Friday, March 31, 2017

The Bear Did It Again

These are the words a beekeeper really, really hates to hear. 

Last fall, a bear came and tore apart three out of four hives in our Odin bee yard.  This week, a bear, possibly even the same bear, came back to finish the job.  

We tied the hive to the wooden pallet with ratchet straps to keep any wind from pulling the hive apart and we've found that it gives the hive a fighting chance of not being torn apart if a bear comes.  

This bear didn't care.  It took the shock from the electric fence.  Then, it dragged the whole wooden pallet and the hive all together and tried to pull them out of the bee yard.  It couldn't go any farther when it got to the wire fence, so it stopped there to pull the hive apart. 

When I got the message, I loaded up my supplies and headed down to the bee yard to assess the damage.  Surprisingly, you can see an almost intact deep box (upside down) in the middle of the bottom picture.  This was the top deep and you can see that, thankfully, the top lid is holding everything together.  

This box was filled with a large cluster of bees!

So I pulled the pallet out of the fence and set up the bottom board.  Then I very carefully flipped over the single deep onto the bottom board.  Yes, I was wearing my full up bee suit.  That batch of bees were angry!

I fed the bees some dampened sugar inside their hive (It was an emergency feeding.  I lay down a piece of wax paper and dumped the dampened sugar on top of it, then put on the inner cover to leave a cavity, and then the lid).  After that I ratchet strapped the whole thing back together. 

It kind of feels like I put a band aid on a bullet wound, but if the queen survived we may be able to pull them through. 

This bear has developed a sweet tooth, so I've called the Game Commission to ask them to put a bear trap near the hives.  Maybe this bear can be relocated to a more remote spot and will stop going after my poor bees! 

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