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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Since I started keeping bees, I have had all
    sorts of animals follow me around the beeyards
    from hive to hive:

    1) Anywhere between 1 and 5 St. Bernards

    2) A Wolf/Malamute crossbreed

    3) A Welsh Corgi terrier, who sleeps at my
    feet as I type, top dog at last, as he
    has outlived all of his larger packmates.

    We also have 6 barn cats, which are sure to
    show up when I work on the hives in the barnyard
    yard, where I keep new splits, hives in trouble,
    and other "intensive care" cases.

    We even have a pig who lies in the sun less
    than 8 feet away from the entrances of the
    nearest hives in the "barnyard yard". (Her
    name is Prudence The Wonder Pig, the wonder
    being why the heck we even have a pig!)

    The Saints and the Wolf/Malamute had heavy
    "double-layered" coats, so I doubt that any
    attempt to sting them anywhere except around
    the face would have been successful. The Corgi,
    the cats, and the pig have no such protection.

    Anyway, through robbing frenzies, hive moves,
    complete tear-downs, and every other possible
    scenario, I've never heard a yelp, whimper, or
    cry of pain. They don't poke their noses into
    entrances, and they don't seem to be attractive
    targets for the bees. I'd get lonely without
    my dog along, as I work mostly alone.

    I have also seen one of the cats sunning herself
    atop of beehive's metal outer cover on a cool day.
    Always the same cat, but different hives.

    None of these dogs have been pure black, but
    I don't think that exact coloration matters
    much.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    193

    Post

    Something happened last week on the farm that immediatly reminded me of this post,on Tuesday some of my bees decided to attack one of the farmhands dog.Yes the dog was black and yes it was tied up but the hive is situated in the woods at the back of the house and it is at least 700ft away.Unfortunatly the dog was killed,it must of been stung at least 200 times.In my opinion what killed the dog was the fact that the farmhands wife waited 45min before alerting anyone of the attack,so by the time we got to the dog it was already too late.Only she knows why she waited that long to inform anyone but the fact of the matter is if the bees are intent on attacking a bound animal and nobody does anything about it the bees will certainly win.It was a sad thing to see and also quite scary because it puts into perspective just how dangerous bees can be,that hive is the last hive I have that is situated near peoples houses and tommorow it is being moved.I dont want anyone to start worrying about hives that they have close to houses because I do think this was a one of incident but in the future just think twice about where you put your bees.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mosquero, NM
    Posts
    47

    Post

    "I'm starting two hives in my back (postage stamp) yard and my neighbor had a Rottweiler. We don't have a fence dividing."

    "The other question of course is my neighbor's dog is tied up but we have all mutually agreed to put up a privacy fence.....I am concerned about her being tied up that close to them though. Do you guys think the fence will actually keep her safe?"

    No.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bethlehem CT.
    Posts
    44

    Post

    I hope that my pups will be ok. I have 2 black labs and they run around free (invisable fence. This is going to be my first year but I figure if I keep gentle hives and they get tagged once or twice and learn not to put your nose where you shouldn't then i figure ever one will be happy in the end. I'll keep my fingers crossed

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    One of my cats is most interested in the bees, to the point of "playing" with bees at the entrance. He has yet to be stung, but I can't imagine that it won't happen. Seems a waste of a good bee to teach the cat a lesson.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Post

    Any free running animal and bees have always gotten along fine at my house. I have dogs, chickens, horses etc. As long as they animals can run away, they will and the bees can defend their territory and the animals can learn to respect the bees territory.

    Any animal tied up within less than 100 yards COULD get hurt. I've had hot bees hunt me down that far away, but not often. Any animal tied up as close as 10 yards or so is in imminent danger.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    169

    Post

    My dog is a lab/greyhound mix. She sticks her big black nose in the entrance and sniffs. Just a little sniff. I guess she is checking on them. She hasn't gotten stung. She's a reddish/blonde.

    Next door is a little pit bull mix. Lady is tied up. She's never been stung. Her owner knows I have the bees.

    My neighbors on the other side like to drink lots of beer then water the yard ;P Not something I was not thrilled about. Since I got the bees, there's no more pee - in the back yard. Now they water the street and my driveway. I've jokingly shared the idea of putting a hive in the front yard or in the driveway.

    Martha
    Martha

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >My neighbors on the other side like to drink lots of beer then water the yard

    They must live on the Missouri side.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    johnston city ill usa
    Posts
    79

    Post

    Cats don't learn lessons.........they're cats!!!!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    255

    Post

    My Airedale stays well clear of my hives, but my chickens love them/ they go over and eat and eat and eat... They love the dead bees and will eat the live bees as well. I don't think they eat enough to be a problem... but, I try to shoo them away when I see them chowing at the hive [img]smile.gif[/img]

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Post

    I've seen a chicken eat a live bee, but not often and not that chicken more than once. They seemed unhappy about it after the fact. Nowdays mine don't seem to wander over to the hives even to clean up dead bees. I'm not sure why. But then I have a lot more hives now. Maybe that makes a difference to how safe they feel being that close to them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mosquero, NM
    Posts
    47

    Post

    In 1994 I kept some colonies in the El Paso area for one year. I'd bought them from a retiring beekeeper and it took me a while to work them into my operation here in northern NM. Every day precisely at 4:00 pm, a nesting roadrunner would come to the beehives in one yard and eat her fill of incoming bees. She was very tame and would approach within six feet of me. I watched her one afternoon for less than an hour and figured she was eating about 150-200 bees a day. Since there were 52 colonies in the yard and the queens were producing maybe 1600-2000 bees per colonie per day, and since I've always enjoyed watching the antics of roadrunners and consider them a "lucky" bird, I let her alone. I did track her to her nest in a salt cedar tree and saw her four eggs. I figured she chose 4:00 pm on warm (hot) early June afternoons as the best time to leave the brood nest to forage and her eggs stay warm.

