Ah rats! Thanks JeffH - I did suspect it might be rats as I do see the occasional dead one around the street, but didn’t think that vegetable oil was high on their list of preferred foods, particularly given the effort required to get it. Now I just hope that they’re not going to target the base tray next.
You’re welcome Beth. I find the best thing to do is catch them before they do any damage. I catch them live so that I don’t harm any native species. Because I have some sweet corn & sweet potatoes growing (rats love them both), I leave my trap set with an abundance of wild bird mix in it & around it, so as to lure the rats away from my crops. So far, so good. Even though I caught 8 rats in the last few weeks, my sweet corn hasn’t been touched.
i have not bought the new ant blockers and I have a flow hive also. I used 4x tuna cans under each leg, with a top up of oil. I don’t know how good rats are at chewing through metal but it seems to do the job. I have nothing to compare it with, however, because there seems to be no one near where I live that is willing to share! It doesn’t look pretty either but I don’t give a monkeys about that - for me it’s all about practicality and what’s best for the hive.