Friends of the Hive – Part 2

A few months ago I wrote a post about some critters that like to hide in or around our beehives.  Well here are a few more to add to the list.

Southern Black Racer

Southern Black Racer

The Southern Black Racer is a common snake here in the Southeast.  Adult racers are usually 24–55 inches (0.6 – 1.4 m) long.  They are active during the day when it is warm and will eat lizards, frogs, insects and rodents. They are not venomous, but they can bite if they are cornered or feel threatened.

This one was relaxing on top of an empty pallet next to a few of our hives.

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Adult – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Nymphs - Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

Nymphs – Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is a very colorful and large grasshopper, reaching almost 3 inches (8 cm) in size.  It is native to the southeastern and south central US.  The young nymphs are black with bright yellow or orange stripes and as they grow they change color. They feed mainly on shrubs and grasses.

You can see how large the adult is compared to a few bees in the background. It does not bother the bees at all, it was just hanging out in the sun.

Pink-striped Oakworm Caterpillar

Pink-striped Oakworm Caterpillar

We keep some of our beehives under the shade of a few oak trees.  I noticed what looked like caterpillar droppings on top of our hives and shortly after this caterpillar dropped down from the tree.  The Pink-striped Oakworm caterpillar turns into a colorful pink/orange moth.  And guess what they eat?  Yes, you got it – oak tree leaves.