Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn, my God, do you learn.

-C.S. Lewis

Stream In January

Stream In January

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Bears

Wednesday mornings I usually spend at the library and then onto The Village Green for lunch. There was a phone message waiting for me when I returned home this week. Gary, my husband, had called and very calmly told me he was standing 10 feet from a bear. He was helping an older friend close his house for the winter and was inside doing some work. Our friends had thrown some bread in the yard before leaving to return to Florida and the bear was having his lunch! G. was able to watch the bear for about 15 minutes as s/he wandered around the yard. There is a small pond and he was amused to see the bear drink some water and then blow bubbles! Do bears play? :) I'm beginning to get jealous because my daughter and husband have seen probably a dozen bears this summer and I've only seen 4. Of course, 2 of them I didn't really want to see because they were headed towards the beehives. Which brings me to a sad story...

I learned this week that 2 of my fellow beekeepers had, between them, lost 5 hives to bears. I feel bad for them but what I feel even worse about is that in both instances the bears were shot and killed. I realize I live in an area where bears have been hunted for a long time, but I still have a hard time accepting the fact than any animal has to be destroyed.

Enjoy these pictures my father-in-law took last summer. This big fellow came up on the deck and tore down a birdfeeder during the middle of the afternoon. This is a big guy. Maybe 200 pounds. This one is not nearly so big. He spent some time nosing around at the front of the house before using the driveway to leave.


vicree said...

Ten feet from a large and hungry bear is too close for comfort. Please tell me that there was a concrete wall within the ten-feet space that provided a shield of protection along with the view.
I am thankful that the bear preferred bread. Also wondered how much time elapsed between tossing the bread out and its consumption.

Cliff W said...

Jeez - never a dull moment in the mountains! I love your bear stories. I tell all my fellow beeks here about your "problems". I think it makes us realise how lucky we are when mice, the odd sheep or cow are our largest bee-hive predators!

Were the bears shot because they had destroyed the bee-hives or was it because they were "trespassing"?

Lynn said...

G was never in any danger. He was inside the house looking out through windows. I think the bread was thrown out on Sunday, so it took the bear some time to find it.

The bears were shot because they destroyed the hives, although if they had been seen before the deed they probably would have been killed anyway. It's legal to shoot bears here. If I lose my hives to bears, then that's just the end of beekeeping for me for a while. These magnificent animals were here long before I arrived.

Ngaio said...

Wow, fancy being legal to shoot those beautiful creatures in this day and age, you think man would have learnt by now !!! Like Cliff, we don`t have anything like that to be worried about, no amimals, bugs or birds that will attack a hive.

Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

I'm sorry the people lost their hives. It's sad when things are shoot first and ask no questions later when it comes to pesky wildlife. I just wish we could find ways to all live peaceably together. Your positive attitude towards bears is very courageous considering you're a beekeeper.

Paul said...

Lynn, black bear is on the comeback here in Louisiana as well. I know a professional bee keeper who had about 80 grand worth of beehives destroyed. The one thing that he has found that actually deters bears is a simple electric fence. I have 4 hives at my fathers WRP land (450 acres) and we know bears are near that area. I have not had any dammage yet but I know it is coming. I plan to put a solar powered elect fence around my hives there. My neighbor works for US forest service and he highly rec's an electric fence, they hate that zap.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lynn! How are you all up in the hills? Are you finally drying out? This has been a miserable week with the rain, then I think I've got a bad disc in my neck -- just crazy. We had countless roads closed and a woman was killed when a tree fell on her car near Reidsville. But I checked my girls and they're okay, they flew some today in a break of the rain. Hope you're well and talk soon! Mark