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Author Topic: Solar Electric Fence for Skunk Control?  (Read 3004 times)
Ibmerlin
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Location: Ottawa IL


« on: April 30, 2009, 07:17:04 PM »

I am a newbee. Just started my first hives this week. I have not had any trouble as of yet but I live in a very wooded area. There are many skunk and raccoon in the woods around me. To combat this possible pest problem I have built a "bench" the width of my hives and 8 ft long. It sits 20 inches high. both of my hives sit on one end of this stand.  I have installed strap down hooks for extra protection from varmints and wind storms.
I recently Saw a Solar Electric Fence at Farm n Fleet and thought it may be a good added measure of protection. My idea is to install the fence around the upper frame of the stand using the insulators installed at each corner. Any animal trying to climb the stand would get a zap.

My Question is will an electric field so close bother or interfere the bees in any way?

Here is the stand:


I know it may seem that I am over doing the protection a bit but I have had to escort opossums and raccoons out of my garage on many occasions.

Thank you in advance!
Merlin
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 07:30:47 PM »

It has been my personal experience that if you keep your hives 18 to 20 inches off the ground you will not have a skunk problem.  the height causes them to expose thier underbelly to the bees and they don't like that much grin.  So I would not bother with the extra expense and hassle of the electric fence.
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doak
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 08:05:55 PM »

Ditto on jdpro5010's suggestion. Then if you have a problem I would go ahead with the fence.
Put your fence charger about 20 feet. I don't believe the frequency on an out fit that small will have much effect on the bees. It is recommended not to place colonies under the High powered lines.
Never have been there or done that. :)doak
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 01:21:37 AM »

Slightly off topic here, but I like that strap thing you've got going on.  Real good idea.
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TimLa
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2009, 03:11:35 AM »

Back to the question:

Yes, a solar charger will do the trick - you're only running a little bit of wire, rather than fencing an acre.  It needs to be in full sun as much as possible.

No, it won't affect the bees at all.  Some/many of us run electric fences to keep bears and other critters out.  The fence I'm running is five wires, from 6 inches to 5 feet off the ground (we have black bears, coyotes, bobcats, etc etc) and the hive entrance is only a few feet from it.  They sometimes rest on the wire, then go off about their business...

The way these work, if a creature (you, bear, etc) is in contact with the ground *and* a hotwire when the high voltage pulse comes, you get shocked.

If you're not touching the ground (say, an insect) when you touch the wire, there is no effect at all.  They send a very short pulse of about 5,000 volts at a very low, controlled current every few seconds, as opposed to power lines, which are hot all the time and will dump a buttload (technical term) of current for as long as the system can supply it.  This is what we call a Bad Thing.

I have high tension/high voltage ( half a million volts ) power lines on one side of the property, and when the humidity is right you can get a healthy zap just from touching a vehicle parked under them.  Don't know if or how it would affect bees, but I'm betting it wouldn't bee a Good Thing.

Anyway, fence chargers are handy, at least out here.  Horses, cows, pigs all have a healthy respect for the wire.  Your bees won't even notice that it's there.
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gaucho10
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 07:22:54 AM »

Here is my $600.00 worth of solar power after a coyote/bear knocked down one of my hives late last Fall season.



I did have leftover roll of wire and some insulators for future use grin

Got to make sure the bottom wire is close enough to the ground to keep those small vermin away.
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