Bee Yard Protection (from prowling/marauding animals and people)

  Black bears visited my bee yard many times.
I tried many standard fence chargers/controllers from different catalogs and stores, but they are not very effective against big bears. Most of them contain non commercial grade parts and are not durable. Therefore I cannot rely on these devices any more.

Since 2006, I have mite-resistant ARS Russian bees. I designed two new defense devises, because I think, that my bees are priceless.

How is My Bee Yard Protected

  In 2008 I bought two Critter Gitters, based on the some unconfirmed statements about efficiency of these devices.
Unfortunately, the first problem occurs during rainy season, when wild flowers around my bee yards are growing unusually high. For example, golden rods and wild asters grow up to 6 feet high. This situation led to false alarms of my Critter Gitters on windy days because these devices sensed not only heat but also motion. Therefore, I recommend to maintain open clear space in front of the spot where the Critter Gitter is installed.
Once two deer were eating leaves while staying calm and completely ignoring the Critter Gitters alarm sound and the red flashing lights. Latter, after such visits even new batteries died in a couple of days. Therefore, Critter Gitters became useless and the bee yard became unprotected.
Please note, there is a very big chance, that Critter Gitters alone will not defend your bee yard if a hungry bear visits it. Recently I turned off the electric fence around one of my bee yard and I intended to try to rely only on the Critter Gitters and Solar Motion LED Security Light. You can see results here and here.
It could happen not only because the alarm sound and the red flashing lights may not bother bears, but simply because other animals may discharge batteries prior to the bear's visit.

Critter Gitters for Sale

  60 LED Solar Motion Light
Lumen output: 850
Motion Detection Range: up to 180 degrees and up to 36 feet

"Using the power of the sun, light any dark area and add extra security with the Sunforce Solar Motion 60 LED Security Light. This light automatically turns on when motion is detected, making it ideal for remote locations, garages, pathways, sheds, security & lighting dark areas."by Sunforce
My score for this product is FIVE STARS based on the cost/efficiency ratio.

Click here to see how to get this item and even more for FREE

This item is on sale here now

  Motion Detector with Radio (radio connected to bulbs!)

Electric Fencing for Apiaries

  "...Since electricity will only travel through a closed circuit, the fence wire, energizer and ground rod are three parts of a circuit waitiThng to be closed; when a bear touches the wire, it closes the circuit, and electrical current flows through the bear. Consequently, the bear will feel a shock, really rather a sharp jolt of electricity, which strongly discourages him from touching the fence again. Most bears I've witnessed getting shocked cannot put enough distance between themselves and the fence fast enough. The strength of the shock depends on the energizer's voltage and amperage: Voltage, measured in volts (V) or kilovolts (kV), is the force or pressure with which a current flows through the circuit. The higher the voltage, the farther the current can travel through the wire before resistance slows it down; higher voltage also causes a stronger "zap" from the shock. Amperage (amps) measures the magnitude, or strength, of the current flowing through the wire. The higher the amperage, the greater the sensation the current will cause when it enters a body..."

You can't have to much, only too little. Bears have heavy fur, very thick skin, a high tolerance for pain and heavy foot pads that minimize grounding. This is one reason that an alternating ground wire configuration is recommended. Because they have big thick fur coats and insulating layers of fat, the latest recommendations suggest a minimum of 6,000 volts to effectively shock a black bear."

- Any factory-made and bear-proof (up to 16 000 Volts!) Chargers/Energizers/Controllers are VERY dangerous, especially when you or your neighbor accidentally (like the deer below) get tangled in the wires. Such an incident may be fatal.
- Physiological effect of electric current 100-300 mA (1 second contact) is ventricular fibrillation and may be fatal if continued!
- "If you have just played a couple of sets of tennis, are sweaty and barefoot, then your resistance to ground might be as low as 1000 ohms."
- As an electric fence builder you have to remember about your responsibility for any accidents related to your fence.

There are tree types of Electric Fence Chargers/Energizers/Controllers: AC powered, DC powered and Solar powered.

  SACO I Fence Charger (10 acres of fence) and

ZAREBA B25LI Low Impendence Electric Fence Controller (25 mile range)

com/THSC_Unit.php Model SACO-50 charges up to 50 miles of fence under ideal conditions. Voltage: 16000 +/- 20%

  The main component of SACO-I fence charger is "toy-grade" transformer. In most cases copper wire is used in transformers.

Since copper has gone up in price in recent years, usage of thick wire in transformers became expensive. As a result, most transformers for fence charges/controllers use thin wire, which burns out in some short circuit situations. This makes the fence useless.

This charger doesn't even contain a fuse or any overload protection.

  Improved solar panel uses free energy from the sun to provide maximum shock, longer life. No operating costs! Power line convenience with a battery fencer. Charges over 30 miles of fence. The sun's energy charges the fencer by day. A sealed 12 volt rechargeable battery powers the fencer at night.

Solar Fance Chargers for Sale

  My Homemade High Voltage System contains:

1. Commercial grade High Voltage MOT (Microwave Oven Transformer) - $20 or free (from an old microwave oven);
The Primary winding of MOT is connected to an Inverter. The Secondary winding - to my fence. You can combine two MOTs, if you need higher voltage;
2. 175 (350 Max) Watt DC to AC power Inverter - $30 (you can use 400/800 Watt Inverter, if you need more power. An Inverter has "over load" protection;
3. 12V battery - $30 to $60;
4. Solar Battery Charger.

I think, I designed a very durable and efficient fence charger.

  Of course, I don't consider this as my trophy. I am not a hunter, and I would never intentionally attempt to kill deer. Also, I did not use any kind of bait to tempt the deer to enter the bee yard.

