The Toad Menace
In the past, all of my hives had traditional bottom entrances. This season, thanks to Michael Bush's lead, I have taken to converting the majority of my hives to 8-frame, with upper entrances and for our extremely hot and dry Summers, SSBB (screened slatted bottom boards).
Each Spring through Fall I have been plagued by Insectivorous and ravenous toads, among other insectivorous predators, I consider the toads, the most damaging. This season, since the toads have been unable to reach the entrances of most hives, they have been trying harder. The few hives remaining with bottom entrances have been especially affected by the predator toads. I've even found toads to have hopped up onto landing boards elevated 12 inches above the ground and casually eating their fill.
One good thing about the toads is that they keep the ground free of dead bees. I would rather they would leave it at that. The toads in this image are leaving in response to my appearance.
You need to get to know some Witches in your area.. I'm sure they'll need a steady supply for their toad soup and other spells they cast!
I've read some use a small fence(2ft) to keep toads out.. the top entrance seems to be a good solution. Sorry your bees are getting munched on.. those are some fat looking toads!
BTW these toads are famous for their hallucinatory effects, so perfect for that Witches brew.
I do appreciate toads, they do a wonderful job of cleaning up the dead bees that can sometimes build-up on the ground around the hives. They also do help keep Japanese Beetles and many other garden pests under control. I do wish I had realized earlier what honeybee vacuum cleaners they actually are. Yes, top entrances have helped to save the day.
My wife, smart woman that she is, suggested that tonight I round them up and move them a few miles down the road --- now why hadn't I thought of that.
Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 08-03-2007 at 01:08 PM.
kiss them and make money
wow them are some well feed toads. you might try kissing them I heard a rumor has a child in kindergarden many moons ago that some toads will turn into a prince when you kiss them once you find that one prince have him kiss the rest of the toads next get him to round up the ones that dont make the transformation and sell them to the witches this may turn into a unknown windfall from beekeeping freeing you up for better things.
Last edited by riverrat; 08-04-2007 at 09:56 AM.
Late yesterday afternoon, I was doing a newspaper combine with two sets of hives, so as to introduce queens and as I was inspecting, prior to the combine -- several handfuls of bees fell to the ground. Almost immediately two toads hopped out and began gobbling them up. I'm sure glad I had already located the queens and sequestered them safely out of harms way.
Okay, due to my increasing "queen breeding fever" and subsequent fear that the virgins might get gobbled up on their mating flights, I had a round-up tonight. I plan to keep having nightly round-ups until the toad menace is under control. BTW, I moved these about 15 miles down the road where I released them near the perimeter of the National Park, which is next door to our home. I did not destroy them, but there are also a very large number of them that have been run down on the roads near us.