Well, it's been that kind of year. Makes me wonder if I have what it takes to be a beek--which seems to be a lot of perseverance!! I lost what I thought would be my overwintered hive, my 2 new packages have EFB or chilled brood, and then last night I had a bear tear apart both of my colonies.
My topbar hive bodies are fine. The lids were pushed off, the bars torn out, and the comb is mostly gone.
My Carnie hive has most of the combs and bees left (2/3?), but I cannot find the queen. Thankfully, there are fresh eggs. My Italian hive has only 1 1/2 combs left, about 2-3 combs' worth of bees. Thank goodness, the queen is alive!
I put the hives back as best I could, put in pollen patties (I won't be using these again, but I had some left over, frozen, from last year when I thought that was a good plan) and syrup. I added in drawn comb so the queen could get right back to work ASAP. Then I closed things up and smeared deodorant all over the place. I didn't know what else to do to repel the bear/s if s/he decided to come back.
So, what should I do? I would be happy for a critique of all the above and suggestions for what to do next. Fence? Solar electric? This hive is bordered by woods from behind and prairie in front. Should I combine? See if the Italian hive is actually queenless? Any help is very appreciated!
luvin' honey (and afraid of not getting any, again, this year)