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After a few weeks of sleepless nights worrying about bears attacking my new bee hive, I got the equipment to make an electric fence. I will have to hammer fence posts and ground rod into the ground, which is mostly shale. My husband might be nice enough to pound posts for me, but he's pretty scared of getting stung. I imagine that the bees will not appreciate this sort of noise and vibration, so I was wondering: can I temporarily move the hive for a day while construction is happening?

Also, once my fence is up, is there an easy, organic way to keep weeds down or do I just trim them with clippers?
 

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My recommendation is not to move the hive, but rather (if you really need to do so) to seal it up for the time the work is being done. Some wire mesh at the entrance late in the evening the night before, and a bit of cardboard taped over the inner cover hole (assuming you have a conventional stacked Langstroth hive with no other entrances) should do the trick.

Anybody disagree?

Mig
 

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Until you get a fence that bears may get over, under or through, secure the hive together with a ratchet strap. Unless the bear wants to get stung while it is chewing through the strap you should not have a problem. The worst you should see is the hive toppled over but still intact. They make 2 inch straps that would discourage anything that would not go through your fence anyway. I had a bear eat my hive in Florida. The strap has worked for me since. Two-legged bears (teenagers) get stung and frustrated by ratchet straps too.
 

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I just put a fence in today, didn't move anything, hammering posts in within 4 feet of the hive. No problems, no bumps, nothing. My hive is 200 feet from an old stone quarry, so sometimes it seems better to dig a shallow trench and lay the ground rod in. Fence is up and running, left a snack on the wire for Boo Boo so he can appreciate all the effort I put in.

I also use ratchet straps, my hive stand is weighted with about 1,000 lbs. of stone, so it will take a husky bear to tip it over. Learned from a friend, his hive has several sets of claw marks on it, but has never been smashed or even tipped.
 

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I would either block up the entrances, Install when raining, or after dark. Or if you want to make friends with your neighbors do it at 4 in the morning.
 

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Here's another vote for note moving the hive. I wouldn't even bother closing it up. I put up an electric fence around my hives four years ago. Used a post pounder to drive the posts and a hammer drill to put the grounding rods in. I wore a veil just in case, but no jacket or gloves. Didn't get a single sting.
 

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I have had bear problems this year also. I learned a few things from our state Bear Biologists. Number one, get rid of anything around the area that smells of food. Keep all your trash cans, cooking grills, anything that smells of food put up or inside so they will not give off an odor. Number two, put up your electric fence, three play a radio max volumn 24/7. Also, If you have a good dog like a Blue Heeler or Austrailian Shephard that will bark if the bear comes around. I have lost 4 hives and a lot of equipment in two successive attacks. If they every start they will return until they have destroyed everything so you have to do something to stop them.
 

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If your fence is really on rock shale you may need to do something else for the ground... have you grabbed the fence to test? Grounds only work if there's moisture or a way for the current to conduct. Fence to hand/bear nose, through feet, into dirt, and through dirt to ground. Many places out here we have to lay down cattle panels or poultry wire connected to the ground (that's the electrical ground) for the bear to stand on, completing the circuit.

If you're opposed to Roundup (glyphosate), you'll need to use a weed burner (most fun), weed trimmer, or something else to keep weeds from the fence. They bleed current out like the dickens. Or if it's REALLY short, old carpet cut down to 18" strips held down with spikes or rocks or something. I use a weed whacker on the organic farm that hosts bees and has fences.
 

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I m a total NEW BEE . lost one package yea they have wings. but as far as I concerned they are to busy to worry about me. mowed with an Ingersoll Case tractor in front then pulled up in front and drank a beer. These bee s one of the coolest leagle I thing Ihave ever done.
 

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one thing I forgot to mention to you. The electric fence, according to our state bear biologist should be a "high tencil electric fence". This is a heavy guage wire fence (like a cattle fence) with 5 strands of wire 10" apart. This is what you need to keep a hungry bear out.
 

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Back in 1980 my family had 2000 hives on gallberry in the olustee nat forrest n fla near the okfenokee swamp.The bears were every where they will wipe out 30 plus hives crush them too nothing.push trees over and ground your fence,dig under and a gamewarden watched a babby bear go thru gaps in fence and drag frames to mother waiting out side fence.Bears are cleaver and once they start you cant stopem.When you get a bear movem good luck.This same warden found a dead bear said they cut him open stomach was full of wire proably from our bees.
 
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