A new bill aims to keep honey-loving Winnie the Pooh and his bear friends from hitting some hives in Maryland.

The bill, introduced by Delegate Mike McKay (R-Allegany & Washington Counties), would permit the killing or wounding of any black bear that threatens a bee colony.

"In Western Maryland, we do have professional beekeepers who actually own colonies on their own land, and unfortunately, the penalties for killing or wounding a black bear is a $1,500 fine and up to six months in jail unless you actually kill the bear going after your livestock. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources does not categorize bees as livestock," said Delegate McKay.

On their website, DNR advises beekeepers to protect their property before a bear discovers a food source on their land. They recommend installing electric fences, mechanical fences, or elevated stands.

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