We have a real bear problem in our town with bears, and bears really like to tear apart beehives. So to hedge our bets, we decided last year to start a second beeyard in another part of town. Our second beeyard is near the center of town, right next to the cemetery. The honeybees and their hives are on the edge of a large hayfield, where they are protected by the prevailing winds and get excellent daylight throughout the day.
We hived two new packages, using medium supers on these hives. I put our hives on small tables. The height of the table makes it much easier to work the hives, and we can grease the legs of the tables to keep carpenter ants and other insects from entering the hives.
We use a few techniques to bear proof our beehives. First we have a solar powered electric fence made by Premier 1 Supplies. Premier 1 gave us the electric fence they sell to protect beehives from bears. So far it has worked. Its also very easy to set up and move. You can watch our how to bearproof beehives video here.
Second we use a ratcheting strap to strap together the beehives. The thinking here is that if a bear does get to the hives, the straps may keep the hives together despite the bear trying to take the hive apart. I’ve read where this has worked for a few people, so it doesn’t hurt, I don’t think. We may need a heavier ratchet strap, the kind used on semi trucks.