Predator Attack From Small Mammal

Skunks, opossums and raccoons are common predators to honey bees in rural locations. During the fall and spring are when predator attacks are most prevalent. The predator will attack the hive at night, and will scratch at the entrance to the hive, gobbling up worker bees that come out to investigate the disturbance. The predator may repeat the process several times and feed at the entrance of the hive for a couple hours.

Symptoms

  • Scratch marks or bare ground around the entrance of the hive
  • Feces
  • Small piles of chewed-up bee parts
  • Skunk odor lingering in the air
  • Large number of bees missing

Cause

  • predator- skunk, opossum, raccoon

Diagnosis

  • Clinical signs

Treatment


  • Wrap a chicken-wire screen around the entrance to the hive, stapled into place at both sides of the entrance.
  • Elevate hives on blocks or stands
  • Fence the bee yard with a low fence
  • Relocate hive

Prevention

  • Wrap a chicken-wire screen around the entrance to the hive, stapled into place at both sides of the entrance.
  • Maintain a strong colony - as they sometimes put up a good fight.
  • Elevate hives on blocks or stands
  • Fence the bee yard with a low fence

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