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My landing board is damaged by a scratching animal. How do I repaint with the hive full of bees? Do I need to transfer the frames to a new hive?

Any idea what animal may have caused this? As for painting, it is winter now so one way to do it is to use something to block the entrance ( I use kitchen sponges that have been moistened) and then you can clean, sand and paint with an acrylic paint, it should be dry by the next morning when you can remove the sponges. Just make sure your corflute is out so they have plenty of ventilation.


@Rodderick has given you good sound advice but I’m thinking it will be an ongoing problem so maybe the hive needs raising further off the ground to protect it better. Maybe you have a predator who likes the taste of bees?
Cheers, Peter

I know skunks will scratch to get the bees to come out and investigate then they eat them.

Mmmm, I don’t think it would be a problem with skunks Ed, Not in Sydney, Australia, but made me smile mate, thanks…

might possums do that?

Thank you for all your replies.
I still do not know what animal is doing the scratching. So I have bought a couple of mice and rat traps which i will put out tonight with peanut butter as the bait.

It may be possums, not sure what to do if it is.

As for the painting, I will take the advice of sanding the landing board and then paint it at night when the bees are quite and remove the bottom tray. I dont have conflute but use a stainless steel tray with oil for the hive beetles. Very successful

Ill let you know how I go in a couple of days

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@Semaphore I would think as Jack is suggesting it is likely a possum causing the damage, it has to be something bigger than a mouse or even a rat to do all that in such a short time span.
I can’t think of a way to deter possums, we do of course have them up here but our biggest problems in wildlife is cane toads, ants and birds.
Butcher birds and Magpies are the worst but I regard that as just being the circle of life, I see lots of Swallows flying about the apiary in late afternoon but not sure if they are feeding on bees or other flying insects.
Cheers, Peter

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I imagine a little row of nails sticking up and out might give the possum some pause for thought. Wouldn’t bother the bees. Like those things they use to stop pidgeons sitting on ledges.


I have put out 2 mouse traps and the rat trap. None of the traps had been set off but the rat trap bait had been eaten. So I am assuming nothing came past last night.

I will keep the traps out and if nothing is caught I will repaint the landing board. Again thanks for everyone’s advice.

I think it must be a possum so Ill try the nail idea or a possum trap? Do I buy that from Bunnings?

Hey Mig, yes, you can buy nails from Bunnings or any hardware store. I’m sure that neither a mouse or a rat could scratch a landing board up like that. How high up from the ground is the hive entrance?
You could check with your local council about the use of a possum trap and even if it is legal to use in your area. Maybe thay can give you advice about a local guy who might help with the problem.


Jack thanks for the photos. I will get myself some of those spikes. I dont think I am allowed to trap possums

no worries. Hopefully that will sort out your issue. It would be interesting to set up a motion camer to see exactly what has been happening. Do possums even eat bees? I have no idea.

funny timing-I havn’t thought about bird spikes in a decade… this is in todays news:

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Possums are fruit eaters but also eat flowers, I guess they eat the flowers for the nectar. But as they forage of a night when the bees are back in the hives I think they wouldn’t normally be on a possums diet, but who knows what might happen if a hive had bearding and a possum happened to walk by.
there is lots of ring tailed possums about up here, but I simply don’t know the answer.
Cheers Jack.

US opossums definitely eat bees. There is a night vision video of one caught in the act somewhere on this web site. Scratching, eating, then running off crying, then coming back for more. Fascinating stuff. :blush:

That is great to have seen the clip Dawn, poor bugger didn’t know what he was in for, I wonder if he would be back for 2nds??:laughing:

@Frontyard, where do you get the stainless steel tray or did you have it custom made