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Author Topic: Horrors!! Raccoon pushed over my hive last night  (Read 2548 times)
annette
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« on: August 06, 2010, 11:47:21 PM »

I had the worst day today. Went up to the hives to find one of my hives pushed over and supers, frames all over.  The other 2 hives untouched. First thought was a bear. But when I inspected it, I found only the honey had been eaten and all brood was left.

Also a friend told me that last night he saw a very large raccoon walking around down the road from my bees. He didn't think anything of it, because we have many raccoons around here.

I sat and cried and cried, then I called my beekeeper friend Shawna and she came right over and helped me to put the hive back together.  Well a miracle!! We were able to save the entire hive, the queen was ok. We saw them fanning over one super to call the other bees home, all brood frames were intact and no dead bees on the ground.

I spend the entire morning going to Home Depot and purchasing the heaviest concrete bricks. I can't even lift them, they are so heavy. I had a friend come with me who placed them onto my hives for me, we also placed many heavy bricks all over the place. Onto the hive stands, etc.  He said there is no way a raccoon could possibly push this hive now.

I also looked into a solar electric fence at Home Depot and the cost of this.  This is a possibility if the bricks do not work.

Also the doggie that lives there where I keep my bees was tied up last night. Usually he runs free. I will make sure he isn't tied up again.

Exhausting day for me, mentally that is!!



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beee farmer
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 12:52:57 AM »

I'd start carrying a gun to the bee yard... any coon big enough to push over a hive I would not want to meet unarmed!  I still carry the scar from a old sow coon that was in an old 4 room house stuffed with hay bales.  16 years old, I was pulling down bales and throwing them out to be loaded when I unknowingly pulled down the sow, her nest and 4 kittens..... I threw both hay hooks at her, hitting her and she still kept hissing and comming at me ,,,,,,, I jumped through a window hitting my head on the upper sill and splitting my head open... My grandad and his buddy ended up rolling on the ground laughing at me.....was quite the topic of conversation in Basic training though when they shaved my head... LOL
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GaryMinckler
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 08:37:37 AM »

Put a live trap near your hives. Racoons are simple to catch, but you'll only catch one at a time. You must have some pretty tuff 'coons.
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AllenF
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 10:48:36 PM »

Ya, any coon big enough to push over a full hive, if it was balanced right, you don't want to mess with.  You may want to take the deer rifle with you.
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Pillpeddler
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2010, 12:06:49 AM »

People often underestimate the power of wild animals and how tenacious they can be.  My father-in-law told me of how a raccoon riped open the chicken wire on his chicken coup, he said it looked like a big hole had been shot thru the chicken wire.  All of the chickens were thoroughly dismembered.  I saw a large boar drag/roll a full 33 gallon trash can 15 yards before it got to the edge of the mown lawn and was stopped by the tall weeds.  We live-trapped him in a 4' long Havahart trap, he couldn't turn around in the trap.  We we got close he would growl and bounce the trap around like Taz in the Bugs Bunny cartoons.  We gave him to a coon hunting club for a stud...  poor coonhounds. Smiley
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GaryMinckler
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2010, 07:05:25 AM »

I would have given him a huntin' club alright...right up side the head!
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beemused
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2010, 05:37:26 PM »

I would suggest going to Premier Fence for your electric fence. http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=401&cat_id=118  I have many from them and they work for coons, skunks and bears. Also keeps my cows from using the hives for  scratching posts. All you need is the short fence, 35 inches tall I believe, and you can double the fence back on itself if it is too long. They have the best price I have found for that type fence, around $85 as I remember. They also sell fence chargers, but I have used solar chargers from Harbor Freight successfully and they are about $70.

