At least it isn’t a bear…

Most beekeepers (especially urban beekeepers) usually worry about the pests that live inside the hive like small hive beetles and varroa mites. We now have documented evidence that a skunk has taken up residence in the beeyard.

Skunk in the beeyard

Skunks can be a major problem for beekeepers as they like to eat bees and their thick fur protects them from stings. A single skunk can really damage a colony in just a single evening. So far I haven’t seen any signs that this particular skunk has been bothering the hives, but I am going to take some precautionary measures.

Elevated hive stands help as it forces the skunk to expose its underbelly to reach the hive entrance. My hives are on stands, but they are not that far off the ground so I’m not sure how much good it will do. I think I’m going to try a product they sell to deter cats from areas in your yard. Hopefully these spiky mats will prevent the skunk from investigating the hives and deciding they are a great all you can eat buffet.

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6 Comments

Filed under beekeeping, pests

6 responses to “At least it isn’t a bear…

  1. Do you have a zoo in Austin? I heard that, if you can get hold of some lion dung (seriously), and spread it around, it will keep many animals well away. Well, it works on cats, anyway, but it’s worth a try. Or you can buy dung pellets online.

    I’m fascinated by your bees. It’s the only blog I ever read.

  2. Hambone

    Do we need to recharge BeeCam?

    • BeeCam would be awesome. Maybe we can run a couple hundred feet of extension cord from the house to the beehives to power it…

      • Conveniently, we already have an extreme extension cord from our electric mower days. (You know, back in the days when rain fell from the sky and the vegetation actually grew enough to need mowing.)

  3. Skunks that are out and about in daylight can sometimes be and indication of rabies or another illness. You might want to trap it or eliminate it.
    Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors

    • The owners of the property say that they only see the skunk early in the morning before it heads back to its home underneath their next door neighbor’s house. Thanks though for the heads up. If we start to see it out and about during the day, we will definitely keep your advice in mind.

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