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Bear damage to hive


Hi there
I am a new to beekeeping. A bear got to one of my hives twice this fall. It took almost everything and killed most of the bees. The queen still lives and I was feeding the hive. I went out this morning and most of the bees are dead on the bottom of the hive!! There is no brood and no honey. The bees are supper slow seem to slowly crawl around. Should I empty the dead bees out of the hive? What can I do to save this hive?


Hi there @Jodoin11 - wow, sorry to hear about that! Must’ve been a sad sight. I’m still new to beekeeping myself, but would guess that your remaining workers were just too few to keep warm where you are in Canada at this time of year, and died from cold/damp.

If there’s still a decent number of bees along with the queen now, I’d condense their living space way down to a nucleus box. Provide them with a sugar patty and insulate the box well.

One other idea - I wonder if the usual method of boosting colony strength by adding a frame or two of brood and nurse bees from another healthy colony, if you could find a beek willing to sell/donate to you, is a good idea at this time of year?


There only seems to be maybe 50-100 bees left and the queen. I was going to try taking brood from my other hive but I’m thinking this hive sadly is doomed


If your queen is in decent shape, I’d think giving them brood and a smaller space to handle plus some food right now could work. You should find out whether this seems feasible from someone local & experienced, before taking away resources from another hive with winter so close…
Another thing you can do instead is feed your existing bees and shake them out in front of the good hive, so they have a chance of being accepted in, with a gift of food instead of rejected or killed as robbers. @Dee has described this trick & I used it successfully this week with the remainder of my moth-devasted colony. I had no queen left or I’d have tried the brood frame method instead. Guess you’d have to find & kill your queen if you wanted to try to integrate them :hushed:


Cut your loses…and perhaps plan for next year. You may consider one of these.

And as you know, bees and bee equipment are just too expensive to replace on an ongoing basis…and you’ll be able to sleep real good at night


What is that??? Looks like it works


A very old idea…used in Europe…in various designs…called a beehouse. If you zero in on the bee entrance…2nd photo…bottom right…you can see where the bears have been scraping away without success…solid wood backing.


I had trouble in the spring, and it took me all summer to rebuild that hives population. I installed an electric fence running off a deep cycle battery with a solar charger. So far so good, but I haven’t seen any sign of a bear testing the fence yet.

I too like the beehouse idea and think it is a great solution. I’m working on my beehouse design this winter:

I think the beehouse will work very well with the Flow Hive.

If you search for the beehouses using Slovenian “čebelnjak” you’ll get a huge number of results.


Really like the art on these beehouses depicting bears being a problem eons ago…thanks for sharing that great link sbaillie

The hive entrances are difficult to see.


Thanks for the search tip. I too :orange_heart: these Slovenian beehouses!

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Looks like gryphons were a problem too :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: