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I did my first inspection yesterday, I installed my package on 5/22. Everything looks great, good mix of pollen and nectar/syrup, plus lots and lots of brood in all stages. Combs are well-drawn on the plastic foundation, I added another box of foundationless frames, I wasn't ready with the first box. Moved one frame of partially-drawn plastic up to the second box to give them a way to the top. No stings, not really even crawling on my hands. Getting more boxes ready, they're filling up the 8-frame mediums pretty quickly. Couldn't be happier about these girls.

In the afternoon I was dozing in my chair about 20 feet from the hive, and something woke me up. On the other side of the brushrow on the property line I could see movement. Thought it was the neighbor's dog, but when I stood up, there was a small bear about 30 feet away, sneaking directly toward my hive stand. Gave him a loud "Git, Bear!" and he ran about 20 feet and turned around. A couple rocks convinced him that lunch would be catered somewhere else. Needless to say, I bought a fencer today and it's going in before dark. Funny thing is that I was telling a friend Sat. night that I hadn't seen or heard of a bear close to my house in about 8 years. I also have a camera on my hive that I can watch in the house, but I can't watch it all the time. BooBoo is going to get some serious negative reinforcement if he comes back. It was a small young bear so I'd imagine he's hungry and will do about anything for an easy meal. 2 joules to the kisser should convince him. Since he's already obviously scented my hive, I'm going to bait the fence to make sure he gets a proper welcome to the neighborhood.
 

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Good Lord. I'm awfully glad that bears are the exception and not the norm around where I live. My husband was taken aback enough last year by my interest in bees and has not been thrilled about the other wildlife (turtles, snakes and an occasional turkey) that takes sometime detours through our yard. I think a bear in the back yard would be the last straw for him!!!
 

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In the last 3 months, I've seen bears, deer, snakes, coyotes, porcupines, a bobcat, and several foxes within 3 miles of my house, actually all except the bobcat while I was in my yard. Guess your husband wouldn't like it here much! We even have hawks nesting in the woods this year. I'll take all the critters over crowds of people any day. Just gotta convince the bears that stopping by for a meal is out of the question.
 

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......... My husband was taken aback enough last year by my interest in bees and has not been thrilled about the other wildlife (turtles, snakes and an occasional turkey) that takes sometime detours through our yard. I think a bear in the back yard would be the last straw for him!!!
Ok Bluidshay, you owe me for cleaning up the rum and coke from my monitor on that one. Your spouse sounds like mine when I moved her to the country. Don't worry, they adjust, eventually.

Feeding,
Is 2 joules enough to deter? Here in Missouri, we don't have a big bear issue (southern MO, maybe....central where I am at, bears are unheard of). If I had to deal with that, I would probably do my normal over-engineer of things with a fence hooked directly to the grid. Might be a little overkill. :eek:

I don't have bears, but ***** are going to be a problem that I can forsee. I don't sleep much but when I do is when it seems like the little critters want to come out to play. Do you use solar rechargers or are you hooked to AC with a standard fence charger?
 

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*****, the rating of fence chargers (as with most products) depends on who you ask. The companies that rate voltage will tell you that joules is useless, and vice versa. I bought the biggest DC fencer I could afford, and put lots of thought into my grounding and construction. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and I want the impression of fence wire burned into that bear's nose! I use a 110 Amp-hour battery with a 15 watt solar charger that I got from Northern Tool. I still need to build a doghouse-like enclosure for the battery and fencer. Not enough hours in the day or night anymore, retirement is hell! (kidding, really)

Hooking a fence to line voltage is dangerous because of the constant current, fences deliver a high-energy pulse. If anyone were to get injured by the fence, and it was discovered you had it connected to straight AC or had "improved" the charger in any way, even a good lawyer (oxymoron) won't help you.

In the end, the fence is only a deterrent, if bears are that hungry (or stupid), they will find a way through. Take a multi-layered approach and hope for the best. Unfortunately, some people who think bears are a novelty feed them or don't keep their trash and such secure, which conditions the bear to come near people for food. The only one who really loses in these situations is the bear, which has to be trapped or destroyed.

***** are pretty clever AND stubborn. Other than trapping them and moving them far, far away (to be someone else's problem), lead is the only way to stop them once they learn where the vittles are.
 

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this reminds me of my racoon problem a few year ago..I decided to get the kids a few chickens to raise since we lived in the country. well, I kind of wanted some too, but anyway.....after a while we started losing a few to animals at night...we did what we could at first, housing them in a coop and all, but those pesky ***** are very determined....when my sons favorite rooster, Prince Charles, went missing, something had to be done!

So, I had already run elec to the coop(about 200 ft away from the house) for a light in the winter to keep them warm. we had tried an elec fence, but all we were shocking were our pet cats and dogs(and the occasional kid)

It hit me one day in my shed...I had a motion detecting light fixture on a shelf, and I had recently seen a apparatus that on one end would screw into a standard light socket, and the other end you could plug an extension cord into it.....VOILA! I hung the motion detector right outside the chicken coop door and screwed in the fixture, and ran 2, 100 ft extension cords to a lamp inside the house sitting between the couch and my recliner.....when the varmint activated the motion detector, power to the fixture would turn the lamp on....the first night that lamp was blinking like a strobe light....5 times before midnight we had visitors...I won't go into graphic details, but over the next few weeks, our **** problem was fixed.....oh, and a few possums too!
 

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Had a bear knock over one of my offsite hives about 10 days ago. Didn't do a lot of damage since he clearly didn't like the bees but he walked down the middle of the garden belonging to the property owner where my hive is located and then sat down on the lawn munching on part of an old stump. The owner showed me pictures. It was pretty cool. We see so many more bear around here than ever before.
 

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A thought.. If there is a piece of hardware cloth attached to the electric fence, with peanut butter embedded in it the bear will lick it. (think about that for a bit) Someone told me it was a sure fire way to deter a bear.
 

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If you use a honey soaked rag instead of the peanut butter, they will associate honey with the tingle in their tongue - and devellop an aversion to hive products!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I baited my fence with hot dogs (kosher beef, of course, only the best for my pest;)) so the bear gets shocked on a sensitive area. Once they're halfway through the fence, they probably won't get zapped at all, or if they do, they'll tear everything up trying to get away.

I didn't want to put too much smelly bait out, don't want to advertise and draw in bears that might not otherwise find the hives. I'm pretty convinced that this bear was pushed out of its area by gas surveyors, hopefully my rocks and all the neighborhood dogs going nuts kept it moving.

I've seen people use cattle panels on insulators, pretty hard to get your beak through one without contacting. I'll try to get pictures of a garden fence nearby, guy put a lot of effort and money into it, looks like his tomatoes are in supermax. It's also kind of funny to realize that I have more security equipment (fence, cameras, motion detectors) on my bees than I do on my house. I also have to contend with semi-tame deer who are greatly offended when I don't let them eat my garden. They will stand outside the fence and snort and stomp if I'm there. Lucky for them they're not "eatin' size" yet.
 

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The bears are not always or even usually drawn to honey. It's the brood that they're interested in, especially in the fall.
 
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