Friday, July 17, 2015

A Smart Critter is an Annoying Critter

At the Pines there are some pretty smart Raccoons.

I had thought I outsmarted them.  But they have proved me wrong.  Again.

Originally I would occasionally leave an empty sticky honey pail on top of a hive for the bees to lick out.  This would be a hive that was stacked five supers high or more.

I'd come back to the yard days later to find the pails licked clean, but on the ground.  I had secured them with bricks.  Many other times I've found the bricks on my hives pushed to the ground.

Recently I left an empty deep on the platform weighted with many bricks on top.  I came back to find all its frames strewed on the ground.  The raccoon(s) had rolled the deep repeatedly until the frames spilled out of it and then they chewed up the combs.

That was frustrating.

So then I had the ingenious idea to use an old rabbit hutch.  It has a cage front and I'd put stuff inside and the bees would fly in and lick things dry.  Perfect!

A few weeks ago, dad cleaned out the cappings tank and because of a pail shortage the cappings were put in a garbage bag.  I then took the bag to the Pines for the bees to lick the wax clean.

I put the garbage bag inside the rabbit hutch--the one with the locked cage front.

Last week I discovered the entire bag had been torn to shreds with pieces strewn on the ground.  Not a single piece of wax remained.  The little beggars had somehow stuck their paws through the bars and pulled the bag to the edge where they were able to shred it.

They had eaten a whole season's worth of beeswax.

I could only hope it gave them indigestion.
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