Are raccoons a problem in beehives?
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They have not been at my folk’s place. They mess with the garbage, but seem to know the bees are bad news and leave them in peace!
In other areas, racoons can become a problem. I heard putting a rachet strap around the hive holds it together especially if the strap goes around the stand. Deer are more my concern. I find tracks all around the hives. I like that they nip off the taller weeds, but am afraid if they get spooked they might knock over a hive. So I will shop for secure rachet straps this weekend.
My guess with what I know about racoons is that they would be much more likely to be interested in the larva then the honey per se. Not that they wouldn’t eat it also they are about as omnivorous as we humans are. But I would think the protein source of the larvae would be much more enticing. So if you can keep them from getting inside with ratchet straps etc I doubt they would have much interest in the adults like skunks do (at least I am not coming up with anything that would suggest they like adults on google.)
I suppose it might be depending where you live. Here Racoons and Skunks can be a problem, but then so can bears. I haven’t done it yet but this time I placed some boxes in a remote area and the chances I get racoons and or skunks is probable. Next trip out I’m take a few huge rocks to place on top so racoons can’t get top off. I’ve reasd that. I’m also thinking the rachet straps are are darned good idea as well. I’m hoping though that I don’t have to erect an elelctric fence to ward off bears. My Farmer has told me his biggest varmits are Coyotes and Bobcats, but they have calves as well so anything goes and I guess it helps to be prepared.
I have straps around both of my hives tied down to the pallet base so there is no way they can tip. Putting a smaller cinder block on top of each hive helps deter as well.
I have deer in my yard and I think they instinctively know they don’t want to mess with the hives and/or bees. I never considered coyotes to be a problem though, that is interesting.