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Eddy Honey
May 13th 2012, 11:05 AM
Since turning my chickens loose they like to hang out around the hives to scratch around and eat bugs and grass.

At the same time, I've noticed no more hive beetles and mites and I also haven't used traps this year.
Earlier in the year, before the chickens got turned loose during the day, I saw mites on a few bees and drone larvae. I check for pests every inspection but none show up.

So it has me wondering if the chickens are eating the bugs before they enter the hives? :dontknow:

I'll keep monitoring and report back my findings.

Iddee
May 13th 2012, 06:04 PM
Back before the mites and shb got here, the chickens kept my hives totally free of wax moths. I haven't had chickens since the mites came.

efmesch
May 14th 2012, 04:23 PM
The chickens could be eating the SHBs but not the varroa---they spend their entire lives in the hive or on bees. There''s no way that the chickens are cleaning the mites off the bees.

Walt B
May 14th 2012, 06:53 PM
With the difficulty my ladies had catching grasshoppers, I figure a beetle would be way past their capabilities. :lol: Finally had to stop the free range when they decided to try and hitch hike down the highway, "Hey trucker, need a passenger?" Figured they'd end up on the grill of a Kenworth.

Walt

Eddy Honey
May 14th 2012, 07:07 PM
Sometimes a car goes by my house lol.

Gypsi
May 14th 2012, 11:10 PM
I was told that chickens eat bees. So I Haven't turned my chickens loose near the bees.
I can see them thinning the varroa by catching bees slowed by and dying of the mites?
They could definitely get some moths, maybe shb.

I have fences.

Zulu
May 15th 2012, 06:15 AM
I was told that chickens eat bees. So I Haven't turned my chickens loose near the bees.
I can see them thinning the varroa by catching bees slowed by and dying of the mites?
They could definitely get some moths, maybe shb.

I have fences.

Nope they avoid bees, but I have heard but never saw it, that they will eat Drones they come across, somehow they know the difference.
my chickens ranged around tHe hives and always avoided any bees on the ground

Dakine
May 18th 2012, 12:44 AM
Sounds like part of SHB's life cycle is on the ground so chickens may help knock out SHB's.

reidi_tim
May 21st 2012, 07:41 PM
Back before the mites and shb got here, the chickens kept my hives totally free of wax moths. I haven't had chickens since the mites came.
So what is the connection between the mites varroa and or travheal and the chickens? Mom got some chickens this year and granted they are as far away from the house and the chickens ( or more so as far away from mom as possible ). Mom is a hard to understand person 5' 1" and maybe 90 lbs she has no problem pushing the Belgium horses around like they are a small kitten, but deathly afraid of the bees:doh:. So mom doesn't get regular chickens she has to have ugly chickens..
39793980

jim314
May 21st 2012, 08:12 PM
Your mom picks cool chickens. We had one just exactly like the one on the right in your second pic. He was so much fun to watch, skittish is an understatement. The 4th of July nearly did him in :) He ran from on side of the property to the next every time someone set off a fire cracker a block away. But he was a great hunter. I saw the the other chickens chase him across the yard when he had a tarantula in his mouth and the next time a small grass snake. He could outrun them all, and was proud of what he found :) Coyotes ended up getting him along with the rest of them.

Gypsi
May 21st 2012, 10:02 PM
Those are some cool chickens! I just got some Black Australorp chicks today, they will look more normal. The coop for my older hens is almost built. It is on the bee lot.

bamabww
May 22nd 2012, 01:02 AM
My brother had a terrible tick infestation / invasion in his yard and bought some guineas. They cleaned up the ticks in no time at all. They are very good "watch dogs" also. No one drives up without them sounding an alarm.

But as with chickens, they have very poor "bathroom" manners and anywhere the feeling strikes is where they "go".

efmesch
May 22nd 2012, 01:40 AM
Those are chickens?
They look like winged hat-racks. :rotfl:
So now I know that hat racks can be put to work.

Gypsi
May 22nd 2012, 08:50 AM
Guineas are good too, but tend to run a bit wild I gather.

SkyeFeetham
Aug 17th 2013, 11:51 AM
I think you should have pest control services because chickens eating these bugs and we eat them it's better to avoid these kind of things because it's a serious matter of health.


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Slowmodem
Aug 17th 2013, 12:39 PM
I think you should have pest control services because chickens eating these bugs and we eat them it's better to avoid these kind of things because it's a serious matter of health.

No offense, but I think I'll follow a different star. :)

Gypsi
Aug 17th 2013, 01:46 PM
bugs are protein. pest control sprays are poison. I'm sticking with my chickens.

Iddee
Aug 17th 2013, 03:04 PM
I put manure on my veggie garden, but I don't worry when I eat my veggies. Same with chickens and bugs.

efmesch
Aug 17th 2013, 03:37 PM
I put manure on my veggie garden, but I don't worry when I eat my veggies. Same with chickens and bugs.
Not quite sure I follow you---did you mean that you put manure on your chickens and bugs or that you don't worry when you eat your chickens and bugs?:wink:

Iddee
Aug 17th 2013, 04:06 PM
She seemed to think there would be a health problem from eating chickens that had eaten bugs. I was just saying when you eat a plant or animal, you are NOT eating what it ate.

efmesch
Aug 18th 2013, 12:28 AM
Some pesticieds (like banned DDT) are persistent and travel up the food chain.

tmrschessie
Aug 18th 2013, 10:16 AM
We raise Rhode Island Reds here...they don't bother the bees but the other pests need to stand by...they are great buggers....Tom

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d161/tmrschessie/Stuff/Chickens4.jpg (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/tmrschessie/media/Stuff/Chickens4.jpg.html)

brooksbeefarm
Aug 18th 2013, 12:22 PM
I read a post somewhere that said they had ate bee poop? so what, i eat bee puke.:lol: My daughter when she was old enough to gather eggs, seen how a hen laid an egg,:shock: she wouldn't eat eggs for a long time.:lol: If people knew what they are eating,we probably would be alot thinner population.:roll: Hey, just asking, do they still make those porclain eggs that they use to put in places they wanted to get the hen to lay in? Or do any of you kids know even what i'm talking about? Jack

Gypsi
Aug 18th 2013, 01:35 PM
My feed store has porcelain/ceramic eggs in brown and white, no glaze. I had to write "fake" on one in pencil to identify it one year. (hens buried it since now I just use an old golf ball for inspiration)

power napper
Aug 18th 2013, 07:43 PM
Chickens definitely help keep the insect population lower here, yesterday we dug our potato crop and the chickens ate more worms. crickets, bugs, ants and crawling critters than I thought possible. We previously used guineas for bug control but the occasional guinea on a vehicle with their sharp clawed feed caused major scratches, now only chickens for the job. Have never seen chickens eat any bees though.

Gypsi
Aug 18th 2013, 08:49 PM
I put 5 hens on my bee lot as an experiment and I have found a whole pile of bees with a little queen in the center, on the ground at the base of a hive, and the chickens didn't touch them. By the same token a grasshopper doesn't stand a chance, and I have had whole trees eaten by grasshoppers before.