Chickens and Beehives

Dreamingofplenty

In the Brooder
Jun 5, 2017
10
3
21
I was reading that chickens and beehives can coexist quite well, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience keeping the two together. I understand that chickens will eat dead bees that appear around the hive, but can get into the habit of snatching bees out the air as they approach the hive entrance. Does anyone have any other general advice other than "keep the hive up high enough that the chickens can't cause trouble?"

Full disclosure: my plans are mostly theoretical at this point, so I can only provide specifics in very broad strokes.
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
I have a beehive and chickens, no issues at all. The bees do their thing, and the chickens free range right outside their hive and don't mess with them at all. Not even the dead bees. I also have a buddy with chickens and 8 hives, also no issues. Good luck with your plans!
 

sunshinebees

In the Brooder
May 16, 2017
4
0
15
Arlington, Wa
I run about 30 chickens and 20-200 beehives (depending on season) here on the farm. One of the queen mating yards is on concrete. Right now I have about 40 nucs (small hives) in that spot. The chickens love "working through" this area. They move through in a wave and clean up any bee on the concrete dead or alive. I've watched them many times and never witnessed them snatching bees from the air.
They live very well with each other.
 

Fairview01

Songster
Jan 26, 2017
1,047
1,471
226
Dallas, TX
I've watched a select few of my chickens snatch honey bees on the wing. The bees are no match for these guys. The marans and the broilers don't give a hoot and the heritage cornish seem to accept they are too big and slow to try but I have 3 P. Rocks that are in serious needs of OCD meds. I can tell when a honey bee flies in the coop because all hell will break loose. Same if they are outside. Those 3 will just plow through everybody like a guided missle and there are chickens in the air. Surely the energy they expend must be greater than one bee considering they aren't always successful and if one is the other 2 aren't.

I think those 3 are mentally unbalanced chickens.
 

Suzi18

Crossing the Road
Apr 4, 2017
3,715
20,949
846
Sandusky Ohio
I don't have bees but just happened upon this thread and I'm wondering....do the chickens ever get stung? My dog has been stung in the mouth trying to eat a bee ( a mistake he never repeated....ouch) so I'm just curious
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
25,580
15,909
766
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have had as many as a dozen hives in close proximity to penned chickens and free-range chickens. Chickens would consume grounded bees and also gleaned burr comb from brood. The chickens did not work areas close hives with as much effort I would like to see that might help control hive beetles.
 

Dreamingofplenty

In the Brooder
Jun 5, 2017
10
3
21
I don't have bees but just happened upon this thread and I'm wondering....do the chickens ever get stung? My dog has been stung in the mouth trying to eat a bee ( a mistake he never repeated....ouch) so I'm just curious
Thanks to everyone for all the info! I would guess that a chicken could crush a bee with its beak before it could get stung, but I honestly have no idea. (I'll edit my post if I find anything.)
 

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