That's a great question! Skunks are a common mammal that eat insects as their main diet, and beehives provide an invaluable source of seemingly endless protein. Skunks visit beehives at night, scratch at the entrance, drawing concerned bees to investigate the entrance, when they do, they are caught by the tongue of the skunk and consumed. Here are some easy, do-it-yourself tips to help skunk-proof your beehive.
- Elevate your hive. This would either be too tall for the skunk to stand up on its rear legs to get to the entrance, or, standing up exposes the soft/tender side of it's underbelly, allowing bees to sing it, forcing it to retreat.
- You can put a fence around your beehive, which will also help in keeping raccoon's from visiting.
- One trick is to put nails into a flat board (plywood, for example), and turn the sharp side up underneath the entrance. The skunk would not want to step on the sharp surface, but be careful as neither do you!
We hope this helps in preparing your beehive for spring!