American black bear (Ursus americanus) damage to apiaries can result in substantial economic loss. We used records of black–bear apiary conflicts collected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to characterize damage in the Upper and Northern Lower peninsulas of Michigan from April 2003 to May 2011. Most conflicts occurred between May and July, and the number of conflicts decreased across years. The number of reported conflicts was directly correlated with bear population size. However, we found no positive association between numbers of reported conflicts with bear condition as indexed by winter severity and hive abundance. Intolerance toward black bears increased 30% after >1 black bear–apiary conflict occurred. The effectiveness of direct or indirect management for reducing repeated conflicts was similar, and overall management actions may have reduced black bear–apiary conflict.
McKinley, Beverly K.; Belant, Jerrold L.; and Etter, Dwayne R.
"American Black Bear–Apiary Conflicts in Michigan,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 8
, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol8/iss2/8