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My son asked to go see the bees, so we hopped on the 4-wheeler and headed back to see them. i noticed 4 of the 8 hives knocked over and frames missing, so i drove off figuring they'd be rather upset. After putting the boy to bed, i returned to stand them back up and found one to be completely free of bees, one had a fist sized cluster around the queen, and the other two had numerous damaged/missing combs, but plenty of bees present. I moved some brood and bees around to try and save what i could of my now weakened colonies. I strapped down 6 of the 8, but had to head to the shop to get more strapping. I had a 30 minute conversation with the Mrs, and headed back out to strap the remainder down before dark. When i got back to the bees, i found that three more hives had been toppled, along with the stand they were strapped to, and my brood moving efforts were in vain as the frames had been pulled, eaten, and in some cases carried off a bit into the woods. a couple of them i simply couldn't locate. Figuring on raccoons, i set a live trap and returned to my shop (about 80yards away). Roughly 20 minutes later, and now full dark, i heard some banging around and walked over to see what i had captured. about 20 yards from the hive I turned on the flashlight and was rather surprised to discover my tormenter was not a cute raccoon, but instead a much larger black bear. If you've ever encountered a black bear in the black of night with nothing more than a flashlight and a .40cal side-arm, you'll understand that a side-arm does little convince one of their safety.

I fired a warning shot, which sent the bear off then backed away from the hives and headed to the house to fetch up more guns and bigger bullets. 15 minutes later i hear the bear again and fired a rife in his direction, which ended my bear encounteres for the evening. Next day, I loaded up the remaining hives and transported them for pollination duties and they were downright angry with the manipulations. Understandably so, but still, no pleasure to work with. Last night the bear appeared again, but finding no bees to devour, did no more damage to the hive stands that remained on site.

I'm not quite sure what my future course of action will be, but for those that are even remotely close to bear country, be warned. I had no idea bears were even in our vicinity, but the DNR confirmed that yes, they have had reports within 20 miles of my position. This has significantly changed my bee plans for the year, but hopefully a couple of cutouts go well and i can get a swarm or two to at least replace the lost hives. Wouldn't you know the two qeuuns i planned to use as breeders are missing.
 

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Bummer. Good luck with that bear. Once they have a taste tho.....hard to keep em away. Sounds like its time for that electrified fence. Keep us posted.
(and no....I hope to NEVER see a bear in the dark.....my high pitched screams would be heard for miles around!)
 

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If an animal is damaging/destroying livestock in MO you are allowed to take action to prevent any more damage. That .40 with multiple shots would have rendered a ventilated bearskin rug quite nicely. The sign out by our place says "due to the shortage of ammunition, there will be no warning shots"
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Our DNR has a differing view on game animals. I was counseled by the wildlife biologist that the bear might not hand around if the bees are removed and that they'd trap it if it did any more damage. Damage like what..maybe mauling my son, or a dog? I'm playing by the rules as I don't want any sort of poaching fine, but it rubs me the wrong way. I carry a side-arm most of the time, but i don't like feeling as though I have to just to give the illusion of safety in my own yard. I've got trail cameras set up now to see if i can get a picture of the bugger and keep a more vigilant eye on the fringes of my property. I'm not sure if i should hope he moves on, or hope he stays nearby and the DNr can remove him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE: The day after the bear attack, I noticed some activity in one of my 5-frame swarm traps. I let them do their thing until today when it was poor flying weather for them. I was curious to see if it was a feral swarm, or one from my hives. My smallest hive was either killed or absconded i nthe bear attack. Sure enough I found the cutest little cluster of bees in the hive with comb drawn that would be just a tad bigger than a baseball. They had a few cells, yes cells, of nectar and maybe three dozen cells with larva in them. I also found this years Carni queen in there. She managed to fly the 40 yards from the bear attack site to the trap site.

Unfortunately, when i moved all of my hives off the property, i moved all my drawn comb as well. Since i can't be much help the little survivors, i gave them a mini pollen patty, and a baggy feeder. If nothing else, this might get them some raw materials to grow without taxing their foragers too much. Next time i go and check the outyard, I'll grab a couple frames to help these gals out.
 

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Only way to keep bears out without killing is with a fence. I have 6 ft chain link fence around my hives with electric wire about 6 inches above the top of the fence to keep bears out and we have plenty of them and I have heard the bears bawling running back into the woods after trying to get in so I know bit works :)
 

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Category III – bears considered a threat to personal property because:
a- the bear is known to have caused property damage, or
b- the bear has been repeatedly observed and remains in an area, or
c- a previously captured bear has reappeared and again is a problem bear.

