Great Tits feeding their young on my bees.

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Gardenbees 

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Birds aren't too much of a problem in my garden except the year before last, when a jay took a liking to one of the hives - causing great annoyance to the bees, who took out their feelings on me.

We also have a pair of green woodpeckers very nearby, but they haven't shown an interest this year. They came hopping round investigating the previous winter when it was very cold, but the flappy black plastic I put over the hives seemed to put them off.

Personally I don't mind the odd flycatcher helping itself! Mr and Mrs Yaffle drilling a crater in the side of the hive is another matter....
 

Les 

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We also have a pair of green woodpeckers very nearby
Wouldn’t mind green woodpeckers as we have plenty of ants nests round the allotment – they would have to leave the bees alone though :)
 

Mart_got_hives 

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There's a nestbox in my garden that's been empty for 14 years. I'm pretty sure it's the presence of the 2 hives I got last summer that enticed a pair of blue tits to move in at last. I'm not worrying about predation too much tho.
 

REDWOOD 

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There are lots of birds of pray where my hives are, goshawks red kites sparrowhawks and I don't see many of the smaller feathered friends
 

YorkshireBees 

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Joking aside, yesterday whilst watching a hive from a distance I noticed two birds (sorry not an expert at identifying which ones but think they were blue tits) land near the hive in an apple tree. Once assured that I posed no threat as I didn't move they swooped down just ion front of the hive and then flew off. I think they were catching flying bees.

First time I have noticed this behavior.

Don't think I have to worry about them taking too many bees though as they didn't come back the rest of the time I was watching.
 

SteveJ 

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Sat here in my office I can watch Blackbird, Dunnocks, Sparrows, Tits (Blue, Great, Coal and Long Tail) all visiting the floor under my hive to pick up dead bees.

SteveJ
 

Gardenbees 

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One year later...

Remember this thread? Last year I had no obvious bird visitors to the apiary except for a jay... however, this year, a couple of great tits have really got their knees under the table, so to speak. They're there every day that the bees are flying, nipping up to the entrance as the bees emerge and swiping them. Looks like big bees... possibly they're going for drones? Either to avoid stings or just bag the biggest available prey. They appear to be nesting nearby. Unlike the jay, which provoked angry defensiveness from the bees, they great tits don't seem to be noticed much. I guess they're not really a threat to the hive, honey or brood, just to individual bees.

I've noticed other garden bird activity around the hives this year: sparrows picking up bits of dead bees & also, oddly, fragments of propolis. Not sure why they'd want that; possibly they're mistaking it for tasty crumbs?

Does anyone else get birds going after their bees?
(reports of bee-eaters from outside the UK are cheating!!)
 

Suzi Q 

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Bees going after birds! I had a small swarm out of a hive the other day, it landed in a nearby tree, and set off a squarking from three pidgeons, they had been roosting up there!
 

Chris58 

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Watched an Asian hornet hovering over the frames when I was checking the bees! So 2 traps later - Asian hornets 2, European 3!
Mind you with all the dead bodies I have this week from the starving hive (foul weather, but now hopefully sorted) birds, ants and everything else will have had a feast!
 

BILL.HEARD 

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Normally Tits and other birds raise their broods at a time when there is a plentiful supply of protein in the form of caterpillars, aphids etc. looking at my bird table and the way fat and mealworms are going down on a daily basis there is a real shortage in gardens. If the birds decide to take bees and other detritus from the front of hives good luck to them and it does help to keep hive entrances clean.
 

madasafish 

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We have raised 4 colonies of sparrows in our eaves ... fed on dead bees for the past 4 years..
 
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We have a pair of green falcons nesting in a quarry near here... and although I have seen some great tits and blue tits in the garden, nothing beats the buff orpingtons to the dead bees around the hives!


Coconuts?.... the birds seem to shy away from them !!
 

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