Bee carcasses found on top of hives

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by Bigwig, May 4, 2011.

  1. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    I'm a new beekeeper this year with two hives. They are located on the edge some pine woods facing out into a wooded meadow. The area is known to have skunks, foxes, and possum. My hives are up at least 8-10" of the ground on cinder blocks.

    This evening I went out to take a look and I discovered the broken and dismembered body parts of bees left sitting on top of the outer covers of both hives. It was getting late (and cold) so I didn't do the most thorough inspection, but I did not notice any sign of an animal on the ground. Plus, the bee parts were on top of the hives. There was also some recently laid bird droppings on the top, so is it possible a bird was sitting up there, picking off my bees?

    Thanks
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Re: Bee carasses found on top of hives

    Yes there are a couple of birds that will pick off your bees.

    Hello and welcome to the forum :wave:
     

  3. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    birds tend to eat the entire bee... I think maybe you've got birds AND wasps. Wasps will also pick off bees, but instead of eating the whole bee, they only take the thorax and leave the head, abdomen, legs and wings. They take the thorax specifically for the flight muscles and feed them to their young. It's common for wasps and hornets to pick off a few bees, and normally it's not a problem, but if there is a large hornets nest nearby, they may be heavily preying on the bees and they can destroy a hive. The birds may have shown up to eat the leftovers that the wasps weren't taking to feed their young. Most birds that prey on bees typically don't land on the hive, but will catch the bees as they fly through the air.

    You might check through the body parts and see if you can find any thoraxes... if there is everything but thoraxes there, then you've most likely got a wasp / hornet next preying on your bees. Or just watch the hive tomorrow to see what comes around to feast on your bees.
     
  4. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

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    I've got several lizards that are always hanging around my hives,I'm not sure if they eat the bees.
     
  5. kelkes

    kelkes New Member

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    if you have a problem with skunks and other animals you may want to try this take some carpet tackstrip and nail them to a pcs of plywood and lay it in front of the hive when the animal comes up and steps on the tackstrips they will not hang around long .
     
  6. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    Thanks everyone. The remains were almost exclusively abdomens and detached legs. But, thankfully, it only happend that one time. There are skunks in the area but so far no issues.

    -Bigwig