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  1. #1
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    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
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    Jan 2010
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    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    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
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    May 2009
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    Bloomington In
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    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
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    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
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,626

    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 irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  6. #6
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    Dec 2012
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    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
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    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
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    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
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    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
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    Portland, Oregon
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    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...

  10. #10
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    Feb 2004
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    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
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    177

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

    Are SHB in New York yet? Will they live through the winters there?

  11. #11
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    Warrior, Alabama
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    Quote Originally Posted by SippyBees View Post
    Are SHB in New York yet? Will they live through the winters there?
    Sippy, There are people who don't make it through the winters there!
    Old Guy in Alabama

  12. #12
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    Jun 2011
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    The Ol' Guy in 'Bama's right.

    It warmed up to - 30 and a no-good tried to steal my hives...caught 'im though cuz he stopped for a minute to pick one up and his feet froze to the beeyard.
    He tried slippin' his feet out of his boots, but only made it to the gate before he froze up solid on the gate bail.
    I expect we'll leave him there until spring or the Sheriff asks after him whichever comes first.

    No way the beetles'd live through this, you're right, Sip

    And I was sure it was the corn close by that kept 'em off...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
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    900

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

    [QUOTE=Beregondo;891546]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?

    I did count SHB trapped in hives inside and outside of the chicken yard. There where about double the number OUTSIDE the yard. Chickens do seem to help.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    Quote Originally Posted by SippyBees View Post
    Are SHB in New York yet? Will they live through the winters there?
    We have them in hives, but generally are not a problem worth doing anything about.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #15
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    Sep 2009
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    They were a minor problem in some of my nucs this year. Had to cut the pollen patties in half to avoid the maggots.

  16. #16
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    In all seriousness, I haven't seen any SHB here yet.
    Joel's NY address on his website is only about 5 miles from one yard I use; I don't know if he's seen any yet.

  17. #17
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    Sep 2012
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    Bryant, AL
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    Do chickens eat the bees? I know the jays and mockingbirds do...

  18. #18
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

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

    It won't hurt. I've had free range chickens and bees for 39 years with no issues.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
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    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonnypemberton View Post
    Do chickens eat the bees? I know the jays and mockingbirds do...
    we have bee eaters ( a bird!) here and they can eat 150 bees in a day. Chicken will eat dead bees and larvae. They don't seem to get stung much either.
    Last edited by max2; 02-01-2013 at 01:51 PM.

  20. #20
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?

    I have 30 hives and about the same number of chickens.... (in the house yard) no effect on beetles... they love the ants anc cockraoches and will actually follow me from hive to hive.... And they are great for Japenese beetles.

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