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The recent arrival of the Blue birds and Tree Swallows got me to thinking (that's scary). I've been building bird houses for these guys for years. Now that their population is up and I'm now into bees, do these species eat bees? What a bummer that would be.

Hayseed
 

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I have two mocking birds that visit my yard to eat bees. The just hop up to the front of the hive and pick a bee up off the ground and fly off. They also pick the sealed larva out of the drone comb that I cut from my hive. I also have a robin that hangs out near the hives but have never seen her pick up a bee although I think she must.

I would think that martins could do a lot of damage to the returning field bees in the evening if they were into bees. I don’t know if they eat bees though.
 

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Someone with bees told me, the Bohemian Waxwing where bad some weeks ago.
Konrad
 

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We have group of swallows that shows up about this time of year. I have seen them cruising around above my hives. When they do, I can hear a distinct popping sound.

I assume that the sound is their beaks shutting around an insect. I don't know what they are eating, but based on where they are, there is a fair chance that they get some bees.

They don't eat enough to cause me a problem though.
 

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This winter when the bees were making their cleansing flights, they would often fall to the snow to poop and take a few moments to roll around before (some of them) would fly back to the hive - the chickadees hung out on branches and picked them off the snow for an easy feast.

V Schrager
 

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Thought I would mention that I just saw a Summer Tanager snatching bees in the air yesterday around my hives. It was pretty incredible to see it fly...seemed as nimble as a bat. Anyhow, it ate 5-6 while I watched! The tanager is bright red and is very pretty so I surely like to see it around. I wish it ate mosquitoes like it east bees though!
 

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I have several catbirds that hang around the area of my hives, but I have never seen them going after any. Catbirds are in the mockingbird family. We also have several mockingbirds in the yard, but have never seen any near the hives.
 

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Maybe some of you need to check a little closer. I have never heard of a bird eating worker bees other then the martin. The bee martin will definitely work on bees, but other then that I don't think you need to worry. I keep bird feeders near all my hives for one reason only. WAX MOTHS. As long as the birds are there, I never have moths. Let the feeders run out for awhile and the moths are back.

PS. There was a study done years ago, and written in one of the bee journals. Both workers and drones were thrown in a fish pond with one wing removed. The drones were consumed, but not the workers. The fish knew the difference. Maybe the birds do too. Who knows?
 

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I have purple martins and tree swallows. They are both "good" birds, IMO. I house them in natural gourds.

I have seen the bees chasing the red winged blackbirds. It is funny to watch! But never had any concern or trouble with the Purple Martins or tree swallows.

Also two nests of barn swallows, no trouble from them with the bees.

The purple martins are totally dependent on man for their housing. They migrate from Brazil every spring. The Indians kept them and housed them in gourds. I figure it must have taken the martins thousands of years to lose the ability to live in natural tree cavities.

We know there were no honey bees in the area back then, since the bees arrived with the europeans. so even if the martins eat a few honey bees now and then (which I have not observed), I see no reason to fear them, and in fact from what I have observed the martins and swallows are quite beneficial. Primary Martin food is dragon flys and other flies, like mayflies.
 

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Hey iddee,
I wasn't aware that too many things besides martins ate bees either. That's what everyone says...so I watched a little closer and I am positive that this tanager was snatching worker bees. Of course, I am not terribly worried about a few bees here and there as there are more than that little bird can eat. I just thought it was pretty amazing and a little curious to see the tanager eating the bees in mid-air
 

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I have sat and watched purple martins swooping back and forth in front of the hives. If they were not eating bees they were.... maybe.. doing touch & goes???
I cannot say for sure that they did eat bees.

Used to have barn swallows in the martin house and martins in the bluebird houses... go figure. Havent seen a martin here in several years, dont know what happened to them.

never had any problem with any other feathered critter .

tom
 

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I have noticed a decline in blue martin numbers in recent years also. I thought it might have been because of the hurricanes, but martins come here around January. The hurricanes were long gone in January.

The title of this post is kind of funny. I had to look to see who had a bee that is eating birds.
 

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I have seen Kingbirds eat bees. They perched right on the hive edge when cool out and lunched.
 

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Hi, Baldylocks
I may be antique, maybe even historic, but never too old to learn. That's why I visit this forum. Keep posting and I will keep learning.
Thanks
Iddee
 

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Well,

Someone mentioned the "Bee Martin". This is the common name for the "Eastern Kingbird".

They will DEFINITELY consume bees. It probably is a lot less than it seems, but they will perch nearby and eat bees all day. I know, I've seen 'em do it.

Pretty bird and all that, but my biggest concern, of course, was that an emreging virgin queen, on her way out for her mating flight would become lunch. Long shot, I know, but I just couldn't stand to watch them keep eating my bees. The male and female both were there.

I asked 'em to leave. :D
 

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Thanks for the info Sharkey....... I had never heard Kingbirds called "Be Martin's".

I have both the Eastern and Western races here. I'll have to keep an eye on the rascals.
 

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Anyone else had any experience with guinea fowl? I have some in the incubator; may be better off giving them away if they hatch?

Lew
 
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