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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
    5,946

    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.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  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
    3,765

    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
    571

    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
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    133

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

    what are you going to do if your live trap catches a skunk?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    571

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeTech View Post
    what are you going to do if your live trap catches a skunk?
    Throw a blanket over it and toss it in the river to drown the skunk would be the best idea. The blanket calms it and keeps it from spraying, the river lets it pass peacefully without stinking up the place.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    260

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

    I think I would invest about $12 in ratchet straps from Lowes,, for a starter, and tie them down,, then if you can get a deer cam,, like jdmidwest suggested,,,

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    260

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

    Game cams are cheap right now. Holiday specials, end of season, etc. I just picked up 2 refurb Primos 35 cameras for $50 each

    JD,, where did you get them for that price,, I need a few,,,

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    86

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

    Badger maybe???? They're certainly strong enough to do what you've described. I think they mostly eat small rodents and birds, but I really don't know. If there is any way for the horses to get to the hives, they would be my first guess. I had a lot of trouble with some about 10 years ago. Don't know if it was curiosity or boredom.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,907

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

    Yes I've had hives tipped over by horses.

    If it was some carnivore such as a skunk, raccoon or similar, you would think once they tipped the hive over the whole object for them would be to eat some comb. Kinda makes me wonder if it's something like a horse, or maybe a human.

    A camera is your best bet.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    649

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

    Wild guess says its a raccoon. Spread some play sand around the hives and smooth it out and then look for tracks when you go back.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    72

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

    Any kids in the area?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    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

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    649

    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

  18. #18
    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.

  19. #19
    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.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    571

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

    Quote Originally Posted by beegeorge View Post
    Game cams are cheap right now. Holiday specials, end of season, etc. I just picked up 2 refurb Primos 35 cameras for $50 each

    JD,, where did you get them for that price,, I need a few,,,
    Natchez Shooting Sports. Come with a 90 day warranty. I have 2 running in my yard and another watching the rabbit pen at the farm. They have good lighting and are sensitive, photos are not as sharp as the ones I use for deer. Just look for Primos 35 refurb on the website.

    http://www.natchezss.com/index.cfm

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