I wanted to devote a few pics and words to this creature, the Honeybadger. There are 12 subspecies of badgers with most of them being in Africa. In South Africa in the Western Cape lives one kind. Although we love all kinds of animals, we have found them to be quite rude.
In South Africa we have an old expression in the Afrikaans language which translates ’tough as a honey badger’ for a very good reason. These fearless little buggers are known to pick a fight with anything from lions to snakes perhaps because they are thick skinned with a huge tolerance for pain when they get in a fight.
When we started with beekeeping, I had a mentor who lived on the neighbouring farm who is now retired in Cape Town. He taught about all the different animals and insects who will make the beekeeping experience a little tricky.
He recommended we make these wooden gum-pole stands which are most cost effective and seem to do the trick. It turns out, a 1 meter high stand is just high enough for the badger to scratch and grab hold on the top using his claws leaving his chin exposed where the bees can attack. This will work only if the relentless badger doesn’t manage to overthrow the whole thing!
Once the badger is able to get the hive onto the ground, it will gnaw away and the entrance, rip into the wood, tear off stainless steel sheets until parts of the hive become exposed. After that it’s all over. It will eat the larvae and honey until all the bees have been driven out leaving broken bits of a hive and hopefully the now traumatised swarm is still hanging in a nearby tree which I normally try relocate as soon as I can.