's worth.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Shoshone County, Idaho
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    Cool Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    My elec. fence always shorted out as soon as we started getting snow on my mtn. top gardens and I would go out with a broom and try to keep the fence cleared so it would still work.
    We usually had quite a few veggies (root crops) that we could harvest into the winter if we got snow before too much cold weather. Yes, we were homsteading off the grid and also sold veggies and honey at 2 Farmer's Markets.
    Of course, the deer and elk also clued in to the veggies and would help themselves after my fence shorted out from the snow and the elk would walk right through and tear the fence down!
    I don't have to explain what the moose did to my fence!
    I finally would give up after to much snow.
    Best of Luck and don't forget that bear sausage is really good!

  6. #5
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    Nov 2011
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    Johnson City, TN
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    What kind of charger and fence did you use? I know the low impedance ones like I have, aren't supposed to short on weeds etc. They give a burst of power every few seconds. Did you have strands alternating hot and cold? I am happy with mine so far but I don't get enough snow here to realy answer that question. I have seen bears down the road my backyard is a mountain. But I have not had any problems yet knock on wood.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  7. #6
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    I am sorry, that was to Mtn Bee.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  8. #7
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    Nov 2009
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    Shoshone County, Idaho
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    Thumbs Up Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    What kind of charger and fence did you use?

    It was a big solar fencer that was good for 10 miles of fence, don't remember the name off hand though.

    I know the low impedance ones like I have, aren't supposed to short on weeds etc. They give a burst of power every few seconds.

    I think the wet snow (and by the foot daily) that we get definitely was the culprit.

    Did you have strands alternating hot and cold?

    No, I did not, just had 3 single strands of hot and was planning on going with 5-8 strands eventually but then we moved.

    I am happy with mine so far but I don't get enough snow here to realy answer that question. I have seen bears down the road my backyard is a mountain. But I have not had any problems yet knock on wood.[/

    I was surrounded by mtns. as we lived right on one with no neighbors or private landowners for 5+ miles and we had lots of bears, but they never bothered my hives, just hoofed critters in my gardens.
    Best of Luck!
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 11-28-2011 at 04:33 PM.

  9. #8
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    Nov 2009
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    Shoshone County, Idaho
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    Question Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    Where is Washington County located?
    My father was born and raised in Stewart County in Dover, TN!
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 11-28-2011 at 04:34 PM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Washington County, Maine
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    Fence with Parmak energizer was 4.6KW; fence with Speedrite S500 energizer was 2.6KW - the fence with the Speedrite is two sections of electric netting - all up. The fence with the Parmak has one pole bent over significantly with most of the section of fence under snow. Temps are expected to be in the low 40s the next few days so I am expecting the snow to melt quickly. The ground was plenty soft to slide the ground of my meter into.

    This setup, minus the solar energizers, is what migratory beeks often use on the blueberry barrens. I moved my yard location this fall and intend to put up a more permanent fence in the spring.

    The Parmak fence had been running 6.5KW prior to the snow. The other fence was just over 6KW.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Johnson City, TN
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    381

    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    It is the tri cities, Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City. I have been here about 4 years, been around, SC, Fla,CA and now TN.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Bee View Post
    \
    Where is Washington County located?
    My father was born and raised in Stewart County in Dover, TN!
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  12. #11
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    Jun 2011
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    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
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    206

    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    I have a roll of netting around my bees and there is about eight inches of snow. I have 5,000 volts going through it with a speedrite charger. I bait my fence with peanut butter on tinfoil wrapped around the top wire at various spots around the fence. The problem is not the fence shorting out, but that the bear is well insulated from the ground by the snow. I want him to touch the fence with his nose or tongue - that will give him a good jolt. So far, so good.

  13. #12
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    May 2003
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    Farmington, New Mexico
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    When do the bears in New Hampshire begin to hibernate?
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  14. #13
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    i have used those cargo straps the rachet type. the bear that hit my hive didn't seem to care , the hive was still smashed. and he walked though the e fence. i changed location.

  15. #14
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    Jun 2011
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    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
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    Default Re: What happens to electric fences in snow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Digman View Post
    When do the bears in New Hampshire begin to hibernate?
    Anytime between mid-September and mid-December. When there isn't much food around, they will hibernate earlier. We have had balmy weather lately (it is mid 50's today and it's almost December - very unusual), and I trust there are a few who haven't gone to bed yet. I take down my fence once I am sure they are hibernating, and I put it back up in March when they come out, hungry and with cubs.

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