Raccoons, the Birds, and the Beez

I suppose that might sound like the title of a children’s book, or perhaps a suggestive play or novel. But no, this is a G-rated blog, and it’s just an update on the wildlife here at HA.

I started off Sunday morning with a cup of coffee, and a stroll around the grounds. My eyes were barely open when I saw the Havahart trap was closed, which usually means it is occupied. What wildlife was it this time?

It appears to be an adult raccoon. The other two I caught recently were youngsters. This one was bigger and heavier. I took it off to the HA retirement village, far enough away it will need bus fare to get back here!

 

adult raccoon waiting for release

As I was snapping photos of Rocky (or perhaps Rockette), I looked over and saw Mama bluebird perched on top of the nest box. She’s sitting on five eggs, her second attempt after raccoons trashed the first nest. How appropriate she should be watching this latest Raccoon event. Or perhaps she was just looking for breakfast – hard to tell that early in the morning.

 

female bluebird perched on nest box

If all goes well the eggs should begin hatching about May 28th or thereabouts, just in time for Memorial Day.

 

bluebird eggs in nest box

As for the bees, they are doing well. When I examined the hive yesterday, the queen was out of her cage. The bees had built some burr comb between the middle two frames, where I had positioned the queen cage. That was to be expected, since bees like to fill up any space larger than 3/8″ by building comb. There were three pieces, which I gently removed. Note to self: next time don’t remove it while standing over the open hive! One of the pieces fell into the hive and landed on the bottom board. I left that one for the bees to deal with.

 

the queen is gone, long live the queen

The bees were drawing out comb on the middle two frames. I did not see any eggs, or the queen, but I didn’t do a long search either so that’s not surprising. It was about 90F outside, and since I was suited up I was in a bit of a hurry. I didn’t take the camera for the same reason. I’ll check on them again today or tomorrow and go before it gets so hot.

 

May I please be excused now? I'm ready to go!

On another bee note, a local freelance writer (The Raven Lunatic)  is going to interview me this week for an article about getting into beekeeping. That should be fun. I assured her I was no expert, and she assured me that was ok. So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice (he said in his best Carl Spackler voice).

I hope everyone has a feel-great day!

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6 Responses to Raccoons, the Birds, and the Beez

  1. Wilderness says:

    I love reading your blog.
    Don’t be surprised if that raccoon gets its bus ticket. I had a 3 legged one that I caught and was taken away to another mountain about 2 miles from here and one day he reappeared or had a 3 legged twin.

    • Villager says:

      Nothing would surprise me here! I did take it about 5 miles away, which hopefully is far enough to keep it from coming back. I’ve seen 3 legged dogs, but I’ve never seen a 3 legged raccoon though. Glad you enjoy the blog!

  2. Aimee says:

    Lots of developments! I am happy that Lady Bluebird and her eggs have remained unscathed thus far…how ironic indeed that she got to see the raccoon in the trap, ready to be taken away. I know whatever will be will be, but I am sure hoping that those eggs will hatch and that those babies will make it!

    I’d love a post about your bluebird house – did you make it, and if so, how? From the photos it looks like birch, but I seem to remember you saying it’s actually PVC …am I imagining this?

    • Villager says:

      It is made from PVC, stained to make it look like birch. I bought the boxes from Steve Gilbertson. He sell’s them on this website. His story is really very interesting. And I can vouch for the PVC nest boxes. We had bluebirds use them at our MG Display Gardens a couple of years ago too.

      Needless to say I’m rooting for the bluebirds too. It is amazing to have them around. Whenever we see a little patch of blue fly by, or up in a tree, we know it’s usually them!

  3. Marcia says:

    So how long will it be before another raccoon takes on the territory? we have them here and see them frequently in the winter since they like to live under our deck. Summer I see evidence of them, like when they get into the pond to fish. That won’t happen now since the heron beat them to all the fish. Thought about traps but we’re in the woods they’ll always be another.

    • Villager says:

      It’s hard to say if another raccoon will move in. Three years ago we had a lot of groundhogs, but I trapped several of them and now they aren’t really a problem. So we will see if reducing the raccoons works the same way. They say nature abhors a vacuum, so I’m guessing something will move in!

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