Friday 30 August 2019

Animal testing: Turkish beekeeper finds thieving bears prefer premium honey

Ibrahim Sedef discovers to his cost that they don’t just settle for the bear necessities

Thu 29 Aug 2019 06.54 BSTLast modified on Thu 29 Aug 2019 21.05 BST

A beekeeper in Turkey who was harassed by a particularly persistent group of bears has discovered a profound truth: the animals have very expensive tastes when it comes to honey.

Ibrahim Sedef, an engineer from Trabzon, north-east of Ankara on the Turkey’s Black Sea coast, struggled to keep his bee hives out of the hands of local bears, despite building storage houses and metal cages.

Over three years he estimates he may have lost more than $10,000 worth of honey.

Food decoys, including apples, failed to divert the intruders.

So he decided to set up recording equipment to track the bears and inadvertently embarked on animal testing of a different kind.

Sedef set up four bowls; three contained different types of honey – flower, chestnut and Anzer – and one had cherry jam. He wanted to see which one the bears preferred.

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