Bear: And then there were none

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Hobie, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Came home from work yesterday evening to find my one last hive strewn about the yard. It was probably that way in the morning, but I did not see it in the dark (and have never had a bear problem here), so the poor girls sat out in cold and rain all day.

    I had wintered in one deep and 4 shallows, wrapped in tar paper. The top shallow was off, one side broken, several frames splintered. The remaining 4 boxes were still somewhat intact, thanks to propolis and the tar paper, but on it's side about 10 ft from the stand. I suppose it is possible that the queen and some workers survived in that block.

    I had to break the stack of 4 into two pieces to lift it back on the stand. The one deep feels heavy. Two of the shallows are very light. I heard some buzzing from within, but figured this was no time to inspect. I've never been able to find a queen, anyway.

    So, what do I do now? It is supposed to be somewhat warm Sunday. Do I inspect? Do I feed? Do I move the hive? Is it pointless to move the hive now that Mr. Bear knows it is here?

    It breaks my heart. The hive came through the winter strong, but given the quantity of dead bees on the ground and clinging to broken frames, their population is much reduced. Electric fencing is not an option right now. Not for one hive. If I move the hive to inside my veg garden with the deer fence, will the bear just destroy my veg garden?

    This is the second bad thing to happen this week (cat had to go to emergency vet). Waiting for the third...

    Hobie
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    So sorry to hear of this. Don't lose all hope though. Years ago I had 3 hives kicked over by kids on a Tuesday evening and I didn't find out until Thursday morning (after a day of torrential rain) Outer covers were overflowing with water. All 3 hives survived, with one already raising another queen due to the box being separated from the original.
    As for the bear returning, I don't know what to advise.
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Thanks, Perry! That gives me hope. I have to say damage by kids is worse. You can't really blame a bear for doing what's in its nature.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sorry to hear that, Hobie. I would put them in the deer fence and hope. Open them on the first 55F. sunny day and look for larva.

    The bear will be back.
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Dang, sorry Hobie...keep looking up my friend.
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Human sent will keep a bear Leary for a short while leave a jacket of T shirt that you have worn on the hive change it often also inferred censor on a light and plug a radio into it also. they are relatively inexpensive.
     
  7. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I wouldnt depend too much on human scent being much of a deterrent to a bear, most especially if it is an experienced urban rambler. A neighbour had the door taken off the outhouse and another had one demolish the interior of their car. Another was shot in the back porch in the process of emptying the beer fridge. I guess he thought that was bear fridge. We have been amalgamated into the town and dogs dont run loose and hunting or firearm discharge not allowed. In just a few generations bears in an area can learn a whole new set of behaviors.
     
  8. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Hobie: Very sorry to hear this news. That just stinks. I don't have any experience with bears thank goodness, but I would expect that it would return. Can you add some barbed wire to the deer fence, and put it in there? I don't know if barbed wire would even help.

    Don't give up on the girls so quickly. They are a whole lot more resilient than we give them credit for. Give them some time, I bet they'll bounce right back. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    You need to put up a strong electric fence because the bear will come back. My friend's bear hit happened the first time, and then the bear didn't come back until 2 weeks later. But it came back. After the 2nd hit my friend bought an electric fence and no more problem- unless he doesn't keep the fence on.
     
  10. MT204

    MT204 New Member

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    My freind had a visit from a bear last year and it destroyed a hive. It was trapped and moved but 10 days later it came back and got the second hive. They came and trapped it again and moved it again. This morning (6 months later) it showed up again just as he was leaving to pick up more nucs. He scared it off and it didn't get the last hive. So I spent the day building the new electrified fence for the new nucs and last years hive. Once they find the bees the bears put it in their memory. Would be kind of fun to see it test the fence the first time.
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    hobie,
    this is heartbreaking. move the hive as far as you can, if you leave it where it is, the bear will keep coming back for it, bad part, depending on how far you move it, they'll find it again, and won't quit. if you move it inside the deer fence, the voltage on these are not meant to shock a bear to set them on their butts and send them away and you will most likely have some damage in your vegetable garden, so this will not help. the only thing that detours a bear is about 6-8000 volts on a fence. as far as what to do.....inspect?, feed?......you may have lost the queen, and the chances of the hive surviving is minimal if you can't protect it, so any action without the fence, the odds are against you......so sorry, been there, done that.
     
