Many people associate bears with their love of honey—you can even find honey in bear-shaped containers—but do bears really like honey or is this just a myth perpetuated by Winnie the Pooh? According to wildlife biologist Elizabeth Manning of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, bears really do enjoy indulging in a paw-full of honey from time to time!
Honey isn’t the only thing bears look for in beehives, though.
Bears will also eat the bees and larvae inside a hive, which are both good sources of protein. That’s why some beekeepers in Alaska and other regions with large bear populations protect their hives with electric fences. It’s also a good idea to keep hives in open areas away from the woods where bears tend to travel. Beekeepers must be especially cautious about bears in the spring, when they wake up from hibernation with large appetites and limited food supplies.
In contrast to Winnie the Pooh, however, wild bears don’t exclusively eat honey. North American black and grizzly bears have varied diets that include everything from insects and berries to caribou and deer. Chances are, most bears only get to sample the sweet taste of honey every once in a while when they stumble across beehives on agricultural lands.
Thanks to the efforts of our local beekeepers, we’re able to enjoy a diverse selection of natural honeys made right here in California. You can browse all of the honey and beeswax products we offer online, or give us call today to learn more!