Yup,....there's been reports of them around here, too, so I got the fence up in my main yard last week. Even had to shovel some snow away on spots that hadn't melted where the net fence line goes. Baited with bacon as well.
I also lives in pa, northeastern part. Last year was my first year and had an electric fence up and still got vandalized by a bear. My local club told me to bait the fence with bacon and so far so good. On a positive note I thought that the bees that were knocked over would never recover but they did. They also made it through winter! Good luck this season.
Sorry to hear about that bear last night, I have not got my fence charger on but I will certainly do that tonight!
I've run a lot of fence over the years, keeping in horse, sheep, goat but those bees won't stay in !
What I've learned - stay away from those white fiberglass posts (cool at first but you will get glass imbedded in your hands by year 3) - pay the extra for aluminum vs the galvanized wire. I keep a HUGE charger indoors and run a wire to the beeyard as high up as possible.
My bears are not out yet this year but will be soon. Following is from a previous post of mine. It is an expensive and heavy duty approach, but it works. Hope it gives you some ideas. Best of luck to you.
"I live in bear country and before I got my first colony I built my bear fence. It consists of three 16'X4' cattle panels, one cut in half to make a 8'X16' yard. Four corners consist of heavy steel pipe with fiber optics conduit slid over as an insulator. The cattle panels are secured to the insulation and off the ground. The panels are wired together with bare copper wire and soldered. This is the "hot" side.
I use a Paramak brand Magnum 12 volt solar fence charger which is expensive but of reliable quality to charge the system. (Shop for best $)
CO is very arid so I put an 18" wide "skirt" of sheet metal on the ground 6" outside the cattle panels & spiked to the ground. Chicken wire would also work. The fence charger is grounded to an 8' copper clad ground rod & all of the "skirt" is bare copper wired/soldered together & tied to the ground rod. System has been tested by the bears & it works well. Look at http://www.kencove.com/fence/76_Bear+Fence_resource.php for info. Good luck & be safe. Next time ask me what I did with the bear in my kitchen."
This bear destroyed the colony, every last bee is gone, eaten or left to die. Every frame tore to shreds, except the empty ones, there were a few. The supers are the only thing I can salvage. I did have the bee's in an old dog pen, 10x10 and about 7' tall, climbed right over it and caved it in on one side.
I ordered more bee's and Im moving the bee's to a more open spot in my yard.
Steve, I gotta ask, what did you do with the bear in your kitchen
I just moved into southern Schuylkill county, PA. All of my hives are currently in Berks, Bucks, and montgomery county, but I plan on moving and starting a bunch south of Pottsville. I heard there are a few bears in Schuylkill county, so I will be setting up an electric fence. Thanks for the ideas Steve.
t: The house bear: I came into the house for a drink of water and the bear was sitting on the kitchen floor eating cream cheese that he had gotten out of a refrigerator drawer. He had already eaten bags of chocolate chips from the pantry, cookies from the counter, and ravaged two trash bags. I first told him to get out of my house, but he did not respond. I then got a pick ax handle in one hand and an arm full of 2X4 blocks in the other. After throwing the blocks in on the floor beside him, he decided to leave through the screen door he had cut to enter.
I have had as many as five different bears through in the summer and the electric fence around the bees has been tested and does work and I have never had to "bate" it.
Don't be discouraged by your bear experience. Work a deal with a neighboring beek and get more bees or put out a swarm trap. Take appropriate bear mitigations precautions and keep on truck'en. What you learn and experience is not only part of life, but it is worth it!
I kept bees at my Dad's knee in State College, PA.
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