Polish Queen Bee makes beekeeping accessible for people not bears
Location: Ustrzyki Dolne – Poland,
Story by: Karolina Superson Góra
Karolina Superson-Góra runs her own bee farm in Ustrzyki Dolne, Poland, where the population of bear is constantly growing. At the very beginning of her new exciting enterprise she experienced loss of many bee families due to several bear attacks. Lesson learned: every bee farm needs protection. Since Karolina was provided with the electric fence from WWF Poland her bee farm has not suffered any damage. Thanks to that, now local Queen Bee has more time to share her passion and its profits with the local community and tourists.
Ustrzyki Dolne is a is a beautifully located town in south-eastern Poland, situated in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship, close to the border with Ukraine. Karolina Superson-Góra is living there with her husband and father. She is a queen bee. She also has a real bees in her care – several honey bee colonies living next to her house. The bee farm is Karolina’s first independent business where she is her own boss. Previously she was physiotherapist. Now, she is successfully running her business away from the town. Karolina appreciates being a bee-keeper but at the very beginning it has been a struggle. Woman has come a long way from passion to profession. The biggest challenge was to learn how to live and work with the nosy neighbors… the bears!
When Karolina established a bee farm in her homeland she wasn’t very experienced. She was focused on the process of becoming a professional bee-keeper but she forgot that not only her skills are the key part of the success. Equally important was safeguarding her honey bee colonies from the large carnivores.
“There a lot of bears in this area and their population is growing. We had incidents of bears attacking bee farms. It was really hard to salvage a bee farm after an attack. The damages were both in hives and bee families.”
– says Karolina, the beekeper.
After the attack Karolina decided to use some kind of protection tool.
“When we started this bee farm it had no protection. After the attack we built a fence, but still, there was no electric fence. A fence by itself is not enough. It can be destroyed at any time. Large carnivores and humans can coexist, but farmers have to build a proper electric fences to ensure livestock and wildlife security.
– Karolina explains.
Now Karolina has an electric fence to protect her bee farm so she experience encounters with large carnivores only in the forests. As she says: –
“We often hike in the forest and we have seen bears. When you saw a bear, you should stop; the bear would look and then go his own way. There were no incidents here in which animals would attacked people.”
Electric fences are an important foundation for protecting herds. Through the painful contact, the predators learn to stay away from farm animals. We recommend a fence system with five taut wires, at least 90 centimeters high and with a minimum voltage of 2,000 volts. It is important to remove the grass under the fence, since otherwise the electricity is permanently discharged. Holes made by lynxes and badgers must also be removed, as otherwise the wolf uses them for digging through. Some vendors specialize in fences that are very easy to assemble and disassemble mechanically – they are particularly suitable for mobile use.
Proper protection of the animals brings a lot of benefits. The crucial ones are animals’ safety and owner’s peace of mind. As Karolina says:
“We can finally rest easy thanks to the electric fence. We don’t have to worry about coming home and seeing our bee farm demolished”.