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Protecting exiting bees from a hive from Hungry Butcher birds


We have a bird bath about about 40m away in another garden bed area ad it is well used by the birds, mainly magpies, noisy minors, Rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras and the butcher birds.

I think my best option is to get another 1 or 2 hives. That way any bee loss will be spread out over multiple hives, and just accept the losses.


I have a solution to my butcher bird problem.

One of our cats really likes to be in boxes/baskets and moved into our Flow hive when i was assembling it (I still need to sand back a bit of the tool access cover so it fits, hence the slanted roof). I wonder if cats and bees can coexist :wink:


Have you got a bee in your bonnet or a cat in your box - that would make a very confusing Dr Suesse book lol. Cat in a hat meets fox in box and becomes cat! Lol


Love it ! That’s one of the cutest hive pix’s I’ve seen ! Thanks for sharing ! Gerald


Hi Folks, I’d like to revive this discussion. I have had a few wattle birds diving for bees - that seem to be pretty good at it. I tried putting up those plastic fake owls to scare them off, but to no effect. No I have placed rather large mirror on top of the hive. So far so good, but need to keep monitoring it to see if it really has any effect. The hope is that the reflection from the sky will confuse them or even scare them off. Cheers. Steven in inner south-eastern Melbourne, Australia.


It’s been nearly 2 years since my first post and the Butcher birds and Noisy Miners still have a snack every now and then, but it looks like the bees breed fasted than the birds can eat them.

Having 2 hives spreads out the loss so in the end the hives don’t seem to be affected by the loss of a few bees a day.


That’s interesting about the Butcher Birds. I have never seen a Butcher Bird go for bees. I have them here all the time. These are the Pied Butcher Birds (Cracticus nigrogularis).

The Blue-faced Honey-eaters (Entomyzon cyanotis) will grab a bee & flick it onto the ground if the bees get in the way of them having a feed. If there is too many bees feeding at the same time, they just leave the bees to it. I have seen them feasting on native bees. I quickly put a stop to that whenever I see it happening.

I wonder if your Butcher Birds are the Grey Butcher Birds (C. torquatus).


I once caught a trout on the Leven River with six European wasps inside it. I am always intrigued that the stings don’t seem to worry the fish and birds.


I have Wattle birds, Eastern Spinebills & now a pair of Magpies snacking on my bees. Yesterday I found a Magpie either side of the hive gorging themselves on bees after they had pulled out the entrance reducer…


Ah, the penalty for living in one of the nicest places in Victoria. Pity about the poor bees getting snacked.


It’s fascinating the different techniques they develop & well they’re helping support the local wildlife population…:wink:


That IS amazing Dan, cane toads eat bees like lollies. I’ve never seen Magpies eat bees. Maybe because my hives are well off the ground on account of cane toads.


Our place is home to maybe a halfdozen rainbow beeaters, we do feel privilged;

Having been told on moving here these guys would clean out a hive quicktime we
did our own study. The birds are here, well fed between 6:30AM and maybe 7:00AM
tops, and the colonies just keep on keeping on.
Plenty to go round, in sharing :wink:




Ours are the Grey Butcherbird.


Ah-hah, that must be the difference. I see & hear them in other areas of the Sunshine Coast, but not at my place. The Pied Butcher Birds seem to be everywhere. Now I know what noises they make, I hear them everywhere. Beautiful little birds :slight_smile: Such a loud noise (song) from such a small bird.


We will the mud daubber wasps that visit our pool while we swim. Our pit bull mix loves to eat the bodies while we aren’t looking. Go figure.


In the warmer weather I get cane toads hanging around under the entrances. I think they mainly go for the dead and weak bees that fall out of the hive. If ever I make the mistake of giving them enough space, cane toads will sit at the edge of an entrance waiting to ambush one of my girls.


I discovered today the the Yellow Wattlebird (only found in Tasmania) has a penchant for honeybees. It is Australia’s largest honeyeater. Waiting in the Agonis, flowering prolifically this year, it was gobbling them down. These birds are highly territorial as apparently the energy from their food barely exceeds the energy required to collect it so they need to be agressive towards competition.


Hi guys,

Anyone have luck with getting ravens away from their hives?

Every now and then we have a flock descend into the garden and a couple of days ago they found one of the hives - checking today it looks like they got a fair number of my bees!

thanks, from steph


The idea at the start of this thread might work: a cat! Nothing keeps birds away like cats. If you can’t stomach the real thing I wonder if these sort of dummy ‘scare cats’ might help a little:


When I was catching swarms this spring I saw wattle birds taking advantage swooping up to swarms and picking off bees one by one. Swarm season must be a bit of a feasting time for some bird species.