April 18, 2018

Keeping bears out of your bees with electric fence | Gallagher Electric Fencing


Some bears are especially fond of larval bees and honey and will actively seek out hives in their home range. Consequently, beehives should be located as far as possible from timber and brush providing bears with cover and travel routes. Honey crops should be harvested as soon as possible after the spring, summer and fall nectar flows to reduce the attractiveness of hives to foraging bears, and prevent the loss of the new honey crop in the event of depredation. When possible, apiaries should be moved to new locations if bear activity is detected nearby.

To minimize possible damage to hives and prevent bears from establishing bad habits, apiaries in occupied habitat should be protected using electric fences, or at a minimum use bear-resistant platforms (with an overhang more than two metres above the ground).

Electric fencing has been shown to be almost 100 per cent effective in deterring bear damage. Compact apiaries are easier to protect with bear-resistant fencing than those scattered over a larger area, so beekeepers should consolidate hives to form the smallest apiary that can be practically managed.

Electric Fence tips for Beekeepers

Other references: Download Building a Secure Beehive Enclosure

Bears have a legendary attraction to beehives. Although it’s not just the honey they’re after. Bee larva are rich in fat and protein and a favourite on the bear menu. If you raise bees, the best and often the cheapest protection is a good electric fence.

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