Before I even got my first hive, I knew I had to solve the skunk problem. Last year the neighbor had a family of them removed by a professional. But, that was not the last of them. So, I boarded up all the passageways they've created under the fences and gate and started using a new trap - even trapped one. (whole 'nother story)
So, one morning I get up about 4:30 AM, no particular reason. I looked out to the backyard and I see a shadowy figure moving around the front of my hive. I dash to get my pistol-grip flashlight and illuminate the area. Wouldn't you know it, a skunk, busily stomping around in front of my hive. I have learned that skunks are avid bee-eaters and can wipe out a colony within two weeks.
Another mad dash, to the garage. Quickly I grabbed a mop, an empty cardboard box, and a bucket.
As I come flying from the house with my weapons in full force and in vigorous pursuit - I restrain my Battle Cry as I proceed towards the Vermin. However, it hears my approach and quickly turns to scurry off to the corner of the yard disappearing. Now completely vanished into the bushes - possibly under a newly burrowed access. This does not stop me from continuing throwing items and swinging my random weapons furiously - later on the neighbor told me I heard something last night - He thought it was a prowler jumping the fence - No, just an idiot running around in his underwear with cleaning supplies.
I do not have my hive up on a stand high enough to avoid this problem. The lore is that they won't stand up to eat bees - this will expose their soft belly to stinging. They'll scratch at the entrance to entice the guard bees to come out and then they will eat them. It's also good to note, that the ground directly in front of the hive may be cleaned and cleared of rubble which apparently is an area that they use to smash and eat. It was true, the area in front of the hive was all cleaned of normally chipped bark - now is bare dirt. In fact, this was not the skunks first visit. I have notice this clearing of the ground a few days earlier and now I know exactly why. I did an inspection of my hive and it did not have any claw scratches. However, lately during these hot evenings many of the bees have not gone inside. They just congregate on the front (bearding) and stay out all night and become an easy meal.
An interesting remedy I read, was to smash a couple of aspirin and put it into an egg. It seems that skunks find the eggs irresistible and eat them. I guess aspirin is toxic to them - the trap has been set ,we will soon see... Or maybe not see as the case may bee.
The bugger came back again. However this time I just watch him. Most of the time he is just randomly poking/digging around - he acts like he doesn't know what he's doing. When he sniffs closely at the entrance of the hive, he jumps back. He continued to stomp / scratch the ground around the front area of the hive - eating dead or dying bees - not the live ones. At one point he walked away scratching his face against the ground as if maybe one of them got him. He doesn't seem like a threat but I will keep an eye on them. I still have the trap ready and armed.
Oh, yeah - he totally ignored the egg!
old post on beesource.com
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