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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    438

    Default Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    I've got my hives out on an alfalfa farmers land and he recently set up a corn feeder for some type of bird, sage grouse or something not sure exactly what but in any case it's full of dried corn kernels. The other day he was out there and called me completely bewildered at what he was seeing. There was a cloud of bees around the feeder and at first he thought they were swarming so he was going over to look at them. The feeder being on a timer kicked on as it routinely does and spread the corn kernels everywhere. Well much to his surprise a mixture of corn and bees were ejected all over the ground and the bees followed the corn to the ground. He said it looked like they were eating it.

    Anybody?

    For clarity all of the hives out at this location are Carni's and they're all first year packages. None are big enough to have swarmed especially during this heat and with a dearth on right now. All of the hives have at least an unfilled deep on top of the hive to fill so room isn't a problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    It's not unusual in early spring to see bees around corn cribs and bird feeders, when pollen is scarce. Seems like they'll go after anything that resembles pollen.

    Have you checked your colonies for pollen stores? Might consider a pollen patty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    283

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    When I worked for a flour blending plant bees would collect al kinds of flour and corn meal dust when they couldn't find pollen sources for them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    992

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    Corn has carbs and protein.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    Some years ago I saw bees coming back to the hives coated with white ‘pollen’. I mean these girls looked like they’d been dusted with powdered sugar. That same day I was at my neighbor’s and heard a hum like a bee swarm. I went to check and the bees were collecting from a pile of old flour my neighbor had dumped out back. Ghost bees everywhere!
    PS...remember...today that corn has likely been treated with neonics!
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troy, NC, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    For clarity all of the hives out at this location are Carni's and they're all first year packages.

    Maybe you have a new breed . . . . . Corni!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sarasota, fl
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    It sounds like a deer feeder, like a sweeny brand with a battery and a motor. The movement of corn in the feeder slightly grinds up the corn and makes a fine dust or corn meal.All insects like the fine dust.The feeders are usually sealed up. If it is not sealed, rain may soak the corn. Open the feeder and check to see if there might be a colony trying to use it as a home. They might be wild or someones else's swarm.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    some of those deer feeds have a light dusting of molasses syrup to keep the corn dust down... I would guess this is the case here.

    Daniel

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    No, they like corn syrup and corn dust..... Always have bees in the chicken feeders when other sources are scarce.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,366

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jgabbert View Post
    They might be wild or someones else's swarm.
    If they're in my feeder, they're my swarm!
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox OA Vaporizer,
    "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    You probably have Nebraskiolan hybrids, notorious for their corn-mongering . It's likely particle size. I wasn't aware of the molasses thing, but that would sure attract them.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Any ideas why my bees like corn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jgabbert View Post
    They might be wild or someones else's swarm.
    Nah there aren't feral bees in this area, (according to the farmers who would harvest honey from feral hives they haven't found a feral hive in the better part of a decade) and I'm pretty certain I'm the only beekeeper in this area.

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