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Author Topic: Bee Eaters ?  (Read 1253 times)
Sparky
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« on: April 21, 2013, 09:16:21 PM »

Has anyone had any experiences with wild turkeys hanging around their hives ? I have a out yard that is pretty secluded and have walked in to check on the hives on a couple trips to find about a dozen turkeys near them. I lost four hives over winter in this location and the one in particular was a shocker to know how strong it was all season and after winter it had a fist size of dead clustered and very few on the bottom board. The same was true on the others. I found turkey poop in front of all the hives and suspect they may be the biggest reason that they are dead.
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Highlander
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 09:26:22 PM »

I don't see why turkeys would not eat bees but would think that getting stung in the mouth and throat would be a deterrent.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 09:36:55 PM »

Don't know for sure biting suspect they are eating the sick and dead bees coming out of the hive.
Jim
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tjc1
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 09:45:04 PM »

I wouldn't be surprised that they'd peck at anything that looked like food to them...

I had a similar questions about phoebes. We have some nesting in the yard, and I know that they catch flying insects 'on the wing'. I hope they are not here because the bees provide easy pickin's...
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dfizer
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 10:34:49 PM »

I don't know about that... Three of my hives are located right at the edge of the woods where the turkeys come out and they have never bothered the hives or bees.  In fact I have seen the turkeys intentionally avoid the bees, as in walk out of their way around the hives.  So, I'm not too sure that this is your culprit.  There are 4 common subspecies of wild turkey - of which we have the Eastern in the north east so I guess if you have different subspecies of Turkey that may explain the difference - also I know turkeys are opportunistic feeders so if they are extremely hungry I guess it's possible they are feasting on the bees... Although, my gut says - highly unlikely. 
David
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 11:45:48 PM »

Good question.  I don't know.

The wild turkeys have really moved into my area over the past 5 to 10 years so I might have the same question before too long.  I was driving by a field near a river last month and (I kid you not) there must have been 200 turkeys foraging around.  I'm guessing they might be going after the spilled soybeans and corn, but who knows.  I hope they don't like to peck at foam  Wink since my hives are made from low density polystyrene  Sad   
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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 12:22:18 AM »

Small bird like bees, don't know why big one's woundn't.  Spring turkey season should be open.  Good hunting




Joe
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 08:46:01 AM »

They are probably eating the dead bees that have been hauled out of the hive...
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Sparky
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 08:24:49 PM »

Thanks for the thoughts, guys! I see them picking off insects all the time but cannot say that I know any were bees , but my money is on, some are. It just seems odd how the few times I walked in and caught them in a group while they were at the enrtrance area of the hives. You are correct Joe the season is in and it is time to thin them out.  Wink I am dealing with coons at another yard and the girls are not liking you even close the the hives before they come after me. It took a few days to figure out why until it rained and I could see the prints in the mud and on the hives. I set up a suprise for them when they return.
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blanc
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 09:25:10 PM »

My chickens had access to my hives in my yard and they are the dumbest birds that peck at just about anything that moves but bees were not one of them so I would have to agree with others on eating the dead ones. They would scratch around the hives but that is it.
Blanc
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Vance G
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 09:52:30 PM »

Skunks can eat a hive to nothing in no time.  I have heard coons can too.  I would suspect them before the turkeys.  Eat a couple and see if they taste like bees.
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Sunnyboy2
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 11:50:44 PM »

Not sure if they would eat live bees, that seems to be a speciality in the bird world. 
Your post does give me an idea for a blind next fall hunting season.
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RHBee
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2013, 12:27:15 AM »

I got a call from one of the guys who let me put my bees on his property today. He says the turkeys are "gobbling up my bees", no pun. I'm going to go check them in the morning. I'll let you all know what I find out.
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Later,
Ray
BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 01:12:09 AM »

LOL, that’s the problem with darn bees, there’s ALWAYS something after them! 

Just when you think you have all your bases covered, something new goes afoul.
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Sunnyboy2
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2013, 08:28:33 AM »

Nice pun Blue.  laugh
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mdbee
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2013, 09:07:20 AM »

I have turkey all around three of my yards and they seem to stay clear of the electric fence but the bears do try the fence out. I lost three hives on one of the warm spells we had this winter, seems like there is always something that wants to kill bees.
  Sparky, I will trade you some bears for your turkeys .
   JOHN
                     
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RHBee
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 01:50:04 PM »

I checked out the colonies and found no appreciable drop in population. I'd say turkeys are off the hook.
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Later,
Ray
kathyp
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 02:01:27 PM »

swallows are hard on my hives and robins sit on the landing board or top of the hive and eat away.  i can keep the robins off the hives, but not the swallows out of the air.
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Sparky
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 08:10:02 PM »

I have turkey all around three of my yards and they seem to stay clear of the electric fence but the bears do try the fence out. I lost three hives on one of the warm spells we had this winter, seems like there is always something that wants to kill bees.
  Sparky, I will trade you some bears for your turkeys .
   JOHN
                     
Fortunately John I have been lucky in that we have not had bear pay us a visit yet. My wife thought she saw one a couple years back within 40 yds. of the hives in my back yard but never got the hives.
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Sparky
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2013, 08:14:37 PM »

swallows are hard on my hives and robins sit on the landing board or top of the hive and eat away.  i can keep the robins off the hives, but not the swallows out of the air.
Your spot on about the swallows Kathy. When I run the brush hog over the fields they come down and snap insects over the tractor and i can feel the juice hit me.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2013, 10:20:39 PM »

i can keep the robins off the hives, but not the swallows out of the air.
Need more practice at the range  huh

I've got to deal with the robins and some swallows too.  The darn robins do like to hang out next to the hives and snack away in the spring.  They seem to move on to other things later on.  Luckily I only have about a half dozen swallows to contend with.  I will admit they are a pain in the butt  grin
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RHBee
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2013, 07:04:26 AM »

Purple Martins are the "on the wing" bee eaters here but I don't mind to much cause they decimate the mosquito population. Other birds that make a meal of my bees include blue jays,  blue birds and mocking birds. I don't really think that they substantially impact the numbers that much.
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Later,
Ray
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