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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Default My purple Martin "problem."

    Purple Martins are a welcome sight back here on Lake Murray, among the lake murrayians. I am not one. I am a beekeeper, and I live a half mile from the lake. I don't go to the lake at all, and wish they would drain it.

    OH, I see the martins diving, swooping, power gliding into a mouth full of bees. I'm sure it's them. they fly circles around my bee yard.

    nevertheless, the purple martins are big here. And I can't seem to get a queen bred for it.

    Besides gunning them down in cold blood, what can I do to get some of my queens mated?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Maplesville, Alabama
    Posts
    82

    Default

    A 12 Ga with some bird shot should work great

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by FordGuy View Post
    Purple Martins are a welcome sight back here on Lake Murray, among the lake murrayians. I am not one. I am a beekeeper, and I live a half mile from the lake. I don't go to the lake at all, and wish they would drain it.

    OH, I see the martins diving, swooping, power gliding into a mouth full of bees. I'm sure it's them. they fly circles around my bee yard.

    nevertheless, the purple martins are big here. And I can't seem to get a queen bred for it.

    BESIDES GUNNING THEM DOWN IN COLD BLOOD, what can I do to get some of my queens mated?
    Ahem, the part in all caps....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Maplesville, Alabama
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Yea I know but I HAD a problem with b-martins. The 12 ga worked great. There were around 5 on a power line all bunched up and darting to grab a bee and then return to the same spot. Well I got three with one shot then just finished the others one by one.

    Other than that you might have to AI your queens. I am not that delicate of a person.So the birds had to go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    YANCEY CO., NC
    Posts
    634

    Default

    Hear-Hear Bubba

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FordGuy View Post
    Besides gunning them down in cold blood, what can I do to get some of my queens mated?
    "You can't fight city hall." Find another yard for your queens.
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default

    I have 7 purple martin houses here in and around my property, 5 of them I own. I was very concerned about the birds going after the bees. I have not had any trouble at all from the martins. I have had trouble with other small birds getting a bee now and then, mostly the ones on the ground. I have had trouble all summer with a hawk getting my martins, just about one every other day, that I know about. I HAD about 75 birds here, but most of them are now fledged and gone on. Put up a hawk decoy, the birds hate it and will stay away. If something had to go here, it would be the bees, and that hawk!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    217

    Sad

    [QUOTE Well I got three with one shot then just finished the others one by one.

    You probably already know this but purple martins and songs birds in general are protected under federal law and you could find yourself in federal court for killing them. I don't know if there is any provision in sentencing that allows for beekeeping under a work release program.
    Bee just and just bee

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Draggle View Post
    You probably already know this but purple martins and songs birds in general are protected under federal law and you could find yourself in federal court for killing them...
    We subscribe to the "three S" policy where I live... Shoot-Shovel-Shutup


    I'd gladly trade you my skunk problem for your purple martin problem...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Greenville, NC, USA
    Posts
    59

    Smile

    I have three purple martin houses of my own less than 100 feet from my three hives. I had the martins before the bees and was concerned about my ability to keep both when I was thinking about starting with bees.

    I have had the bees 3 years and have raised queens in the same yard. I have not seen anything to indicate an inability for the two to co-exist. In fact Purple martins require mans help to survive because much of their natural nesting habitat is gone.

    My love and enjoyment of the bees and purple martins is equal. You might say that the bees and martins share a kindred spirit in that they both benefit from our interest in them and nature as a whole.....Now to get on with our regular scheduled programming

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    165

    Default

    What do you do when you have trouble with the neighbors?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Default

    I agree I am a Martin landlord and beekeeper. Right now there are 50 baby martins getting fed, and few if any of them are being fed bees. How do I know? I can see both my hives and the beeyard from my porch.

    I am not saying a martin never eats a bee. Especially in that terrible drought that the Alabama folks are having.

    But from what I have observed, they get along fine. The martins should not be shot.

    I have seen the bees chasing a particular red wing blackbird that seems to hang out near the beeyard.

    By the way, I have never seen Martins setting on a telephone wire. They hardly ever roost except at their gourd nests or at night once they have left the nest. Otherwise they are constantly in flight.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Apuuli View Post
    What do you do when you have trouble with the neighbors?
    3-S...shoot, shovel, sixty years in the pen....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Apuuli View Post
    What do you do when you have trouble with the neighbors?
    Neighbors? What neighbors?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hendersonville NC
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Apparently the purple martin is protected by federal law. 16 U.S.C. 703 (protecting native migratory birds) and 50 C.F.R. 10.13 (listing protected migratory birds).

    It's probably also short-sighted to just blow away any animal or plant that creates an inconvenience for us.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Denton, N.C.
    Posts
    68

    Default

    I have 48 Martin gourds up and most are filled With the young and parents. There are around 240 birds. I have 26 hives about 75 feet from them. This is my third year with Martins and have had no problems with them.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tonasket, WA USA
    Posts
    141

    Wink Interesting priorities

    Seems even those privileged enough to be intimately involved with the natural world miss the point. It's all interrelated.

    You live in South Carolina. You live on a lake. You have mosquitoes. Mosquitoes transmit an increasingly interesting number of diseases. Martins are great natural controllers of mosquitoes. Sprays that kill mosquitoes generally aren't healthy for honey bees.

    Connect the dots.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor it. Makes it hard to plan the day.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ScadsOBees View Post
    3-S...shoot, shovel, sixty years in the pen....
    first of all, I said very clearly in my original post I wanted an option other than shooting them. Not sure why this was moved to tailgater. Second, I don't have any neighbors here. Closest one I have to drive to. Third, I can't move yards - the bees live on my property.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Arrow Sounds odd to me

    >There were around 5 on a power line all bunched up and darting to grab a bee and then return to the same spot.

    Two birds that come to mind that have that behaviour are the Phoebe and the Kingbird. I have not seen Martins do that. Barn swallows set on power lines to rest.

    I have been setting out Martin houses for over twenty years, this is the first year that I have had nesting birds, two pair! Now to get them settled at my new home next to the flood control ditch... I'm tired of feeling like a blood donor in my own back yard.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

    Default

    I had to remove my Purple martin gourds two years after I put bees at my house. The bees are south of the house, the p martins were East of it.
    I, too, never had a problem with the martins. When they are feeding their young, a fair number of food-bugs get dropped by the inept baby birds. By far the most common are dragonflies.

    MYTH: Purple martins eat lots of mosquitoes. Not true, they go for larger bugs.

    FACT: dragonflies eat lots of mosquitoes. Connect those dots, if you will.

    I loved having purple martins because they are unique in preferring to be near people, fill the mornings with song, and are beautiful flyers. It was a privilege to have them come every year. After I took down my pole, in spring, I had two sad weeks where the returning male birds flew around my house in circles looking for the house they used to use, and giving their distress cry. I'd had them long enough that most of my birds were born there.

    If you enjoy shooting birds, shoot starlings and English sparrows. They are not protected, there are no seasons, no bag limits, and there is no end to them.
    "Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. . . . I will try to keep this short as long as I can." Yogi Berra

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