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Bees and horses

 
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SamH
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Mar 2016
Posts: 50
Location: Chichester, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:25 am    Post subject: Bees and horses Reply with quote

Just a quick question, do bees really dislike horses? My partner keeps horses and I'm thinking of setting up bait hives around her paddocks, but wonder if they'll be attracted to an area near horses.

Thanks
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have bees and horses and although I keep my bees in the garden at home and my horses about 100yds away, I often see my bees up in the stable yard sometimes foraging on the muck heap.
I often stand amongst my hives watching the activity on my way too and from the yard and will therefore smell pretty strongly of the horses and it has never been a problem with the bees.

I think the main problem is that horses are flighty and if they do get stung, unlikely as it is, they are inclined to react quite extravagantly. I guess the worry is that someone might get trampled or the horses injure themselves in such a panic response, which is why it is probably best to keep them separately. I don't think the bees particularly have a problem with horses although people will no doubt say that their furry brown coats will resemble bears.
I imagine if a horse has access to the hives and is curious enough to poke their nose near the entrance or try to scrub against it, then that is when problems are most likely to occur.

That said, a swarm arriving to enter a bait hive might panic a nervous horse.
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't site hives where livestock has access. They all like a rub & knocking hives over wouldn't be nice for all involved.
I've kept bees in the same fielsd as cattle, horses & sheep but fenced & entrances facing away.
Bait hives are better raised 8ft or more above ground so if a swarm moves in they will be well above the horses.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have been occasional cases of horse stung by bees and these can cause major problems.
http://tinyurl.com/zl8ssvn

IF you mix bees and horse, you must ensure bees are forced to fly above horses to prevent problems so screens (hedges,fences, walls etc) to ensure that happens..


Otherwise at some date you are likely to have problems with unpredictable results and the risk of injury to horses, riders or worse.
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SamH
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Mar 2016
Posts: 50
Location: Chichester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all, very useful thoughts. My plan is to set up a bait hive either on the roof of one of the many sheds/stables, or in a tree at the boundary of a paddock. I would intend to relocate any colony that moves in at the earliest convenience.
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