Almost every day we hear another story about how a bear has somehow made it onto someone's porch, into someone's pool or even bird feeder, and these instances are becoming more and more common in the State of New York.

So what happens if you have a bee farm or an apiary on your property and you think that there is a bear that is trying to get some of your honey? Does this sound like an episode of Winnie the Pooh or Yogi Bear?


This can be a legitimate issue for some apiary owners. What can you do as a New York State apiary owner? Can you ask the bear nicely to leave? Can you use an electric fence around your hives? What can you do to deter the bears from going after your bees?

The suggestions from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation include many ways to deter the bears from getting to your bees. No it is not an old wives tale that the bears are attracted to the honey, they really are. They are enraptured by the bees and the honey and are known to be able to do some serious damage to the hives.

Clarkstown Police Department
Clarkstown Police Department

While the DEC does encourage kinder methods for deterring the bears, the DEC law does allow for you to take more drastic measures if necessary, pdf.

Section 11-0523 of the ECL allows for the owner or other named persons to kill a bear destroying an apiary. Any bear taken under these conditions must be promptly reported to the nearest Environmental Conservation Officer and the carcass of the bear delivered to the officer.

Do you have a backyard apiary? Have you ever had problems with bears or any other animals getting into your hives?

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