Black bear stirs up buzz in Boston Harbor

A black bear was seen in Olympia’s Boston Harbor area earlier this week - and may have been the culprit behind a small crisis involving bees.

Cameron Means, who lives on Byron Street Northeast, said a large beehive on his family’s property was knocked over late Monday night. The disturbed bees had temporarily posed a safety threat to neighbors, said Means, adding that he got the bees back under control Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, about 2.5 miles away on Evergreen Drive Northeast, a resident had posted on Facebook about a black bear that was spotted in her backyard. Because of the size and weight of the beehive in his own yard, Means concluded that only a large animal like a bear could have been strong enough to knock down the hive and drag it about 5 feet.

“Nobody has said anything about it being captured, so we assume it’s still out there,” Means told The Olympian.

Jane Roalkvam, 14, snapped photos of a black bear eating out of a bird feeder in her backyard Monday morning in the 8500 block of Evergreen Drive. She said her family has lived on the wooded property for 15 years, but this was the first known visit by a bear. After a few minutes at the bird feeder, the bear had disappeared into the forest, she said.

“My family’s not really concerned. It didn’t seem too dangerous,” she said. “It seemed pretty friendly as far as bears get.”

Her mother, Carol Lee Roalkvam, noted that the small bear was “really cute” and didn’t even damage the bird feeder.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has received three calls this week about a black bear in the Boston Harbor area, said Sgt. Carl Klein. He said black bears have been known to roam large areas, but at this point, there is no cause for concern among residents. Klein said the department has also received calls recently about another bear in the Johnson Point area near Zittel’s Marina.

“Pretty much all areas are native habitat for bears and cougars,” Klein told The Olympian. “Reports up in those areas are not uncommon.”

Bears are attracted to bird feeders because of the high fat content of the food, Klein said. Klein suggested that residents take down bird feeders, secure their garbage cans and avoid leaving pet food outside. Bears will be trapped and relocated if the animals act aggressively toward humans, or if the bears have become “habituated” to the presence of humans, he said.