Author Topic: bee keeping and bears ?  (Read 2558 times)

Offline surfivor

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Karma: 31
bee keeping and bears ?
« on: September 18, 2012, 03:56:06 AM »

 If I was going to have bees on my BOL way up in the woods, I have to wonder if it would be a sure bet that you'd have bears going for that honey ?

Offline Herbalpagan

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 784
  • Karma: 33
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 06:18:13 AM »
we put up a solar electric fence around our bee hives. works well.  Most of the people in the boonies/mountains have some kind of protection around their hives.
I'm always working to get ready.
shtfradio.com Thurs. 8 eastern
http://greensurviving.blogspot.com/

Offline Samuel Fairlane

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 463
  • Karma: 9
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 08:37:48 AM »
Somewhere I read that it takes half a joule to turn black bear from a hive. My new fence charger is 6 joules. I want them to never ever return.

Offline Cedar

  • Autarkist Queen
  • TSP Ultimate Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 20665
  • Karma: 671
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 10:09:35 AM »
Up in Canada, they did various things to keep bears from hives and I don't know about the other guys, but I had 7 bears I saw often enough they got names. They were plentiful.

One bee guy kept his hives on his porch, but the porch was like at the second level of the home.
Most guys use hot wire fences
I have seen them inside chain link and what I am likely to do soon
On a roof.

Here I am more worried about skunks than bears however.

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."

Offline Nomad, 2nd

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 153
  • Karma: 3
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 02:39:50 PM »
I have freestanding boulders on my property, some larger than a house.

I'm going to get 2 hives in the spring, and plan on a drawbridge to one of them, and will put the hives there.
This should keep critters away.

Offline ID_Joker

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 428
  • Karma: 15
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 02:49:51 PM »
Nomad - Cool idea!  I've seen them on platforms, but never large boulders.  You could get a workout everyday climbing to the hives.  And now I have a reason to add a crashpad to my preps!  :)

Offline Cedar

  • Autarkist Queen
  • TSP Ultimate Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 20665
  • Karma: 671
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 05:24:38 PM »
Will you be able to get the heavy supers down????

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."

Offline Nicodemus

  • HooHa Man! AKA Docs Whipping Boy
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 8398
  • Karma: 179
  • Wake up and smell the cat food n your bank account
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 07:01:34 PM »
You high-wire apiarists be careful!  :o


Offline Nomad, 2nd

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 153
  • Karma: 3
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 12:02:50 AM »
Will you be able to get the heavy supers down????

Cedar


Not down, Across.

The boulders are feet/yards from one of my cliff's.   (Over 30 Feet tall in some areas)

Offline surfivor

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Karma: 31
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 04:39:01 PM »
we put up a solar electric fence around our bee hives. works well.  Most of the people in the boonies/mountains have some kind of protection around their hives.

 Have you seen bears around your hives before ? Can a bear walk into the fence without realizing it and break the wire ?

 My sister says skunks can be a problem as well, this I know nothing about how to deal with ..

 My BOL is 10 acres up in the woods. I will not be there all the time to keep bears away. There is alot of hunters in the area generally. I know there's bears around, I haven't seen any yet and haven't heard of recent sightings but this is my big concern with getting started with bees if it would be worth it or not. Should the hives be in an open area that is sunny ?


 I wonder if you could enclose hives in some kind of steel container with some wire mesh so that bees could come and go but larger animals couldn't get in ?  Since bees are so small, you might imagine that such a thing might be possible.
You have some kind of locking door to open up to access the hives.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 04:59:19 PM by surfivor »

Offline flippydidit

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1436
  • Karma: 82
  • Keep 'em shooting!
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 10:40:54 PM »
Installing a trail cam to determine if there is enough bear activity to warrant more expense might be a good first step.  Money saved is money earned.
Nate
Military/civilian gunsmith/machinist
PermEscapes
PermEscapes on Facebook
Frontier Tactical
Frontier Tactical on Facebook

"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Offline surfivor

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Karma: 31
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 04:05:14 AM »
Installing a trail cam to determine if there is enough bear activity to warrant more expense might be a good first step.  Money saved is money earned.

 How much does a trail cam cost ? My camp is surrounded by miles of woods separated by a road here or there, but alot of deep woods and alot of the roads are little dirt roads that don't even get much traffic. A bit farther north it is even more rugged country.  I think I have heard what may have been bears singing way off at one time and people have said they are around, but I just haven't seen one and there are no recent sightings that I am aware of. I remember hearing similar noises (I think) while camping in the national forest in NH many years ago and the caretaker there told me it was bears singing.

