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Author Topic: BEAR DAMAGE  (Read 3380 times)
BEE C
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« on: July 13, 2006, 11:06:55 AM »

Heres a before and after picture of my swarm hive.  We just put up posts for the electric fence.  Its been raining so we haven't had a chance to do the wire yet.  Apparently yogi bear got hungry.  We havent had bears in our garbage yet, racoons, but last night they hit the garbage and the swarm hive.  The bear proof hive hut is ok it seems to have stumped them.  I was going to do splits today, and was going to use brood from the swarm to give them young larvae.  Guess I'm not now.  I combined what was left of the hive with my smaller hive, and will have to sort out that mess in a few days when it stops raining.  They ate two frames of brood but didn't touch the honey frames.  Bloody hell, its on.  I'm going to have a much harder time now keeping them away.

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 03:01:04 PM »

Now that they have a taste your yard is going to be a constant target.  They will attack you safe house next--a bear can rip it apart too, given time.  I would suggest that once you get your fence is up to bait it with strips of raw bacon to entice the bear to get shocked when he bites on them.  Also plan on running twice as many strands as previously planned.
Bears and coons both prefer the brood to the honey--Pooh and Christopher Robin had it wrong.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 03:14:34 PM »



thats gonna have to be a very sturdy electric fence.
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BEE C
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2006, 04:45:29 PM »

I was going to use 5 inch round posts cemented.  I was going to try to get along without 12 gauge livestock fencing but I may have to now.  The wire strands  i was going to place 6 inches apart up five feet.  I bought a 60 volt charger, but I may put in a 110 volt charger linked to the garage.  Does anyone have any advice on keeping bears out with electric fences.  I had planned on baiting it with raw bacon strips, thanks though brian.  Anyone?  Does anyone else have bear predation problems?
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2006, 07:42:55 PM »

i run 12 gage wire on a 50 mile charger.  i run it ankle, knee, hip and chest high (4 strands).  when i bait it, i tie plenty of meat on tight so that when they go for it, they really get zapped.  i make sure there is enough so that if they come back for a second or third try, they get bit again.  usually a couple of night does the trick.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2006, 07:49:44 PM »

http://www.beeculture.com/storycms/index.cfm?cat=Story&recordID=448
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 10:29:01 PM »

we have 20-30 yards that bears bother in MI, and about the same number in
SW FL, and what we have found works best is electric fence tape (used for horses).  we run 3 strands from the ground up, approx 12"-15" apart.  bear have poor eyesight, but tremendous sense of smell, and thus sensitive nose.  Our goal is for the bear to vaguely see the electric fence tape and sniff it for better identification.  Once or twice is all it seems to take to make the psychological impact.  it is almost unheard of for us to have damage with a fenced and charged yard.  we use solar panels to keep batteries charged, but if you have 110v available that would work great.

we should be posting a tutorial online shortly at our website (www.pollination.us), check back in a month or so if you're interested.

good luck
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fcderosa
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2006, 08:22:11 AM »

This may sound cruel but so is the expense of rebuilding hives a few times.  It's call steel traps secured with two foot heavy stakes and a .308 Ruger loaded with corelochts.  The steel traps won't hold em for long, but long enough to get a few shots off.  Believe it or not you can purchase traps off eBay.  Also urinate around your bee yard - it may sound stupid but it works - kinda like marking you territory.  Works for skunks and coons as well.  It's amazing how animals distain human scent.  Do mark the placement your traps though, it wouldn't do to step in your own traps.  Also ensure any animals are absolutely dead before attempting to remove them from the traps. wink
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2006, 10:26:36 AM »

in the spring, when i have the worst problem with critters and their babies, i leave a milk jug in the bathroom.  my husband, with good grace, provides the repellent each morning.  i have found that male urine works better.....

shooting bear and getting them dead, is a trick if you have not had some practice.  BEE C lives in canada, so it might not even be an option.  i have to agree with you though.  sometimes when they get a taste for your place, there is no other choice.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2006, 01:53:14 PM »

Quote from: BEE C
Anyone?  Does anyone else have bear predation problems?


Number of strands is not as important as baiting.  I take squares of metal screen (4" or so), bend them in half, spread some peanut butter on them and just hang them over the electric wire.  So far it has worked good for me and the peanut butter doesn't go rancid and smell.  I have a permanent area with the 3 strands and use a single temorary rope wire around my trailer bees when they are in the yard.  Without baiting it so they get zapped on the nose/tongue,  they will just walk right thru it like it wasn't even there.  I had 4 bear in one day visit my yard and none of my permanent or trailered hives were bothered (killed 2 guineas and got a bag of feed).  Finally ended up putting electric fence (with peanut butter) around the chicken coop as they kept trying to rip the door off.  Didn't see them again.
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2006, 08:53:08 PM »

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 Cheesy  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 Wink .

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)
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BEE C
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2006, 05:05:09 PM »

Thanks guys.  The conservation office brought a culvert bear trap.  Seems to to have done the trick for now.  As soon as the trap was in the yard the bears disappeared....the electric fence should be up soon.

on a brighter note I extracted my first honey frames.  Five pounds per frame, about 90 pounds (after my messy wasteful extraction blunders) per hive. Cheesy
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2006, 07:39:49 PM »

Does the sign on that trap suggest you will not be trapping any dead bears?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2006, 10:50:16 PM »

I believe it does say live bear trap.  Dead bears have a reputation for being hard to bate--they just don't take it.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
BEE C
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2006, 04:37:27 AM »

The only thing this trap is catching is robbing bees taking back all the honey on the frames chopped up to bait the bear....
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2006, 05:38:27 AM »

has the bear returned?
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BEE C
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2006, 11:57:24 PM »

GOTCHA!
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Blammer
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2006, 12:18:44 AM »

glad you got em!
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fcderosa
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2006, 02:04:26 PM »

Hmmmmm,  guess bears can't read.

Now tha you got him, where you gonna put him? cheesy
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jfischer
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2006, 09:20:33 AM »

> Now that you got him, where you gonna put him?

Well, when a bear is caught in Virginia, they release the
bear up in one of the National Forests along the border
between Virginia and West Virginia.

Likewise, when a bear is caught in West Virginia, they
release the bear up in one of the National Forests along
the border between Virginia and West Virginia.

So, at least in the case of the local "bad bears", the two
states keep trading the bears back and forth in their
attempts to make the bears "somebody else's problem".

I don't think we can bear it much longer
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