-posted by Jayne
Earlier this week, Mason and I went out to look at the hives, and found some tracks in front of and around the hives. My first thought.... skunks.
Did you know that skunks love bees? I remember hearing once at a beekeeping conference that skunks can eat the entire population of a hive in just 3 nights. I also read on bee source that another sign that you have a skunk problem is little piles of dead bees, as the skunks suck out the juice and then spit them out. I have also heard that they eat the entire bee, and don't mind getting stung.
|Piles of dead bees: Skunk carnage.|
Breeding season for skunks is from February through May, and they can travel up to 5 miles during this time. We often start to smell skunks more often during this time of year, and see them around the farm. If you are a beekeeper, it is a good time to start monitoring your hives for skunk damage. I believe they are less of a threat when it is cold and the bees aren't flying, since they are less likely to come out to defend the hive. But the snow will help you see tracks from these predators, and monitor what is going on.