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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bears and Bees

In researching what to do about the bear and bee situation at Ahimsa (we lost several hives last year due to a bear) I came across an excellent article published by the Mid-Atlantic Apicultural Research and Extension Consortium (March 2004). The researchers note that a decrease in suitable habitat areas for bees and bears have brought them in closer proximity esp. in Pennsylvania. Although there are no easy answers on how to deal with this problem, the researchers offer some advice including locating hives away from the forest edge, contacting the local game commission personnel to learn about bear populations in your area, loud noises, bright lights, and dogs sometimes work as well. As far as fencing goes they recommend using electrified barbed wire on t-posts. However they caution that a fence will only be effective in an apiary that has not been visited before. Once a bear gets a taste of honey bees an electric fence will not deter them. The complete article can be read at

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