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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of weeks ago a bear came and dumped both of my hives over and strewed everything all around. He smashed up some of the frames - unfortunately it was about 30 degrees that morning so it was too cold for bees to be out of the hive. I put the hives back together as best I could when the day warmed up - surprisingly there were quite a few surviving bees. Obviously the bear had mixed everything up so I didn't really know what I was putting where. I had left the supers on for the winter and there was brood in one of the super frames. In any case, one of the hives didn't make it. There was a big clump of dead bees inside. The other hive has bees coming and going with pollen. Because there was brood on some of the damaged frames I didn't remove them for repair so as to give the bees a chance to create a queen if there was no queen. I left them alone until this weekend when I went in to see what was going on. There are 2 supers and 2 deeps on the hives (why I did that is another story). There is brood in one of the super frames - they're doubled over and still uncapped. There is uncapped honey and capped honey. I didn't look at the bottom deep so I don't know what's in there but it seemed that they are foraging for pollen and finding something to make honey with. Sorry for this long post - I guess I wanted to know what I should do - there are a lot of bees in there - I doubt I can get a queen anytime soon. Should I start feeding them or just leave them alone or what? What is likely to be going on right now? Do bees go foraging and working in the hive if there's no queen? What do I do now? The hive is in chaos as far as wax needing repairs, leaves stuck to frames, etc.
 

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They will work it out.

If you need a queen there are lots avail from warmer climates.

Too early for them to raise their own queen, there are no drones to mate with.

If you have not put up an electric fence and baited it then you should do so immediately.

Otherwise straigten out the frames as best you can, make sure they are spaced properly and give them a couple more weeks....

If you know the queen from one is dead order another online and get them squared away and queenright asap.
 

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Get some straps and strap the hive stacks so that they can not be separated so easily. At least then if they get knocked over, they don't get strewn all about. For now, I'd vote for leaving them alone, let them figure it out. Just get some straps and fencing if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's the worst part - we had the fence up - The question is how do I know if I need a new queen? One of my problems was trying to figure out if they had time to make a queen before they all died. I have allowed them to supercede every year. Also, there have been quite a few dead bees at the entrance but I was sort of assuming that those dead bees were a result of housekeeping because of the bear. Thanks,
 

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You've got one more decent day of weather to do an inspection before it gets crappy for a couple weeks.

This is your opportunity to look and see if there are signs that there is a laying queen or not.....she should be laying at least a small patch at this time of year given our recent weather conditions provided they have stores...mine were dragging in piles of pollen the last couple of days so....
 

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That's the worst part - we had the fence up -,
Is the electric fence baited? Slap some bacon on the wires and call it done....boo boo gets a bacon sandwitch in the mouth with a couple thousand volts

If its not baited then thats the core problem.

I also agree with the other poster that you should strap the boxes to keep them together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK I'll look tomorrow after work. I didn't look in the bottom deep - the only brood I saw was in the top super - it was just a small patch - everything else was honey and pollen - I had read somewhere that bees bringing in pollen is an indication that there is a queen but that doesn't really make any sense.

I did put peanut butter on the fence. The bear came back again and smashed the fence but he hasn't been back again.
 

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OK I'll look tomorrow after work. I didn't look in the bottom deep - the only brood I saw was in the top super - it was just a small patch - everything else was honey and pollen - I had read somewhere that bees bringing in pollen is an indication that there is a queen but that doesn't really make any sense.
How many weeks ago was the bear attack?

If the attack was 3 plus weeks ago and you have open/uncapped brood then you likely are queenright.



I did put peanut butter on the fence. The bear came back again and smashed the fence but he hasn't been back again.
If he smashed the fence a second time you have a problem.

1 You need a stronger fence charger. Kevin at Henniker Feed has the Patriot P20 model (2j of power) that will run in 12v or 110 (home). Go get one now.

2. I suggest you use tape instead of wire. Wire is not visible....bears have poor eyesight.

3. Bait the hell out of the tape with bacon.

4. Get a rifle. You are within your rights legally in this state to shoot a bear that is destroying livestock and bees are livestock. Your ONLY legal obligation in this situation is to inform Fish and Game within 24hrs.....take photos of damaged hives as backup.
 

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If the bear come back again he has to learn a lesson and it has to work. You got some great ideas from other beekeepers but if a bear is hungry enough the fence is merely a obstackle. Set plywood around base 3ft atleast and go buy a couple boxes of tacks 1/2 to 3/4 of a inch and stand them up and the tacks need a flat base on them so he can easily get them out a few in the foot will get his attn. This is only a last resort method and then keep your mouth shut cause you will be surprised who will rat you out. Rocksalt works great out of a 3inch mag if you live in country fire in the butt breaks them but it is filled with risk no further than 30 yards to be affective. These are only ideas not recommended last resort only. Good Luck:
 
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