Bees & Chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fanny's Mom, May 30, 2010.

  1. Fanny's Mom

    Fanny's Mom Out Of The Brooder

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    I killed my chickens! As you all may or may not know, in an effort to deal with small hive beetle, my chickens live peaceably with my bees, all fenced in by chain link fence in a run 9 X 50. Up until today, that is.
    On Inspection yesterday, I found a laying worker hive. I've done this before and, although it's a drag, I wasn't worried about it. Had it all planned out how I was going to do it. . .I would remove the hive down to the bottom board and immediately replace it with a box of comb, so that returning foragers would find their home when they got there (last time I did this, there was a pile of bees waiting for me to get back with the box!), then I would take the hive over to the other lot (500 ft away) to remove the bees so that the girls--all except the laying workers--would fly back home. Tonight I'd close up the entrance and then tomorrow, I would do a paper combine of these bees with another colony (a recent split) that has a good laying queen but is small in number (about 15,000). Sounds logical, no?
    Now to the meat of the matter. . .I did not smoke them because (1) I didn't smoke them last time and all went well, rationale being if you smoke them, they go into the honey cells and start gorging and it's difficult to get them out, and (2) I was moving the entire hive except for the bottom board, and wouldn't be disturbing them to any extend. Boy, was I wrong! The bees went into a frenzy and pelted me all the way to the other side of the property. I decided to go back and get my smoker before evicting them. When I got back to the apiary, I saw chickens laying all over the place and others running in a frenzy. They were covered with bees all over their eyes and wattles! :shock: I retrieved all of them, tossing them in the coop and closing the door. Once they were all in, I went into the coop--which, of course by now was also full of bees--and started retrieving chickens, three at a time, and carrying them to my garden shed. Once they were all in the shed, I went back out to open all the doors on the coop so the bees would leave and I noticed that all of the hives were in turmoil!!! That colony must have thrown out some pretty strong alarm pheromone!
    So now the chickens are in the garden shed. Three of the eight have died so far and I have one questionable. The other four look okay. . .so far. . .maybe the venom's just taking a little longer on them; I don't know. I removed as many stingers as I could. . .it's not easy. . .but I really wanted to get the stingers out and away from their eyes especially! I feel like a murderer.
    So, lessons learned: (1) next time, SMOKE!! and (2) from now on, put the chickens in the coop before working the bees *I never have before and there's never been a problem, but. . .).
     
  2. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Always use the smoker. Bees do not engorge as much as you think, a few puffs in the entrance, a few between the top cover and hive body as you are opening the hive is all it takes. If you have a hive infested with shb transfer unaffected frames into a new set up. Put the new set up where the old one was and you will get the returning foragers.

    Try and put something solid down like tar paper or gravel or even better yet, if you can place your hives on concrete or hard red clay, this will dramatically affect the life cycle of the shb and you won't have the problem you are having.

    You killed your chickens?


    ...JP
     
  3. Fanny's Mom

    Fanny's Mom Out Of The Brooder

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    JP33, I am not infested with shb. . .My property is chemical free and that's why the chickens are there. . .the chickens eat the larva. Research shows that a hard surface makes no difference because the SHB will pupate at the edge of the hard surface and fly back to the hives anyway. They tried it on a runway, and that's what happened.

    Many is the time I have not smoked. . .cleaning and refilling the west hive beetle traps, adding a queen excluder or super or top hive ventilator. . .as long as I'm not taking the hive apart, there's never been any need to smoke. Smoking sets them back 2 weeks and I try to avoid that if at all possible.

    But. . .If I'd smoked and if I'd closed up the chickens before working the bees, they'd still be alive, so, I killed my chickens.

    I've moved the girls back in their coop because it's cooler than the shed and they have cross ventilation. . .and I think they feel more comfortable "at home." But I think I'll leave them confined until tomorrow. At last look, the bees were still antsy (and 1:30 to 3:00 is their busiest time).
     
  4. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fanny's Mom :

    JP33, I am not infested with shb. . .My property is chemical free and that's why the chickens are there. . .the chickens eat the larva. Research shows that a hard surface makes no difference because the SHB will pupate at the edge of the hard surface and fly back to the hives anyway. They tried it on a runway, and that's what happened.

    Many is the time I have not smoked. . .cleaning and refilling the west hive beetle traps, adding a queen excluder or super or top hive ventilator. . .as long as I'm not taking the hive apart, there's never been any need to smoke. Smoking sets them back 2 weeks and I try to avoid that if at all possible.

    But. . .If I'd smoked and if I'd closed up the chickens before working the bees, they'd still be alive, so, I killed my chickens.

    I've moved the girls back in their coop because it's cooler than the shed and they have cross ventilation. . .and I think they feel more comfortable "at home." But I think I'll leave them confined until tomorrow. At last look, the bees were still antsy (and 1:30 to 3:00 is their busiest time).

    I beg to differ with that so called research because I have seen the proof in the pudding as for as surfaces under the hive go. As for smoking a hive sets them back two weeks, not true by a long shot.


    ...JP​
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  5. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So did you kill your chickens or not? And how did this happen?

    BTW, I have never used chemicals in any of my hives ever, either.


    ...JP
     
  6. Fanny's Mom

    Fanny's Mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Three chickens were stung to death. One is pretty well stung up around the eyes which are swollen shut. She can open one eye just a bit. I will hand feed her and give her water until she recovers. Wish I could give her benadryl
     
  7. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fanny's Mom :

    Three chickens were stung to death. One is pretty well stung up around the eyes which are swollen shut. She can open one eye just a bit. I will hand feed her and give her water until she recovers. Wish I could give her benadryl

    I am so sorry to hear that! Where are you located?


    ...JP​
     
  8. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    WestCentralWisconsin
    Oh my goodness! That is just aweful! So Sorry [​IMG]
     
  9. Fanny's Mom

    Fanny's Mom Out Of The Brooder

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    I live on the Crystal Coast in Williston, NC. I know you're thinking toward AHB, but that isn't it. I was in the hive yesterday with no problems; I mowed around the hives yesterday afternoon with no problems. This came out of the blue and I still can't figure out what caused it. It did teach me, however, to always have my smoker handy even if I don't use it. Several of my beekeep friends have been in touch regarding this situation and understand why I didn't smoke. They know my bees and how passive they usually are. The fact that they're penned in a chain link fence I can't imagine any critter aggravated them. Whatever, I lost 3 beautiful birds and I'm heartsick. The remaining five are pretty traumatized, too. I've got them cooped up and I'm hand feeding/watering the one who got stung so bad in the eyes that she can't open them. Hope they unswell soon. I'm concerned about her. She's in a nesting box which makes her feel safer. I had a girl one time who injured her eye. She spent 3 days in the nesting box until she felt confident enough to come out and face the world. I guess that's why they're called chickens.
     
  10. JP33

    JP33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wasn't thinking AHB per say was just wondering what your 20 was. I remove honeybees from structures 10 and a 1/2 months out of the year roughly, usually 130-150 per season, 200 in 2008. I specialize in live removal.

    I also am currently running around 65 hives. I have had two colonies, none of which were my own, tested for AHB and came up negative.

    Regular ole Europeans can be moody, and all bees can get moody depending on what's going on inside the colony and as you likely know, because of weather changes. I give hot colonies 4-5 inspections to prove their true colors and if they stay hot, I re-queen.

    Sorry you lost some chooks and some got stung up. My bees never did mess with my chickens, albeit the chickens never seemed all that interested in them.

    Hope you figure it all out.


    ...JP
     

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