bees have just killed my chickens?

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steve115cbr 

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Dear all, I wonder if anyone of you can make sense of what has happened to me today. I am a second year newbie with two hives at the bottom of a fairly large garden shared with rabbits and chickens. generally I have had a good experience with my bees and am taking my basic exam later next week, however today has been a nightmare and I dont know what caused it.
the history is both my hives have new queens after an artificial swarm earlier in the year followed by my original Q going awol, with my swarm hive being much stronger than my original hive. yesterday I noted there were wasps everywhere and watched them entering both hives so I made two new entrance blocks with just enough room for a couple of bees to get through at a time. following this there seemed to be a lot more activity around both entrances but especially my stronger colony, I put this down to to just queing bees waiting to get in or out. Everying seemed well today until this afternoon I went to place the catch tray for my varoa floors. No sooner had I slid the tray in I heared them getting very active and flying outside of the hive. they went mad! They followed me up the garden and I could see them still coming out of the hive, they then focused there agression in my two chickens and stung them to such an extent thet they have both died, even now some four hours later, if I go anywhere near the hive they are following me and trying to get into my bee suit when normally they are very passive and I can normally walk past both hives without any problems whatsoever.
 

Roy S 

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They may be pretty agitated by the activity of the wasps and the newly restricted entrances, I'd open up the entrance block a lot more, if the bees cant get in and out quick enough it will make them a bit miffed to put it mildly

Mine are also really bringing in the nectar now after the recent rains, and hate anything getting in the way of their work.

If you are worried about wasps robbing then maybe set up a few wasp traps to take care of the problem?
 

grizzly 

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Ive no experience of it myself, but i have heard a good number of stories stating that Bees and Chickens dont mix, and should not be kept in close proximity.

Perhaps those with could clarify.

That must have been pretty awful to watch, sorry to hear it.
 

little blue 

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sorry to hear about your chickens, the bees must have been very cross.
my bees are already flying quite high by the time they reach the chooks so I hope that will reduce any potential problems...
 

trapperman 

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I have only had my hive since end of may on my smallholding with sheep not 15 foot from them and chickens running round and my geese seem to have taken to sleeping next to the hive for some reason, i havent had any probs as yet but this has got me thinking

i have planted a hedge around what will be my apairy but am thinking maybe a stock fence to as this sounds quite worrying
 

Foxylad 

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Sorry to hear about your chickens, must of been awful.

My chicken hutch is about 15ft from my apiary, where i keep around 30 mixed bantams mainly silky crosses. There always scratching round the stands picking up the bees cleaning. My stands are around 2 1\2 ft of the ground, i wonder if the hight of the hive makes a difference?
 

ferretgirl 

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So sorry to hear about ur chickens, RIP little chickens!

Hope u find out what has got the bees so mad!
 

freethorpe bees 

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So sorry to hear about your chickens - that must have been horrible. My hens are about 20 feet away from my hive in a very large run so I would hope they won't be bothered by them.

My bees were horrible to me last week - dreading the next time I go in there!

FB
 

zeeb 

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Our chickens are free roaming and will sometimes hide under the hives if they know we want to put them into their houses, knowing we will not approach too close without being suited.
had a horrible inspection too today aggressive and following for 20m+, took a few stings to the legs, so will now buy full suit to replace the jacket.

very sorry to hear about your chickens, and i will probably do more to separate ours during/after an inspection. the hens have already taken a couple of stings, and learnt not to actively hunt the bees.
 
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freckledbeck 

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That's dreadful!
I asked about keeping chickens close to bees at my beek course (because we have chickens & ducks) and was told they are fine to be kept together?!!
I'm worried now........
It must have been horrible to watch :( Poor things.
 

milkermel 

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as above simpathies with regard to the chooks. I have several chickens free ranging, but they pay little attention to my hives and vice versa. If the wasps are a problem try putting a pane of green house lent up against entrance at night, in the morning the bees fly out and around but it apparently stumps the wasps trying to fly in. I did this last year with a weak hive and it worked a treat.

might be worth a try.
 

steve115cbr 

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thanks everyone for your kind and informative reply's. if anyone ahs any other theories as to what happened please let me know. Roy I have indeed opened the entrance block back up as it was a lot quieter before and what you suggest does make sense, me messing about with their floor may well have been the trigger.
It's also good to see that I am not the only one that keeps bees and chickens close together and like most of you, up til now have not had any problems at all apart from the odd chase down the garden for getting too close but it was only ever one or two bees and they never stung my chickens before. today they seemed to be the inocent party in this and were nowhere near the hive when it kicked off. once the stinging started that was it ( Terrible!!! don't think I'll sleep much tonight!)
 

ian 

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Hi

We had 10+ hives in a fenced area with about 20 chickens and a v-large shed/hutch for many years with out any problems. An important point with keeping any animals near bees is give them the chance or space to get out the way. Animals in a hutch or small run have no where to hide.


Regards Ian
 

Poly Hive 

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The problem with bees and live stock & gardens is this.

Bees can and do kill.

A hard fact you are now face to face with and for that I empathise. Been there. Hence my continual warnings.

For the doubters out here, here you are. Reality.

PH
 

the naked beekeeper 

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So sorry to hear about your trauma(s).

For those reasons alone, i would never keep bees in any garden.
Even if they were good natured for 10years.
It only takes one (uncontrollable) thing to set them off, on one unfortunate day.
An aggressive full strength colony is very very scary indeed.

I thank them everytime I get stung as it reminds me never to be complacent and to remember they aren't fluffy little critters. It maintains my respect and caution with them.
Bees as PH said, can kill.
 

kazmcc 

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Why do I read this stuff? :leaving:

I did it with the stings sticky the night before my 2nd hive visit. Poly has been very good with explaining to me that a healthy fear is good, and to make sure you are completely protected just in case.

I feel so bad for the chickens, that must have been horrendous to watch, I'm now sure I would be able to go back to the hive after that :( but thats me, just getting over a buzzing things phobia lol

I know some types of bees are calmer than others, but it seems if all is not well in the hive, even the nicest, politest bees can turn. Is this a common occurence?
 

Hivemaker. 

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Bee's killed a horse and badly stung a second one, plus the owner, down my way a couple of seasons ago......
 

Poly Hive 

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I wonder if this info is on the Beehaus site?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

I challenged their rep at Stoneleigh to no avail.

PH
 

jezd 

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I wonder if this info is on the Beehaus site?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

I challenged their rep at Stoneleigh to no avail.

PH
When you say rep I think they may have been the director(s), they were there in force this year.

Nice guys really :)

Jez
 

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