We are ranch managers of the Rawah Guest Ranch in the mountains of Colorado. I would like to take a couple of hives up to the ranch. Any suggestions on how to keep bears out of the hives. Thanks Tim
Try putting the hives on the roof of a building. You could also try building a concrete block bunker similar to the European bienenhaus
An electric fence. If the purpose of the hives is for the guests at the ranch to enjoy and you want it to be more aesthetically pleasing, then ratchet straps to secure the boxes together. BUT, if the Bears find the hives, they will throw the secured hives around trying to get in. Be sure to clean up all your comb pieces after yourself so they don’t smell the larvae to get attracted to the hives.
I should have looked at the pictures of the Bienenhaus posted by pbrutz. They are a lot more aesthetically pleasing than ratchet straps!
If you have access to a welder you could make a 5 sided cage large enough for all of your hives plus room to work them. Make sure that the cage is set in concrete.
What works for bears is a slap on the nose - with an electric fence. If your hive setup is “permanent” then a fixed fence is your best solution. If you’re going to be having the bees in locations on a temporary basis, then portable electric net fencing is called for. If you don’t have a mains source available, then a battery operated, solar charging, power source fixes that problem for you.
I don’t have my bees yet and I do have bears. I have my goats and chickens inside solar netting. Could the bees be in with one or the other of them, or should I get a separate set-up for the bees? I’m in the country with 3A pasture at the forest edge, so I have lots of choices of location, and not many restrictions.
I’ve got bees in the electric fenced areas with sheep and cows. Started with sheep and they did eat the grass around the hives with no issues co-existing with the bees. But I had to put up a small barrier fence (not electric) so the cows wouldn’t get close and start rubbing against the hives and stands frying for a good scratch but only ending up knocking things over and messing up my hives! Now I clear the grass by scythe near the hive and let the animals graze the rest. Other than that, the only “rule” about bees and animals together (other than not putting bees in with animals that like to eat bees or bee larvae) would be to make sure the animal is not tethered or too closely confined, so they can get away if the bees are/become aggressive for any reason.