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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Louisa, VA
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    68

    Default Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles? I was reading somewhere that someone was doing this. Do you think it could make a significant difference?
    "Science is knowing, art is doing, and common sense is knowing and doing on the basis of experience." Alex Shigo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,949

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    I know several people that use chickens to eat SHB pupa and about every other small creature that gets near the hives. Do not pen the chickens near the hive or there will come a day when you have dead stung chickens. They need to be able to escape.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    I have chickens around the bees, they do scratch around the hives alot. I don't know if the help with SHB, I have nerver seen any, but I don't think SHB have made it here yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,200

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    They'd have to be pretty small chickens, small hive beetles spend most of their life inside beehives. Though I guess they might pick off some of the larvae on their way to pupation.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,641

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    Dr. Peter Teal has done a lot of work with SHB....after hearing him talk this past summer, I learned that SHB prefer some fruits over bee hives....ripe cantaloupe being one of them. Based on what he reported, if I had SHB problems, I'd keep replenishing a supply of ripe cantalopue, and let the chickens in every 3-4 days to eat all the larvae.

    The sound is a bit rough, but this is a video of the talk I saw....I highly recommend a watch.
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    I am not an experienced bee keeper (yet) but I do know that guinea hens will eat more insects than chickens. You just have to be able to put up with all the dang noise they make! :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    I am no expert on SHB.. but we have MANY here. As for them staying in the hives.... I do know that when I open feed syrup to the bees I always see a few SHB in the syrup.... or if I lay a honey frame out to get cleaned up... there will be SHB on the frame outside the hive that weren't on the frame before I set it out. Have thought about putting out bait traps OUTSIDE the hives to see how many I could lure away from the hives.... will know more about it this summer.
    AND... I can't have chickens here. Years ago I tried raising a few chickens.... had maybe 50.. and never ate the FIRST ONE because the hawks here are pretty bad... would find dead chickens with their backs ate out of 'em by hawks.... Only way to have a chicken where I live is in a cage. But the hawks are nice to watch too....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    Quote Originally Posted by SippyBees View Post
    I am no expert on SHB.. but we have MANY here. As for them staying in the hives.... I do know that when I open feed syrup to the bees I always see a few SHB in the syrup.... or if I lay a honey frame out to get cleaned up... there will be SHB on the frame outside the hive that weren't on the frame before I set it out. Have thought about putting out bait traps OUTSIDE the hives to see how many I could lure away from the hives.... will know more about it this summer.
    AND... I can't have chickens here. Years ago I tried raising a few chickens.... had maybe 50.. and never ate the FIRST ONE because the hawks here are pretty bad... would find dead chickens with their backs ate out of 'em by hawks.... Only way to have a chicken where I live is in a cage. But the hawks are nice to watch too....
    hawks taste pretty similar to chicken..........not quite a good as owl though

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    I've had chickens in my beeyard form the beginning, and never had SHB issues.

    But how do you know if it's the chooks or the fact that the corn patch is only 2-3 feet away?
    o
    Or because they're in full sun?

    Or...

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