ATTEMPT BY RAT TO ACCESS BEE HIVE – 2nd wk in January 2014

Checking to see if a rat had gained access to the bee hive. The wire mesh floor had halted the rat - for now!

Checking to see if a rat had gained access to the bee hive. The wire mesh floor had halted the rat – for now!

I guess from a rat’s point of view, the honey stores in a bee hive, are a very attractive potential food source in the depths of winter. This only became immediately apparent the other day when Áine spotted a freshly gnawed part of the wooden frame on which the bee hive sits. The plastic inspection board which was previously under the mesh wire floor of the hive had been dislodged and was on the ground with tell-tale teeth marks in one corner.

A closer inspection was required so the bee suit was donned. No sign of a hole in the hive itself. Thankfully the cedar wood from which the brood box is constructed is one of the harder woods, but rats don’t give up. I’m thinking inverted flower pots on each leg of the wooden support frame which keeps the brood box off the ground might deter the climbing rats, or mice for that matter.

Meanwhile, if this is a problem you have encountered, I’d be interested to know if you have any suggestions to prevent rats getting access to a bee hive. Comments in reply to this post would be much appreciated.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Kathryn on January 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Big, slippery flower pots might help but rats are awfully determined once they have found a food source and I’ve seen them climbing plastic drain pipes. While it is easy enough to keep mice out using mouse guards the only thing I’ve ever heard of working if there is a rat around is poison in a lockable trap. I know that is no more your preferred solution than it would be mine but I can’t think of anything else that will keep a determined rat away. But don’t poison if you are lucky enough to have barn owls around – I’ve seen some UK data recently that suggests they are being poisoned by rat carcasses. And of course they are rat predators. If you know where your rats are based a terrier is a good bet. If one has enough cats to get every rat then there wouldn’t be a bird left for miles. It is a very hard balance to strike. Two of our three cats are good rodent hunters but they don’t even manage to keep the barn clear, however hard they try


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