 To my way of thinking, bears have keen noses, so why wouldn't a hive with honey likely attract them from miles away ? I could just give it a try and see if a bear destroys the hive, but if that happens then the second go a round a fence will be a less likely deterrent it seems. It seems like it is a good idea to leave some honey in the hive for bees to eat instead of sugar which sounds inferior, but then that could attract bears. I have some clearings set back from the road about 150 yards or so that I had created with my chain saw, but it seems like maybe I should consider a bee hive located closer to the road as bears or other animals may feel discouraged. For some reason I feel less inclined to cut into the white cedar and those areas are either more wet or have a slight incline.  However; the spot I am thinking is either closer to the structure I have or a bit farther back. I could clear out some birch and get in some partial sun. I may do that as I am not sure how close I want to be to the hive walking around my property or accessing my storage area as I am not too experienced with bees at this point. The fact that honey needs no refrigeration and is a valuable commodity seems like a really good reason to want to give it a try, though I feel like I don't want to get stung too much. If there is a lot of work involved in processing honey, I may want to hire some kids or give some of it away. I guess just ripping out some honeycombs wouldn't be alot of work and that stuff stores just as easily as anything else I guess ?

 It seems like it would be worth learning about it as it seems like a worthy type of hobby to have in latter years during retirement but also worth learning more about a bit before I get to that point so I have a better idea of the possibilities etc.



Offline Koldsteel

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 92
  • Karma: 3
  • Bee Wrangler and Band-Aid passer
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 08:06:01 AM »
Should the hives be in an open area that is sunny ?

Where we live in small hive beetle country, I want my hives in the sunlight as much as possible. As for the skunks, my hives stands are cinder blocks with 4x4's. I've seen skunks near my beeyard but never had any trouble.

Offline Cedar

  • Autarkist Queen
  • TSP Ultimate Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 20665
  • Karma: 671
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 10:59:16 AM »
And make sure you have a powerful enough electric fence charger. This is my friends bees over in WI a couple weeks ago.






This is the bear who came back a few days after.

Bob had the electric fence up already, but it was not enough force to deter the bear. The wildlife guy came out and brought a bigger electric fence for Bob as well as a bear trap. The bear did come back, and did trigger the trap, but didn't get caught. Bob decided since he wanted to keep his property for wildlife to have the bear trap go away and just protect his bees even better with nail boards, the more forceful electric and other means. Bob is a videographer by trade filming for hunt shows, so he had cam on hand to 'get' the bear.

Bob was lucky it was not all of his three hives.

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."

Offline surfivor

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Karma: 31
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 10:13:52 PM »
Cedar,

 I found those same pictures of your friends somewhere by googling for 'bees bears" or something the other day.

 I have tried to figure out the langstrom versus top bar but I only find it confusing. There is something called cross combing or the like in a top bar hive. What is that all about and why can't you just cut out some honey combs, through them in some tupperware and be done ? I don't care if a langstrom gets more honey, I want it to be quick and easy to get some amount of honey out of the hive and leave a bunch for the bees. I may not have alot of time to screw with it all.


 Can bears smell a hive pretty easily ?

 Can a solar unit for a fence be 100 feet away from the fence itself ? Does the solar unit need alot of sun, like more full sun as opposed to partial sun ?


Offline Cedar

  • Autarkist Queen
  • TSP Ultimate Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 20665
  • Karma: 671
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 10:48:07 PM »
I found those same pictures of your friends somewhere by googling for 'bees bears" or something the other day.

You probably found them from my blog. I will google something and often find more of my own photos.. LOL It is kinda strange when that happens.

I have tried to figure out the langstrom versus top bar but I only find it confusing. There is something called cross combing or the like in a top bar hive. What is that all about and why can't you just cut out some honey combs, through them in some tupperware and be done ? I don't care if a langstrom gets more honey, I want it to be quick and easy to get some amount of honey out of the hive and leave a bunch for the bees. I may not have alot of time to screw with it all.

You can. Here is one photo of "Z's" frames which he was trying for comb honey and they fell (due to no foundation in them which are plastic based or have wires embeded into the wax foundation if you are doing liquid honey -- but with comb honey you dont have that) and then the bees made burr comb from it after it fell. We did exactly that. We cut it out, squished it up between our fingers and then strained it though the really small strainers he has to bottle up. But we do chuck some into containers for comb honey and I just love it. There is no way these frames would work in an extractor so we had no other choice.



