Honeybees in the feeder

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Guardian, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Guardian

    Guardian New Egg

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    Has anyone seen this before? The 4 years I've been raising chickens, I've never encountered this, and I've had beehives on my property before too, but I don't have any active hives this year. I have two feeders and they're in both. I'd have to guess at least 50-75 of them.

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  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I always have bees in my pig feeder....not sure how different the ingredients are between pig chow and chicken chow - they look the same, but obviously it has some scent they seem to love!
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Anyone near you have hives?
    Curious what is your location/climate?

    I'd say those bees are hungry...I remember a story where someones feeders and waterers where just covered in bees..was a nearby bee keeper not feeding and watering his bees....they actually chewed thru a plastic waterer.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I saw a bunch of bees (not honey bees, not sure what kind) in my feeders yesterday. We’ve just come out of a few days where it never got above freezing, then had a nice warm-up. They obviously woke up hungry and liked the smell of the feed, some residue may have started to ferment. My chickens don’t always clean them out every day but I need to do that. Thanks for the post, I hadn’t though why the bees might be there. Those feeders will be emptied and cleaned up today.

    I don’t see bees in it the feed when flowers are blooming and all that, but there may not be many food sources available for them right now.
     
  5. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to keep bees and I agree, they are hungry. Probably ran out of food in the hive. On warm days when they can fly they come out and look around.

    We keep a small scrap of wood in our big stock tanks. It gives the bees a place to land and drink without getting drowned in the water. It's an easy thing to do and keeps the bees out of the water. In this case I think what they want is food, but putting a block of wood in your tank sometimes helps to move them out.

    Another thing you can do is mix up some hummingbird nectar, and put out a small bowl away from your feeders. If they really are hungry, they will prefer to dine on that. Again, put a block of wood, or a sponge or something, so the bees don't drown in the liquid. Might be a pain to feed them, but if they are really disturbing you by being in the feeders, it will most likely keep them out of there.
     
  6. Guardian

    Guardian New Egg

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    Oh, there are multiple beekeepers nearby, I have even kept bees, it's just that my two hives died out a couple of winters back and I haven't started back yet...very expensive.... but, anyway, I guess I'm dumbfounded by the fact that they are in the chicken feed. I can't imagine what they get. Thing is, my chickens won't go near the feeders. I figured they'd eat the bees, but, nope. They are free rangers, so food ain't a big issue, expect during the winter the bugs aren't plentiful and the feed is needed for a good supplement.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    That would be a good reason to mix up some sugar water(you'd have to research the best ratio for bees) and put it up high where the bees can get it but the chickens can't.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  8. Imthe1whoquacks

    Imthe1whoquacks Out Of The Brooder

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    I know I get bees in my cracked corn I feed to the wild birds every year. They roll around in it and everything.

    A little bit of research tells me that they are after the corn dust as a pollen substitute. This may be what's happening here.
     
  9. Guardian

    Guardian New Egg

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    Imthe1whoquacks... this could be, I keep my 3 grain scratch inside, but it may be the dust from the feed that they are after. I do use crumbles. I may need to hang some hummingbird feeders up with some sugar water to try and coax them away. From my experience in having bees though that getting them to change their location once they've found something is a different story. LOL.... I can't really move the feeders any distance, as they are placed under protection from the rain... I'll see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  10. TexasTony

    TexasTony Out Of The Brooder

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    I've got bees and chickens as well and have the exact same thing going on here in Texas right now. The bees don't have anything to eat/collect. They likely have honey in the hive (many hives do starve in long cold winters), but the scouts are out looking for anything and the powder in your feed is the best thing they've found.

    You can take 50% (by weight or volume) water & sugar. Just put it in a bowl with lots of rocks so you don't make a big bee drowning grave. And put it FAR from anywhere you might be because 5,000 bees will be there quickly. But note that if it gets cold, at some point the bees won't be able to take the sugar water. And after maybe a week the sugar-water will 'go bad'. But if you bees anywhere nearby, they'll suck it dry fast and give you a big 'THANKS'.

    Bee keeping is a fancinating hobby, but that's another discussion. Good luck.
     

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