Skunks are going to be a problem where I keep my nucs no matter what I do. I’m trying to come up with some ways that let the bees take care of them. I thought I would make this post so that everyone might be able to recognize a skunk attack when you see one. For me it’s not hard, my workshop is situated right next to the nucs. The window is currently busted out (something I intend to rectify very soon). All I have to do is breath in the early morning air, and there it is, that unmistakable odor.
Lets say that your situation is different, lets say that you do not have the pleasure of just being able to smell the dirty scavengers. What do you look for? There are a few tell tale signs that I have noticed throughout the past couple of years. A matted down patch of grass in front of the hive for instance. This indicates that something has spent a considerable amount of time sitting in front of the hive.
The way skunks attack the hive is very subtle. They simply scratch at the entrance to entice a guard bee to do her “we could be under attach but I’m not sure yet” march around the entrance. Then the skunk will snatch up that guard bee, and that’s all she wrote. They do this over and over until their stinky little hearts are content. I personally have never had it happen, but supposedly a skunk can clean out an entire colony in one night.
This brings us to our last sure fire sign of a skunk attack. The scratch marks on the entrance. Coincidently, they will likely look like this:
Hopefully this helps anyone who thinks a skunk might be plaguing their apiary. If you like what you are reading please click the like button and subscribe. If you have any questions, or experience with skunks please share in the comments.
Thanks for reading.
If you have read this far into the post, just as a joke I would like you to comment the words “Stinky Skunk”. I just want to see who is paying attention.