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Author Topic: skunks  (Read 1340 times)
funbee1
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« on: June 18, 2012, 11:06:27 PM »

I had something(skunk?) eating my bees from one of my hives. I had scratch marks on the reducer and there  were parts of bees and what appeared to be a turd made of dead bees in front of the hive. I was making it easy on whatever it was with the way the hive was set up. I changed the hive stand and no more problems.

I don't understand how shun ks can be a problem. They are nocturnal, so all the bees should be safe in the hive at night or the skunk must be there in the daylight.......or does the skunk make enough ruckus that bees poke their heads out to see who's bothering them and then the skunk eats them.
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LoriMNnice
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 11:10:10 PM »

I'm sorry I started laughing when I read "what appeared to be a turd made of dead bees " But my guess would be the bees came out to defend and the skunk nab then then
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 11:35:07 PM »

best rec. i have seen for this is to put carpet tack strips on the landing board of the hive.  yes, the scratching is to bring the bees out.  then they eat.
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tefer2
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 07:54:19 AM »

If you have your hives 14 in. or more off the ground, the problem will stop.
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jataylor
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 08:02:52 AM »

I've found 18-20 inch elevation does two things - solves the skunk problems and saves the back when having to bend over to check the bottom two supers!   laugh
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Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 10:29:53 AM »

Thanks for all the info, its not a problem for me now but I have to move my hives in the next few months.



Joe
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jhs494
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 12:19:14 PM »

My hives stands are 16" up. I found that raccoons and opossum still bothered them until I placed the carpet tack strips.

I didn't even realise they had been bothering them until they chewed the plastic insert for the bottom board.  A box trap caught 5 coons and 2 opossums in two weeks right by the hives. I relocated the critters and keep my fingers crossed I don't catch a skunk.

JMTC.

Joe
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Joe S.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2012, 05:23:36 PM »

My solution was top entrances... I tried trapping, shooting... but there are always more of them...
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rober
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 06:46:12 PM »

if you should catch a skunk; take a small tarp or old beach towel, hold it with extended arms & approach the trap calmly & speaking in low tones. you do not want to startle it. drape the tarp over the trap. you can then reach under & open the trap door & put a stick thru the trap to hold it open. walk away the skunk will figure it's free & leave. OR if the skunk is a pest; place the trap in an empty wheelbarrow or suitable tank & fill with water & drown it. DO NOT plunge it into a fuul tank. it WILL spray if you do. in most states it is illegal to relocate wildlife, especially skunks & coons because they carry so many parasites & diseases.
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jhs494
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 10:22:47 PM »

if you should catch a skunk; take a small tarp or old beach towel, hold it with extended arms & approach the trap calmly & speaking in low tones. you do not want to startle it. drape the tarp over the trap. you can then reach under & open the trap door & put a stick thru the trap to hold it open. walk away the skunk will figure it's free & leave. OR if the skunk is a pest; place the trap in an empty wheelbarrow or suitable tank & fill with water & drown it. DO NOT plunge it into a fuul tank.

I will be sure to have my wife video tape the entire operation when this happens. If she can hold the camera still from the extreme laughter.lau

After I caught the first raccoon, I got the tack strips and installed them. The next couple had caught themselves on the strips before going for the box trap. When the trap stopped catching anything I put it away and now rely on just the tack strips.

The colony that was taking the abuse was closest to the the woodline. They had a bad case of chalkbrood. It cleared up after I started using the trap.
I can't help but wonder if the after hours stress wasn't keeping them from getting around this chalk brood. Prolly just coincidence.
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Joe S.
funbee1
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 11:20:47 PM »

I know a guy that used to put the live trap in a large trash bag, they would still go in it. Then he would place the tailpipe of his car at the open end of the bag and take her up to about two grand. It took about forty seconds and they went right to sleep from the CO.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2012, 07:05:48 AM »

I had something(skunk?) eating my bees from one of my hives. I had scratch marks on the reducer and there  were parts of bees and what appeared to be a turd made of dead bees in front of the hive. I was making it easy on whatever it was with the way the hive was set up. I changed the hive stand and no more problems.

I don't understand how shun ks can be a problem. They are nocturnal, so all the bees should be safe in the hive at night or the skunk must be there in the daylight.......or does the skunk make enough ruckus that bees poke their heads out to see who's bothering them and then the skunk eats them.

I have never seen a bee book yet not have skunks listed as a pest of the hive.

Yes, skunks scratch at the entrance at night. As bees come to investigate, the skunk eats them one by one. They will pick on one hive nigh after night until they kill off most of the bees.

Tack strips in front of the hive, placing your hives on hive stands (which benefit in many ways) are but two ways to deal with them.
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kingbee
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 02:33:09 PM »

Skunks dig for their grub. Grubs and other terrestrial insects make up much of the diet of skunks, hence the skunks' scraching or digging behavior at the hive entrance.  Raising the bottom board puts the bees' entrance beyond the skunks' reach.  A top entrance works just as well to deter skunks.
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