After doing the profile search on "purple martins" there was only one find and that was incomplete as to answering the question. I had never used the profile search before for this site - very useful.
Question - I want to put up a purple martin house and wonder if they will be a nuisance to the hives? Anyone?
Sorry if I should of put this under the "Pests" catagory.
They wouldn't be for me. I have put up Martin houses for the last twenty years. I have read books, chatted online, tried every kind of house, three different locations, trimmed trees, decoys, traps, baited, provided nesting material, fought the starlings and sparrows, and have never had one martin take up residence.
well maybe this year...
I posted this same question on another forum 7 years ago when I got started in beekeeping. I was told that , no, purple martins should not be a problem with bees. I have heard of Eastern flycatchers being a problem though.
As for attracting swllows, it's my understanding they are more likely to take up residence if there is something like a large pond nearby. They love to skim over the top of the water for bugs.
I've had both Purple Martins and bees for the last 10 years and haven't experienced any problems. My Purple Martin house is about 40 yards away from my hives - I've never noticed them chasing bees (or vice-versa). [Now hummingbird feeders are another problem!...especially in August and the honey flow is finished]
I have watched, on more than one ocassion purple martins flying back and forth in front of my hives. What they were doing is pure speculation, how ever the didnt seem to do it often enough or long enough to cause me any worry, but I do watch for this. If I do sence a problem, it wont be hard to stop...
I dont have a marten house, I put up a couple of blue bird houses, and got martins.... go figure.
they are pretty to watch, over the pond.
i never saw a kingbird until i started beekeeping.
We used to have martins. Now we have mosquito controll, which doesn't work, and no martins. Same house. Same location.
I like martins eating mosquitos more then I dislike martins eating bees.
If you think little things are not important try going to sleep at night with a mosquito in the room.
I have a neighbor down the road who wants me to come take down one of Martin gourds that is inhabited by a colony of bees. He has two Martin "trees" with about 12 gourds per tree and has them on hinges so they can be taken down easily. I still don't know exatly what to do with a gourd full of bees. I plan to wrap them in a feed sack at dusk and cut the wire on the gourd, bring them home and put the gourd into an empty hive body with some frames of comb. I hop ethey'll migrate out of the gourd into the frames.
I remember blue tits popping the tops of milk bottles when I was a kid. I find great tits will take bees from hive entrances; I had a nest ten yards from my hives last summer, and I think bees must have been the staple diet to judge from the number of raids going on. I don't mind too much though, because they take so many less desirable insects round the year.
>I remember blue tits popping the tops of milk bottles when I was a kid.
Ah, the good old days...
>I find great tits will take bees from hive entrances;
Trust me, they can do more than that.
Smack dab in the middle of the country.
Couldn't resist could you Bill. Just as I was becoming proud of the restraint of our group too.
Do they still deliver milk in England? I'd be interested in seeing a blue tit open a bottle of milk.
I realy did LOL.
Must have been a cold day.