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Cane Toads in Australia


I live on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and every night Cane Toads gather around the base of blocks that support my hives. I collect and exterminate them when I can, but to my horror I have on two occasions found that they have jumped over 15 inches on to the blocks and found their way to the hive entrance.
All the reading I have done tells me that Cane Toads jump no more than 6 to 9 inches and cannot climb. Unquestionably they can jump higher.
My question is do any other Australians (or others) have a solution for a problem like this other than the obvious of elevating the hives.



Change to top entrances…


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Thank you Michael. Makes good sense



Appreciate your suggestion Michael. Loving your youtube stuff. Thank you



Hi Ken, all I can do is state the obvious. My normal stands are 2 lots of 2 besser blocks high with two hardwood rails on top to sit the hives on. That seems to be too high for the cane toads, however they do extremely well feeding on the bees that get kicked out. My approach in relation to the entrance is to stick with a bottom entrance.



Hi Jeff
Thanks for your comments. Have you had a not so good experience with top entrances? Not come across anyone down this way who has them so would definitely be a change of mindset. Appreciate your input. I admit I’m not over fussed about changing to top entrances



Hi Ken, no I haven’t tried them. Plus I don’t know anyone else who has tried them. I just think from the point of view of the bees cleaning out debris, especially chalk brood mummies, a bottom flat solid floor would be far superior.

It certainly would be a change of mindset, however I’m sure down under beekeepers in the past would have tried it.

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Hi McBee. I live in Cudgera Creek, Nth NSW, just south of the boarder our home is weatherboard, on stumps and we have standard sizing for our steps into the house, and the toads, jump up the steps and into the verandah and into the bathroom, Yikes. It’s a new thing. We’ve been in this place for about 11 yrs and toads in the bathroom are new. They are evolving, rapidly.

Yep, as #JeffH says use an extra bessa block and it may be better for your back too. In winter we are bit cooler than you so I’ll have to find a work around which will create some insulation for the hive in winter. Good luck with it.



Hi everyone, I’m experiencing the same problem in Brisbane. Just killed 3 cane toads sitting under my hive, which is a nightly occurrence and getting very frustrating! I have one of the new flow hives on a stand, which I’ve now raised by 4 bessa blocks. The problem is that they now just jump on to the blocks and sit under the stand entrance! Help! Has anyone figured out how to block the gap between flow hive stand and concrete blocks the legs sit on??

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Hi Alisha, I found the best way is to keep removing them. I put them in a bag in the freezer. Dead rats go in the same bag. When the bag’s full, I dig a hole in my vege garden, then I bury them with a dusting of dolomite. I find a spot I’m not going to be digging for a few months.

I found that by constantly removing them, the number dwindle. Although you’d be forgiven for not thinking so. I found the ideal grabber for them is a granny grabber. If I’ve misplaced that, a long pair of barbeque tongs works well.

PS, we double bag the toads & rats.



Thanks Jeff, will now be googling to find out what a ‘granny grabber’ is so I can purchase one :joy:

Not as many around now though that I can see since I raised my hive 70cm and put chicken wire around the bessa bricks so that they can’t jump onto them! Frustratingly I’ve just found a feasting gecko… on to the new pest. Don’t suppose you have any ideas on deterrents for them? I know moth balls work but I imagine the bees wouldn’t like them.



Hi Alisha, I apologize for calling it a granny grabber. That’s a term my wife & I use for a long pick-up stick. We have one & they work fantastic for picking up toads. I think from memory Mr Bean used one in one of his sketches.

Someone told me that he saw geckos at the entrance of his hive picking off SHBs. Hopefully that’s what yours are after. Bees might be too big for them. Anyway it wouldn’t take many bees to fill a gecko compared to a cane toad. I found a large one on our back verandah the other night. I would have eaten a LOT of bees, given the chance.



Something like this, perhaps?





Hi Alisha, are you sure the geckos are eating bees? I have a resident gecko on each of my hives and I have never seen them go after a bee. I assumed they clean up the wax moth and small hive beetle. Your experience with the cane toads makes me think I’d better go out after dark and check my hives.

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Hi Dawn, ours is more like the top one. They get a really good grip on a toad without getting close to them yourself. When threatened, the toads emit a toxin on their shoulders, which can kill dogs. I don’t like touching them for that reason. Our pick-up stick is temporarily misplaced (lost), so I used a disposable glove the other day.

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Hopefully it was eating SHB instead of bees, he was just very large so assumed we had another pest on our hands! Definitely check out your hive for toads, I had no idea they were a problem as only went out to check an air conditioner near the hive late one night. Hate to think how many nights they were feasting for!



This afternoon I harvested this beautiful crop of sweet potatoes from ONE plant. When they came up I went “WOW”.

Then I realized that that’s where I buried a large bag of cane toads 12 months earlier :slight_smile:



I’ve been out this morning & harvested the other 5 plants in that bed.

This is the results of that plant.

This is the results of the next one.

Now this bloke was very lucky he/she didn’t get stabbed by my garden fork :slight_smile:

The results of that plant.

Now the results of 2 plants combined.

I can’t give the cane toads I buried all the credit. There was a fair bit of 24/7 urea, worm wee & slumgum water sprayed on via a hose end sprayer.

The largest weighed in at 1.1kg.



Jeff, I am jealous! How long were they in the ground? We just dug up a bed of sweet potato in the community garden where I work and they were tiny bits of nothing much. Very disappointing. The bed should have been fertile enough and did get water but did not produce well at all. Looks the same variety of purple skin white flesh too. Well, congrats on your success. Looks like I need to add some cane toads to my fertilising routine!



Have you considered a piece of zinc coated steel a about 10 cms bigger than the block the hive leg sits on. Cane Toads won’t get past that. Available from Bunning’s or any hardware store. The same material as the tin on hive lids.
Don’t worry about any geckos, they will be looking for smaller food like SHB, wax moths and ants.

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