After a morning walk, Bella came back reporting several hives knocked over. I grabbed my veil and went to the apiary. Several hives were indeed knocked over with bodies and frames with chewed comb strewn around. This wasn't just wind. I saw bees still clustering among the carnage and started putting things back together. Though I was trying to help them, the bees were not happy with me.
After things were back in place, I wanted to know what happened. There was various evidence. There were some interesting scratch marks at one area by the fence.
On one side of the apiary is a nice stand of persimmon trees. In the cold months they make a tasty treat.
The trunk of one of the trees in this stand was snapped like a matchstick with bark peeled down (on the right of the picture)
And the top of the tree was on the ground (note the claw marks). Do bears like persimmon? And are they still hanging around here right now?!
Then we found this pile of crap (11D boot for scale). Apologies if you are eating right now.
So I guess bears like honeybees AND persimmon. After all of this I decided that if I was going to have to clean up hives and get stung again, I least wanted some video of the destruction. I repositioned my trail cam and mostly saw possums, racoon, rabbits, and a groundhog. But there was also this surprise visitor.
I guess the moral of the story is to make sure the electric fence works and the bottom wire is HOT...because bears like persimmon. Oh yeah, the hives are strapped together now. At least if they fall over, maybe they'll stay together.