Bruce
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irerob
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 07:10:37 PM »

I feel your pain patching together a hive is never fun. I had a deer try to scratch itself on a hive and knock it over once. It was entertaing for a few minuites but putting together a hive of angry bees, not so much.
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jgaito
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 10:47:29 AM »

a few cheap dog tie out anchors and tie down straps might help.   i've had a couple for pets and can tell you that coons are strong and very smart.   trapping and relocation might be the best solution if you can legally do so.
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 11:40:10 AM »

For some reason this post came out twice. Sorry about that.  But please refer to the other post for my responses and other beekeepers replies. I appreciate all your responses and I take all of them into consideration. I am leaning towards the trapping.


http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,29424.20.html
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Elle
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 02:39:41 PM »

Hi.

I don't have any hives yet, and I live in town and am not sure I will put the hive(s) HERE, but probably not.  But then again, maybe, if I think I can get away with it.

Anyway, what I was considering was getting a dog run, you know, those cyclone fence things, to keep "kids on a dare" and dogs and raccoons away from my bees.  Of course the bees could still fly in and out the fence holes.  There are a couple of BIG dogs down the street that seem to run free quite frequently.  Nice dogs, but BIG.

Would a dog run work?  If I can even find/afford one. 

I KNOW we have a big raccoon in the neighborhood.  I don't know WHAT he finds to live on but he tore the heck out of my tiny plum tree one night, trying to get some fruit off it.  My daughter saw him.  I've seen him before, too.  He is BIG.

Elle
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irerob
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2010, 05:02:01 PM »

  Elle the bees will likley not go thru the fence but over it. This will give you a second advantage if the run is high enough the majority of the bees will fly to the top of the fence and over every ones head un noticed. Just make sure you leave yourself lots of room to work. I Have A hive at my fathers place in town and have been using this method for over a year, so far it has worked  great for me.
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Elle
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 06:27:59 PM »

Ooh.  The bees will fly OVER it?  But.... I was thinking (and probably can't afford it) I would ideally get a dog run that was 6' tall and had cyclone fence on top, too.

I didn't realize they wouldn't be happy flying through the holes.

Let me set up the drawing board again....

Elle

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Mason
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 12:58:02 PM »

Annette,  I have coons all over at my place.  They actually have a trail that comes up right to where my hives are.  The bricks on top have kept them out but one thing to avoid is putting the brick directly in the center of the outer cover during winter months.  I am almost certain that my loss last year was because the outer cover sagged in the middle and the condensation dripped directly through the middle of the hive instead of down the walls.  It's just a theory and I don't know for sure but it makes as much sense as anything.
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annette
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2010, 03:22:24 PM »

Mason

I use telescoping covers, they are pretty sturdy, but I did have the thought at one point if those heavy stones are going to ruin my covers.
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annette
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2010, 01:16:45 PM »

UPDATE!! I am having an independent trapper place traps this afternoon up at the hives to catch that raccoon. He is placing 2 traps up there as he says they usually travel in pairs. So wish me well with this.

He has a fish and game license and says he will have to kill them because once they become a nuisance they cannot be released into the wild in case they cause more trouble to someone else. They will never go back into another trap.

So I wish he would just release them far away, but I guess this is what he has to do.

Annette

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Livefreeordie
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2010, 05:06:18 PM »

UPDATE!! I am having an independent trapper place traps this afternoon up at the hives to catch that raccoon. He is placing 2 traps up there as he says they usually travel in pairs. So wish me well with this.

He has a fish and game license and says he will have to kill them because once they become a nuisance they cannot be released into the wild in case they cause more trouble to someone else. They will never go back into another trap.

So I wish he would just release them far away, but I guess this is what he has to do.

Annette
I hope he didn't tell you that, coons are pretty numb, I have released the same coon many times when I was targeting something else.
Don't be too upset at them being destroyed, they are pretty prolific and when mother nature has to thin the populations it isn't pretty, distemper and rabies are NOT fun to watch, lots of suffering.

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annette
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2010, 07:37:36 PM »

Yeah, that is what he said. That once they are trapped, they are much harder to trap again.

I don't care that much. Just waiting for this all to be over. I am more concerned about the neighbors dog getting caught in the trap, and I just called them to keep an eye on their dog today and tie him up tonight. They were not happy, but they understand what I have been going through.

I pray the coon or coons (he set 2 traps just to be sure) are caught tonight and this trouble is over.

