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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Hello all,
    I have had three hives now that have been turned over and scattered at my bee yard. The yard is fenced in by 4-foot pallets, in which the widest opening is about 8-10 inches. The fence make an awesome windbreak, too. The hives are sitting on railroad ties 16 inches above the ground, and they each also have a 15-20 lb rock on top of their lids. Now I first noted something interesting when I set 8 old dryish half-consumed pollen sub patties in the corner of the yard. I forgot about them and went home. I remembered the next morning and drove the 4 minutes back to get them. Not one of them was there and I found just one patty 40 yards outside the bee yard, mostly eaten with small claw marks (skunk or opossum size?) in it. I kinda scratched my head, picked it up and went home. I came back about a week and a half later to find one of my two single deep hives flipped over and scattered. None of the woodenware was damaged in any way, and the hive body had fallen upside down with all the frames intact. The comb had not been touched, and all the bees plus the queen were there still. I put everything back together, and then went home. So now I just got back from the yard, and the same hive plus the other single deep are flipped, too. Same scenario, bees and queens all there, zero comb damage, and no woodenware damage. Just turned over and scattered. The frames landed less orderly this time, but the bees are all there, and like I said, no comb damage. So I put everything back together again, and came home to ask you all about it. There are horses grazing in the pasture around the yard, but I doubt it was them. There are quite a few dog-like tracks around and in the bee yard, but I can't quite tell what shape and size. I am sick of this and am wondering what you think may be doing this and what solutions you may have. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Mounds, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Sounds like its time for a motion activated wildlife camera, could be interesting...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joebee View Post
    Sounds like its time for a motion activated wildlife camera, could be interesting...
    I thought the same thing, but I can't justify the cost yet. Maybe after I actually lose several hives, I'll really wake up to it and decide to pay the $$$ to get one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,408

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Borrow a "live trap" from someone, and bait it with pollen patties. See what you catch!

    You may be able to borrow a trap from a county extension agent.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Thanks Rader! I hadn't thought of that. I have a fairly large one, underneath a pile of tractor parts in the barn. I'll dig it out and set it. Smart idea, thanks!

    I also was going to look into one of those little red LED flashing lights, I can't recall the name right now. NightGuard, maybe? Do they work? Has anyone had experience with them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,771

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Can you spread powder, flour or some other stuff around and see if you can get some tracks? Might be worth a try.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    592

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Game cams are the greatest little spy tools out there. I have caught neighbors pigs poking around near mine.

    Game cams are cheap right now. Holiday specials, end of season, etc. I just picked up 2 refurb Primos 35 cameras for $50 each that are my security system on the house and hive. I have 2 others at the farm watching deer trails. Infrared lights work great, they don't spook game when they flash. They also record video.

    It has really opened up my eyes as to what has traveled thru my rural yard in a subdivision. Dogs, armadillos, cats, coons, possum, deer, birds, squirrels, rabbits, and even a coyote a few times.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    Any kids in the area?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,269

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    sounds like raccoon, they are probably doing so just to play around, as raccoons do. They are not interested in bees. Are the hives set up easy to knock over?
    A bear would destroy your hives, so its not a bear
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    I've never seen adult raccoons play around by tipping bee hives over. They are incredibly strong for their size, human like hands, keen sense of smell, and they would also be interested in eating a foodsource like pollen supplement laying around on the ground. They could also smell it inside the hive and would go after it.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    There are no children in the area. The hives are on a ranch 20 miles out of town, and a couple in there sixties live there. The hives are half a mile away from the house, just off an access road/field lane. Thanks for all the ideas, thoughts, and speculations y'all have given here so far. I have quite an arsenal by now ! I'll try some things, and try to let you all know what the outcome is.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: What in the world is tipping my hives over? Solutions?

    What about deer? Jumping high fences is easy for them, plus hungry deer will eat just about anything. I weighted down my top-bar hives with huge rocks for that very reason.

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