It's February already, and here in Nevada, that means it's time for Beekeeping classes, ordering packages or nucs, taking inventory of your equipment, and thinking ahead to what may be necessary for your girls this summer.
Some things we should be thinking about, get lost in all the excitement of setting up your first (or hundredth) hive(s)! One example is this; Today I received an email from someone who gets regular visits from bears in the Spring, and they were wondering about what they would need to keep the bears away from the hive(s). Great question! And I have an answer!
Last year our bee club had a representative from the Nevada Department of Wildlife come in and discuss bear fencing, and what we would need to keep them out. She gave us handouts, which I will get to you in PDF form once I digitize it!
These are the components you will need:
1) Energizer (Solar, AC, or DC)
2) Grounding system
5) Voltage meter
And, these are the minimum fence specs for deterring bears:
Stored Joules - 0.7
Voltage - 7,000
Fence Height - 4 feet
Number of wires for stand alone fencing - 5
This is not as complicated as it may seem, you will probably be able to find what you need at Cabela's or Sportsman's, and the sales people will work with you to find what you need (just take these specs with you).
As an aside, the bears are typically after the protein the bees and larvae provide (especially going into winter), and know that the smell of honey will lead them to that meal. Although, I'm sure the honey is a nice treat!
We hope this was helpful, and if you have questions, just shoot us an email and we'll do our best to get you an answer!
ELEPHANTS ARE VERY SCARED OF BEES. THAT COULD SAVE THEIR LIVES
By Karen Weintraub
Elephants are afraid of bees. Let that sink in for a second. The largest animal on land is so terrified of a tiny insect that it will flap its ears, stir up dust and make noises when it hears the buzz of a beehive.
Click Here to read more!
Video of Giant Asian Hornet, a honey bee predator, and how the native Asian honey bee, Apis cerana successfully defends against it. CLICK HERE
The Beekeeper just had a visit from Heather Reich of the Nevada Dept. of Wildlife. She was updating us on the latest bear news for our area.
At this time of year, the bears need to eat 25,000 to 35,000 calories per day, this is called hyperphasia. Heather says that because the last frosts/freezes killed most of the berries at the higher elevations, we need to be watchful down here in the valley areas, for the next couple of months, as the bears will be coming down to find food. When they are in this hyperphasia state, all they can think about is finding food to put weight on for winter, and your hive could be just the ticket for a hungry bear!
If you do not have your hives fenced, you may want to consider it now. Heather left us with pamphlets with the specifications for fencing, or you can go to the NDOW website: www.ndow.org