Ibrahim Sedef has tried steel and he’s tried concrete, all to no avail. Now, the beekeeper in Trabzon’s Surmene district – who doubles as the local deputy mayor – is trying to think of what to try next to halt his most implacable foe: a bear that keeps getting all his honey.
“I give it one-two combs of honey, bread and fruit every day but it’s not enough. The bear says: ‘I’m not happy with what you give. I’m going to break in and eat your honey. It’s in my nature,’” Sedef said. Sedef, who is also an agriculture engineer, lives in Surmene’s Yeniay neighborhood, where he keeps bee hives in his teahouse.
Sedef’s unwanted visitor, however, absconded with 30 honeycombs last year, causing the beekeeper to lose 60,000 Turkish Liras.
The beekeeper attempted to protect the bee hives by installing cameras as well as a steel cage mounted on concrete ground, only to fail when the bear dug the earth under the cage and then broke the concrete on the ground, reaching the hives.
Sedef then poured concrete to reinforce the steel cages but failed once again. One night-time attack by the hirsute assailant was captured on camera, prompting Sedef to fire into the air in an effort to scare off the visitor. Undeterred, however, the bear still managed to eat all the honey.
Bribery in the form of honey, bread and fruit has also failed to dissuade the thief.
“I have been involved with bee hives for seven years as a hobby and to get additional income. We hadn’t seen any bears here for a long time, but a bear has been coming for the last two years. It’s caused a lot of damage,” Sedef said.
The beekeeper, however, has no desire to actually harm the intruder. “We love the bear, too. Beekeepers should get along with bears. We take care of both the bees and the bears,” he said. “I don’t want to harm it; in the end, it’s an animal that’s trying to find food.”
Sedef is now planning his next move and his battle of brain and brawn with the bear. “Now I will pour concrete under the broken cage again and wait here at night.”