baiting may be a good way to establish a psychological impact in a short period of time. perhaps we will try it in the future if we have a problem bear. we have found several other items that i would rank as most important:
we fence approx 50 bee yards a year and I prefer to keep them always hot, but not attract bears. We used to have $5k-10k in damage a year but for the last 8 years have had no damage on charged fences. we ocassionally have damage, like last year when we unloaded the semi at 9p in a bear spot, and I shrugged my shoulders and said, "i'll come back at 6a and fence... well, the bear beat me back :D he only tore out 5-10 hives (we only left about 100 from the load in the spot) but it could have been worse, i have seen much worse, about 50 hives destroyed was probably the worst in one yard.
several things i would like to STRONGLY discourage...
Traps: What if a person, especially a kid, walks into it? I would prefer a bait pile and a couple nights sitting in a tree stand with a Weatherby by my side ;) .
Charged Barbed Wire: I have seen several beekeepers who use this, and Gallager used to have a true story on their web site (they recently took it down, probably due to bad PR) one of their reps cued me in on, about a child who became entangled and disoriented by electrified barbed wire and ended up dead (i think he cut himself in a major artery and bled to death). Any way, barbed wire is hard for the bear to see, and the beekeepers i know who use it do have ocassional breeches, which we do not have without. I would therefore hypothesize that electric fence tape is actually superior to barbed wire (the other beekeepers have less bear yards in addition, which emphasizes the point more).
Executive summary: most important factors for bear fence are electric fence tape (at least 3 strands or more) and ensuring that the fence is ALWAYS charged.
Side note: If you are migratory like us, and remove the fences (property owners usually request it, and I would hate for a snowmobiler to hit one in MI in the winter), the BEST thing we have found to wrap up electric fence tape is.... (drum roll please) .... ladies and gentlemen we have.... WATER HOSE REEL!!! pick one up for about $10.00 and you can roll up tape from about 6 lg bee yards (80 hives ave. ea.) per reel. They are very light (plastic) fairly durable, and are MUCH superior to the little hand-held reels designed specifically for electric fence tape (they cost about $30/ea. and hold about 1/6th the length).
ps we use individual components which makes it cheaper to replace components if they fail, i can post links for them if anyone is interested:
Solar Panel : $50.00
12v Gel Battery: $13.00 (we buy in cases of 24)
Charge controller: $30.00 (very important to not over-charge batteries)
12v Fence Energizer: $80-90.00 (various models can be used)
cheers and gl (bad luck to the bears)