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Thread: Bees and Horses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Leonardtown, Md, USA
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    235

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    Big Question,

    My friend knows someone who has a horse farm that raises Arabian Horses.
    We want to ask him if he would let us use a small part of his farms to put some hives.
    His friend is interested in the idea.

    I mentioned this to some members of my bee club and they said very adamantly that bees and horses do not mix. They said that the horses have bad reactions to stings and could die.

    First time I ever heard about this. I know some of you have horses and bees.. Are these issues true? Should I even bother asking this guy? DOn't want to be responsible for killing a million dollar horse...


    THanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
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    491

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    Bees do not like the smell of horse sweat, and they will sting horses.

    Ordinarily this is not a problem if the horses can get away, but I lost a pony many years ago when she was penned and brushed against a hive. She could not get far enough away and died.


    Ox

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA, USA
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    182

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    Uh-oh, I may have the same problem. We are putting a horse fence around our back pasture. The edge of the fencing will be about ten feet from the boxes and the boxes are pointed towards the pasture and fence. Then a new barn for our Anglo-Arab will be built about fifty feet away. The bees usually head straight out of the boxes and stay low over the pasture and then gain their elevation. How much distance and running room is enough. Jeez, with so many people putting boxes next to houses and the such, I didn't think the barn may be a problem. MB- you've got horses, what's your take on this??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
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    716

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    I had bees near horses with no problem but the hives were weak when I sold the horses. The closest a horse could get was 30 feet to the nearest of the 2 hives. I had to walk the horses right behind the hives to get them out of that lot and never incounter a problem there either.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    5,159

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    I was in the dog house last winter with my family. Seemed every day the temp got above 45 degrees, the bees were all over the horse feed. They would sting the horses muzzles and would not let them eat.

    I told them to feed before the temperature got warm, but Noooo, they were too lazy to get up and out that early. I put powdered pollen subsitute out in a communal feeder and all turned out ok. I just had to put up with a bunch of whinning.

    As long as the horses can't rub on the hives and knock them over, and the horses are not penned up when they do, they should be fine.

    [This message has been edited by BULLSEYE BILL (edited September 24, 2004).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
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    491

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    Yes, if the horses can run away and do not rub up against the hives they should be fine. Even thirty feet from the hives should be a safe distance.

    Fighing over feed is another matter. Even then it would be a matter of the horses not getting their feed rather than a life-threatening problem. I suspect the bees were after the molasses in the feed.
    Ox

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,810

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    I have had as many as four horses (all black)and am now back down to two pregnant mares. I have about 40 hives/nucs here right now. You HAVE to have them fenced off or the horses will rub on them or knock them down. Mine have gotten into the fences off area twice and kocked over virtually every hive. No horses have died. The horses will actually graze directly in front of the hives with no problems. When I had the buckfasts that went phsyco a few years ago, you could see that the horses would get stung, the horses would just try to keep their distance to where the bees wouldn't bother them.

    These are the only problems I've had. Just fence the hives off and they will coexist just fine.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I suppose I should also say they horses have to be able to get away from the bees. It's not wise to have a hive near horses that can't run away anywhere.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Leonardtown, Md, USA
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    Thanks. But do horses die from bee stings?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    central, IL.
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    42

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    i have 2 horses that feed in a area where they get to within 10 feet from 10 hives and they do fine, every once in awhile they get stung just like we do. must not bother them to much cause they go right back.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Freedom, PA USA
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    222

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    I take my horse out and let her eat right in front of the hive. It keeps pap from having to mow around it. I auctually stand with the horse between me and the hive so the bees fly over, or into, the horse and not into me. But I never let her off the lead, I could see her knocking down the hive.

    Our cows also really like the hive. The hive is only about 1 foot away from their fence. The cows come over when I am checking the hive, or fogging, and I don't think they have ever gotten stung. I don't think the bees have bothered their feed either (we feed them sweet feed) But I also think if the bee was on the cows feed the cow would just eat it anyway

    I would say, though, if the people that own the horses even consider the bees an issue, or think that horses could die from a sting I wouldn't put a hive on their land. People today are so sue crazy. The horse could run thru the pasture and break its leg and blame you saying that "the bees chased the horse" or the like.

    [This message has been edited by Rooster4473 (edited September 25, 2004).]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Thanks. But do horses die from bee stings?

    A horse that is tied up or confined too close to a hive and the hive is a bit hot and starts stinging the horse and the horse can't run away, could result in a dead horse. A horse that can run away, will simply run when stung and the bees will not chase them more than a few feet, normally, and a really hot hive will not chase them more than a few yards.

    My horses are worth about $25,000 a piece and I wouldn't let them close to the hives if I felt they were in any danger of being killed by the bees.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
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    796

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    It is possible for a horse to have a similar allergic reaction to a bee sting that some people have. There are even some horses that are allergic to hay and have to eat pellet feed.

    But, such a serve reaction that would result in the death of the horse would be about as rare as it would be in people.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
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    491

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    Yes, ****** , horses CAN die from stings. Read my post above.

    Just as so many others have said, it is likely to be fatal only when the horse cannot get away and gets stung many times. A horse that knocks over a hive and can run a hundred yards away is not in much danger.
    Ox

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    514

    Angry

    Apologies to all other horse owners out there, but there is one in my vicinity that is not real popular with me right now. Here's the story: a couple contacted me and asked me to put bees on their property (heavily wooded area with a clearing in the middle of it, alongside backwater of a nearby creek). A neighbor had some horses quite a ways away (probably 200 - 300 yards) in a fairly large fenced in area (2 -3 acres). Since I could not get into this yard with my Bobcat (several severe turns on a narrow & winding path into it) I decided to place some "extra" hives there that would stay there overwinter and not go to CA, so I wouldn't have to move them out by hand. The horse owner complained to the landowner a couple of times and finally asked the landowner to have me move the bees out. He said he had to take a horse to the vet because of a "bee" sting. I was pretty disappointed that the landowner knuckled under, but he asked me to move them out and gave me about a week to do it. I was also right in the middle of extracting honey, and had to find time to move 77 1 & 1/2 story hives by hand, not fun. I told the landowner that I was pretty skeptical that my bees could bother the horses at that distance & under these conditions (bees have to fly over the trees to get there). Anyway, my "horse" story.

    ------------------
    Gregg Stewart

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Attleboro, MA, USA
    Posts
    18

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    I'm glad to hear these horse stories because i just bought a house in a rural town and the next door neighbors have horses. My bees will be 100+ feet from the horse pasture and there are trees between them.. They will also be facing a different direction, so there shouldnt be a problem. I plan on only having a max of up to 5 hives on the property anyway.. (I only have one right now i'll be moving to the property).

    thanks for all the great info everyone!

    Peace,
    Jason

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