Beehive Buzz: Birds & Bees

Chicken and beehives.

A chicken foraging near beehives. Photo: Ray Civitts, Mountain Sweet Honey.

A recent article titled “Can you Keep Bees and Chicken Together?” by Funtastici, a mysterious writer, affirmed that beekeepers can have backyard poultry.

Erik, a Louisiana gardener, has both honeybees and chickens, and he responded after reading the article, “This is kind of true but I kind of take issue. Generally they will get along, but I would keep them far apart if the chickens are in any way confined (in a yard or in a chicken tractor).I have seen animals penned about 150 feet from a hive, an animal gets stung, goes berserk and the [bee’s defense] pheromone is released and next thing you know things snowball, and the poor animals are being torn up and have to be let out where they can put some distance between them and the hive. That is anecdotal, but I have seen it happen and that is the risk.I’m glad I happened to be there when it happened.”

Funtastici shared these notes to enable a successful combination of birds and bees:

  • Bees have been known to sting chickens, so keeping [the bees] away from the [chicken] feeders is important.
  • Check that a flock of hens is clear from the [hive] entrance. Risky situations might arise when chickens free-range inside the [apiary].

Finally, other bloggers have written about having both chickens and honeybees. If you want to have both eggs and honey, then consider researching the experiences of these bloggers.

If you want to contact “Beehive Buzz,” please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 318.264.2448 or khawkins@agcenter.lsu.edu . Also, you can be on the “beemail” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

“Mention of trade names or commercial products and services in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

1/11/2023 9:30:42 PM
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