Something attacked one of my hives
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Brunswick, North Carolina
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    172

    Question Something attacked one of my hives

    Last night something knocked over one of my hives and damaged some of the frames - it was a hive I just worked on yesterday - A full deep and a medium super full of capped honey - I had found them queenless and without any brood, so I stole a couple of frames of bees , brood, and eggs from my other hives and added them, hoping for a viable hive by seasons end. I found the hive knocked over this morning - I have 3 other hives right there next to this one and they were unmolested. The hives are on the edge of a small swampy area - I saw what appeared to be a trail leading back to the swampy area - a fern was knocked down as were some other small brushy undergrowth. After reassembling the hive I found bite marks on the hive tip on the edge of the top - as if what ever it was was attempting to pry off the top.


    So I am hoping to get opinions on what sort of animal might have done this damage - except for getting knocked over the super full of honey was unmolested and it did not appear that any of the brood was messed with either - very little comb from the deep was missing.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Brunswick, North Carolina
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    172

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Last edited by MikeinCarolina; 06-03-2018 at 07:58 AM.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Bradley County, Tennessee
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Do you have Bears in your area? I can't see an animal the size of a coon or skunk flipping that box over.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Brunswick, North Carolina
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    172

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Hey Steve - it is possible there are bears in the area, but I have not heard of anyone close by actually seeing any. I am hoping this isn't the proof they are here. I was thinking that a big racoon could possibly do this damage ? - the deep box didn't have much of anything in it and it was pretty light - the medium super was full of capped honey - still is - I also had a regular sized brick on the top. On lthe other hand the " trail " through the ferns leads me to believe it was a big animal. Unfortunately my game camera isn't currently working- I may have to get another.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Tappahannock Va
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Most likely a young black bear. When it came over it probably scared it away. Put up a game cam, you'll get a picture when he returns. Better start thinking about an electric fence!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Most likely a Bear. You better get a hot fence around your hives as it will be back if it was a bear. keep the fence at least 5' from the hives as a smart bear will just reach over the fence and pull the hive over. ask me how I know. My fence is 5' high and test 4000 v at the farthest end from the fence charger.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
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    172

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Anyone who can give me particulars of their fence set up pics or description I would appreciate it - I think I am going to be making a run to tractor supply later today and need to know what to get.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,716

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Bite marks looks like bear

    The hottest one you can afford I used the t post, plastic insulator, and a good long ground rod.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
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    172

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    Most likely a Bear. You better get a hot fence around your hives as it will be back if it was a bear. keep the fence at least 5' from the hives as a smart bear will just reach over the fence and pull the hive over. ask me how I know. My fence is 5' high and test 4000 v at the farthest end from the fence charger.
    Thank you for the advice on moving the fence away from the hives. I guess I am going to have to move the hives as getting a 5 foot buffer as is will be tough.

    edited to add - I was able to get a good buffer between the fence and the hives without moving the hives.
    Last edited by MikeinCarolina; 06-03-2018 at 04:57 PM.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
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    663

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    At least put a temporary fence around them. Put some strips of alum foil with some peanut butter hanging from the wire. What ever comes to the hives will smell the peanut butter first and taste it. Keep us posted.
    Jim
    Zone 6b 1400'

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    1,352

    Default

    I'd get as hot an electric fence up as possible *TODAY*.

    The damage looks like it was done by a bear.

    *One* bear can bust up an entire small apiary in one night, and once they find one will surely be back, often the next night.

    Hanging bacon or foil with peanut butter on the wire is very important.
    A bear can be through the fence without getting jolted enough to deter it, but a good zap on a nose or tongue will put your yard in the "no fun" category in its mind instead if the "free sweet grubs" one.

    Don't put it off til tomorrow.

    I did that once.

    I found a nuc that I'd ratchet strapped shut 40' away in tall grass.

    Apparently the bear got frustrated trying to get in and gave it a swat.

    Full size hives in the same yard were destroyed.

    Don't delay, fence or move that apiary today!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    803

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    You got a bear !!! Get your fence up fast!!! A good ground rod , 3 is best, 10 ft. Apart. Minimum of 2. Also, hot, ground , hot is the best arrangement. I always put mine at least 8 foot out, all the way around your yard. 1 foot apart on wire spacing, and 6 ft. T post , and 3 inch t post clips work great. Good luck ...

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
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    172

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Thank you everyone for the help - I spent today at tractor supply and getting a fence up per this web site - I have a .9 joule charger and it is putting out at least 10,000 volts per my fence tester.

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/scib...-Fence-PDF.pdf

    I baited the fence with peanut butter on aluminum foil at the corners and also in between abut half way from corner to corner - I am guessing I only need a dab of p nut butter on each? I also have another hive about 100 feet away from the enclosure - it is a swarm I caught in a bait box about 3 weeks ago - you cant see that hive from where the others are - should I move it within the fence enclosure all at once and just take the loss of bees that go back to the old hive position ? I have one remaining hive about 800 feet away through woods and in the middle of a small field as well - I am just going to have to take a chance that the bear wont find that one.


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  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Brunswick, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Hey gang

    Any chance a coyote would have knocked over my hive? I just had my two cats out behind my shop and saw a coyote slinking through a ditch not less than 20 feet away - broad daylight. This is the first coyote I have seen at my place in years - it seems awfully coincidental.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Well I can tell your not a farmer. You have the t post facing to the inside when the bear hits it it can break the plastic insulator. Turn them around so you have the post on the inside insulators on the outside. Good luck keeping the bees safe.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,716

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    I see you put up the fence like they did in scientific beekeeping real farmers will look at that and shake there head. They didn't use gate handles or corner insulators.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,864

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    Those yellow clips shown on the corner posts are problematic when in tension as in a corner post. They are relatively brittle - especially after long sun exposure - and can break with some shaking of the wire.

    A better alternative is something like this ...

    photo credit

    Shown with a wood post, but you can similarly do it with a T-post:

    Product page

    You can also make homemade versions out of a short piece of PVC pipe, say 2" pipe with holes drilled in each end of the short pipe to allow wire to pass though the holes. 2" PVC has fairly thick walls, more so than 3/4" PVC pipe.

    And a corner T-post can be reinforced by adding a second T-post close to (behind) the primary corner post and using stout wire to tie them together - not connected to the charge wire, just to allow the 2nd post to be a physical reinforcement to the 1st post.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,716

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    A tip for the white corner insulator. A short piece of wire to tie the hot wire around the center, if something hits the fence that type of insulator can flip shorting out the fence a little wire will keep that from happening. Don't tie the wire like the black one that's the worst way to attach the wire do it like its on the white one.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Something attacked one of my hives

    You have the t post facing to the inside when the bear hits it it can break the plastic insulator. Turn them around so you have the post on the inside insulators on the outside.
    Oh boy something to work on tomorrow. Thanks for the tips everyone - a lot of good stuff I never would have thought of. Hopefully it will work for tonight anyway.

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