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Hedgehogs and Honeybees as roomies

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Hedgehogs and Honeybees as roomies

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    Morning. I’m a newbie, so I’m sorry if this has been asked before, but I couldn’t see anything.
    I have three occupied honeybee hives in my garden. They’re all sited in what we call the island, which is an overgrown area about 2mx4m in the centre of a lawn. We also have a massive woodpile the extends around 20m down the side of the garden.
    Recently, I noticed what I thought were hedgehog poos near the hives, so I filled two little pots of mealworms and the last two mornings, not only were they gone, but the pots knocked over. Last night, I went out around 9.30 to fill the feeders and place a night vision, motion detection camera buy the pots. While there, I could hear loud snuffling and heavy breathing a meter away by the hives and lots of movement in the undergrowth. It was that much, it was like a scene from Jurassic park, waiting to see just what might come out. We sat down quietly, and within a couple of minutes out shuffled two small hogs. Over the next few minutes another small and a very large one also came out, with lots more movement in the undergrowth too. My children also heard activity around the the summerhouse at the end of the garden.
    Obviously I’m over the moon that my chaotic garden is home to so many hedgies, and we’ll guard them with our lives! But what I wanted to ask, is the relationship between hedgehogs and honeybees, as the appear to consider my bees quite a delicacy. Any thoughts?

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    Hi JulsCrazyBeeLady

    Welcome to the Forum.

    Sorry I don’t have any information about honey bees in relation to hedgehogs. There are lots of bees of all sorts in the garden but haven’t seen any hogs actually eat them, although bees (generally) are included in the chart of items eaten by hogs in Hedgehogs by Pat Morris – but forming a very small part of an average hedgehogs overall diet. It may be that if they are readily available that they would eat more, although, I imagine the bees are mostly tucked up inside when the hogs are about – but you would be betteer placed to tell us about that.

    There is just one thing, though. It may seem counter-intuitive, but mealworms are not good for hogs. It is in large part due to the phosphorous and calcium ratios. If hogs eat too many it can cause calcium to leach from the bones and cause brittle bone disease. They also have very little nutritional value for hogs and just to add to that hogs, especially youngsters, are inclined to become addicted to them and fill themselves up with mealworms at the expense of something more nutritious. Because of all these things, they should only ever be fed very infrequently in very small amounts. Probably best to avoid them completely. There are other things much better for them.

    These days, there are quite a few hedgehog foods available, but you can also feed cat or dog food, either wet or cat/kitten biscuits. The other really important thing is to provide water, which I tend to leave out for them 24 hours a day, just in case a dehydrated hog is in desperate need of a drink. I use plant saucers, the wider the dish the less likely they are to tip it over. (They are very good at tipping things over, as you have already discovered). They will frequently just walk right through the water. Make sure they are not so deep that a hoglet can become trapped.

    Really pleased to hear you have been enjoying seeing the hogs. Sounds a lovely place for them there. Look forward to hearing more about them in relation to the bees.


    Hi JulsCrazyBeeLady,

    how lovely to have bees – we were thinking about having a hive as we have moved somewhere that would give us the space and location to do this. we just don’t know enough about them yet to dive in, so more research required I think. A chap in our village sold his hives apparently just before we moved in – which I hadn’t appreciated people did – but guess that sort of thing happens too!
    From your detail above I was thinking it could simply be the environment you have on the island that is attractive to the hogs (?) – I don’t think they seek out bees or have a sweet tooth necessarily (although they do like a raisin apparently, even if not good for their teeth!)
    I had read recently – and hadn’t appreciated it being the case – but apparently badgers actively seek out bee hives in the wild as a food resource. I can only imagine the damage they cause – but, have you noticed any badger interest in your hives at all? definitely need to discourage them sharing an area anywhere near the hogs!

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