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jl
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« on: July 01, 2007, 08:51:29 PM »

What a mess.  My dog starting barking about 7:00 pm and I looked out back where my hive is and low and behold it's not there, but a small bear is.  Needless to say I chased the bear away and my neighbors dog chased it the rest of the way.  It didn't break anything but completely disassembled the hive.  And to add salt to the wound I got stung about 20 times trying to put the hive back together.  On my arms on my leg, neck and head.  I'm going to put an electric fence up tommorow as I lent my charger to a friend.  What are my chances and options?
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2007, 09:00:13 PM »

Chances and options of what? Saving the hive, saving the hive body? Not sure what condition either one is in, not enough details in your post. But, if the hive is just dispersed, you can save it. I would do an inventory check on the hive body and replace or repair what you need to. As for as the hive, if the queen is ok, great, try and find her. Give more details after your next check and perhaps we can better be of assistance to you. Good luck.
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2007, 09:07:11 PM »

sorry about the lack of detail, but I was still a little upset.  I put the hive back together nothing was broken, I think I got outside  just as the bear was knocking it over.  WHen I put it back together it was getting dark and the bees were very angry so i couldn't find the queen. 
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2007, 09:22:34 PM »

I'll bet all will be well, check them tomorrow, and don't forget to smoke 'em, good luck.
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 10:22:29 PM »

thanks I'll let you know how it goes.  I checked it just now and theres a large mass of bees at the entrance up about half was and then there are more on the ground.  Won't get much sleep tonight.
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2007, 07:42:48 AM »

well made it through the night, not much sleep.  I hope the electric fence thing works.  THere are still two masses of bees otside the hive on the hive on the ground.  One the size of a baseball the other a little smaller than a softball.  If when I get home from work these are still there should I try toget them in the hive?

thanks

Jeff
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2007, 08:38:12 AM »

I would certainly check the masses of bees on the ground, your queen may be in one of them, or if I didn't have the time, I would put handfuls of these bees back in the super.
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2007, 03:48:32 AM »

I still cant get over people having bears in their yards, to me where there are no bears, its amazing.
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2007, 06:38:25 AM »

When you put up the electric fence, hang some bacon off of the charged wires.  Bear will go for the bacon and learn all about electric fences.  Else he might get through it, their fur is good insulation for electricity and he might not feel the intended shock.

Hope your bees are alright.
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2007, 07:14:15 AM »

jl, so sorry to hear about the bear attack.  We live in an area where there is bears, and we live along a bear path, so they call it.  A deep ravine runs alongside our property, dark place, with a small stream running through it. THey love to traverse this ravine, carrying on in the area for a long ways.  I have electric fencing and livestock fencing around my apiary, it is so foolproof I don't think a giant could get through it.  I have not had any bears trying to get it, not to say that one day it may occur.  But thank goodness, two years of beekeeping and narry a bear yet.  Good luck to you.  Bait the fencing as was advised, that will put the bear right off, they have a very tender nose  evil and, once it gets it, I doubt it will come back.  Best of luck.  Great day, great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2007, 08:34:05 AM »

Give us an update on that hive Jl, wish you luck. Wink
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2007, 09:09:19 AM »

Well got out of work late yesterday (unavoidable) and by the time I got home it was in the high 50's and starting to rain.  All the live bees that were on the ground were gone (hopefully in the hive).  There are hundreds of dead bees on the ground and I tried looking for the queen on the ground and couldn't find her which I guess is a good sign.  I didn't open the hive because it was raining and figured it would be best to just leave them alone for another day rather than expose them to the cold and rain.  So I installed an electric fence and let me tell you it wasn't much fun testing it,  grin but I wanted to make sure.  It's in the low fifties right now, but the weather this afternoon looks good to open the hive and check for the queen.  I put the electic fence far enough away that if he knocks the hive over again, in order to get anything he's going to be touching the electric fence.  I also have a piece of 3/4 inch plywood under my bottom board and I installed eye hooks and I know it's going to be a hassle everytime I check it, but I'm going to ratchet strap the hive together so if he does knock it over it won't come apart completely.  Now for the questions?

The damaged comb:  Will they fix it or should I cut some out?

There were eggs on Saturday and I observed the queen on Saturday if the eggs survived the bees should be able to make a queen right?

And what I said above, does it make any sense?  (the straps)

Thanks alot for the help.

Jeff 
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jl
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2007, 09:17:18 AM »

Also forgot one thing.  Yesterday during a break in the rain while installing the fence, I observed bees coming an going and bringing in pollen.  Which I take as a good sign

Jeff
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2007, 10:14:06 AM »

Hi Jeff,
sorry to hear about that.

