Can a Bear Sentry protect beehives?
Bears do love beehives for their honey and pupae. A Bear Sentry can protect them from predation and damage, with a few considerations.
A bear would be highly motivated to cross the fence perimeter. While the Bear Sentry energizer is highly capable of delivering the shock required, it’s important that your set up provides the best chance for the bear to receive that big shock on first contact, whether it hits the fence high or low, with its nose or thickly furred body (read about how the connection is made in the FAQ “Should I pack the volt meter?”).
The best Bear Sentry model for the job would be the Base Camp with possibly one or more expansion packs depending on the size of the apiary.
Normally we recommend a minimum of 3 lines but for this application go for at least one more on the lowest clip. (I have witnessed on a night-cam a mummy bear sending her cubs under a 3 line set up around our backyard orchard, where we hadn’t noticed a depression in the ground. Props to her, they got the plums!)
Ensure that the polywire lines remain taught. Position the step-in posts closer together than the 5m / 16’ maximum we normally recommend, in order to lessen potential sag. You can use guy lines on the corner posts for more tension.
You’ll need access to your bees and this means setting up your fence for a door (see the FAQ “Is there a gate for my Bear Sentry?”).
You’d also have to hook up the energizer from the outside of course, so that you can turn off the fence before you head in. Just remember not to handle the hardware afterwards with sticky, sweet smelling hands or the bear will deactivate the fence for you.
We recommend using household/mains power with the AC adapter. If you’re off-grid, use 12V car battery power charged by a 100W solar panel.