Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Question

    I’m getting closer and closer to starting my first hive each day, but before the big plunge I’m wondering about safety issues regarding pets. I intend on keeping a hive or two in my backyard, however my dog and two cats frequent this area, is there really anything to worry about regarding their proximity in the yard? I plan to erect a simple chicken wire fence to discourage the pets from coming too close to the hive, and the water dishes will be further then the bees water source (a large fish pond). Is there anything else I should keep in mind?
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    827

    Post

    Well I won't tell you one way or another about the pets and the bees, except to tell you about an experience I had. I was going through a hive one day and my dog came up and started nosing around the hive. I had to keep myself from laughing so the bees wouldn't focus on me, but they chased the dog into the woods and from her reaction I guess she go stung a couple times, but she's no worse for wear and still comes nosing around the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Not to worry.

    We have a total of 6 barn cats, had 2 dogs
    (one died last year), have a large population
    of groundhogs, and even Prudence The Wonder Pig
    (the "wonder" is why we have her at all)
    who takes naps in the sun only a few feet away
    from where I place my "intensive care ward" hives,
    my new splits, and nucs. This "yard in the back
    yard" varies from less than a dozen colonies to
    as many as 30 depending on the time of year.

    All the animals wander through the hives at
    whim, and my walks with the dog tend to turn
    into parades through the hives and along the
    path through the orchard and then down along
    the river, as several of the cats tag along
    just in case something interesting might happen.

    Not one pet has ever been stung to my knowledge.
    Bees are really not at all interesting to cats
    or dogs, nor are the hives attractive. I have
    noticed that some of the cats nap atop the hives
    at times. They appear to like the warmth of the
    metal topped non-migratory covers when it is cool.

    The only reasons I would suggest putting up a
    fence would be to shield the hives from winter
    winds, or to enclose them to keep youngsters from
    poking their fingers into the entrances.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    If the pets bother the hives at all, they'll get stung a few times and learn their lessons. I really don't think it's a health concern for the pet. My 2 cats and German Shepherd have all been stung and all avoid the hives now, but weren't seriously injured.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    For the last 31 years now, I've almost always had pets (dogs, cats, chickens, horses, pheasants) and almost always had bees and they have gotten along fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    S.E. Oklahoma
    Posts
    337

    Post

    How about Purple Martins in/near the garden? Any noticeable impact?

    Thanks,
    David

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bridgewater VT. USA
    Posts
    238

    Post

    I have two dogs and they have learned to keep away from the hives if I am working with them, otherwise they aren't bothered.
    Stuart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Big Grin

    Well, I guess my worries were more or less unfounded. Thanks for the quick and reassuring responses everyone [img]smile.gif[/img]
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    kansas.. The Great Plains!
    Posts
    66

    Post

    one time a bee was determined to sting my german shepherd however was not having much luck since their hair is so thick but my dog was putting on a good show trying to bite at this fast little critter on his back. That gave us a pretty good laugh!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Post

    How about Purple Martins in/near the garden? Any noticeable impact?
    From what little know of the subject I think purple martins diet consists mainly of hard-shelled beetles, and I guess they would likely seldom seize a honeybee. Even if they did take of snack of some of you ladies from time to time, you would need a rather lot of them to make any sort of impact. Don’t forget that healthy hives have thousands of bees in them, for that matter unhealthy hives still have a rather lot of bees too. If you hive is unhealthy I would imagine something else other than predation being the cause, except maybe for a atrocious case of mites.

    …as for purple martians, it servers them right for all those abductions over the years…
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Big Grin

    "Even if they did take of snack of some of you ladies from time to time, "
    And with my recent luck, that snack would be a returning 'just mated' queen! [img]smile.gif[/img]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Post

    And with my recent luck, that snack would be a returning 'just mated' queen!
    Please forgive the following exercise, especially if I am completely wrong [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Assuming your hive is was a well established during spring/summer, we will assume you had around 60,000 to 80,000 bees. It takes approximately 16 days for a new queen to hatch, and lets assume it is being created not to supercede an existing queen but to replace a missing queen for whatever reason. This means you have 16 days fewer of egg laying in your hive and therefore fewer new brood. In peek production your previous healthy queen may have laid up to 1500 eggs a day during these 16 days, lets assume that 75% of the eggs would have made it to their 20 to 22 day development cycle into new bees (Enough time for the new queen to be ready to emerge from the hive to mate). Now because these 16 days worth of eggs never hatched you would have approximately 42,000 to 62,000 total bees due to older bees dying off. Lets assume that all together you foraging bees and drones make up approximately one third this amount, 14000 to 20667. lets assume that the queen takes between 3 to 5 days for a nuptial flight and your have enough birds to eat 200 bees a day. Because no eggs are being laid few added bees are emerging (The ones that are were house bees but for this argument lets assume no more emerge). This means that after 5 days you have 41,000 to 61,000 bees that leave the hive, lets assume worst case and say that there are 41,000 bees. Because the queen was out for 5 days the chances of here being eaten are approximately (and very loosely) 5/41000 or 1 in 8200 or a 0.0122 % chance of being eaten. This means there is a 99.9878% chance that she will survive predation during a nuptial flight. If this were Vegas I’d take those odds. This of course all assumes that birds are happy with any bee and don’t look for the biggest juiciest one in the bunch. Many of these numbers are approximated, though I think they are close to correct.

    I hope that all made sense, if you skipped it in essence said that there is a greater than 99.9% chance that your queen is safe from birds on a nuptial flight

    Feel free to chime in if any one has a better/easier explanation, or even to tell me I’m just plain wrong.
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

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