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Woody Woodpecker

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essex boy 

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Hi All, I'm new to beekeeping and have recently finished a Beginners Beekeeping Theory Course via my local branch of the EBKA. I met up with an established beekeeper this weekend who has agreed to be my mentor and has agreed to let me keep a couple of hives adjacent to his on an apple tree farm. The location is ideal as it is only half a mile from where I live, but there is a problem......namely Woodpeckers. He has 3 hives at present and all have been pretty badly damaged by woodpeckers, quite large holes in some cases, but bee's still managing to survive a few extra drafty holes! I would like to know what anybody does or has done to prevent Woodpecker damage. I will have 2 brand new hives to locate in close vicinity to my mentors in April/May and won't appreciate damage to hives or bees by Woody and his friends. Any suggestions to deter or prevent woodpecker damage will be gratefully received. Regards to all, Alex
 

buffalow 

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Hi Essex boy

welcome to the forum,

1/2 inch wire netting around the hives works for me, no damage yet this year, lost three last year..
 

grizzly 

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buffalow's got it.
Best form of defence build a square frame, cover with mesh, hey presto, theres your removable woodpecker protection.
 

Joseph 

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buffalow's got it.
Best form of defence build a square frame, cover with mesh, hey presto, theres your removable woodpecker protection.
I have found today that I have lost one colony for the first time to a woodpecker. Do I really need to build a frame, or is wrapping each hive in chicken enough?
 

admin 

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I found a woodpecker stood on one of my hives last week,I checked all around and seem to have no damage.

I think a member said on the forum last year that woodpeckers learn to drill hives and once learned never forget,I must just be lucky so far as it lives about 20 feet from the hive on the river bank.
 

thurrock bees 

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use chicken wire with bamboo canes crossing the roof and poking tho the mesh holding it on.
 
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admin 

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I like your new avatar TB,reminds me that Spring will soon be here..
 

Hombre 

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I believe that woody to be only an over wintering or early spring problem?

I have read about wrapping with plastic and of netting etc, but how about shingles made from PET drinks bottles or polycarbonate sheet? Spaced off the surface slightly, by curvature or whatever, would it not be a bit like chobbham armour for hives, absorbing and defraying the penitrative effects of Woody's beak?

A sort of beek-anti-beak defence system if you will. :) I also read somewhere that 18mm WBP ply is apt to give woody a headache, but have to admit to having exactly no personal experience of warding off wood peckers.:)
 

admin 

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Did Heather post she uses cd's on string?
 

Norton 

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Birds beware

Hello,
For woodpeckers I suggest that you put a large blue plastic bag on or near each hive. You can also try hanging a couple of CDs around the hives. Birds seem to dislike the blue sacks and the CDs scare them. We use them here to keep birds away from fruit. You can also use strips of video tape or small mirrors.
Let us know if it works.
Best regards
Norton.
 

Bucks_Boy 

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Birds seem to dislike the blue sacks and the CDs scare them. We use them here to keep birds away from fruit. Best regards
Norton.
Here in Buckinghamshire the Wood Pidgeons are so vain they check their reflections in the CD's before eating my raspberries:(

Physical barrier or .22 rifle is only solution to a bird/squirrel/rabbit problem
 

sherwood 

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Here in Buckinghamshire the Wood Pidgeons are so vain they check their reflections in the CD's before eating my raspberries:(

Physical barrier or .22 rifle is only solution to a bird/squirrel/rabbit problem
Where abouts in Bucks is that Bucks Boy.

I had to secure one hive yesterday after green woodpecker damage 2 holes surprisingly enough not where the handles were.:cheers2:
 

Norton 

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OK..
When woody (woodpigeon) comes hopping along
..........................shoot the bastard:ack2:
 

Stiffy 

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OK..
When woody (woodpigeon) comes hopping along
..........................shoot the bastard:ack2:
Or as they do in Cyprus eat any bird that flies or happens to land on the island on migration http://www.conservation.org.cy/birds.htm I went there for years on holiday and to birdwatch until I discovered a series of nets and lime sticks!

To get back to he original question and I am not sure if this is true but dint woodpeckers have trouble with ply built hives
 

Joseph 

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So a few blue bags and some CD's will keep them away once they have tasted the hive contents? I wonder.

Does anyone have a picture of a chicken wire protection contraption they use? I am going to have to build 6 of them :(
 

admin 

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To get back to he original question and I am not sure if this is true but dint woodpeckers have trouble with ply built hives
From Wiki so it must be true:

The beak is relatively weak and used for pecking in soft wood only.
 

ian 

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Hi

I normally find chicken mesh more than adequate, and if birds are getting in then you've probably not wrapped the hive correctly. Plastic bags also work well, but if they are persistent why not try a combination of both.

Ply hives are not immune, we have some home made five frame nuc's and they are targeted on occasions.

It's funny how some sites never have an issue yet others are constantly plagued in the Winter, I think it's purely a learnt behaviour.


Regards Ian
 

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