AKO Wildlife Defence

Eurasian brown bears 9 Large game A bear has done a number on these beehives. Barbed wire is not enough. An electric fence to deter brown bears (Ursus arctos) ? The question may surprise some people, however beekeepers have been successfully protecting their beehives against destruction by bears in the Austrian state of Carinthia or in neighbouring Slovenia for years. It's a different story in Romania, where the bear population is estimated at more than 8,000 and contains many experienced old bears against whom such defensive measures are of little use. In the spring of 2017, wildlife biologists assumed that there were around eight “wandering” bears that appeared repeatedly in Carinthia. There are apparently a total of 15 bears in the border triangle of Slovenia, Italy and Austria. They are mostly younger male bears that come from Slovenia or Trentino in northern Italy and wander about. In the Slavic language, the word for bear is “Medwed” – a honey eater, which makes sense. Bears mainly only go for beehives in cool, wet weather. These pests are very well aware about the bees’ defences and do not their stings at all. Damage therefore usually occurs in the spring and autumn, only rarely in summer and, if it does, usually on a very cool morning or if the bears are extremely hungry. In Carinthia, damage proven to have been caused by bears – including damage to beehives – is compensated by a state hunter's insurance. Carinthian wildlife biologist Bernhard Gutleb and his team have made various observations regarding the use of an electric fence to ward off bears. Alongside creating a strong pulse in the electric fence, success also depends on whether a bear already knows the respective beehive (and therefore the “pay off” awaiting within). Its motivation to go up against the electric fence seems to depend heavily on this. This results in the following advice: if you hear reports of a bear in the neighbourhood, you can quickly install a quasi-provisional electric fence using AKO plastic posts (at intervals of 5 to 8 m) with three AKO wires affixed to it at heights of around 20 cm, 50 cm and 70 to 80 cm (corresponding to the posts). On slopes, a fourth current-carrying wire at a height of around 120 cm is recommended. In general, the following applies: keep vegetation short, tension the wires tightly – the AKO fence device must be powerful. A solar