There are two honey bee yards on the farm and I got a surprise one morning when I went to check on the one I can’t see from the house. As I pulled around the hill I came upon a large black bear! Six of the hives had been torn apart and thousands of angry bees filled the air. They didn’t seem to bother the bear very much as he was intent on gorging himself on sweet, sticky honeycomb.
I jumped out of my truck and immediately started yelling at him! He stood up with his front legs raised above his head, but since he had a large honeycomb in his mouth, that he wasn’t about to let go of, he kind of “harrumphed” instead of growling at me. I didn’t need a growl to send me back to the safety of my truck. I hopped inside and slowly started driving towards the bear blowing the horn. This convinced him it was time to leave, which he did, slowly, taking his honeycomb with him.
Black bears are becoming more common here on the Currant Farm over the last half dozen years, They’re the most common species of bear in the world. In general, black ears are considered the smallest in North America, although a male can reach 400 lbs. before hibernation.
They’re attracted to bird feeders and garbage cans, and human attacks are rare, though not unheard of. I like that we have such a wide variety of wildlife here on the farm, but I’m not quite ready to share my honey with Winnie the Pooh or any of his large cousins.