Woodpecker protection

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

steve_e 

House Bee
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
251
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Hi -
I've just moved my hives to a temporary place where there are apparently plenty of woodpeckers. Can anyone tell me (or preferably show me a picture) how to protect the hives with chicken wire please?

eg, should it be tightly wrapped or held out from the walls. If so how.

Thanks!
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,309
Reaction score
9
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
You are unlikely to have any problems at this time of year Steve,and maybe never,i have apairies that have several woodpeckers in residence with no problems at all,even in the depths of winter.....but plastic sheeting pinned to the sides of the hives works if there should be a problem.
 

wilderness 

House Bee
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Messages
416
Reaction score
1
Location
South Oxfordshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4 + 1 nucs
I use 1m high chicken wire (~1cm x ~2cm rectangular section) and bend 4 right angles into a length ~2m so it is free-standing. Just tie the edges with wire or string. This leaves about 15cm gap (longer than woodpecker beak) all round the hive and rest another square of wire on the top.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,528
Reaction score
27
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
Hi -
I've just moved my hives to a temporary place where there are apparently plenty of woodpeckers. Can anyone tell me (or preferably show me a picture) how to protect the hives with chicken wire please?

eg, should it be tightly wrapped or held out from the walls. If so how.

Thanks!
http://blog.mbbka.org.uk/2010/01/24/apiary-visit-24th-january/woodpecker-protection/

but saying that i use heavy duty black plastic damp proof memebrame held on by roof from floor to floor on all side with a hole for the entrance
 

Nellie 

Field Bee
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
627
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
3
Old Fertlliser/animal feed sacks is what's recommended round these parts.

Cut them in half and drawing pin them to the top of the crown board. The flap that's covering the entrance should be trimmed back so that it just comes down to, but doesn't cover the entrance. Then stick the roof back on.

It's thicker plastic so it wont tear as easily as bin bags but protects the wood and the woodpeckers can't grab on to the plastic.

Much easier to sort out than chicken wire which, if you get it wrong, gives a great perch for a woodpecker to have a go at the side of your hive.

You are unlikely to have any problems at this time of year Steve,and maybe never,i have apairies that have several woodpeckers in residence with no problems at all,even in the depths of winter.....but plastic sheeting pinned to the sides of the hives works if there should be a problem.
I was told (and only just put a hive where woodpeckers are likely to be a problem so not verified this yet) that they aren't a problem until they are; if that makes sense. Once they figure out that your hives contain a tasty meal then you not only have that woodpecker to deal with but they "tell" all the other woodpeckers around that your beehives contain lunch.
 
Last edited:

steve_e 

House Bee
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
251
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Great replies, thanks people! They're only there temporarily so I'll probably take your advice hivekeeper and hope that this time of year I'll be ok. I'll keep an eye out though and move in with the other solutions if necessary.
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,309
Reaction score
9
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
Nellie,i suppose thats a bit like being run over by a car,it's not much of a problem,then all of a sudden.....splat....don't think the woodpeckers tell each other as such...or they would all know about it,but believe its hereditary once they learn the trick.
Tits are amusing as well,they spend most of there days playing chicken in front the hive's, picking up bee's.
 
Last edited:

rae 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
826
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Our green wood peckers (and we have a lot of them) have certainly learned this trick. I used 1" weldmesh and welded up a cage with a decent gap between the mesh and the hive. Thus they can't use the mesh as a handy perch to batter the hive from.
 

keithgrimes 

Field Bee
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
615
Reaction score
0
Location
Northumberland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
I was told (don't know if its true) that only Green Woodpeckers are a problem.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,528
Reaction score
27
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
I was told (don't know if its true) that only Green Woodpeckers are a problem.
i'll paint the one near me blue and see if it stops being a problem ;)


yep woodpeckers green are BZZZstard, never had problems with the other black and white ones
 

Nellie 

Field Bee
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
627
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
3
Nellie,i suppose thats a bit like being run over by a car,it's not much of a problem,then all of a sudden.....splat....don't think the woodpeckers tell each other as such...or they would all know about it,but believe its hereditary once they learn the trick.
Tits are amusing as well,they spend most of there days playing chicken in front the hive's, picking up bee's.
Hive, I'm only going on what I'm told, once one local woodpecker learns the trick they apparently communicate this around to the other local woodpeckers and offspring. I'm no expert on woodpeckers nor have direct experience (yet) but that's what I'm told.
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,309
Reaction score
9
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
In which case every woodpeker in the country would be doing it,but they are not,even athough they have had over 100 years or so to pass the message around.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,747
Reaction score
165
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
I would think the audio from a woodpecker, obviously hard at work in the middle of winter is going to catch the attention of any other woodpecker in hearing range. Fairly simples.

RAB
 

rae 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
826
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Hive, I'm only going on what I'm told, once one local woodpecker learns the trick they apparently communicate this around to the other local woodpeckers and offspring. I'm no expert on woodpeckers nor have direct experience (yet) but that's what I'm told.
I think, like crows, it is a case of "show and tell" rather than "chalk and talk". Once a woodpecker sees his mum get a load of honey and grubs out of the small square tree, he remembers that small square trees represent a pretty good, if high risk dinner.
 

Chris Luck 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
2,538
Reaction score
0
Location
Vienne, 86400, France
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
Less than 100
I have Green woodpecker, Greater spotted woodpecker and Lesser spotted woodpecker all living and breeding on my land - never a problem with them. One woodpecker that could be more of an issue, but you don't have it in the UK, is the Black woodpecker, but even here in France I've never heard of one being a problem for a hive. Perhaps there is a greater abundance of food here in general.

The Green woodpeckers on my land come down all the time round the hives to eat from the ant hills.

Chris
 

Stiffy 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
2,286
Reaction score
8
Location
Kernow
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
50+
I have Green woodpecker, Greater spotted woodpecker and Lesser spotted woodpecker all living and breeding on my land - never a problem with them. One woodpecker that could be more of an issue, but you don't have it in the UK, is the Black woodpecker, but even here in France I've never heard of one being a problem for a hive. Perhaps there is a greater abundance of food here in general.

The Green woodpeckers on my land come down all the time round the hives to eat from the ant hills.

Chris
'Lesser spotted and black woodpecker'
Lucky man, lesser spotted are as their name suggests, very rare here now. Black woodpecker is one of the birds expected to make the 'jump' over the channel in future.

Not tried this as I dont have a problem with woodpeckers but have been told that if you change hive body to Ply for a season they soon learn that its not easily penetrated and will in future shy away.

Cheers
 

keithgrimes 

Field Bee
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
615
Reaction score
0
Location
Northumberland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Woodpecker damage at an apiary near Kidderminster. Apparently the high risk period is February, presumably when food is in short supply.
 

Latest posts

Top