New Beekeepers

Bear Fencing

Photo by Ben Cornect

For our fences we use 3/8th-inch rebar cut to 4-foot lengths. Its decently cheap, they hold up rather well and you can drive them in rocky soil very easily which is handy in most blueberry fields. On each of the posts we put 3 Zareba Round Post Electrical Insulators. You can use any brand you want but these ones are found in any farm supply store, they fit the rebar perfectly and are fairly cheap. The fence itself is made from Polywire. Its worth while spending a few extra dollars and getting UV resistant and make sure it is 6 or more strands.

To make our fence we first drive our corners keeping them at least 4ft from the nearest pallet. After the corners are in, we divide the sides evenly and add additional posts. Usually this works out to a post every 8ft or so. Our insulators are spaced roughly 10in, 24in and 36in from the ground.

When putting the poly wire on, tie one end to the bottom insulator in a corner a go from bottom insulator to bottom insulator till all the bottom row has wire and you are back to your starting corner. From there go straight up on the same post you started on and do the middle wrap. Repeat the top wrap same as the previous two and tie off your polywire. You can make a gate in your fence by doubling up the posts in one corner, which is nice for permanent yards.

Ground rods are important for every fence; the best seem to be Galvanized rods driven 3ft or more in the ground. A 4ft rebar fence post works well too if you drive the whole thing into the ground. The important thing about your ground rod is that it should be in the ground with only a few inches sticking out. I see way too many blueberry growers fencing hives with a 4ft rod driven 6inches in the ground. If your fence for some reason is not getting a good charge you can add a ground wire to boost your ground. Wrap polywire around your ground rod then go from fence post to fence post wrapping it around the metal post itself till you make a full circle of your yard then tie it back to the ground rod. Keep the ground wire as close to the ground and as tight as possible to keep it from snagging on stuff or being caught when trimming the fence.

For fencers the Gallagher B-12. Takes 6 D batteries and seem to be one of the more reliable fencers out there. The other fencer we use are Red Snap'r solar fencers. They cost a little more then the Gallagher but they last a few years problem free and the savings on batteries more then makes up for the additional cost.