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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
We had bear (actually 3 - mama and two cubs) invasion 10 days ago. One of the hives lost all of the brood and a lot of bees (it was a weak hive to begin with), and as of today's inspection it's queenless... There were couple of the queen cells on newly made comb (they are top bar hives).

How can I save them?

1. get a queen as soon as possible?
2. try to get brood and a queen? (wasn't able to locate beekeeper willing to share brood so far)
3. try to get just brood?
4. try to introduce them into another hive? - what are the chances they will get accepted?

I am feeding them honey but they didn't seem to eat much of it (too few of them? or enough food outside?)
Thank you in advance,
Yulia in VT
 

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I can't tell from here whether anything you do will be helpful to the bees you have left from the hive that the bears hit.

What are you doing to protect the other hives. I hope we don't see a post tomorrow that says, "Mama bear and cubs ate another one." Cause, why wouldn't they return for another tasty free meal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, they did return the next day, when we were in the middle of the electric fence installation (That's how we know how many they were). And were scared away by shotguns. I hope that answers your question.
So far your reply was not helpful or informative at all. And I'm here to get help if it's available and not to entertain with bear stories.
 

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Yulia, if there are queen cells then why are you looking for advice.

You just posted that you're installing an electric fence so the return performance will hopefully be ended abruptly

Let them raise their own queen and end of story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you JPK,
I'm asking because I feel they are too few left, not enough to make it through. Even if they get their queen, it may be too late in the season to make enough bees and honey. Am I wrong?
 

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How many bees do you have left? One coffee cup full? two?
How many other hives do you have available? Do you have any that can share a frame of brood?
Have you ever tried grafting? Those new cells will not do them any good without larvae to grow into queens. (My understanding is that they are queen-less and the queen cells are on newly drawn comb, i.e. after the bear hit.)
You can newspaper combine with another hive. It's harder with top bar hives but it's possible. If they can escape and if they are in the same yard they'll probably just return to their old location.
If there are very few bees left, less than a cup full, I'd just open the hive, take away their bars, they'll know they are in trouble and drift to other hives.
 

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The same thing happened to me last year, momma & 2 cubs wiped out my 3 hives. My bee numbers were low but I was able to prepare them for winter. I let them raise their own queen because there were queen cells and I just kept feeding 1:1 sugar water and pollen patties until winter and kept putting pollen patties in until we stared getting freezing tempatures. Good Luck. you can requeen if it would make you feel better there is no harm just money spent on a queen.

Eileen
 

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So far your reply was not helpful or informative at all. And I'm here to get help if it's available and not to entertain with bear stories.
Well, excuse me if you don't like me asking questions. But it seemed to me that your bees that had been attacked were probably beyond help and that you aught to tend to what hives you had left. I was not fishing for bear stories. You are going to find out that now that the bears have tasted your bee hives the fence you have erected probably won't do you much good.

But, hey, you don't care about bear stories and apparently don't care for me and I could care less, newcomer. So let us know if you have anymore hives at all in a couple of days.

Oh yeah, welcome to beesource.
 

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WOW....:eek: a mouse? sounds like crawdads!!! :lpf:
After being hit I put up an electric fence baited with bacon tied around the wire and no more problems. (also my redbone hound was helpful as a scare tactic) So the fence will work if done properly.

Hope it works for ya!
 

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Need to know what is too few bees. Everyone has a different opinion on too few bees.

If this was my hive and it had two frames of bees, covering both sides, I would add a queen, give a few pollen patties and it would probably be strong enough to go into winter, if you have a long fall. If it would not bee strong enough, I would combine with another hive early in fall, killing the worst of the two queens.
Anything less, shake the bees out, let them find a home in one of your other hives, knock out any queen cells in the frames and give the remaining brood to your other hives.

To let them raise a queen at this late date would be counter productive.
16 days to emerge from egg, 1-3 weeks to mate and start laying and 23 days for the first bees to start to hatch. There is your time line, give or take a day or two.

As for the bear, your fence had better crank out 5000v. To achieve this, you need a good ground rod or three depending on your moisture and soil conditions and depth you can get in the ground. We use a 5' rod in clay soil which rarely dries out. As well, insulators if you are using wood posts, and a good solar or electric fencer. Good does not necessarily mean the most expensive. We just use the co-op brand solar fencers. Your fence needs to be atleast 4+ feet high. I would recommend going to a tractor supply or an ag store and purchase a fence tester. They can range from $12-100. Make sure you get the volts up. Anything less than 5000v and the bear will either walk through or keep testing until he gets use to the charge.
Now, once your fence is working the way you like, remember to test often and to turn it on when you leave the bee yard (own that t-shirt).
 

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Hey man sorry for your loss. If they return can you shoot them?
That's what people do here in Alaska. The ones I know about just don't tell anyone about it and done deal.
:shhhh:
 

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You shoot a bear in Pa and its a $10,000 FINE!! and the wild life officer even stated that you can not shoot them if they are trying to attack you! I know thats alittle way out there but that was his exact words!
 

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You shoot a bear in Pa and its a $10,000 FINE!! and the wild life officer even stated that you can not shoot them if they are trying to attack you! I know thats alittle way out there but that was his exact words!
well its easier to ask forgivness than deal with a bear attack. secondly f&g can't fine ya if they don't see ya.
 

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You shoot a bear in Pa and its a $10,000 FINE!! and the wild life officer even stated that you can not shoot them if they are trying to attack you! I know thats alittle way out there but that was his exact words!
Well, he doesn't know much about PA bear laws. My best friend's father in law, my cousin, and my brother in law's brother are all PA WCO's. I have questioned them many times on laws about bears. Any bear actually caught destroying agricultural equipment or livestock can be shot. You must use a centerfire, solid projectile, and report the kill within 12 hours. They will investigate and if you're legit, no problem (they keep the bear for "research"). I was trying to find the exact law to quote, it's out there.

My former boss shot a black bear because despite him making noises and backing up, the bear kept walking straight towards him. PGC came out, looked around, loaded up the bear and were gone, no fines, just told him he was lucky he had a gun.

Most bear damage to apiaries, if you can get someone out to investigate, results in either (a) PGC reimburses you for the bees/equipment (not sure how much, probably as little as they can get away with), or (b) PGC installs an electric fence. They will not pay more than 3 times, usually after the second damage event they will do the fence. PGC is super-short on culvert traps right now, it's a long wait to get them to trap a problem bear. Of course, all the problem bears they trap near the city get dropped off in our backyard.
 

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Good post Feeding.
I wonder what that "research" tatses like? Do you suppose they are researching the effects of bear meat on the homeless and otherwise needy. I hear that that is what is done w/ freshly killed road kill dear, in some places. I'd get in line for a taste of well roasted bear meat.
 

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It sounds to me like you have too few bees left to make a go of it on their own. I would pinch the queen cells and add them in to your other hive. I do not know how to do a combine with top bar hives.

As others have said make sure your fence is hot hot hot or you won't have any hives left (I lost 10+ hives over several nights a few years back.)

I hope this answers your questions. I must also say I thought your response to Mark was unnecessarily rude.
 

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I hope this answers your questions. I must also say I thought your response to Mark was unnecessarily rude.
Thanks Andrew. I seem to bring it out on people. I should have waited for your post before reacting myself. I do hope that the fence is a good one. I don't want anyone feeding bears.

Then again I did have that window sticker one time that read:"Support the Right to Arm Bears". Has a pic of a bear holding a rifle. Pretty cute.
 

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[/QUOTE]I hope this answers your questions. I must also say I thought your response to Mark was unnecessarily rude.[/QUOTE]

It's like this in all forums.
 
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