Bees and Bears

I had an interesting bee experience last Friday when I found my beehive had been knocked over and disassembled. I reassembled it in the cold, drizzly rain, upped the charge on the electric fence, baited it with peanut butter, and setup a second mesh fence. That night at dusk, Mama Bear returned with a cub in tow. We had a two hour standoff with the dogs barking and me shooing her (yelling out the window from the safety of the house.) The cub went into hiding but Mama Bear just sat under the maple tree at the end of the driveway while I shone a spotlight on her. She was licking her lips which i imagined was a Pavlovian response to being so close to the honey. I’ve since been told that she probably was soothing the bee stings from the night before. The helpful local police officer stopped to say, “Yes, she’s a big one.” and “I hope your fence works.” He shone his stronger spotlight on her and yelped his siren. She turned to run, then veered back and charged the cruiser. He yelped the siren again which sent her off running. After he left, she took up her usual spot under the maple tree.

Since there was nothing more that I could do, I finally gave up the fight and went to bed. But I didn’t sleep well and got up several times to check the hive (from the window, again.) She didn’t get into the hive that night and the bees seem to be recovering. But I’m still feeling anxious.

UPDATES:
 Mama bear (or someone looking a lot like her) did break the windshield of a neighbor’s car Saturday night to get to the day-old donuts that they had brought home for their pigs. So maybe she moved on to easier targets. Or maybe she is making the rounds and will be back soon to check my security systems.
6/4/14 Ron saw the bear behind the barn and at the pig pen when he was putting the horses out.
6/5/14 Rob Calvert, state biologist, came by to check the fencing. Suggested adding a fourth line to the garden gate and move the energizer on the pig fence out into a sunnier spot. Reported that a bear had killed a 3 month old pig the day before.

 

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4 thoughts on “Bees and Bears

  1. That’s quite a bit of excitement! What were Ronnie, the pigs, the chickens and the horses doing during all that commotion?

    • The pigs, chickens and horses were totally unaware of the situation. Ron, on the other hand, was chasing the bear back into the woods, calling the warden service and the local police. He is very handy when wildlife are encroaching.

  2. No news is good news on the bear front. Ron saw the baby bear once again on 6/27 and then they disappeared back into the woods.

    The bees have survived and I am guessing that I am back up to the colony strength that I had going into last winter.

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