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

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

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Are you sure they're honey bees and not meat bees? i'm not actually sure what their official name is, but they're a little larger than honey bees. i remember camping one time they were constantly after our food. i was mashing up guacamole at one point and they kept swarming the bowl. i got so mad i just mashed them up in the guac. Of course, couldn't eat it after that.

    The solution we came up with was to put a sacrificial dish of food a ways away for them to hum around, so we could eat in peace.
  2. AMM

    AMM New Egg

    Dec 16, 2009
    I think they're honey bees...but I'm not sure. I tried to watch where they went when they left in the evening. Seems they're heading south, and I know there's a dozen hives next to a cotton field about 1/4 mi away to the south. I remember seeing tubs on top of the hives at times during the year, there are no tubs now. Perhaps those bees are active because of the weather and they need feeding. I wish I knew who's bee's they were!
    Yesterday I only fed the chickens whole grains and some scraps. Not a balanced meal, but hopefully with no crumbly soy the bee's will leave. There were *less* bees yesterday. I'll see how it goes today. I found some whole grain soy free organic feed online (scratchandpeck). It's pricy with shipping but hopefully that will help. Thanks everyone for your ideas!!!
    Oh, and it's supposed to get cold tomorrow (today will be in the 70's), so maybe that will help too.
  3. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2010
    How strange! Good idea pulling the food for a few days, once it disappears, I bet they will move on to greener pastures.
  4. Ellie

    Ellie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2007
    Redding, Ca.
    I have noticed the very same thing and what we have in common is the chick starter. That is the one they are after. There are maybe 10 of them eating off the dish with the chick starter in it.

    There won't be pollen here for several months. Maybe I should leave some chick food out for the poor bees after my chicks grow and no longer need it.
  5. Chicos Mama

    Chicos Mama Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 24, 2010
    Payson, Arizona
    I have GOBS of Bees right now! [​IMG]
    I live in Arizona so its warming up a bit...around 70 now...and for the last week Bees have been invading my Chickens food as well!
    I feed Turkey Gamebird (for the ducks) Layer Crumble and Scratch for the Chickens... ALL the bowls are full of bees all day.
    They dont seem to have a preferance as to any particular kind of food their going for either. We have a neighbor about 1/4 mile up the road with a hive, so im assuming they are comming over from there. Honeybees!
    Strange thing though...they arent the least bit interested in my Goat feeds which has Molassass all in it?!
    I tried putting a bowl about 50 yards from the coop...and they just were in BOTH places now!
    Any other ideas? [​IMG]
  6. AMM

    AMM New Egg

    Dec 16, 2009
    My bee problem is worse than ever now. I did change feed - no soy - but it hasn't stopped them. We're thinking about covering the coop and pen with some sort of screen. Maybe modifying one of those huge camping tents that are mostly screen. Or we were thinking of covering the pop door with some sort of screen flap and put the feed in the coop. I actually feel sorry for the bees - they must be starving. This is our first year with chickens but I've got to imagine it's a common problem especially in the southern states. There must be some more ideas out there - anyone?
  7. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2008
    I wonder if what you are seeing are not bees but a type of fly...the black soldier fly. It's not really a "bad guy" either. And the darn things do sound and look like a bee or wasp.

    article and pictures

    This one shows larvae hatching out, but you can hear the sound the adults make in the background and they do buzz like bees...

    the larvae...

    larvae being raised on grain

    I would think if this is what they are, your chickens would be wolfing them down though.

    If this is not what they are, and they are honey bees, I would find some other way of control besides killing or poisoning. Honey bees are still trying to make a come-back after the devastation of the mites, colony collapse and other maladies they have been plagued with in recent years. We really need these little guys to increase their numbers.
  8. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    I was reading that they are actually after the dust from the feed, as a replacement for pollen they're not finding elsewhere. The very last post in this old thread had some interesting insight on it too:
    chickens always gobbled up bees, but if I had a hive near me and was getting bombarded with bees, I'd think about talking to the hive keeper. I'm sure they want to keep their bees alive. Maybe leave a note for them if you can't find them? Being scared of bees I'd have to tie a note to stone and toss it that direction. [​IMG]
  9. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2010
    Going along with talking to the owner, they make pollen substitute feed for honey bees, maybe he would be willing to put some in his hives. It would be in his best interest to, to keep his bees alive. You could also buy some and put it nearby to distract from the chicken feed, the pre-made patties are only $2 or so at a beekeeping supply store (if you have one nearby).
  10. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    That's weird. I don't know about chickens and bees, but once when I though about trying a bee hive, I was told my guineas would sit at the entrance of the nest and just eat bees all day.

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