Williams Lake couple’s beehives destroyed by a bear

All the remains of a Williams Lake couple’s beehives at their property on Dog Creek Road thanks to a visiting bear. (Don Piller photo)All the remains of a Williams Lake couple’s beehives at their property on Dog Creek Road thanks to a visiting bear. (Don Piller photo)
The bee boxes prior to the bear interference. (Photo submitted)The bee boxes prior to the bear interference. (Photo submitted)
An example of the cage idea for housing bee boxes. (Photo submitted)An example of the cage idea for housing bee boxes. (Photo submitted)

A determined bear helped itself to a sweet treat, completely destroying a Williams Lake couple’s beehives on the Thanksgiving weekend.

“This one hit it all in three days,” Donald Piller told the Tribune Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Undeterred by electric fencing around the hives, the bear persisted.

“Normally if they do a run at it and they get a good smack [from the electric fence] then they know they can still get in,” Piller said. “They are pretty smart.”

Piller set up the beehives with brand new boxes and electric fencing on their Dog Creek Road property a year before last and did not have any bear problems until this fall.

“The bees were ready for going into winter so they were two boxes high,” he explained. “One of the boxes would have been full of honey so the bees could get through the winter.”

He said the same thing happened years ago with bears when he was running 100 hives at Soda Creek.

“They got in and smashed like mad. I had to change where I was and moved the hives,” he recalled. “They had a cage that was on wheels and we had bees inside. I think that’s what we might do, build a cage, and that will stop this from happening.”

His wife Marianne Piller-Leyder Havenstroom said the while the cost of the boxes, fencing, bees and honey extractor were not inexpensive, she was most saddened for Don’s loss.

“Bees are his passion, I am just the helper,” she said. “Maybe someone could aid us with building a cage. That would be nice.”

READ MORE: WildSafeBC plans to tag garbage cans put out at night in Quesnel, Williams Lake

READ MORE: Cariboo residents urged to pick fruit to deter bears



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