Bee’s in the chicken feed – should I worry?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AMM, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. AMM

    AMM New Egg

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    Dec 16, 2009
    Hi Folks,
    For the last week or so there’s been bees in the chicken feed (lots!). The chickens don’t seem to like it and avoid the feeder. Once the sun starts to go down and the bees leave the chickens rush to the feeder to start eating…poor things [​IMG]. We live in southern NM so we have to worry about Africanized bees. They appear to be honey bees, but I have no idea where the hive is. I’ve tried to watch where the bees are flying to, but there are too many trees in the area. So far the bees don’t appear to be aggressive. This is our first year with chickens and we had no trouble all spring and summer. Should I just let the bees have their fill? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Angie
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Thats odd, unless there is damp feed and the fermintation is attracting them.

    Is that possible in your case mabe?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  3. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    Yes that is strange. What kind of feed do you use ~ is it sweetened in some manner? I raise honeybees and have 7 hives only about 150' from my chickens and have never seen the bees show any interest in the chicken food.

    [​IMG] from PA
     
  4. AMM

    AMM New Egg

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    Dec 16, 2009
    No damp feed. I feed a mix of chick starter with other grains. They seem to be going after the starter feed - the real crumbly parts. I know there is some soy in the starter feed - maybe they're after the protein?
     
  5. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    The soy is probably what they are looking for. Soy flour is an ingredient in pollen substitute used to supplement protein for honeybees.

    You may consider supplying a small amount of the starter feed in a dish outside of the chicken's area in the direction the bees seem to be flying. Make it a little more attractive to them by adding a small amount of honey or sugar syrup to it. Putting it in a brightly (flower) colored dish may also help draw them away from the chickens food.
     
  6. AMM

    AMM New Egg

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    Dec 16, 2009
    Thanks for the advice!!
    I was wondering if I just fed the chickens some whole grains/scraps for a few days would that cause the bees to look elsewhere? Or will they keep coming back to check for the soy?

    I wish I could find a good soy free organic chicken feed but I haven't had any luck with that yet.
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Interesting. I've also had several bees hanging around my chicken feed lately, and was wondering why. Never seen it before.
     
  8. AMM

    AMM New Egg

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    Dec 16, 2009
    I know we're having unseasonably warm weather right now. I wonder if that's it?
     
  9. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    If you are having warmer than usual weather they may have decided to start rearing brood early in which case they would need a good source of protein to feed the larva.
     
  10. WillieBoy

    WillieBoy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, they are after the protein in the crumble.I have a few hives of honeybees and when pollen is in short supply, they will seek out my hens laying mash.Even if they are Africanized, the usaully only attack people when they get to close or disturb their hive.They aren't much of a threat when they are out foraging for pollen/necter.If you do locate the hive,be very careful.Honeybees do not like funny odors(body odor,perfume, passing gas) or loud noises.That goes for Africanzed or not.If you want to get rid of them, have an experienced beekeeper remove them. If you don't know what your doing, it can be very dangerous and deadly if you screw up.
    Once their is a pollen flow going they will likely leave your hens feed.As suggested, you can put out some feed to distract the bees from your hens feeding area, but they may still go to the hens feeding area.They may also be interested in the hens water. Good luck, keep us posted...!
     

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