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I am looking at non chemical ways to reduced the fly populations on my cattle in pasture and was considering adding a bunch of tree swallow nest around the pasture to help attract the birds to eat the flies. But that pasture is also in the middle of several of my apiaries and where I was able to actually see a queen in her mating flight in the middle of a cloud of drones. Am I going to be asking for trouble for me bees by trying to attract the birds to cut down on the flies?

Frank in Central Ohio
 

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Frank are you aware of the feed suppliment you can give your livestock that will make their manure poisonous to fly maggots? My rancher friends swear by it.
 

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Two 8-frame Langstroth hives
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Hi there, I'm not too familiar with US ornithology, but I think your tree swallows prefer smaller insects than queen bees and drones, more like midges, flies, mosquitos etc. Our Swallows here do prefer larger insects. They eat a few hundred a day each.

Check with a birdwatcher or the Audubon Society what's their general diet.
 

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We have many tree swallows all around the 70 colonies here at the home yard. The tree swallows are always around the ponds I never see them around the bees. I put up nest boxes for them also. Definitely do it it's a great solution.
 

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I don't think the swallows will bother your bees much at all. I'm going to build about 50 this winter to put up before spring. This will help out getting rid of some flies. I don't generally have issues with lots of flies though. As I don't overpopulated my cows, and move them allot. A good deterrent/prevention is always good. I 5hink 5hey will work for you.
I've tried the cattle blocks for fly prevention In past my cows didn't really lick them much at all. I don't think they liked them. Also, you must keep em dry, and put of the weather, they crumble when wet. Rich
 

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I'll risk getting kicked out from this forum for this blasphemy.... but when I got my hives I was secretly hoping my bees will attract migrating Rainbow Bee-Eaters closer to my home. Funny how we all have a different perspective.

 
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