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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Tuscarawas, ohio, usa
    Posts
    44

    Default Owl pellets around hive?

    After cold nights I have had a number dead drones and some drones in various stages of development in front of the hive. Since I only see these hauled out after a cool evening I assume that it is due to chill brood... most do the drone brood being on the outer edges do the brood chamber. I have also noticed that these dead bees seem to vanish over night. This afternoon my wife noticed what look like owl pellets around the hive. The pellets are about 3/8" x 3/4". I dissected a couple and they definitely contain bee parts... legs, heads, etc. Has anyone ever seen a small owl scavenge dead bees?
    Seth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    Some beekeepers think this is a sign of a skunk. They regurgitate the chitinous bee parts after sucking out the juices. I have seen some of these by my hives but do not know for sure if it is a skunk. Here is a photo from one of our B. source members. >> http://parkerfarms.blogspot.com/search/label/Skunks from another thread in Beesource. >> http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...sign-of-skunks

    The Saw whet owl is the smallest owl in your part of the country and preys on large insects like moths and beetles, but its main prey are small rodents. It is not a very common bird. Their habitat is dense woods; especially evergreen forests. I doubt that it is evidence of an owl.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 04-14-2012 at 04:46 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    I don't think birds leave pellets. They leave splats. That sounds more like a rodent to me. One of those motion-activated game cameras would let you know for sure.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    AUBURN IN.
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    FROG leave a long pellets 5/16 by 1" or so

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,817

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    I HAD something chewing on the corner of one off my migratory lids. I now have a red shouldered hawk that hunts there regularly. He likes a tree that sits between my corn feeder and hives. The squirrels are on edge!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,009

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Modem View Post
    I don't think birds leave pellets. They leave splats.
    If the pellets are from owls, they may not be "poop". Owls regurgitate non-digestible material in pellet form. Here is one reference:
    http://www.southwestwildlife.org/pdf...dOwlGlance.pdf

    This link has color photo of owl pellets, and a description of their poop:
    http://www.bocn.org/factfile_detail.asp?id=43
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    I think you had better speed up your "modem"!

    Some birds do pellets and "splats". Owls are the most well known for pellets, but there are other birds as well.

    "Many other species produce pellets, including grebes, herons, cormorants, gulls, terns, kingfishers, crows, jays, dippers, shrikes, swallows, and most shorebirds." >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellet_(ornithology)

    "Remember in 5th grade when you examined owl pellets in Science class? You probably remember being a little grossed out, but do you remember the role that owl pellets play in the environment? Lets start with how an owl pellet is formed:" >> http://pensci.wordpress.com/2011/11/...-to-5th-grade/

    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-14-2012 at 07:16 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,531

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    Csan you say "possum" they chew the bees and spit the remands out in front of the hive looking like dropings.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,273

    Default Re: Owl pellets around hive?

    I'm no expert on owl behavior, but I find it hard to believe that an owl would be hanging around long enough to deposit pellets. Far more likely is that you have a skunk or possum in this hive. Raise the hive so that its at least 18 inches above the ground or use an upper entrance and I suspect your "owl" problem will disappear.

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