New neighbor has bees, I have some questions. Any beekeepers, please help!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by happy-bird, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. happy-bird

    happy-bird Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Hello! We just moved a couple weeks ago (the chickens have settled nicely into the garage until the snow melts), and my neighbor has bees. We are seeing lots and lots of bees on sunny days. It seems like too many bees. When I was a kid, my friend's parents had three hives and I do not remember large amounts of bees flying around. Cleaning the new house, I found drifts of dead bees in each window sill. One day last week, they swarmed on my friend's truck for a couple hours, and yesterday there were several dozen (probably more than 100, it was a lot) in our garage while we had the door open. Is this normal? I am wondering if the neighbor (who is actually our landlord) is doing something incorrectly, but I have no clue.

    Fortunately, none of us are allergic and the chickens seem okay, but something seems off. I really do not want hundreds of bees flying around my house all the time, or building nests in inappropriate places. Does their behavior sound like they are looking for a new place to build a hive? The bees are very interested in our new chicken coop.

    I bookmarked a list of nectar-producing plants bees like and am thinking of planting some way across the yard, near the property line. Will this redirect the bees, assuming they are looking for nectar? There is a pond for the cows, so there is plenty of water available, plus all the melting snow is puddled everywhere. Is there anything else I could do to redirect them? I have nightmares about taking the siding off the house and finding a humongous honeycomb. [​IMG]

    Also, can the chickens eat freshly dead bees?

    Thanks in advance for any advice. [​IMG]
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Melrose Park Illinois
    Sounds like maybe the home you are in cant hold on to tenants long. I do not know very much about bees, though I have a friend that does keep bees. He is among farms. Just a bit of reassurance about honey bees. If you don't bother them, then they will not bother you. For the most part. Ask your landlord all the questions you may have about bees. Research more about bees on your own. The more informed you are the more confident you will be. As to chickens eating bees, I see no problem. dead ones wont hurt, and no way to prevent them from doing it anyway.
    WISHING YOU BEST.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. happy-bird

    happy-bird Out Of The Brooder

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    We were inundated with bees again today. They took over the garage to the point I had to close to garage door and get out the fly swatter to kill all the ones stuck inside. I did try to shoo them out but it did not work well. I killed dozens of bees. :( Our coop and Silkie pen are temporarily in the garage until the weather gets better and bees were all over the coop. It must be the freshly cut wood attracting them.
    I've been looking online and know a lot more about beekeeping now, but, of course, I couldn't find what I was looking for anywhere. I hate that my chickens missed out on some of their currently limited sunshine and fresh air today because of these bees. My dogs were even trying to snap them out of the air when we went outside. It's too much.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  4. Chickie Pia

    Chickie Pia Out Of The Brooder

    That sounds awful. Sorry, I don't have any advice other then talking to the landlord.
     
  5. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Escanaba, MI
    Probably a silly question, but it is valid because not everyone knows the difference. Are you sure these are honeybees you are dealing with? Quite a few people out there cannot tell the difference between a honeybee, any kind of hornet, any kind of wasps, bumblebees, mason bees, etc. I'm NOT calling you stupid, so don't take it that way. I've just encountered it enough times that I need to ask.

    Can you take a picture of the dead insects you are finding?
     
  6. ChickenWing

    ChickenWing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have anything sweet in your garage? open soda cans? anything spilled on the floor? Honey? LOL I've had this happen in my garage before, and it was because I had left an old honeycomb (I'm a beekeeper) sitting in the garage and left the door open. If just one bee finds it, she will go back and tell the others where it is and they will all come to get it. See what you have in your garage, get rid of it, and in a couple days the bees will stop visiting.

    If they are making a hive in your wall, you will see where they are gong in and out, they wont just fly all over. Is the fresh cut wood sappy? maybe thats it. I've kept chickens and bees together with no issues for the chickens. But sometimes they would catch the bees on the side of the hives and eat them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  7. happy-bird

    happy-bird Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 14, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Thanks for the responses. We do have lumber in the garage, but it is not particularly sappy, as most of it it sat outside for a year. There are some freshly cut ends on it from building the new chicken coop. Other than that, there is nothing else sweet in the garage. Will planting some annuals and perennials bees like, far from the house, encourage them to go over there?
    I feel better knowing they cannot hurt the chickens, I was worried about my little Silkies. The bees seem fairly unaggressive in general, there are just so many of them. Here is a photo (my photo editor had a handy honeycomb template[​IMG]):
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenWing

    ChickenWing Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are definitely honeybees, but I could tell that from your description of their behavior. Did you give the chick's any sugar water or fruit? I don't know what they're after but it sound like foraging a known food source. When the flowers bloom they will probably prefer that, but it depends what they are finding in your garage.
     

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