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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by snoozy, Jun 23, 2004.
Does anybody (owls, snakes, badgers, ferrets, etc) eat bees?
Skunks. And black bears will eat the bees who are in the honey comb.
There's a bird that will sit at the entrance to the hive and snatch the bees as they come and go, but it's late, I'm tired, and drawing a blank. Also, mice can make real nuisances of themselves in the hives, usually in the winter. I think they eat grub (baby bees) and I know they chew up and destroy a lot of comb. That's in addition to the skunks and bears!
In this country, skunks and bears, and sometimes bluejays.
Blue jays very occasionally will sit on a fence post near the hive, watching for an unwary bee to grab.
Skunks hit at night. They scratch at the entrance of the hive, and when a bee comes to the entrance to see what is there, the skunk grabs it, kills it, and eats it. You know when a skunk has been at a hive because the front is covered in scratches and the bees are cranky. Bees GET cranky when they cannot sleep at night!
Sometimes the owner of the hive puts the hive on a step up, so that the skunk has to expose it's belly when it scratches at the entrance. They cannot sting through the skunks thick back fur, but the fur is thin at the skunks belly and if he has to reach up, he WILL get stung!
Bears, of course, smash the hive and eat the honeycomb, bees and all.
Aren't these beautiful birds?
Hornets are in the bee family, so I will throw in my story.
Last year we had a scarey number of hornets. They built nests everywhere, including the door of my car.
This year, we have chickens and there are only a few hornets who outsmart the chickens. My husband likes keeping chickens for the eggs, I like them as guard birds.
This is a great site on Bee enemies:
HOpe it helps. We and our Bees are in so much trouble these days! LQ
So, basically bears, skunks and blue jays? Don't they get stung?
No...not just those...there are also Ants, Predatory Wasps & Hornets, Mites, Lice, and the dreaded "Foul Brood".
As for the first three you mentioned, some do get stun, as already mentioned re the skunks.le and so expose the tender tummy to stinging. Bears are impervious to bee stings but fortunately there are not too many places where they are a problem. I wouldn't count Blue Jays as serious..they don't raid and destroy the hives or anything like that.
Here's another good web site:
Good luck, we sure need more bee keepers! LQ
Bears are ornery things and don't seem to mind if they get stung. They think the honey is worth it. They sure eat fast, though! :haha:
Skunks only seem to mind if they get stung on the tummy. A skunk will come back night after night unless they are stopped. When a beekeeper sees that skunks have been coming, they will either set a trap for the skunk or move the hive up so that the skunk cannot eat the bees without getting his tummy stung.