Pooh bear raiding the honeypots?
An Orchard Mesa beekeeper spent Friday cleaning up and trying to restore two hives after a bear likely looted and and destroyed the structures.
Mark Danford, 268 26¼ Road, said he noticed bear scat and the destruction on Friday morning.
Danford’s home backs up to the area to the south of Dos Rios Elementary School, 265 Linden Avenue.
“It wasn’t a raccoon that lifted that up and busted the top off,” Danford said, gesturing to the wooden beehives splintered on the ground.
Beekeepers Michelle Martin and Shonda Lawson, of Little Canyon Ranch on Glade Park, helped Danford reunite the bees.
The bear was after “the brood,” which are young bees and the honey, the women said.
Danford said his wife contacted Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials about the incident, and the agency may help recoup some losses. Wildlife officials encourage beekeepers to enclose hives within electric fences.
Bears are still active on the Western Slope, trying to consume more food before heading into hibernation, said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras.
Weather conditions this year made it difficult for bears to get enough natural food in the high country, and they are traveling farther to find easy food sources, he said.
Bears typically enter hibernation about mid-December, Porras said.
In general, residents should call Parks and Wildlife at 970-255-6100 if a bear seems to be sticking around a residential area.
During after-hours or weekends, contact law enforcement or call 911 in an emergency.
For information on keeping bears out of neighborhoods, visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife at cpw.state.co.us.