Deer? Vandals? We shall see.
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  1. #1

    Default Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    I've had five beehives turned over in one beeyard over the past two months. Usually one at a time. It is hard on those bees. They wind up clustered between a couple of frames on the ground, throughout subfreezing weather, snow and rain. I put them back together and hope they survive. Surely some will not. Today I put a game camera up. It should be interesting to see what's happening. Deer? Vandals? Something else? I just can't imagine.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Carroll County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Bears?
    Natural Beekeeping Information at
    http://georgefamilycrafts.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,661

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    I keep homing pigeons in my backyard and store their feed in a 5 gallon metal bucket with a lockable lid to deter critters.

    At one point last summer, almost daily, I would find that bucket dragged into a new place in the yard each morning. I am talking being moved 50 yards from its usual location near the coop. When full, that bucket is pretty heavy, and I was pretty sure it was the local high school kids being mischievous. I put up a game camera and discovered it was a gang of 4 raccoons dragging that feed buck around the yard each night trying to get it open. Silly critters
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  5. #4

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    We don't get a lot of bears here. Even if there were some, I'd expect them to be hibernating....it has been cold. Also, I've had bears get into my hives in NC and when they do the destruction leaves no doubt. These have been one at a time. A week or so apart. Simply turned over.
    Today, I also strapped all the hives with ratchet straps so that if they were pushed over, maybe they'd remain intact and that would give the bees a chance.
    My other concern is that now I have the camera up the problem will stop and I'll never know. A blessing and a curse, I suppose.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  6. #5

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Shinbone, there were some hunters out near the yard yesterday when I checked and found another hive turned over. They suggested raccoons too. I didn't think a raccoon would be able to turn these over....but I could be surprised. Most are at least double deeps and probably still near a hundred pounds....but little surprises me anymore.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #6

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    My other concern is that now I have the camera up the problem will stop and I'll never know.
    Or the *borrowed* camera will disappear and I'll know what but not who.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,037

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Good luck!

    Please post results.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Thanks OT. I will keep you posted.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Squaw Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Bears don't just knock hives over. They knock them over and tear them apart. Deer you would likely see gouge marks from the antler tines. More likely vandals, especially if it's only one at a time. Push it and run fast. Hopefully you get it figured out. Good luck

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,840

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Or the *borrowed* camera will disappear and I'll know what but not who.
    If it becomes apparent that human(s) are behind the damage, there are some innovative prospective solutions offered in this thread:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...nk#post1025124

    One of the more unusual ideas in that thread is a "gun that shoots radioactive ink" attached to a trip wire.



    .... hey, at least I didn't suggest 5 gallon buckets of water in place of those ratchet straps ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #11

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    I have seen deer rub against the corner of a tcover to scratch themselves. On occasion they will knock the cover off. I am still hopeful that this is what I'll find.
    I've had vandals in a suburban beeyard before. It was pretty obvious what happened there.
    I'm keeping an open mind.
    No radioactive ink........
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Squaw Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    I also ratchet strap the hives to the hive stand or pallets. That might help also. If they are removed or cut you will know the culprit.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTN-Bees View Post
    If they are removed or cut you will know the culprit.
    Yep. I should've done the ratchet straps a couple of weeks ago when I began to get suspicious. It never crossed my mind until another beekeeper suggested it. It was like one of those 'DUH' moments.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Louisa, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    smells like a woodbooger to me.

    The trail cam will pick him up, then you'll be rich!
    Starting 4th year, 8TBHs, 5 Langs. Cub Creek Bees

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    667

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    In my experience - it is a raccoon.

    Raccoon can get big - a lot bigger than you would think. I have had them knock over hives - one at a time like that. I know it was a raccoon because the landowner actually watched it do it (He didn't think it could do it, so he was watching it out of amusement - and then, to his surprise, over went the hive).

    Had one knock one hive into another - so the effect was two hives down. They don't destroy hives like bears and they don't do the kind of indiscriminate damage that you would expect from vandals.

    You just get a knocked over hive - maybe a busted frame or two (I suspect they don't tolerate the bees well) and that is it.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Quote Originally Posted by NDnewbeek View Post
    In my experience - it is a raccoon.
    The turned over hives are much as you've described. No overt damage except a few frames broken in the tumble. If it were a raccoon, why would they keep doing it?
    If it turns out to be a raccoon....that might be good. Much easier to deal with than local hooligans.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    667

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    A raccoon is likely going for the brood. They are carnivores, but not quite as omnivorous as bears. I suppose they might also take the honey. A raccoon's belly fills up a lot more quickly than a bear's. Once an animal finds a reliable food source - they will keep returning to it until there is nothing left. Could be that it knocks over a hive, fills up on brood and honey and leaves - only to come back a few days or so later to fill up again.

    Raccoons are also active all winter and generally work a territory in a big circle (like bears) - so the interval between 'visits' would fit that as well.

    You could try something like these: http://www.fntpost.com/Categories/Tr...of+Coon+Traps/
    They won't catch dogs or anything else but a raccoon.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    622

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Is your camera infra red or does it have a flash. Trail/game cameras are made with both. If it is humans they will destroy the cameras if they flash. Or if they are too close to the hive they will hear them going off while they are sneaking in. Hopefully that is not the case and hopefully they don't destroy or steal the camera to destroy the evidence.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bayboro,NC,USA
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    I had about the same thing happen a few months back. 2 hives knocked over and no sings of bear. I righted them and fixed everything back and low and behold a couple of weeks later they were knocked over again. SOOO I righted and fixed everything placed an electric fence around them and nothing has disturbed them since (KNOCK ON WOOD). But like I said no tracks of any kind, human or animal.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Deer? Vandals? We shall see.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyin-lowe View Post
    Is your camera infra red or does it have a flash.
    Both, I believe. It is an infra red camera....and from what I've read it uses an infrared flash. It is intended as a game camera, so I wouldn't think it would make any sound when it takes a pic. I'll know better when I go back to check it.
    It is a Wildgame #18. I've found them online for around $50. If it appears to work ok, I may order one so that I can return this one to its owner.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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