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Author Topic: Faults of a screened-bottomed KTBH  (Read 1985 times)
Apis629
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« on: December 30, 2006, 06:25:35 PM »

Well, on December 22 I learned of a fault in a top bar hive I'd never concidered.  A group of raccoons had ripped the bottom screening right off and devoured the whole hive.  All the combs had been ripped out and, outside of the initial area of the hive, dragged for about 20 feet into palmetto.   There was also a recently dead raccoon nearby.  This TBH itself is about 5 feet long, and 22 inches wide at the top.  IT's 8 inches wide at the bottom and has a depth of about 10 inches.  It was placed upon two cinderblocks stacked at each side.  I"m wondering if anyone has any idea for what modifications I can make to this hive body or, it's placement to help prevent another occurance such as this.  And, given the area can be floodprone and, I don't have the largest budget being a hobbyist, electric fences are out of the question.  Thankyou.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2006, 06:57:20 PM »

I've seen raccoons open latched coolers, unzip doors on tents, open doors etc.  I don't think the fault is in the hive.  They would have just pulled the lid off of a Langstroth.

Sounds like the bees got one of them.  I bet the rest had some regrets.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2006, 07:39:50 PM »

Having had a pet raccoon as a teenager I can tell you that they can open sealed jars from canning, can twist the lids off most anything, and open and close doors (if trained on the latter) by themselves.  To keep the bees out of the bottom of a KTBH I would advise using 1/2 X 1 inch welded wire.  This is strong enough to keep a raccoon from getting through it.  Hardware cloth is too flimsy.
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Apis629
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2006, 09:02:36 PM »

So, by that would you suggest the #8 hardware cloth and the welded wire over that?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2007, 02:23:53 PM »

If the bees are using the bottom for an entrance to the hive putting #8 screen will lock them out.  I would just use the welded wire.
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Apis629
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2007, 04:13:53 PM »

Be bees have a botom and top enterence.  It's the hive from my avtar picture.  I"m referring to the screening under the hive, the TBH version of a SBB, if you will. 
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2007, 05:56:32 AM »

Understood, but I'm sure if you watch you will occassionally see bees coming and going from the bottom of a KTBH if there is no bottom to begin with.  One is not required.  I answered generally speaking.
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jaypee
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 12:39:47 PM »

> It was placed upon two cinderblocks stacked at each side. 
> I"m wondering if anyone has any idea for what modifications
> I can make to this hive body or, it's placement to help
> prevent another occurance such as this.

Once raccoons find a  food source, they keep returning, and if you use  heavy grade  mesh on the bottom they will destroy the top to gain entrance.

One solution is height in a form that prevents the raccoons from pushing the hive over. Use 2x4s as legs, splayed outwards to provide stability. The taller the better but that is limited by what is a comfortable working height for you.

It may be necessary to pound in a stake next to the legs to prevent the whole hive from being knocked over, but the ones that bothered me were not too persistent and it has not proved necessary. I suspect it is exposing their underbelly to bees that dissuaded them from pushing the hives over.

Even if it does not solve your raccoon problem, it will make working the hive easier. My bottoms are #8 screen, so they are just as vulnerable as they used to be in terms of access. If yours are so anxious to reach the nest of a staked TBH that they still rip away the screen, use a wire mesh overlay.

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teebo
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2007, 11:19:02 AM »

fence them in and get a coon hound cheesy
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Apis629
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2007, 06:58:26 PM »

Jaypee, the hive was not "knocked over".  THe bottom screening was ripped off, exposing the combs of the hive.
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jaypee
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2007, 02:23:51 AM »


> Jaypee, the hive was not "knocked over".  THe bottom
> screening was ripped off, exposing the combs of the hive.

I was not talking about your hive being knocked over.....

If you put the hive on legs like I suggested, you have to consider staking the legs because the raccoons can push the hive over to get at the contents.

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