Camera captures black bear destroy beehives in Virginia

Camera captures black bear destroy beehives in Virginia
A black bear approaches a number of beehives in Buckingham County, Virginia. (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An unbelievable sight was captured on-camera back in March, and now a Charlottesville woman is looking for help rebuilding her hobby.

Captured on camera was a black bear approaching, gnawing on, and eventually destroying several beehives.

Carolyn O’Neal, a Charlottesville resident, has been a beekeeper-by-hobby for the last few years. She keeps the hives on her sister’s property in Buckingham County, Virginia. They said they noticed bears approaching the beehives, and decided to step up the security.

“We had strung pots and pans all around hoping the bear would hit them and be scared. We had surrounded the hives with cinder blocks trying to protect it. Because we knew the bear was coming back,” she said.

The bear did come back, O’Neal believes for the larva, ”it’s so much protein,” and then the honey “as a dessert.”

O’Neal has rebuilt four of the hives, but she has been preoccupied the last few months recovering from a brain aneurysm. That’s why it wasn’t until November when she posted a GoFundMe.

“I need your help to get ready for next honey season,” she wrote. “Flowers and trees need my bees. Neighboring farmers need my bees.”

She plans to harvest the honey and share it with friends and family.

“Beekeeping is a great COVID activity because you’re all alone out there with the bees,” she said. “Everybody wants to be socially distanced when there’s a lot of them flying around.”

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