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Thread: Skunks

  1. #21
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    I don't just kill an animal unless it IS my food or it's EATING my food. But I have had to shoot possums and skunks because they do eat my bees and my chickens. I wouldn't mind losing a chicken now and again, but they take a bite out of them and leave them to die. The coyotes, on the other hand, take the whole chicken.

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  3. #22
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    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    This post is a Goddess send...

    I had clumps of squashed bees piled in front of one of my hives and didn't know what it was and now I know.

    I'm sad about it but had I not read this I would have never known.

    This is the best source for learning about bees. I am very grateful to all you folks.

    I'm working to solve the problems...

    I'm just feeling so sad........

    ;^(

  4. #23
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    Aug 2002
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    Hello Everyone,

    My hives are on pallets and still get attacked by both skunks and racoons. Some years, the damage is minor. Other years, almost half the hives can be destroyed.

    I think the skunks won't bother the hives too much if other food sources are available and the skunk population is low. Under these conditions tack strips, hives on pallets, etc., work ok.

    But when skunk populations increase, the pressure on the hives changes, especially if food resources are limited. I see the same dynamics at work with the deer population and my landscaping.

    Bees are harassed by lots of pests such as fungi, bacteria, mites, ants, wasps, dragonflies, birds, skunks, bears and even man. The bees can handle most normal situations by themselves. But sometimes intervention is needed. To routinely destroy animals, even mites and ants, because they can become damaging pests is senseless.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Wondering if beekeepers who tremble at the thought of skunkacide freely inflict miticide :> )

  5. #24
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    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
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    >>To routinely destroy animals, even mites and ants, because they can become damaging pests is senseless.

    It is nessicary to control populations of pests. You usually find out when they become damaging after the fact. I cant afford that to happen. Keep the pests under control, keep losses under control and keep peace of mind knowing things are under control.

    Ian

  6. #25
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    Hello Everyone,

    Skunks are so populous here at times,that they are considered a resource by some. They trap the skunks and remove the scent glands which are air freighted with dry ice to perfume makers on the east coast. No kidding.

    Yet, they can't trap them all and hives can be devistated by them. I only bury aspireggs in front of hives that are being damaged. That way I get the responcible culprit and no others.

    If I routinely set out them out for skunks control, its possible someone would consider my beeyard a pest and maybe setout some insecticide. I know that happens in town based on converstations I've overheard in the gardening centers.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Who occasionally commits skunkacide but trembles at the thought of miticide.

    Now is this the really dark side of beekeeping or what :> )



  7. #26
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    Jul 2000
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    Skunks are the main carriers of rabies in Kalifornia.The population is out of control here after years of low fur prices then Kalifornia voters banning steel traps.I hate the d*** things and have even been known to aim my bee truck at them on the highway.Kill em all I say(laughing maniacally).
    --Mike(the skunk hater)

    [This message has been edited by loggermike (edited December 13, 2003).]

  8. #27
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    michigan
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    My friend who is known as a little eccentric and spends too much time shooting blackpowder at rendezvous has an interesting full length skunk coat. Its very eye catching and draws lots of attention....and its one of only two good uses I have ever seen for a skunk.


  9. #28
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    OK whats the other?

  10. #29
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    The other is the scent is used to make perfume. Seriously.

    I thought I was having my leg pulled when I first heard it, but it's true. The old carpenter I worked with talked about how to skin a skunk and how much the fur was worth and how much the scent glands were worth. In the depression they used to shoot them and skin them and sell the hides and the scent glands for quite a bit.

  11. #30
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    The other is the scent is used to make perfume. Seriously.

    I thought I was having my leg pulled when I first heard it, but it's true. The old carpenter I worked with talked about how to skin a skunk and how much the fur was worth and how much the scent glands were worth. In the depression they used to shoot them and skin them and sell the hides and the scent glands for quite a bit.

  12. #31
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    I did quite a bit of fur trapping back in the 70's.A skunk pelt was worth 5 bucks from this section.I would skin them to pay for gas.I guess I didnt know about saving the scent glands(I always gave them a wide berth when skinning!)I did save beaver castors however.

