Success StoryBeekeepers Learn Techniques for Protecting Colonies from Bears

Beekeepers Learn Techniques for Protecting Colonies from Bears

Author: Brian Jeffiers

Planning Unit: Johnson County CES

Major Program: Beekeeping

Plan of Work: Nutrition and Food Systems

Outcome: Initial Outcome

With black bears continuing to surge into eastern counties of Kentucky, more and more beekeepers are experiencing damage to their hives from foraging bears. In order to equip producers to protect their colonies, the Johnson County Extension Service offered an educational session on bear behavior. Taught by beekeeper Jayson Plaxico, a retired wildlife biologist with KDFWR, the session addressed exclusion techniques, sanitation steps, and cultural actions that discourage bears from staying in the area. Jayson also addressed bear behavior and highlighted research into bear movement patterns so that producers understood why bears were suddenly such a threat in the immediate area. A total of 13 beekeepers attended, with all reporting that they gained a greater understanding of how to fortify their hives against physical damage by bears.

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