Bear ‘wanted’ for honey theft

Bear steals honey from bee hive at PA college

SNYDER COUNTY, PA (WNEP/CNN) - When it comes to bees, members of the Susquehanna University Beekeeping Club know all the buzz.

They keep three hives outside the Center for Earth and Environmental Research near Selinsgrove.

But on Sunday, advisor Derek Straub got a call that something got into the hives.

“One of the hives was knocked over but stayed pretty much intact. The third hive was knocked over and some of the frames with honey on it was clearly taken out and eaten,” Straub recalled.

Though there were no witnesses, Susquehanna University posted a wanted sketch, believing the suspect is a black bear – a hungry one.

The bear not only damaged the hives and ate the honey, but quite a few bees died.

“There were bees probably up in the feeders, which got knocked off. They were stranded outside the hives overnight and that night it was in the 20′s,” Straub said.

Now club members are concerned about honey production this spring.

“We were hoping in the fall that we might be able to get a second harvest in the spring but we aren’t too sure now. We’re sure they lost a lot of honey in the bear attack,” said Lucas Winner, a junior at the university.

The bear came back the following night, so the bees were moved off campus into protective custody.

'The next step is to put protective electric fencing around the hives to keep predators away from the bees,” Straub said.

The Pennsylvania game commission set up a bear trap with donuts to lure the suspect.

“We’re crossing our fingers that hopefully everything will work out and our bees will be healthy again within a month or two,” Straub said.

The plan is to trap the bear and move it to a location with fewer people and fewer things to get into.

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