The Department shall treat Category III bears with aversive conditioning
techniques if the opportunity exists; the Department shall attempt to
capture and condition and/or relocate Category III bears that cannot be
free-range conditioned or do not respond to free-range aversive
conditioning. In emergencies, Category III bears involved in
depredation or other types of property damage may be killed or taken
under the provisions of Wildlife Conservation Order Section 9.4

9.4 Carnivorous animals, permitted taking.
Sec 9.4 In emergency cases carnivorous animals may be killed or taken by the owner of property or his authorized agent, without a permit, when his property is being damaged by any such animal; but such killing or capture shall be considered unlawful unless all animals killed or taken under this provision are disposed of only as directed by the director. This section shall not be construed as authorizing the taking or attempted taking of bear by traps except under permit issued by the director. This section shall not authorize the taking or attempted taking of birds

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/michigan_bear_problem_management_guidelines_263207_7.pdf
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ChapterIX_128642_7.pdf
 

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I had a bear attack about 2 weeks a go. Lost two nucs and some honey frames from a full hive. I soonly install an electric fence and baited it with peanut butter on aluminum foil. I also smeared honey on the wires and so far no bear problems. The key thing is to get the bear to lick or put their nose on wire to get a shock while at it or otherwise the bear will not feel the shock
 

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Here near the mountains of Virginia bear encounters are more frequent this spring because there was a poor acorn crop last fall -- or so I am told. The DNR or its equivalent is issuing kill permits -- with the bears coming out of the woods to find food, relocating another bear into the woods is apparently a futile effort. I was told the rule is you can keep the meat but not the hide/head for display.
 

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Needless to say the three S'es apply here . Shoot - shovel - shut up . Lol
:shhhh: I agree hope I never have bear problems if I do I have a back hoe. I have a fence on 4x4s and electric running around it.
 

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Do what you have to do and tell no one. The city, county, state, or federal are not your friends, they're "bureaucrats" and have no concern for your well being. At this point in time as Americans we have no protective rights for ourselves or our property, we're on the bottom of the pole. Enough said. :ws: :digging: :kn:
 

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Do what you have to do and tell no one. The city, county, state, or federal are not your friends, they're "bureaucrats" and have no concern for your well being. At this point in time as Americans we have no protective rights for ourselves or our property, we're on the bottom of the pole. Enough said.
It is sad that we cannot defend our property.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jbeshearse hit the nail on the head (and thanks for looking up the statutes). I spoke with some bog-**** muckety-muck in Lansing about the issue and he sent me some litterature about ideal fencing to keep bears out based on university studies. he did make me aware of the fact that i am allowed to use lethal force if the bear is doing damage to the hive, but made it rather clear that i was not allowed to sit in a treestand and bait him in. So, at least there is a provision that allows a reasonable person to take resonable action.

I'll fence before fetching the hives back from pollination. If the bear continues to be a problem, I feel justified that i made every attempt to give the bear an opportunity to reform.
 

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If you've ever encountered a black bear in the black of night with nothing more than a flashlight and a .40cal side-arm, you'll understand that a side-arm does little convince one of their safety.
It reminds me of the time I came out of a tent at midnight to a bear in the Boundary Waters in MN as it was checking out the food. Of course I had no weapon, wearing long johns and a tee shirt, with only one of those AA battery mag lights. In hindsight, I was glad it was shocked enough to go away, eventually. I still remember his beady eyes in the light on it's black silhouette against the lake as it reared up to run away at about 30 yards.
 

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Needless to say the three S'es apply here . Shoot - shovel - shut up . Lol
Do what you have to do and tell no one. The city, county, state, or federal are not your friends, they're "bureaucrats" and have no concern for your well being. At this point in time as Americans we have no protective rights for ourselves or our property, we're on the bottom of the pole. Enough said.

My thoughts exactly. We need to take care of ourselves because the authorities sure won't do it. Now where's that 'high five' smilie? ;)
 

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Needless to say the three S'es apply here . Shoot - shovel - shut up . Lol
Do what you have to do and tell no one. The city, county, state, or federal are not your friends, they're "bureaucrats" and have no concern for your well being. At this point in time as Americans we have no protective rights for ourselves or our property, we're on the bottom of the pole. Enough said.

My thoughts exactly. We need to take care of ourselves because the authorities sure won't do it. Now where's that 'high five' smilie? ;)
 

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A 20 mile electric fence charger, hooked up to a 4 wire X 80' perimeter does wonders training small bears and reminding the big ones. 'Guaranteed to bring a 6' X200lb man to the ground in a heap :rolleyes:. Apparently the bears feel the same way - we have a huge resident male (#29), several sows and at least a few recently "trained" cubs in the vicinity. Our 100 lb lab/mastiff let's me know when they are passing by, and alternative means of "bear medicine" are never far out of reach. They tend to respect our "arrangement".
 
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