    The skunk which came to the same El Paso-area yard at night, scratched at the beehive entrances and ate emerging bees, I transmigrated to the big skunk nirvana in the cosmos with the .22 I carry behind the seat of the Won-Ton.

    My two Springer Spaniels go with me everywhere, including working the bee yards. They scout around the area and then lie down in the shade under the flatbed of Won-Ton. Once in a while a bee or two will tangle with them. Pinto Bean just meanders out away from the yard. Anasazi Bean comes to me to get the bees untangled from her hair (usually her long ears) and then joins Pinto outside the bees' defensive peri-colonial area.

    The 384-pound, 3-year-old Black Bear which got into one of my mesquite yards in 1991 wreaked havoc amongst the bees. He destroyed 18 colonies and ate honey in the frame and brood nests, frames and all. The bees remained extremely upset and defensive in that yard until I moved them from the mesquite to the yellow sweetclover up on the higher-elevation plateau two weeks after his little 4-night spree. Until I moved them, I couldn't walk around that yard in an upright position without drawing many dozens of attacking bees. Curiously, I found that if I bent over while walking the yard, they didn't attack me. The remaining colonies still worked the bloom and produced a honey crop; they were just extremely defensive of the whole yard area.

    I think any animal, regardless of color, which cannot run away from honeybees and is confined within a 50-to-100-yard distance of a colony is in potential danger. Of course, bee lore says that a black animal is particularly targeted by honeybees. Hence, white beesuits; although I've read that pink and light red are neutral colors to honeybees.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alpine, NY (near Cayuga Lake)
    Posts
    107

    Post

    My dog eats bees, too. I cleared a dead out in spring, and he about gorged on the dead bees. If he finds one in the grass, he'll eat it, too.

    Otherwise, he leaves the hives alone, and the bees haven't bothered him.
    Lesli<br /> <a href=\"http://beeyard.blogspot.com/\" target=\"_blank\">http://beeyard.blogspot.com/</a>

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Hiroshima, Japan
    Posts
    19

    Post

    &gt;I've seen a chicken eat a live bee, but not often and not that chicken more than once. They seemed unhappy about it after the fact. Nowdays mine don't seem to wander over to the hives even to clean up dead bees. I'm not sure why.

    MB, maybe your bees have developed chicken resistance.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alpine, NY (near Cayuga Lake)
    Posts
    107

    Post

    The 384-pound, 3-year-old Black Bear which got into one of my mesquite yards...
    Age, weight... did you interview him after the fact?
    Lesli<br /> <a href=\"http://beeyard.blogspot.com/\" target=\"_blank\">http://beeyard.blogspot.com/</a>

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mosquero, NM
    Posts
    47

    Post

    "Age, weight... did you interview him after the fact?"

    Yes, I certainly did!! And that's a story in itself, which I have previously written in full detail in a chapter of my book about my 36 years with the bees.

    Briefly, Mr. Bear was an unwilling interviewee and dodged my first question, which left a neat .308 caliber hole in his left ear. My second interrogatory was one which he could not avoid and it touched him in his heart. He immediately submitted to whatever detailed examination I wished to conduct with him.

    My younger brother, who lives a few miles up the road, assisted me in the detailed interview of Mr. Bear and performed the honors for the post-grilling repast. Bear roast is delicious and should be served with a rich, full-bodied cabernet sauvignon, at least 7 years old. Mom, who's 84 and lives a couple blocks from me, keeps some of his oil {Mr. Bear's -- not my brother's} in a jar in the window over her country kitchen sink. She watches it like a barometer for weather prediction -- an ancient bit of folk lore handed down in our family (and a story in itself). Dad, before he passed away in 1999, liked to take some of the oil and rub it into his hands and wrists. He claimed it "oils up the nerves and tendons" and "keeps your joints loosened up".

    Three of the surviving colonies remained "testy" even after the move up to the sweetclover yards. The first time I visited them after moving them, I took the time to interact with them in a calming and centering ritual and they became, once again, the tractable and productive bees they were before the attack.

    "Bees know their keeper." -- old Bee Lore

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mosquero, NM
    Posts
    47

    Post

    Rocky Ridge:

    Your original post here reminded me of the time I had placed 35 colonies in a pasture with 40 black angus heifers......curious cows contemplated colonies close-up....two tails shot straight up and two heifers thundered across the pasture...22 tails shot straight up and 37 heifers thundered after thier herd-mates, the herd-panic being general....one lone heifer remained near the colonies a very few minutes, then she, too, shot her tail straight up in the air and galloped after the herd.... Whenever I visited that yard thereafter, the heifers were grazing contentedly and the bees working likewise, with a respectful distance between them.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    &gt;&gt; I took the time to interact with them in a calming and centering ritual

    I'm really afraid to ask . . . did you chant to them?

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mosquero, NM
    Posts
    47

    Post

    BeeBear: Send me your email address and I'll answer your question. starg@hotmail.com

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Mosquero, NM
    Posts
    47

    Post

    No, I don't "chant". but I've learned some techniques for calming my bees when they are upset and I try always to practice them and to never leave a beeyard with the bees acting aggressively toward me.

    Sometimes we may tend to focus our understanding of honeybees too much on the bees themselves and not enough upon ourselves and what we may be doing...or what conditions we may be ignoring which influence bee behaviour.

    BK1: "Boy, that's sure a mean bunch of bees!!"
    BK2: "Re-queen!"
    OBK: "What has been done, or what is being done, by you or some other influence, to make them act mean?"

    "The Good Beekeeper Knows the Bees" -- old Bee Lore

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