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Protecting exiting bees from a hive from Hungry Butcher birds


I have a flock of 50, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Merops oratus.
They visit every morning and evening.
I only have a small number of hives and don’t want to loose to many bees.
I have already had 1 hive completely abandoned.
Any advice is welcome.


I just found this thread & love the bird videos @JeffH and the hilarious cat pic @dustyturtle :joy: My cat Jimmy’s favorite hangout all summer was on the paving stones behind two of my hives. I figure he must enjoy the humming sound and honey smell. These hives are in front of a tree line and were also being hassled by songbirds in springtime once the bee activity increased enough to catch their attention. I had a real internal conflict over that one - am bird-obsessed and also pro-bee :sweat_smile: Old Jimmy’s daily presence soon put the birds off that area of the yard.

@David_Gray if you don’t have a kitty cat who’ll lounge around your apiary I would try hanging aluminum pie plates over and around your hives. This is what a lot of gardeners do to keep hungry crows and such away from crops. There are also motion-detecting owls that people use to scare off other critters - might add some comedy to your landscape too.


just to second Eva’s suggestion: you could try those fake owls, cats, or birds of prey.

these type of things:


EDIT: just noticed I suggested the same months ago…


You know, when I think about a flock of 50 Bee Eaters a bit more I wonder if you’d be better off tenting your hives with bird netting @David_Gray? Kind of a pain for inspections I guess.