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Tech CEO uses speaker and podcasts to defend his peach tree from hungry bear



Bear eating fruit

  • Rob Dubbin, CEO of, had been
    peacefully enjoying the yield from the peach tree in his
    backyard when he noticed some unwelcome visitors.
  • Bears had figured out how to get into the fence he
    built around the tree, and were wastefully eating peaches
    without even finishing them.
  • After hearing that bears are scared of human voices,
    his solution was to blare podcasts through a speaker to ward
    them off.

What lengths would you go to in order to protect the things you
care about?

That’s a question Rob Dubbin, CEO of, had to
ask himself when he realized his beloved peach tree, named
Belvis, was being threatened by hungry bears.

In a Twitter
, Dubbin explained how he first came to notice the
peach tree on his property, how he and his partner enjoyed and
utilized the yield from Belvis, and how it all came so close to
crashing down. 

Clearly, this wasn’t a proper defense against the forces of
nature, so Dubbin took it upon himself to create a proper

Everything was going fine, you could even say peachy, as the two
made pies and harvested hundreds of fruits. There were no bears
in sight. 

Then, out of nowhere, a challenger appeared. 

Dubbin had to think fast. Research told him that human voices
might scare the bears off, but music might not do the

Before he could come up with a solution, the bear came back — and
it couldn’t figure out how to get out of the fence. It was
wastefully eating peaches without finishing them before it
finally escaped its confinement and sprinted off to pillage
another day. 

Dubbin rigged up an old iPhone, loaded it with 100 episodes of
the Reply All podcast, hooked it up to a large speaker and
battery, and put it under the tree.

All he could do after that was wait. 

Somehow, it worked — the bears apparently couldn’t stand the
sound of endless podcasts. They still haven’t returned, and the
remaining peaches have stayed unharmed. Belvis will live to see
another day. 

However, this effective defense came with a cost. It apparently
began to spook Dubbin’s neighbors out, as they wondered why they
were hearing strange voices all throughout the night, which he
had to eventually explain. 

It wasn’t long before the Reply All producers caught wind of how
their podcast was being used — and they appeared to

Wanting to hear what the latest in the peach tree saga was,
Business Insider called up Dubbin to talk about his experience,
and what he took away from it.

It brought me so much joy to see
the joy that it was bringing other people,” Dubbin said,
regarding the reactions on Twitter. “I think that kind of joy is
like the true essence of peaches.”

Dubbin said he wasn’t even sure
that playing podcasts would be effective, or why conversations
were said to be more effective at repelling bears than just
music. “Honestly it had just been an inkling,” he said. “And then
we saw this bear and it became so real that I felt like I had to
do everything in my power, sort of just grab at the best theory I
had. It felt like one of those split-second decisions on the
bridge in Star Trek.”

Dubbin expected the bear to simply wait until it was dark out to
return, but he was wrong.

I thought it would avoid the
daylight, but it didn’t,” he said. “I thought I had all day until
it would come back at night under the cover of darkness, but it
was more brazen than that. And it forced my hand.”

Perhaps the most insulting part
of the ordeal was the bear’s wastefulness with the peaches – not
even bothering to finish one before moving on to the next

I was gonna say it felt like wasting a
natural resource, but because it’s a bear, I feel like it’s hard
to hold a bear to that standard,” Dubbin said. “Having enjoyed a
full peach harvest last year,  I was very conscious of the
fact that we were able to make use of all the fruit, and in a lot
of very delicious and nourishing ways. And for me, seeing the
peaches unused on the ground was really a symbol of lost

Dubbin said his neighbors were
very understanding after he explained why they were hearing
voices at night, and he appreciates them “bearing with him” (pun
likely not intended).

Although it’s only been a few
days, and the peach harvesting has just begun, Dubbin has high
hopes for Belvis and its podcast-blaring sound barrier. He hasn’t
seen a bear return since setting the system up.

We’ve taken six (peaches) off, so the harvest
is just beginning,” he said. “And honestly one of the things that
brings the harvest along is a nice sunny day, and there’s a nice
sunny day here today, so I’m optimistic.”

So, if you’re having bear troubles, take note from Dubbin —
podcasts are your friend. 

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