Wish me good luck for a speedy outcome

Annette
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HomeBru
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2010, 08:04:50 PM »

A few years ago, we had a problem with 'coons getting into our chickens at night so I started live trapping. In three nights, we caught three young 'uns and I released them about five miles away. After the third one, I started wondering why they all looked the same, so worried that they were wandering back, I started spray-painting a stripe down their backs with orange highway marking paint. We ended up catching six young 'coons and finally one HUGE sow before the run finished! (Never the same one twice, tho!)

Ended our problem for the spring...

J-
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AllenF
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2010, 08:11:54 PM »

I started taking my coons to work with me and letting them go.   It is great to see guys running from a construction site.  But I need to admit after the first 12 We get tired and started to shoot them after I was hearing all these tales about rabies and such.   We caught 24 in one year.
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Livefreeordie
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2010, 09:56:47 PM »

Yeah, that is what he said. That once they are trapped, they are much harder to trap again.

I don't care that much. Just waiting for this all to be over. I am more concerned about the neighbors dog getting caught in the trap, and I just called them to keep an eye on their dog today and tie him up tonight. They were not happy, but they understand what I have been going through.

I pray the coon or coons (he set 2 traps just to be sure) are caught tonight and this trouble is over.

Wish me good luck for a speedy outcome

Annette

In some cases yes, but again, coons are pretty dumb. At any rate, good luck, if he is a decent trapper, they should be history pretty quick, coon are very easy to trap.
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annette
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2010, 01:53:19 PM »

OK day one:  Nothing in the traps this morning. He placed in cage good raccoon food and an egg and trailed along the ground some kind of lure, so I know he knows what to do.
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iddee
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2010, 07:19:07 PM »

I have never caught the same one twice. It may have something to do with the sweet potatoes and stuffing.  grin   evil
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2010, 09:33:23 PM »

I have never caught the same one twice. It may have something to do with the sweet potatoes and stuffing.  grin   evil

 grin..I heard that, all God's animals deserve a place right next to the mashed potatoes.
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Paynesgrey
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2010, 01:39:45 PM »

Several mentioned putting the hives in a dog run to keep coons out. You will need to chainlink the top of it too, or at least use very heavy, small hole chickenwire over the top. Coon will have no problem climbing chain link, pulling light chickenwire apart like taffy, jumping in, filling up, and climbing back out. Lost a gosling a night, and then my 3 best/friendliest laying hens to one that found a weak spot where we had wired around the shade tree in one of our chicken yards before we trapped it out.   Undecided 

Chainlinking the top is a really heavy job, scaffolding would help. But the plus is that if you tarp over the chainlink or heavy dipped chickenwire which is lighter to work with, the tarp will not sag, and it will should shade the bees in the hottest part of the day. You should also have a foundation for the bottom, or the coon can easily dig under. Several feet inside and out of buried heavy wire/chainlink, several feet of metal siding, concrete pad or whatever else folks successfully use to keep their chickens safe.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2010, 01:43:38 PM »

Hot wire around that chain link or chicken wire works really well!  Haven't had any problems with my chicken coop since I added that. 
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annette
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2010, 05:18:14 PM »

Maybe the sweet potatoes and stuffing work better than what he placed in the trap because here we are on day #2 and nothing in trap.

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winginit
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2010, 07:45:32 PM »

Annette so sorry to hear about your hives. I always worry about the coons. Around here we've decided we have good ones and then there are the bad ones. The good ones just mess around in the compost pile, but every so often we get a mean, tough-as-nails coon. One broke into the chicken coop every night and killed and ate one hens while the other hens just watched. By the third night we had 3 inch chains around that coop. Remaining chickens were traumatized! Then another one took to jumping off the roof onto the plastic containers of bird seed. The weight of the coon broke the plastic. One time he missed and hit and broke a table. What a racket that made. It had to hurt, but I guess that bird seed was worth it. He came back and destroyed heavier containers.

We hate doing it, but when we get the bad ones, we trap. 
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