Bears are great creatures, but just not compatible with honeybees. They have a great sense of smell, so the honey your bees spend their life collecting become a quest for the wandering, weary, hungry animal.
As good as honey sounds, it does not compare with the nutritional value of immature bees which are mostly fat and protein.
Bears endure stings to get the prized pupae, larvae, and eggs in the brood comb of a hive. Protective adult bees sting bears’ faces and ears but have a hard time penetrating the fur on the rest of the body. After bears get the brood comb and perhaps some honey, they hurry away and shake bees out of their fur like they shake water.
There are few opportunities to mitigate these beasts.
- Electrified fence – Surrounding your hives with an electrified fence requires some design and options. The primary components of a dense include –
- Grouding System,
- and a Fence Tester.
A power source greater than 0.7 joules is need for it to be effective against Bears.
- Flashing Lights – Creating a system that is “motion activated” emitting flashing lights has proven effective.
- Materials Needed :
- Noise – A system that is “motion activated” that will emit a loud noise will also be effective.
Beekeepers should note that once a bear is made aware of the honey, their memory will bring them back time after time. So being proactive knowing Bears are in your area will prevent your hives from being destroyed.
Draping the ground with a tarp or landscape weed barrier goes a long way to reduce the need for weeding or cutting vegetation around the hives. Extend the ground barrier two or three feet beyond the exterior of the fence line eliminates the need to mow or cut close the an electrified obstacle.
Look for a charger with a picture of a bull on it – you want a “bull tough” charger. A solar charger or one that uses electricity is suitable.
Leave sufficient spacing to allow a truck to enter the area should the need arise to move your hives.
If a bear has had a taste of your bees and honey, there’s a good chance an electric fence will not be enough to keep him out. The fence is a training device.