Bear in the bees

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by LisaBug, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

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    Last night I woke up to hubby shooting the gun closest to the patio door, the .22. I never heard the dogs bark, it's a good thing he did. There was a black bear in by the beehives. It had climbed over 2-6 ft chainlink fences, trashed one hive and in the process of getting out knocked over another. The last couple years we've kept some sort of fowl in between the fences but with the cold start to our spring they've been kept in winter quarters longer. Having ducks or chickens around the bees seemed to have kept the bears out. Now that the bear has had a taste of honey I doubt the birds will keep him out again so today we're putting up an electric fence around the compound. It's what we've done before so we'll do it again.

    Now, since I figure the one hive is a total loss, it was a 3 lb package of Russians that arrived only a couple weeks ago, I'm thinking of splitting a hive that survived the winter. Because the bear had most of the frames out, temps were in the mid-30's and drizzly, the brood was probably too chilled to survive. When I put the hive back together it looked like most of the bees were dead on the ground apparently victims of the bears backside as he sat to eat. Should I dismantle that hive, let the bees move to a different hive? Leave it there and see what happens? Because we don't have a honey flow going on should I wait to order a queen to make the split? I'm not comfortable with splitting and letting them raise their own queen just yet. Any advice will surely be appreciated.

    If this happens again we may have bear steak on the grill before too long! :D

    LisaBug
     
  2. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You'll probably have to use an electric fence to keep them out. Put peanut butter or pb and honey mix on the hot wire and turn it on. after a few tries he will get the message.
     

  3. nope- once a bear has tasted the honey, he'll be back no matter whatyou do.My friend is a beekeeper and they ''package '' their hives between a ''sandwich'' of 3/4 plywood top and bottom and then banded .That is put inside an electricly charged chainlink wire cage, and the bears still get in.Once they know there is honey there, nothing will stop them.Actually, I am told what the bears are after is the brood- not the honey itself.Makes sense, I guess, bears will tear apart rotten logs looking for grubs.I guess bee brood is just pure candy to them. So- forget the 22 and be prepared to do serious battle- a 12 guage with slugs at close range[ not too close!] or a heavier deer rifle will be needed.And yes, I do like smoked bear hams- and the sausage is excellent too
     
  4. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

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    We've used electric fencing successfully in the past. The fencer is an old one, it's good and hot. We've never put anything on the wire, it's outside the double fencing by 2 feet, at about 18 inches high. Seemed to do the job. We've thought about putting a dog in there but for various reason have decided not to. There's no shade, not sure how the bees would react to the dog(s) at such close range. The dogs are what woke us up to a bear hanging around, they get rather upset (imagine 18 Sibes in full battle cry).

    Hubby shot off the .22 because it was next to the door, it's what we use against red squirrels and chipmunks. If we were really gunning for bears we'd use a highpower, the 7mm mag. Since we're bear hunters we know all about a quick clean kill along with getting the meat chilled as fast as possible. Bear is one of our favorite meats, tenderloin on the grill perhaps? Judging from the tracks this one goes about 200 lbs, good eating size.

    This was the first bear attack after 2 summers of no problems. And yes, we've had bears in the yard in that time, one that was chased out of the bird feeders 3 times one night. This darn guy bent the chainlink going in, he went over one, down to the ground then back up the next fence. On his way out he cleared both fences without hitting the ground inbetween. Lots of hair and no tracks in his exit.

    Now to figure out if the bees and brood will survive.

    Lisa
     
  5. I'm not saying electrically charged fences don't work, and you'll never know how many bears got a ''poke'' and moved off.It's just the ones that weren't deterred wreck the hives.
    My dad used to wire shrubs to ''distract'' neighbourhood dogs .I well remember him asking a lady who regularly walked her dog to not stop in front of our house and let the dog use the shrub right outside our front door.The lady just smiled and said''dogs will be dogs''.... so the old man wired the shrub, and sure enough next afternoon the lady came down the street, stopped in front of the house, making no attempt to take the dog on a bit futher, and the old man was looking out the peep hole in the front door.When the dog cocked his leg, the old man hit the switch.Well, you never heard such a kiyiiing in your whole life.The dog took off like a shot with the lady crow hopping down the street hanging on[ why she didn't let go of the leash, I don't know].Anyway, that fixed it- she never figured out what happened and walked the dog down the other side of the street after that.
     
  6. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    Lisabug,

    This bear wasnt followed by a rabbit, donkey and piglet was he?? hehehe

    You will have a tough time keeping the bear out, especially if he wants in. Im not sure if the bear will really feel the electric fense. The have quite a bit of fur. I reccomend calling your fish and wildlife department and see if they can help. If they cant help maybe they can tell you what will work.
     
  7. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lisabug,
    What state are you in? We supposedly have some black bears in MO, but I have not seen one, yet. Hope I don't. I have heard that one was seen about 6 miles from us but across the Current river. Hope it stays on that side of the river.

    I have heard that they will tear up lots of stuff trying to feed. You said it was pretty cool where your bees were. Could they not be hibernated, instead of dead? I am assuming they do like wasps and sleep in while it is cool. I never was around tame bees. I have helped my Dad [many years ago] rob some wild honey bees of some of their honey. Sure was good stuff.

    Maybe the conservation service could trap your nuisance bear and move it to another location.

    Good luck
     
  8. slice the tenderloin about 1 1/4 inch thick and place in a ziploc with just straight teriyoki sauce for 8 to 12 hours. take out and wrap in hickory smoked bacon. ( the bacon is more for flavor than anything else)bear is already juicy.
    then place on a hot grill . Here comes the most important part of all:
    CALL ME WHEN ITS READY!!!!!!!!!!!! I like mine medium-rare.
     
  9. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

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    We're in the northeastern part of the state. Plenty of bears, not enough kill tags to go around.

    Hm, rabbits, donkeys and piglets. Nope, not that I saw! ;) Course I didn't see the bear either, hubby had it scared off before I dragged myself out of bed. Maybe I'd better ask about it's partners in crime?

    The bees were dead, no doubt about it. Most of them had their stingers pulled out so we know they attacked the attacker. They were laying on the ground, smooshed into the mud.

    Having the bears trapped here is a big joke. They trap them out and then dump them 5 miles away. When you figure a boar has a 50 mile diameter area, 5 miles does no good.

    The day after the attack hubby and I did some work on the bee fence. First we put welded wire over the top of the inner fence. Not that it would keep a determined bear out but it would take longer for them to get in. Then we wired those corner posts to the outside ones and hung cowbells. That should wake the dogs up a little quicker. Then we strung barbed wire about 18 inches high around the outside as a 3rd fence and electrified it. Ken said if that isn't hot enough he'll direct wire it. If/when it shows back up and we're there, the 7mm is sitting by the door, loaded.

    Never tried marinading bear, we always just threw it on the fire, sprinkled some seasoning salt and ate away. And we always cook it well done, trichinosis you know.

    Bears love the honey, too. In Wisconsin honey is outlawed as bear bait, guess it was too effective. Course we can't use any meat or meat product although right across the border in Michigan they can.

    Now, what about splits if I need to? Should I open the hives now that we're going to have a decent day and see if there's any eggs? Wait another week? Do I hurry and get a new queen if the brood is dead? HELP!

    LisaBug