I posted this picture with the sole purpose of WARNING of the outcomes.

  Unfortunately, this is what happened when a deer passed my External defense line (electric fence #1), and then jumped unto my Internal defense line (electric fence #2). As a result, the fence charger, the light, radio and Critter Gitter were activated. Subsequently, the deer tried to escape from my Internal defense line and accidentally got tangled in the HOT wires.

NOTE: MOTs are very dangerous due to their high output current. Touching the high voltage end will probably result in death, at least in very severe burns. Although the voltage is not very high, it is high enough to jump an air gap and thus makes the 'one hand in the pocket' rule useless.

1. Do not connect the MOT to your home 110V outlets!
2. Please DO NOT EVEN consider making any fence chargers if you are not a licensed electrician!
3. If you want to make the system less dangerous for yourself and others, consider connecting the primary winding of the MOT to a motion detector's output (similar to the one shown above). The power to the motion detector is provided by the inverter (once again, not the standard home 110V outlet). Most motion detectors can be set to activate only in dark conditions (at night).

  15W solar panel - $57.90

I've got it for FREE thanks to my rewards points.
You can get more details here

  Electromagnetic Field Detector (shows 5 Milligauss field strength at 1 inch distance).

1. You have to use rubber gloves for your safety!
2. All types of electric fences (fence Chargers/Energizers/Controllers) are very dangerous for people, especially for kids!

  External defense line - Electric fence #1
March 17, 2008

  Internal defense line - Electric fence #2
March 17, 2008

  Wet snow or freezing/heavy rain could damage your charger/controller if the charger doesn't contain overload protection.

March 27, 2008

  There are two different opinions about bacon bait:
1." About every month or two, pieces of bacon should be tied to the wire as bait. The bear will touch this and learn what the fence is. The bear must be trained the same as cows, goats, sheep and horses are, so they know what the fence is. Because an electric fence operates in cycles an animal can be part way through before he is shocked ZAP now he is through and doesn't know what hit him. He must be shocked before his head is between the wires or you have a high risk of failure. Bacon strips are a good idea for any kind of electric fence."    By: Craig Cella. From: Bear Fence Rules (printed in Bee Culture Magazine)

2. Only bait the wires if bears have already started coming to the bee hives. Baiting may serve as an attractant where bears have not been a problem.

My friend used bacon. Once, a bear visited his bee yard when the battery for his fence charger was dead, and hence, many of his hives were destroyed.
Therefore, I do not use any baits in order to avoid attracting more bears since there is a chance that any electronic device may malfunction.

1. Bear baiting is illegal in some states.
2. Shocked bear is potentially a crazy bear.

Protection from small animals

  This very simple mouse guard is made from galvanized corner bead (1-1/4 in. x 8 ft. - $1.58)

The original holes are too small and are not properly located. Therefore five additional 5/16" holes were drilled.

I install this corner bead for the winter season when the bees do not need to fly in and out of the hive as often as during the summer.

  This picture shows how efficient the simple mouse guard is,

  To protect my hives from mice, voles and shrews I use the multi-catch mousetrap too. This multi-catch mousetrap is a galvanized metal trap designed to catch and hold up to 10 mice at the same time.
Operates without the use of harmful chemicals or poisons, making it safe to use around your bee yard.
A spring loaded trap door flips mice into a little chamber.

Ketch-All Mousetrap for Sale

  Sometimes even a simple mouse trap is very useful.

  I have a metal catch trap to protect my bee-yard from small animals such as raccoons and skunks. This trap is helpful, especially if you have soft polystyrene hives such as BeeMax.

Catch trap at work - May 25, 2008

  This raccoon was released 20 miles away from my bee yard.
I hope he will not return.

May 25, 2008.

  My catch trap is very useful for my bee yard.
In ten days I caught four skunks.
This is the biggest one. November 04, 2008.

Live Animal Traps for Sale

  Spray - proof Skunk Trap for Sale

This 24in.L x 6in.dia. live trap is perfect for catching skunks because the size prevents them from lifting their tails to spray.

  GPS Hive Locator/Protector
Operates on 4 AA batteries
Stays charged up to 90 days (at 10 updates per day)
Small, compact 3.6 oz. unit
No external antennas or wires
Water resistant rugged case
Location reports via Internet or cellular phone
Monitor multiple hives remotely with confidence
  "This unit is perfect for monitoring your bee yard, Swinger or loads of bees in transit. Small and easy to use, your hive locator is dependable and on guard no matter how far away you may be. The Hive Locator has a special motion detection feature that can alert you by cell phone if your hives are moved or damaged by vandals, would-be thieves or even wild animals. Set inside our Tracker Frame your unit is undetectable from outside the hive! Monitoring plans start at just $145 per year for 6 months usage plus a one time activation fee of $75.
HT-105 Hive Tracker Unit ship..................$375.00
HT-120 GPS Tracker Frame.....................$ 19.95 " Mann Lake Ltd. com/THSC_Unit.php

  Branding Iron Kit includes the torch head, handle, valve, 10 (3.05 m) hose and the propane fitting to attach to your tank. Branding die is sold separately. Cast bronze branding die transfers heat faster than steel so the branding process is faster. Different styles of type and company logos can be reproduced.
Woodworker's Branding Iron for Sale

"So, let me see, whose bee yard is still not protected?"

Let's try this one...

"Looks like I found honey!"

Based on my extensive experience I think the only electric fence can protect a bee yard from hungry bears. Here you can see the bear last visit...

I strongly recommend to check your local code prior to installation of any electric fences!

Managing bear damage to beehives
Fence Builder
Modern Surveillance Systems for your Home or Bee yard

Boris Romanov,   March 1, 2003
Last Modified: April 30, 2020

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