Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Late Night Visitor

I had a late night visitor to my small bee yard. Hopefully, you won't have this problem. I'm thankful for the PA Game Commission for their quick response. It could have been much worse.
Thursday evening, a bear happened into my bee yard after consuming my neighbor's bird feeders. Lucky for me, he had a bit of a full belly. Still you can see the damage done.

I called PA Game Commission by noon on Friday and registered my damage. An officer from the Game Commission called to investigate my complaint at 2:30 PM. By 4:30 PM, the same day, he dropped off the following baited trap.

The trap door was closed Saturday morning when I woke up and a 300 pound, male black bear made the misstake of thinking those doughnuts were a quicker meal than busting into the bee hives. He earned a free trip to the Ohiopyle area. There's a good chance he might be back. This time he will learn about electricity.

I was very impressed with the effectiveness of the PA Game Commission and how quickly they resonded. When everyone else was enjoying a nice holiday weekend, at least two people were on the clock and doing there job very well. Thanks guys!


Steven Martin said...

What kind of fencing or protection are you considering to protect your apiary going forward?
Steve M

Ben Cooper said...


I saw first hand what Penn State recommends. It's 16 foot wide by 42 inches high welded cattle panels elevated off of the ground and insulated. The entire panel structure is electrified so that when a bear tries to climb it, he grounds himself out and is shocked.

I haven't built the fence yet, but that is what I am planning on doing. I have all the materials just lacking the time with so much else going on.

The PA Game Commission recommended electrified barbed wire with bacon hanging on the barbs. He also thought it would be easier to catch the bear in the trap without building the fence, but left that decision up to me. It would have been built if he hand't brought the trap that same day.

When I get it done, I'll post a photo. I don't think my solar charger is strong enough to turn away a hungry bear.

~ Ben