The problem with top bar hives is it takes longer for the bees to make more comb cells and then fill them, than if you used frames, centrafuged them out in the honey extractor and then put the frames back in for the bees to refill, then cap.

Here is me uncapping the frames


to put into the extractor


and to pour off the extracted honey


I have done it both ways. I did the 'neanderthal' method when I started raising bees in 1996 and then moved onto the extractor. It depends on what the end use of your honey is and how much you require for the year. "Z" sells his honey so we extract it. His hives produced 80 pounds per hive this year and they were just started in late May.



I personally strained it the best I could off my former hives and then put it into glass quart jars. I used all mine that my 3 hives produced and did not sell it.

Time? It depends on how they are managed. I think top bars tend to swarm more than other types. This year it was twice and took 8-10 hours to harvest all of the honey from his 5 hives. He lives in a large city so he may have gotten less than when he is out on the farm and we have bee plots (like alfalfa, clover, my large garden etc.) How much are your bees going to have to forage? How many hives are you planning on? 

That said, I was going to play with a couple top bar hives with any swarms extra I had.

Oh.. and often local bee clubs, if you are a member or know someone who is, you can rent or borrow an extractor.

Cedar
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 11:09:33 PM by Cedar »
"Do not breathe simply to exist."

Offline Cedar

  • Autarkist Queen
  • TSP Ultimate Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 20665
  • Karma: 671
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 10:52:02 PM »
Can bears smell a hive pretty easily ?

Can a solar unit for a fence be 100 feet away from the fence itself ? Does the solar unit need alot of sun, like more full sun as opposed to partial sun ?

I forgot to respond on the rest...

Bears tend to have not so good of eyesight. Their sniffers work great. I am very surprised that the bear did not wipe out all 3 of his hives. My friend in Canada, she had all 3 of her new hives taken out by a bear one night the day or two after she brought her hives home... and she lived urbanly.

Not sure on the solar unit. Would you be losing 'ooomph' the further away it is? I have never had to use a solar unit yet, but in a month or so we might be, although the professional beekeeper with a couple thousand hives just down the road has not had an issue with bears there.

Cedar
"Do not breathe simply to exist."

Offline surfivor

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2836
  • Karma: 31
Re: bee keeping and bears ?
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2012, 12:50:00 AM »
 Thanks,

 so what I want to do is basically just get a taste of bee keeping. I already have a job as a software developer and I don't want to  create more work for myself. I am not interested in in getting alot of honey at least not right off. My camp is way up in the woods with a few neighbors, so I am not worried if the bees swarm. I would like to be able to get some bees going, go in there and remove some combs, put them in a container and not worry about it. maybe spend a few hours and see how it goes, see how I like it, how much honey may appear etc. The outdoor type work can be refreshing compared to the desk work, but I am not sure I want to create alot of work that has to be done constantly for many hours. If the bees are fine where they are in the hive making honey and I am too busy to bother them until some time later to check and see what has been going on, then I am fine with that. If something happens and they die, then perhaps I can learn something from it all. I am still thinking top bar hive for some reason, but I am still at the point where I really don't get alot of how it all works and may need to get a book or something. I have listened to all the TSP bee keeping shows .. The bees will be on their own for alot of the time as my camp is up in the woods and I am not there all the time.

here is a $139 top bar hive from ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Top-Bar-Hive-Bee-Keeping-W-STAND-/120578584446

this one on ebay is like $90, if there is no stand, then I could place the hive on cinder blocks or something.
That might make it higher up, would that be better to keep away from skunks or would the wooden type
stand be suitable ?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bee-Hive-Top-Bar-Hive-Bee-Keeping-/120599577917

 This one is more expensive, more of a loss if a bear destroyed it:
http://www.beethinking.com/top-bar-hive

 I guess if a bear wrecks your hive, then you put another one up, the bear has become conditioned, but if you start out with the electric fence the bear will not be conditioned but the cost initially is more. I am not sure if I can use the solar power for other things besides the fence however perhaps ?


 the premier 1 stuff looked interesting, but I haven't tried to figure out what is involved or the total cost.

http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=128

http://www.gardenfork.tv/bearproofing-your-beehives-with-an-electric-fence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L-0AlhNfiM&feature=related
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 12:59:59 AM by surfivor »