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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    447

    Default skunks and racoons

    I am installing my first hive in a couple weeks in my backyard. I live in wooded area and have a few skunks and lots of raccoons in the area. I've seen as many as 6 raccoons at once foraging seed beneath my bird feeders and once they discovered I stored the seed in a metal can on the deck they were always trying to get in it.

    I will be putting my hive up on concrete blocks. Is there anything else I should do to give the bees a fighting chance? Will they be strong enough the first few nights after install to discourage a skunk or racoon?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central San Joaquin Valley, California
    Posts
    490

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    I like the idea of using carpet tack strips in front of the hives. It really stops the skunks.
    His Hive Honey Farm - Do all for His glory!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Better yet, Traps and a pellet rifle. In California its illegal to trap and release elsewhere. Therefore we trap, "demise" them and release them to the turkey vultures.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-24-2013 at 06:03 PM. Reason: unquote

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    That would work!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    How about strapping the whole hive down and anchoring them to the ground with mobile home anchors or T-posts to keep the coons from opening it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Ya ..... Right............ When you get done helping me strap down 5000 mating nucs and then help tie and untie them each time a queen and cell goes in I will gladly help you with that half a hive you are able to keep. Hope you have fun getting in a lunch break or even hive time to take a wee behind the local bush as you will be working 30 hours a day just on straps. Might work for ones and twos but I doubt you have a clue what goes into 1000's time wise which was the basis of my answer
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-24-2013 at 06:04 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    To Honey-4-all:

    The OP said he only has one hive. It shouldn't take him long to unstrap and do whatever he needs to do with his hive. Better than having the coons get into his hive and chowing down on the combs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    The tie down would certainly work however, as I drive around the country side and see hives I don't see them tied down. I assume that is true for most of you. And racoons are pretty much everywhere in North America. So maybe a good size rock or brick on the top is enough. Has anyone had problems with racoons?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Do a search on racoons in this forum and you'll read a few complaints of what they can do.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Trap and dispatch per DOW advice, bear in mind it's an endless process.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,215

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Top entrances
    No problems with skunks, raccoons, opossums and mice...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,664

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Coons don't bother them as much as the skunks. Two to three rows of concrete blocks should deter the skunks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,335

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    > Top entrances; No problems with skunks, raccoons, opossums and mice...

    Here is more on that from Michael Bush:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,453

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    On the chance that this thread morphs into a top entrance debate, it is important to remember that perhaps the only real downside to them (and this is my own personal observations over many years) is that the most aggressive guard bees will be concentrated around the entrance. Also the bearding activity to keep cool commonly seen with populous hives in the heat of the summer will be concentrated around the entrance, wherever that might be. Personally I still prefer a bottom entrance and leaving yourself the option of leaving the lids cracked slightly to allow for better ventilation (and the resulting second entrance) in the heat of the summer.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    An electric fence works. Place pressure treated 1X8 or 2X8 on the ground or spray a perimeter with round up. Then install electric fence posts. You need not use T post for raccoon and skunks. just the small round portable kind, the wood or spray will keep grass from grounding out the fence. Then place 3 hot wires no more than 8 inches apart so the vermin can not crawl under or go between the wires without getting zapped. A cheep low impedance fence charger will do the job for a few hives. Problem solved.
    Nothing dies and your bees are safe.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Coons are very seldom a problem..... I do understand occasionly one learns , but given that 90% of the US is covered with coons, very few have issues.
    Skunks are a huge pain. Up on bricks should solve that , but if you notice a bare spot in the grass in front of the hive, rest assured its a skunk. Top entrances. tack boards or a 12" dia. roll of chicken wire in front of tehhive will stop them.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    After disposing of a few skunks and still not resolving the problem, I went to top entrances.

    http://bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    We have loads of raccoons and skunks here. I have heavy rocks on the lids of my hives.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    <snip> Top entrances. tack boards or a 12" dia. roll of chicken wire in front of tehhive will stop them.
    I'm smelling "wisp'o skunk" about every other time I walk down to the bee yard in the mornings. I haven't noticed any scratch marks on the ground or landing boards but I'm going to take a closer look tomorrow morning. The bees' attitude seem to be about normal...no increased defensiveness.

    I had been trying to figure out which avenue to take in protecting the hives and had heard of using chicken wire. I guess I'm a bit slow, but I couldn't figure out the best way to put it to use. A rolled up piece of it should work and is simple enough! Thanks for sharing, Charlie.

    Ed

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: skunks and racoons

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Coons are very seldom a problem..... .
    Mabee in your part of the wourld but around here coons are a LOT worse than skunks I have traped as many as 22 coons in my bee yard and not one skunk and let me tell you bees are NOT in a good mood after coons bother them @ night
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

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