  12. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Talked to some locals and two bears were sighted in this area about the same time as my incident. So far they have not been back, but I'm sure they will be. What is there to do? I guess nature will take it's course. Maa'lesh (Arabic saying for "What can you do? It will be as it will be.")

    However, I need to get some bells or something to wear walking out to the barn in the morning! The pile of scat we found was right in my path.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Electric fences work well, as is, for the dumber domestic livestock. The trick is to educate the wild critters, before they realize how flimsy the fortress really is. An old gentleman showed me an electrical fence about 2ft high that kept deer out of his garden, a creature that can clear a 6ft fence. The trick is to bait the hot wire; so the creature licks, smells or rubs against it. A deer licking a peanut butter coated piece of aluminum foil, hooked to the hot wire, not only aint coming back, it sorta changes their opinion of peanut butter.
     
  14. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "So far they have not been back, but I'm sure they will be. What is there to do? I guess nature will take it's course. Maa'lesh (Arabic saying for "What can you do? It will be as it will be."

    hobie, without question, the bear/s will be back, unless you move them a great distance or construct a bear fence and fencer, you will lose your hive. ray mentions baiting the wires, not necessary when it comes to bears....#1 attracts them, you don't want this in case your fencing or fencer fails. # 2 you want that voltage to deliver enough shock to a bear the first time that they will never return.
     
  15. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I disagree with the idea that baiting the wire will attract bears to the area. The pounds of honey and larvae in the hives are already an overwhelming attractant but on the other side of the fence! It doesn't however focus the tongue and nose directly onto the wire for a meaningful first encounter. Body blows to a bear dont get their attention near as well because of the thick fur.
     
  16. power napper

    power napper New Member

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    I agree that the bear will return. An electric fence with a strip of bacon attatched to the electrified fence for the bear to lick should stop the bear from returning.
     
  17. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    so put honey on the wire.
     
  18. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    you don't need the dang bacon attached to the fencing for the bear to get a clue not to come back........
    don't forget other critters are attracted to whatever you have dangling off your fence or maybe your livestock or family pet, and if one of them winds up electrified to he&& and back, guess what....
    it's uneccessary.

    in the past, imho, the thought was, and i know frank probably knows what i am saying, something used to 'train' the animal, or 'teach respect'.....well, for bears you only need that powerful voltage to teach them respect, the first time. and i don't need to 'advertise' my fencing. and btw frank, with all due respect, i hear what you are saying, imho, and my experience, bacon on a fencing wire will attract a bear and every other critter irregardless of the bee hives, especially during the spring of the year.
    :grin:....
     
  19. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Riverbee, I agree. But what I want to know is why you would not have a prayer of attracting one bear with a lb of bacon. if it where bear hunting season? Now if you can come up with the answer to that we might have a shot at this varroa and CCD thing also.
     
  20. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Bears fur is too thick for the most part to make contact. If it gets its head or a limb through a bit it is going on through. Tentatively touching with a nose or tongue different story. Gypsi, honey on a dangle off the wire would work just as well. It certainly would be no more attractant from afar than the contents of the hive. This is the point I see as not logic. If for instance we had a side of pork to be protected inside the fence instead of a hive of bees and honey, would a few dangles of bacon scented foil be any additional draw to the area? The honey and larvae is the overwhelming attractiion that can be smelled for a mile it is claimed.

    Animals only get electrified to heck and back if they get entangled in a fence for a period of time. Much more likely if they are trying to get through it than tentatively sticking their nose on it. A few moth balls placed right around the fence line is supposed to give pause as well. You want them to investigate the fence not hit it at speed!
    Riverbee and I have had this discussion before and I see we are not doing a good job of convincing each other, Lol :lol: