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Honey-craving bear attacks beehives

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Honey-craving bear attacks beehives
11:16 CEST+02:00
There's more truth than one might think to bears' mythical fondness for honey. Beekeeper Lars Höglund, based outside Härnösand in northern Sweden, has had to learn this lesson the hard way.

During the spring and summer months of 2011, more than 90 of his 800 beehives have been attacked, by one or two bears.

The attacks are the largest of their kind in Sweden, reported local newspaper Tidningen Ångermanland.

This isn't the first time Lars has had an unwelcome visit from bears. His first experience with the animals was in 2007, when he was just starting up his beekeeping company.

"At that time, I had 50 beehives, and about 15 were destroyed," explained Lars Höglund to Tidningen Ångermanland.

After these attacks he was granted permission to temporarily use an electrical fence to keep the animals at bay, and then moved his beehives to a new location. After a two-year hiatus, the bears have now returned, hungrier for honey than ever before.

According to the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen), the bears' behaviour is unusual.

"Until this year, one could say that everything's been normal. But the events that Lars has experienced this year have no equal in Sweden," said Lars Wiklund, nature conservationist at the County Administrative Board.

Lars Höglund has applied for remuneration from the Board for 331,000 kronor ($52,250) for financial losses, as well as a 68,000 kronor grant for materials to avoid new bear attacks in future.

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