bees and hawks
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Thread: bees and hawks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    744

    Default bees and hawks

    Hey, all,

    I feel like I could regret asking this, but I am curious....

    Anyone have an opinion if having several hives in the backyard might deter hawks from going after chickens?

    Heart,
    Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    4,214

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Not a chance.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Gilbert, Az
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    154

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunzow View Post
    Hey, all,

    I feel like I could regret asking this, but I am curious....

    Anyone have an opinion if having several hives in the backyard might deter hawks from going after chickens?

    Heart,
    Thomas
    Both in how you asked it and what you asked... this will be my favorite question today. I bet there are situations when guard bees work. That said, I can't see it ever stopping a hawk take a chicken.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    You need to get yourself a little bantam rooster, they stay and fight the hawks while the ladies make their getaway. You loose the rooster on occasion, but they usually put up enough of a fight for their harem for them to get away.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
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    338

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Had that issue - electric fence and steel mesh top fixed that issue...haven't even seen a coyote in months now!

    It is a curious question though.

    When flying my little drone around the yard it ALWAYS has a swarm of bees chasing it. It got so bad I stopped flying it around since I didn't want to kill hard working foragers. Curious to see a few dozen bees chasing my high speed drone. They are incredibly gentle toward me and I'm wondering if this isn't some sort of defense mechanism from birds who may eat the bees?

    As for anything going after your chickens...yeah...not a chance.

  7. #6
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    Mar 2017
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    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    744

    Default

    Well... was thinking all the bees flying around would distract the hawks somewhat, because their eyes are so sharp. Anyways we will see!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
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    338

    Default

    When I let my chickens freerange they would hang out in the grass where 20 hives were. Yet, would still catch hawks diving at them.

    Although they never figured out how to kill any of them it definitely wasn't a deterrent.

    I moved them to a large run I built onto their coop. Again, steel mesh top and electric fence was the only thing that stopped predators.

  9. #8
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    Jan 2018
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    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
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    794

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Trust.me, bees and chickens.. Bees aren't a deterrent for hawks or any predators. A solid pen, and a watchful eye helps. You will.loose chickens to hawks, owls, coons, skunks, foxes ect.... even in a good fully enclosed pen. Pen is best, and mabye a good stock dog at night for the 4 legged predators. Electric fence will help some, till they find a weakness in it. Put your birds up at night, and it will.help a bit. Losses are inevitable with fowl. You will loose more birds from neighbors pet dogs roaming, than by hawks though.. good luck with this. I've had all classes of stock, and you will loose some eventually, so keeping em penned up is best. Let em range in day, and 2 hrs or so before dusk... get them back in pen with some feed asap before dark with feed.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,114

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    It's never deterred hawks from taking my chickens. The only thing that has been a deterrent has been me walking around out there or having a rooster or two. And the roosters don't so much deter that hawk but they do a pretty decent job of warning the hens to take cover.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    humboldt CA
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    14

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    If you have a high fence around the chickens you can string fishing line which the hawks hit when they dive. Still just a deterrent at best.

  12. #11
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    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
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    280

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Quote Originally Posted by Norcalbeez View Post
    If you have a high fence around the chickens you can string fishing line which the hawks hit when they dive. Still just a deterrent at best.
    We do something similar, but added shiny strips (essentially tinsel) to the lines. Has worked well, to date, and allows us to pasture-raise our birds with minimal losses.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Parthenon, Ar,USA
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    268

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    I have used the "fishing line roof" on a chicken run and it works quite well. The hawks wouldn't even try it.
    Neill
    Herbhome Farm USDA zone 7a

  14. #13
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    Mar 2012
    Location
    Algood, TN, USA
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    108

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    P2050185.jpg

    I am pretty sure it won't help! We had a hawk last summer use our hives as a vantage point for months. The bees would fly all around him and he could care less. He would often lean over and watch the bees go in and out of the hive. I figured he helped keep the mice away at least!

  15. #14
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    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Quote Originally Posted by herbhome View Post
    I have used the "fishing line roof" on a chicken run and it works quite well. The hawks wouldn't even try it.
    I don't have chickens, but I do have a pond with koi fish. Everyone loves to eat koi fish (herons, osprey, bald eagles, otters, ...). I've had to systematically add layers of defenses against these various critters. Fishing line over the pond is used for the eagles and osprey, but the osprey are still bold enough to attempt a grab. So far they have not successfully captured the bounty they were seeking.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  16. #15
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Quote Originally Posted by SueBeeTN View Post
    P2050185.jpg

    We had a hawk last summer use our hives as a vantage point for months.
    That's a great photo that you posted! I have lots of hawks flying over and around my hill, but I never see then perched on anything.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  17. #16
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    Mar 2012
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    Algood, TN, USA
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    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Thanks!

  18. #17
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    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rockford, IL
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    152

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Portable electric poultry fence for ground predators with aviary netting on top to keep the hawks out... bees just ain't gonna do it.

  19. #18
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    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
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    739

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Never worked for me just used fishing line overhead
    Dad always said " Smart like tractor, strong like bull "

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Lilburn, GA, USA
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    744

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    Nice! A picture is worth a thousand words!

    Quote Originally Posted by SueBeeTN View Post
    P2050185.jpg

    I am pretty sure it won't help! We had a hawk last summer use our hives as a vantage point for months. The bees would fly all around him and he could care less. He would often lean over and watch the bees go in and out of the hive. I figured he helped keep the mice away at least!
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: bees and hawks

    I've heard that purple martins will keep hawks away. They won't tolerate the hawks and will attack them as they're nesting. During the fall and winter though? Not sure what to do there. It seems that hawks are around about all year at least in my area. Not sure about yours but that may be something to look into. All you need to do is put up housing for them and hope / pray that a pair takes up nesting. Once you have one you'll have more in years to come.

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