  13. #32
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    I did quite a bit of fur trapping back in the 70's.A skunk pelt was worth 5 bucks from this section.I would skin them to pay for gas.I guess I didnt know about saving the scent glands(I always gave them a wide berth when skinning!)I did save beaver castors however.

  14. #33
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    This forum is really messed up today.Anyway.I consider skunks to be my number 1 predator problem,worse than bears from an economic point of view.They seriously damage bee populations in the fall when the queens are slowing down so no replacement bees are available.They put a constant stress on hives,and stress makes bees sussceptible to AFB and other diseases.I wish landowners would get their skunk populations under control(a few do for which I am thankful).

  15. #34
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    >>>>>yet to hear of a beekeeper who doesn't wrap their hives in
    >cold
    >winter conditions.

    You got the culprit then, good. And next time you will get the next culprit.

    >>If I routinely set out them out for skunks control, its possible someone would consider my beeyard a pest and maybe setout some insecticide.

    A little far fetched now, isn't it.

    Ian

  16. #35
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    Yep....the scent glands. Back throughout the 80's before fur prices dropped we collected them but only took the scent out with a syringe and didnt pull the whole gland. I recall that one that hadnt sprayed contained about an ounce of scent and worth way more than the hide which isnt that fun to get off.....like a greasy version of a coyote. Taking that gland out must be entertaining....just one small slip!!!!!!

  17. #36
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    Hi Ian and Everyone,

    >A little far fetched now, isn't it.

    I know lots of people who are 'deathly' allergic to bee sting. Yet,I don't know a single person who is 'deathly' allergic to skunks. Which do you think would be considered a worse pest by those people, especially since most people would never observe the skunk in their yard at night but would readily see the bee in their yard during the day?

    I know of people who routinely spray the flowers in their yard with insecticide to get rid of the bees. But I don't know of a single person who commits skunkacide, except for myself and a few other beekeepers.

    I'm thinking maybe it's time to turn lemons into lemonaide. Maybe beekeepers should wear full length skunk coats as our mark of distinction. Just be careful when crossing any roads. :> )

    Another question. Has anyone ever tried using skunk smell on a fume board? It couldn't be any worse smelling than bee go :> ) Maybe over time beekeeping would take on a new ambiance akin to that of the perfume industry. :> )))

    Regards
    Dennis
    Knowing of beekeepers who paid the bee trucks fuel bill with skunk skins and glands harvested from their beeyards, although it must have been a pretty messy business.

  18. #37
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    Elizabethtown,KY
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    Big Grin

    <<My friend who is known as a little eccentric>>

    I thought WE were known as a little eccentric!
    D

  19. #38
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    As long as we're on the subject you all could be interested in a piece of folklore that states that:"if you pick a skunk up by the tail, he can't spray you". I'm here to tell you that it is the truth.
    It happened this way. My (somewhat weird) next door neighbor had a skunk in a havaheart trap which he used as a cage. It was there for a month or 2 and I'd assumed it was a descented pet. My kids were around 10 at the time and accidently let the animal out. Fearing the loss of my neighbors pet I tried to catch the animal. In a sort of suicidal daze I picked it up by the easiest handle, it's tail. I made it several strides back toward the cage without incident. I really think he couldn't spray. What the old wives didn't tell me was that one should hold your captive at arms length because he twisted and got a claw or two into my clothing. Then he climbed up my pant leg. THEN he could spray. In that second the world changed. I threw that animal as far as I could. I could have killed him with my bare hands. Then I would have started on my children. Then the neighbor wasn't safe. Especially when he told me that if I'd left the skunk alone he'd have gone back to his cage by himself! All this flashed through my mind as I stripped naked before I went into the house.

    Dick Marron

  20. #39
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    The caretaker at the church camp I spent my summers at, said when he was a child, his Uncle told him that skunks can't spray if you catch them by the tail. He and his brother found out that's not true. They had to sleep outside for a week.

  21. #40
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    Jan 2003
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    Kiel WI, USA
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    Big Grin

    Kinda reminds me of the time our neighbours little girl brought her new "kittie" into the house, her mom got really frantic when she saw the stripe.

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