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I'm suburban beekeeping, near a small woods. We do have racoons and other critters around.

My hive is on my deck. I found some racoon scat near the hive today. No sign of damage.

My TBH has a heavy lid and is up on stilts. Think I should be worried?

Thanks.
 

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Raccoons can climb very well, i would get a trap and bait it with a can of tuna...Make sure you camoflauge the trap really good! Trap the animal and then relocate it some where else! This way you can sleep better at night knowing that its not around your TBH!
 

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Even if the racoon doesn't open or knock over the hive, it can coax the bees to come out the entrance by scratching or breathing at the entrance and then eat them as they come out. Some predators can remove alot of bees pretty fast, too.

The idea of trapping and moving the animal is probably a good one, but you'll have to take it at least ten miles away if you never want to see it again.

The bees can probably keep the racoon (as well as other critters) at bay on their own if you make sure of the following:

1. They cannot knock over or open the hive (weight).
2. The hive is positioned such that critters have to get up on their hind legs to get their mouths near the entrance (height and relation to other objects).

As with your dog or cat, most mammals are quite susceptible to bees stings on their bellies. By making them get up on their hind legs, you cause them to expose this delicate area.

Yet another possible help might be to replace the light fixture that you probably already have on your deck with a motion-sensing one, to scare critters away when they come up there. This would also help the bees to defend themselves after the critters get used to the light coming on and are no longer frightened by it.

Good luck!

Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

www.thewarrestore.com
 
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