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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Cardington, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    65

    Post

    I will be starting my first hive in a few months and have a concern. We live on just under 2 acres with horses pastured immediately behind us(west lot line) and cows pastured immediately beside us(south lot line) (niether of which are ours). How concerned do I need to be about this situation? I read somewhere recently that they could attack livestock? I actually plan on putting them on the south side of a tree line that marks the north side of our property...approximately half way between east and west lot lines? All input is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Central OK, USA
    Posts
    26

    Post

    No problem with bees and livestock as long as the livestock does not disturb the bees. Make sure that the bees have a good supply of water available other that stock tanks
    Jerry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    No problem as long as the livestock can leave if the bees do harrass then and the hives are fenced from the livestock so the livestock don't knock over the hives. They WILL knock over the hives if the hives aren't fenced off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    During the winter when there is nothing to collect on nice days (+40 degrees) the bees will be attracted to ground feed. You should keep an alternate on hand until there is something else to occupy them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    I have heard tell that bees and horses don't often mix well. I think that I've heard that some fly sprays for horses make bees aggressive. This is second hand info so I can't say how true it is. But I have had them near other livestock with no problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    My bees are fenced off in the middle of the horse pasture. Of course, being a beekeeper, I don't use fly spray much. Sometimes when riding or training it becomes necessary because you need the horse's attention, but I seldom use it.

    The horses don't have any real problems with the bees. When I has some very aggressive bees they did sting the horses, but the horses just learned to stay away from the hives. Now the bees are calm and the horses will graze in front of the hives with no problems. Then entrances are only about 18" to 24" from the fence.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Cardington, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    65

    Post

    Thanks so much everybody! Where I plan on putting them they will be about 75 yards from the horses and at least 100 from the cows. It sounds like we should be safe, both of our neighbors have their animals fenced in. You have all set my mind at ease!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,272

    Post

    >>They WILL knock over the hives if the hives aren't fenced off.

    I have had a yard of mine right in a cattle pasture, not fenced off. Never had any problem with pushed over hives. The ocasional cockeyed lid, but nothing overly concerning. I do have them grouped in fours on pallets and at least 6 feet between pallets. I like having them in a pasture,keeps the grass down around the hives and in the beeyard. I am told that horses will be a problem though.


    Ian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    My friends horse waited 'til winter to knock over some hives (when it was too cold for the bees to attack). The horse then ate the honey and of course the bees died.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    Ian, I think you've been lucky so far. Cattle will scratch on about anything including a hive.

    My horses have gotten into the fenced area when the charger was disconnected (it's electric) and they knocked over a lot of hives. They are not gentle and they LOVE things that are sweet.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Well guys I had goats and horses. My outer(perimiter) fence was woven wire so that the goats were contained. The inner fences were barbwire. My lowest wire was at 2 feet so the goats had free range. The goats kept all fences clean and even would grace around the hives. The kids in their play would jump on the hives and that caused a stir but the bees quickly settled. But because of money problems my animals were sold off before the hives had much strength. I broke horses before my back injury and have never used fly sprays unless the horses were being shown for sell or tranporting. I learned the horses kick alot less when transporting if the flies are kept in check.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,272

    Post

    >>Ian, I think you've been lucky so far. Cattle will scratch on about anything including a hive.

    I'm told that horses are a different story. But cattle don't like to get stung. You have to realize if you have the hives in a crouded high traffic area, then you might have problems. But two of my yards have had cattle around them for a while now and never caused me any concern. They dont eat the grass directly infrount of the hive but will chew it down pritty good throughout the beeyard. Maybe it might be that I rase queit cattle, haha..

    Ian

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    Another issue, if the hives are not fenced off, is traffic and how crowded the pasture is. The more room there is and the more other things to scratch on and the other things to keep them interested the less likely livestock will take an interest in the hives.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    It's just a matter of time. I hate cows. If they don't eat it, they will step on it, if they don't step on it, they will **** on it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    Posts
    5

    Post

    slightly off topic, I was purchasing hive hardware and the owner asked if I was anywhere near a dairy farm. I said 'no, why'
    and he said that bees love dairy cow food 'Cattle Chow'?


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,272

    Post

    Not just specific to dairy cattle. Bees will forage on any grain fed to cattle. They are mostly after the grain dust to collect as a source of protien when early brooding. Usually only a problem of livestock producers in the early spring. When I'm vacing grain in early spring, the bees will hover above the air exit and fly directly in and out of the dust cloud. Kind of neat to watch.

    Ian

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Dairy feed as you speak of contains molasses. Nearly all the premixed horse feeds do to. I always fed my horses at night and never had a problem. Horses that get fed twice a day got fed before work(near dawn most of the year or even before) and then at night. But I only had horses for about a month after getting my packages.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    I think sugar makes horses crazy. I feed them a soybean based feed with no sugar in it. The bees don't really care, except in times where they want to gather grain dust and then they usually bother the chickens beceause their feed is out all the time.


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited January 25, 2004).]

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Help with this one if you can.

    I was living with my grandmother when I got my first hives. She insisted that they not be on her farm. She recited a tale of her brother loosing a mule to a "swarm" of bees that stung him to death. My theory, (and I can't press the issue with her... blood pressure you know is that he had his hive in the field and the mule may have been rubbing on it. This would have started a dangerous spiral of defensive bees, kicking mule, more bees, etc.... Despite her prejudice, I am trying to rationalize what really caused the mule's death.
    What say Ye??

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    >She recited a tale of her brother loosing a mule to a "swarm" of bees that stung him to death. My theory, (and I can't press the issue with her... blood pressure you know is that he had his hive in the field and the mule may have been rubbing on it. This would have started a dangerous spiral of defensive bees, kicking mule, more bees, etc.... Despite her prejudice, I am trying to rationalize what really caused the mule's death.
    >What say Ye??

    Most livestock deaths are when the livestock are either in a very confined space or tied on a short rope. For instance a horse that is tied to a post etc. If the livestock can run, usually they have sense enough to do that and the bees leave them alone. I would guess the mule was either tied or in a small paddock where it couldn't get away from the bees in a hive. People use the term "swarm" anytime there are lots of bees. Of course we all know a swarm is homeless bees who seldom attack anything or anyone. But if a hive were close to where the mule was and the mule couldn't get away, that would most likely be the cause.

    Of course you will never convince her of that.

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