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Living with Wildlife in Manitoba

How to Install an Electric Fence Around Apiaries

Here are the step by step instructions for installing the fences:
  • Be sure that the fencing system you have chosen to install meets the three important requirements necessary to deter black bears.
  • Mark the outside boundary of the fence with stakes.
  • Cut the grass where the fence lines will be placed.
  • Install 6ft. (3-4 in.) wooden posts, two (2 ) feet into the ground. They can have a slight outward lean.
  • Install ground rods at the back part of the fence, about one (1) foot from the edge of the fence line. The ground rods cannot be installed in front of the gate. You will probably have to use a tractor-powered post-pounder. For the last foot of pounding, you may need a sledgehammer.
  • Measure and mark the wooden posts at 8 and 6 inches before installing the insulators.
  • Screw-in post insulators should be attached to the wooden posts at the proper spacing. Insulators should face toward the center of the fence.
  • Place Turbo-Wire on a roller and start running wire through the insulators. Tie the wire to the first post insulator and thread around to the last post, next to where the gate will be installed. Do this for all six (6) lines. Put electrician's tape over wire slots on insulators.
  • Cut a piece of PVC (3-inch diameter) pipe for a gate handle to the length of a fence post above ground (about 3-4 ft.). Pound a short piece of old broom handle (about 2 -3 ft.) into the ground, tight to the first post. This will be what the pipe is slipped over, to hold it in place. Drill holes near the top of the PVC handle to feed in a wire loop. Next, measure and mark the spots to drill holes on the PVC pipe at 8'' above ground and then every 6'' for a total of 6 wires. Thread wire into these holes and tie to the PVC handle. Then, take wire back to the last post and tie tight to insulator. Slip the loop over the fence post to create enough tension to keep the wire tight. Re-tighten wire on PVC handle.
  • Fibreglass rods need to have wire clips attached before installing. The rods are placed along the wire to support it between posts. Rods will be hammered into the ground about 2 inches and spaced apart at 10-15 ft. intervals. Since the rods go about 2 '' into the ground, you need to measure up 10'' from the bottom of the rod before attaching the first wire clip. The next 5 wire clips are spaced at 6'' intervals. Slip the wire into the tighter part of the clip and then loop it around the wider part of the clip.
  • After installing the rods, check that wire spacing is uniform around the entire fence. Attach electric fence signs on fence posts.
  • Tie a section of Turbo-Wire to all the wires along the edge of the posts on either side of the gate. This will keep all wires connected and HOT. Tie wires from the main fence to the gate fence wires.
  • Install six (6) D-cell batteries (either Duracell or Energizer) in the B-11 Gallagher energizer and place it on setting #2 for a short duration pulse. Attach green clamp to the ground rod wire and the red clamp to one of the fence wires on the main fence. If you are using a Deep- cycle marine battery, ensure it is fully charged. Attach the leads from the energizer to the battery terminals and then attach the green clamps to the ground rod wire and red clamps to the fence. Place the battery off the ground, on a piece of plywood. Your fence is now electrified.
  • Check wire voltage every week. Take ground wire from voltmeter and stick completely into the ground. Touch hot lead on voltmeter to a wire and read digital voltage reading. Record time and date on inspection data sheet.
  • You may want to build a metal lock-box for the energizer and battery. You can decide if it is needed.

Installation takes about four to five hours for the first fence. You can attach wire clips to the fibreglass rods before going into the field to save time when you are on site.  Good luck and happy fencing!