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Bees foraging on hen feed

 
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject: Bees foraging on hen feed Reply with quote

Just reading on a poultry forum about someone in California whose neighbour has a bee yard next door and the bees are so desperate for pollen and water that the poster's poultry feeders and waterers are literally covered in bees, to the point that his chickens are loath to go near and the bees are so desperate for water they are even picking off the silicone sealant on the joints of his automatic waterers to get at the water(there were photos of them in the act).
It seems his neighbour has just brought his hives back to the yard and is now gearing them up for the almond pollination, so lots of bees needing protein and not enough pollen to go round at this time of year, so they are scavenging poultry feed from the hens next door.
I really did not fully comprehend this before. It is so sad that these bees are being pushed to produce brood at this time of year. It acted as a stark reminder not to buy out of season produce and to source locally grown organic wherever possible.
Regardless of how much I fancy some blueberries with my porridge at this time of year, I must resist, grow more in my garden and try to prevent my hens from eating them all next year as they did this year!!! And of course, I will be consciously buying less almond products from now on.

It just made me realise that we are all so complicit in creating and maintaining this monster that is modern agriculture, it really needs conscious everyday consideration to tackle it.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 586
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mother Jones is good on the Californian Almond Crop, for example :

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/a-trip-to-the-almonds-in-california.aspx#axzz3I0PWy771

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/almonds-water-walnuts-pistachios-california-drought-charts
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peopleshive
Guard Bee


Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 51
Location: Central Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading that second reference of Adam's I think we can probably assume that cheap almonds might not be so abundant before long anyway...

As an alternative, if you have space to grow them, Barbara, you could try cultivated hazelnut varieties as a prolific, easy to grow crop well suited to British conditions (even Scottish). I find home-grown nuts much tastier than imported ones and several good varieties are available.

Bees are supposed to like the early pollen from the catkins too, but I can't say I've ever seen them taking much interest in it.

Regards,

Andy
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bees collect all sorts of dust as pollen supplement. Wood saw dust and flour and...

The strangest thing I've seen is that they collected the fine excretions of auricula/primroses:












This way I learned about the fat glands and flour glands of some plants.

Concerning the industrial agriculture: Grow your own food. We in the industrial countries need to learn to feed ourselves! This is why I sometimes stress that producing honey locally is important. Of course not at all costs, but it certainly helps feeding the people. (And not eating other people's food!)

In Germany only 20-25 % of all honey consumed is produced in Germany. So a huge amount of our honey comes from overseas. (Brazil+Argentina.)

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here some pictures of bees on hen feed in the US.
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?305702-Who-wants-to-talk-about-unusually-warm-winter-weather
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Link to the pictures:
http://s425.photobucket.com/user/tweety4926/media/tweety4926001/2014%20bee%20pics/PC090213_zpsc11931bd.jpg.html

http://i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp340/tweety4926/tweety4926001/2014%20bee%20pics/PC090233_zpsd6cc0f70.jpg
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen this happen in Sweden too. Bees going likely for the Soya protein in chicken feed which in this part of the World is most likely GMO if not bought as organic.

My bees worked the Nasturtium for pollen i planted until late into October. Will plant lots of it next year.
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