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Black Bear Raids Beekeeper’s Hives for Honey

January 13, 2018

Honey News, Honey

It’s likely that many have heard tales of bears—black bears, grizzly bears, sun bears, you name it—breaking into bee hives and stealing honey, just like the Winne the Pooh stories many of us grew up reading and having read to us.

There is also a good chance you’ve watched plenty of videos of bears performing similar actions whether it was breaking into a garage or raiding someone’s garbage. Recently, another bear—a black bear in this case—decided to see what she could find while sneaking on to a property late at night. On this occasion, the raid took place in Taiwan.

Specifically, a conservation group based in Taiwan caught footage back in October 2017 of a large Formosan black bear sniffing around dozens of box bee hives before she broke through several and began licking away at the honeycombs she had strewn on the ground. It’s unknown how many hives the bear destroyed before she had her fill, but it’s safe to say the bee farmer would have lost a considerable amount of money after the late-night raid.

Taiwan’s Black Bear Education Center took the video and eventually posted it to Facebook in recent weeks to show for the entire world what the real Winnie-the-Pooh-type visit looked like back on that October night at this local Pingtung County apiary.

According to Black Bear Education Center, the beekeeper, who was not identified in the press, had been worried about damage to his bee hives and the potential for more losses, so he made contact with Huang Mei-hsiu, who is also known as the "Black Bear Mom" of Taiwan’s Black Bear Conservation Association.

Once made aware of the bee farmer’s situation, she had her team set up various cameras around the apiary, as there was a very good chance she would return looking for more honey. The cameras eventually recorded the nighttime visit from the Formosan black bear, where she made her way toward the hives and helped herself to a few honeycombs.

The education center later advised the bee farmer to move his hives to another location, and this action alone would likely stop the bear from visiting the hives since she clearly would not know where to look to find the barrels (hives) of honey. It isn’t known at this time whether the endeavor helped the bee farmer protect his hives or his honey stores any better from the bear, but if it doesn’t, there’s a good chance someone will see it on Facebook or YouTube before too long.

Photo via Taiwan Black Bear Education Center Facebook Video

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