I think your bees will be fine.  As long as there is bees and brood, they can raise a queen if they lost her.  If she's not lost, she will probably be laying already.  It will set them back a week or more if the queen is gone, but they should pull through.  But keep an eye out for opportunistic predators like small hive beetles, who target stressed hives.

If the broken comb is not straight in line with the rest of the comb, then take it out or they will fix it as is and burr it all togather.  If it is just cracked or parts broken off, they can fix it.

The strap will help keep things togather, but not knowing bears all that well, I'd guess that will only delay a determined bear.  But that is what the fence is for, to keep them from getting there!

You will be able to tell the next time that you get into the hive....if there are eggs, then the queen is fine.  If you have queen cells, then you lost her.  If you have eggs and queen cells, then the bees blamed the queen for the disruption and plan on making another, let them.

Rick
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2007, 02:38:28 PM »

I prefer to wrap metal screen or hardware cloth around the electric fence and smear it with peanut butter as bait.  It doesn't go rancid and attract flies like bacon does.   It also stays on the fence better.  A determined bear will take the shock to knock the bait off.

I don't think you your straps will protect much, just slow him down a bit.  I just had a very determined bear get to one of my hives on the garage roof.   After a bear successfully climbing up one of the front poles a few years ago,  I but electric around them.  This year, I had one climb up the back corner of the garage (10ft walls) and climb over the peak (22ft) to get to the hive on the front.  From there he knocked the whole thing onto the ground and then jumped down (after a few rounds of persuasion).
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2007, 04:07:16 PM »

I prefer to wrap metal screen or hardware cloth around the electric fence and smear it with peanut butter as bait.  It doesn't go rancid and attract flies like bacon does.   It also stays on the fence better.  A determined bear will take the shock to knock the bait off.

I don't think you your straps will protect much, just slow him down a bit.  I just had a very determined bear get to one of my hives on the garage roof.   After a bear successfully climbing up one of the front poles a few years ago,  I but electric around them.  This year, I had one climb up the back corner of the garage (10ft walls) and climb over the peak (22ft) to get to the hive on the front.  From there he knocked the whole thing onto the ground and then jumped down (after a few rounds of persuasion).



Holy Cow!!!   shocked
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jl
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2007, 06:48:32 PM »

Well I checked the hive today and the bees have fixed the broken comb and it looks good.  They built comb on the last three frames of my second deep since saturday. (bear attacked on sunday) Actually added another hive body today.  There are eggs and I was able to find the queen.  Nothing is broken internally and although there are fewer beees than I'm used to seeing I saw quite a few bees, eggs, larva and capped brooded, even spotted some brand new bees and that's a first for me.  So I'm all in all pretty happy right now.  It's been two nights and he hasn't been back as far as I can tell (no tracks in the dirt I raked).  He did visit a house down the road and tore up the garbage.  But whose to say it's the same bear because this area of New Hampshire is filthy with them.  (if anyone wants to hunt one this fall PM me and I can set you up with a good spot and no it's not at my house.) 

back to bees, they did build two caps that aren't closed, but do have downward facing openings, not sure if these are the start of queen cells or drone cells that just haven't been finished.  Don't have enough experience to tell.  I want to thank everyone for the support and ideas.  I really appreciate it.

Jeff 
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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2007, 10:50:40 PM »

Jeff, I wish you well.  I think that the strap thing will help things out somewhat, at least the hive won't be able to be torn apart, as far as I can see, good luck.

Rob, what a fascinating picture.  I cannot believe the story of the bear on the roof, what the heck, eh?  Have a wonderful day, great life, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2007, 11:14:57 PM »

Cindi thanks, I think I'm just putting the strap to keep the hive together long enough until the bear gets sick of being zapped, I know it will only delay him getting in there.  I'm a police officer and a couple years ago I responded to a "burglary" in progress, when I got there there was a five foot high by three foot wide hole in the garage door, needless to say it was a bear that had broken through the garage door to help the owners by "taking out" the trash.  So I know he'll get in eventually, I'm just trying to make it as annoying as possible!!

Jeff 
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2007, 07:32:12 AM »

I am astounded at the desire for bears to get in to human domain, whether it is food or who knows what.  Imagaine that, a bear breaking into a garage as your story went, Jeff.  Incredible.  As an officer of the law, you must witness incredible and strange events in this strange world of ours.  Have a good deay, wonderful life, and the best of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2007, 07:43:57 AM »

Good way to chase the bear off would have been gun fire.  If you live in city limits or if you have neighbors in the line of fire, guess not.

