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Opossum eating my Bees as a midnight snack?!


#1

So I’ve read elsewhere skunks love to eat live bees which seems crazy but apparently opossums, or at least the one currently residing in my yard seem to enjoy eating live bees too! I had no idea.

I recently set up a beehive cam and almost immediately saw a opossum wandering by every night eating the dead bees on the ground. His presence seems to irritate them so they start clumping on the outside of the box. Well the other night to my surprise he decides to lean up and take a big bite of bees! It looks like he was stung almost immediately and really did not like it, but he came back several more times for another bite of the cluster then snapped them up off the ground.

I am in a residential neighborhood and not allowed to put up fencing of any kind or size. Any thoughts on discouraging this guy?

Here’s a link to a video clip of him in action.
He snacks on them at 12:16:46, 12:19:17, 12:20:43.
Opossum Eating Bees!


#2

The little bugger! I regularly get possums eating my veggies (very different to your ugly critters, ours stinks) I trap them using a cheap wire trap from eBay and relocate to a nearby National Park, it seems to work. Perhaps a trap will work for you too.


#3

It was recommended by my local beekeepers to elevate my hive above over 1.5’ to avoid skunks and opossum. The reasoning was if it’s above the height of them standing of their hind legs then it’s discouraging. My hive stand is up on 2 cinder blocks. I have no idea if this is true but I do know I have skunks, rabbits, opossum and other critters trafficking my backyard. :grinning: I have a critter war in my yard every vegetable growing season. I’ll get that rabbit! :grinning:


#4

@Michael_Bush would probably recommend top entrances, as he does in several of his lectures.


#5

Top entrances?
I do have a single hole top entrance via the top board…I only ever see a few bees go through it.
Do you mean in replacement of the bottom entrance altogether?

To raise it sounds like a logical idea but Id have to come up with a completely different stand arrangement…I already spent too much on the overpriced black extruded plastic stand you see in the photo.
I was thinking maybe adding some sort of deflection screen horizontally along the length of the entrance angled upward but not sure how the bees would like it.


#6

You could try a Robbing Screen concept like this one:


or this one:
http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/files/147611.pdf

I am not sure how well the Brushy Mtn one fits on the Flow hive, but with some scraps of wood and #8 hardware cloth, you could easily make your own. As long as you make the entrance/exit for bees about 4 or 5" above the landing board, I doubt that your greedy critter could reach them.


#7

Put your lovely stand on cinderblocks?


#8

What?..and ruin the whole look?! :slight_smile:

…probably the quickest solution…until a taller opossum comes along.

(I wrapped some trees once with 3 ft chicken wire to keep beavers from cutting them down…worked for two years until a taller beaver appeared and gave me 3 ft stumps!)


#9

Thanks. That is sort of what I was envisioning but angled out about 45 deg. so they’d have more opening \ pseudo landing board but still above the critter’s reach.


#10

That lil’ fella seems to be suffering from a lead deficiency: j/k. :open_mouth:


#11

that is quite a hilarious photo. I’m going to watch the full video now!


#12

The video is even better. Obviously being stung, but maybe very hungry? As a side note, a possum left a gift on our back door mat last night. A half chewed avocado… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#13

seems to be a very tough little fellow- and gets over being stung very easily? I’ve wondered about how well smaller animals deal with stings- as I would have thought the venom to body weight ration would make the experience worse for them than for me. Maybe they are better adapted- and/or have a very high pain threshold?


#14

OMG who would have thought?! Looks like he has a little mohawk too running down his back lol


#15

Our bees, which we received last June have been very angry bees…to the point we recently ordered a queen of a calmer variety to replace her…but seeing this, maybe they have just been crabby because of this guy coming around all the time.


#16

He’s very punk. Opossum’s are hillarious manky things.


#17

:joy::joy::joy::joy:
OMG, soon the babies will be up there munching your bees too lol :crazy_face: