Honey Bees and Poultry on the Homestead
Whether you are a beekeeper interested in adding chickens, ducks, geese, guineas or other poultry to your homestead, or you are a poultry enthusiast interested in beekeeping, you might have a lot of questions whether or not it is possible. Will the bees sting my chickens? Will my poultry bother my beehives? Is it safe to let my bird’s free range in the yard with beehives present? How far away do I need to place my hives from my coop?
The truth is poultry and bees get along wonderfully! Occasionally, one of your birds may get stung, but it certainly is not life threatening. Keeping your hives off of the ground will lessen the chances of this happening.
Ducks, geese, guineas, and chickens can safely free range even with beehives present. Birds love snacking on bugs and can be a big help in cleaning up any dead bees around the hive as well as any wax or comb that has fallen to the ground. Although not a common occurrence, some birds may tend to hang out near the entrance to the hive to snack on bees carrying pollen back to the colony. In this case, in order to maintain the health and well-being of your beehive, a small fence
in front of your hive will help re-direct those bug-hungry birds.
As far as the recommended distance necessary between your flock’s coop and beehives, no distance is necessary. Some people who live in areas with bears have been known to keep their hives inside of their chicken runs for safety. Just as a precaution they will lock their flock up in the coop when needing to open the hives.
Poultry and bees make such wonderful additions to your homestead and coexist famously. They all do their part in making your home and our world so beautiful. The bees work hard in pollinating in order to help produce a fruitful garden and magnificent landscape, as well as provide you with delicious honey and useful wax. Ducks, geese, chickens, and guineas are great companions and help with organic bug control, fertilizing, and providing a generous amount of fresh eggs.