A good way to determine if an elecric fence is working is to use a long blade of grass.  Hold one end and touch the fence with the other slowly slide the grass to the fence, when you will barely feel the charge pulses, stop.  Get closer and the pulses will be stronger.  A lot better than getting the full charge, easier than talking someone else into testing it for you and cheaper than buying a tester.  I usually end up forgetting where I hid the tester and can't find it when I want it.
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JP
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2007, 10:08:00 AM »

Question: What do bears prefer more, honey or porrage ?
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2007, 02:08:38 PM »

Question: What do bears prefer more, honey or porrage ?

Actually, despite popular belief, they are after the brood, not the honey.  Every attack I have had,  they chew out the brood frames and leave the honey frames,
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« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2007, 03:05:35 PM »

Hi Jeff,

I'm a new bee too. We got our first hives in December - bought everything a friend had and ended up with 6 hives. We also have bears - one got into our bird feeders and tore them up pretty good. We put an electric fence around our bees too. And we have each hive strapped down. Like you - we don't expect it to completely stop the bears, but we want to slow them down so maybe we can chase them off before too much damage.

We haven't had bears get into them, but we did battle with a skunk that almost depleted 2 of our weak hives - we were left with very few bees in them.

Good luck with your bees!

Penny
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JP
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2007, 03:08:20 PM »

Perhaps bluegrass is part bear?  grin
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jl
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« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2007, 07:42:22 PM »

Penny thanks for the thought.  I live in bear mecca which is allright come hunting season, but not so good with bees.  I live on the outskirt of town and pretty much border a national forest so there is plenty of habitat for the bears and the bees.  The problem is many people around here don't get the fact that you need to secure your garbage in a garage (which doesn't always work) or in your basement until the morning of collection.  I can't blame the bears they're just going where the easy meals are.  And Fish and Game won't do anything and people get very frustrated, I've seen many times where one person with kids has bears in the back yard at noon because they're neighbor leaves the bird feeders and garbage out because they don't care if the bears are around and once bear starts coming it keeps coming until "something" stops it or fish and game traps and moves it.  When I worked patrol as a police officer we had these shotguns shells that basically had a firecracker in them.  When you shot them at a bear the round went off and then the firecracker would explode near the bear.  It really got them moving.  Hopefully the fence works and I can get some sleep.

To answer the question:  What do bears prefer more honey or porridge? 

The answer is used baby diapers!!!! nice huh!!
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« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2007, 06:41:44 PM »

I don't know how Bears do it, I knocked over a hive one day and was covered from head to toe, I know them gals get made when you do that, I walked about 200 yards and they weren't fling but stuck to me like glue, yes I had a bee jacket with veil on but they were going for the ride, needless to say I was walking kinda fast because I had a hole around the knee on my blue jeans and about 12 found it  Wink (ouch) and that's what sent me a walking.... them Bears are tough!!!
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« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2007, 09:01:27 PM »

When I finally got about 30 feet from the bear, the bear didn't even know I was there because he was rolling around on the ground and you could see the cloud of bees around him and on him.  When I hit him with the rock he then noticed me and took off running before the neighbors dog started chasing him.  It was quite a sight, but not as much as me trying to put the hive back together with a t-shirt, gloves up to my elbows and just my veil loosely over my head.  I can admit I ran when the bees got on my arms and in my veil.  Glad the wife wasn't home to witness it or I never would have lived it down.  Big tough guy running from some little bees.

Jeff
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« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2007, 08:25:50 AM »

I've been doing so much reading while I have been away for my neice's wedding.  Interesting stuff.  Keep reading about  when bees are guarding, they usually don't bother things that are not moving.  Mark Winston's book, The Biology of the Honey Bee is the one I have been attacking  grin.  He contends that one should stand still, don't move, and the bees are not as aggressive, it is motion that they go after.

And, remember, John was talking about that too in a post a few days ago.  That must be why they say when one works with the bees, to do things slowly, no fast motions, gotta be some kind of truth to that.

That is how I try (and sometimes I know I want to run) to work always with the bees.  So slowly, deliberate actions.  I know for a very fact that I could not outrun a bee.

This is a great thread, some interesting little ditties from everyone, have a wonderful day, great life.  I am home and off to some serious adventures around my yard with my camera, its gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiney day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2007, 08:27:17 AM »

I don't know how Bears do it, I knocked over a hive one day and was covered from head to toe, I know them gals get made when you do that, I walked about 200 yards and they weren't fling but stuck to me like glue, yes I had a bee jacket with veil on but they were going for the ride, needless to say I was walking kinda fast because I had a hole around the knee on my blue jeans and about 12 found it  Wink (ouch) and that's what sent me a walking.... them Bears are tough!!!

Next time try it wearing your wives full length fur coat tongue  Oh she doesn't have one? Sounds like a good reason to get her one Kiss
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