Recently observed native honey eaters (birds) gobbling up my bees enroute back to the hive. After gobbling up about 20-25 it flies off for the day.
Not birds but I do have a problem with water dragons sitting in front of the hives all day with their bottomless pit for a stomach. I’m ok with one but now there’s about 4 of them. Too fast to catch, I’m going to need to really think this out, could take a while.
Rod, what’s a water dragon ?
A big lizard which would eat heaps of bees
I have a Raven that eats the bees on the ground in front of the hive plus a butcher bird that catches them in the air!!!
All part of the mixture of life, arn’t we just the luckiest ones.
Butcher Birds and Magpies visit my apiary every afternoon, the Butcher Birds catch them while they are flying, the Magpies wait till they have landed at the entrance of the hives. Stopping them would be mission impossible.
Hiya itchy, when you think the queen can lay over 2000 eggs a day this time of year a few bees here and there ain’t even scratching the surface.
I’d still take the birds over varroa and shb.
I lost a package to a water dragon last week. I placed the new package near a creek and I came out to check it the next morning and a water dragon was sitting in front of the entrance reducer helping himself to breakfast as my bees came out to have a look around.
I ended up putting a physical barrier up to stop it as well as putting the hive on a stand. Also let the dogs out once or twice to scare it off.
I once had a water dragon jumping up catching bees that was on a stand but managed to deter it by chasing off a few times.
They like to have cover so I’d either move the hive away from their dwelling area or reduce the amount of cover if possible. Four is a lot though.
WOW, awesome responce to my query. Loved the bit with the water dragon, cool critter. I don’t mind sacrificing a few bees to the natural wild life, however if it were to become excessive, I’d have a different take on it. Having birds clean up bees on the ground, is IMHO a bonus, I’d rather the birds clean up than pesky Ants. There’s always bees on the ground at my hives, apparently they have exceeded their use by date and are kicked out of the hive, as no retirement scheme is available for them. Without the workers feeding these bees, there’s a bleak future awaiting them, having the birds clean them up is a win, win situation I reckon.
I have a couple of ruffed grouse in the beeyard every morning, just cleaning up the dead ones from what I can see.
In the heat of our summer though; I noticed some aerial battles going on with a crop of huge dragonflies right above the hives. I never actually saw one get a bee, but there were probably fifty or more 3 to 4" dragonflies directly above the hives darting like crazy after something. Has anyone else ever noticed this, or witnessed a dragonfly win a battle with a honeybee?
When they are nesting, sparrows eat the dead ones around our hive. If we have crawlers from Varroa related disease, then the Western Fence Lizards get very fat on them. The lizards don’t go for the hive though, just the slow ones on the ground.
Dragonflies are bee eaters, since getting bees I have noticed the df population increase, but maybe I just didn’t notice them pre bee. I often see them take a bee out for dinner but once again it’s not a big problem for the colony as a whole.
Rod, how would a small fence of chicken wire about 10" high and securely anchored in the ground do ?? I had a similar issue with lizards taking bites out of my tomatoes near the ground. Fenced it off like above, prob solved. Felt awful though, depriving lizard of fresh tomatoes.