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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in northern Colorado and recently moved to farm house with 5 acres. We moved in the summer so this is our first spring. The temps have been very mild 55-60. I came home today to find hundreds of honey bees in the coup. The chickens do are nervous to go into the coup. What are the bees doing? The chickens are free range on the property I have six hens and a rooster. There coup is a large barn area. Window Building Wood Mobile home House Wood Gas Cylinder Hardwood Soil

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great coop. and we can never have to many honey bee's. did they affect your flock ? have they gone back into the coop yet ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I love the honey bees!! Today is the first day they showed up. The chickens are nervous to enter. I put their water outside but if they need to lay I'm not sure they would go in. It's pretty loud!


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my guess is the nice weather spurred a split from a wild or nearby hive and the queen has likely found the coop to be an ideal spot to build a new hive. you have a few options now. first is to decide if you have the gall to deal with this on your own. if the answer is no, or unsure I would recommend looking into the local beekeepers club. they will handle it for you. if the answer is yes, then now you need to decide if you want to keep the queen and domesticate the hive. you will need to go buy a hive and that will likely run 150 or more dollars. the other option is to leave the bees wild, and simply move the cluster with the queen to an area more tolerable, like a hollowed tree on the property somewhere.
as for dealing with the bees, if thats what you decide to do, create some smoke to really calm the bees down. lay a white sheet below the cluster and try to remove the cluster still on whatever it is they have latched to. If you have purchased a hive, its as simple as placing the cluster in your hive and leaving it be for an hour or so. if your going to leave them wild, just place the somewhere safe, like a hollow tree and forget all about them.
hope I could help, I have been keeping bees for several years now, love my little bugs
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you powder hogg! We have a bee store down the road from me I will ask them if they would like to help. It seemed when the temps dropped and the sun dipped they all disappeared... Does this mean the queen left? Will she likely return? Temps are supposed to drop back into the 30s. It was pretty neat. I do have a organic CSA on the property. The guys that lease the land may be interested in the bees. The bees didn't care when I walked into coup to collect the eggs.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No they where all over. I would say most concentrated around the food source... I feed just a local organic feed by ranch way feeds. They seemed to be flying in an out quickly and couldn't care about the dog, chickens or me.


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unless you are messing with a honey bee, you are simply an object it needs to get around in order to get back to the hive. From your description I would rule out an active swarm. I would rather suggest that the warm spell has gotten the hive frisky and some of the bees took the chance to fly out and get some wing time, during those flights, a scout bee likely noticed that there was feed an liquid water in the coop. I have noticed my bees around the feed source, I use a fermented feed so its wet, I always figured they were simply pulling the water from the feed.
if they are in great numbers still when the sun comes back out and it warms back up, I would urge you to try and follow the bees back home, if you can find the hive, you have a proverbial honey hole. while honey bees are not native, they do rather well, and with a small amount of work, you may find yourself setting up a hive and getting a new hobby that is oh so sweet.
feel free to pm me if you have any questions, colorado has a decent network of beekeepers, and finding hives is not too difficult. in fact there is one in the denver metro right now, ready for colonization for 150 bucks. which is not a bad price for a full setup. I am an hour west of denver near the eisenhower tunnels, if your not too far away I would be happy to come out and give you a hand in sorting these bugs out once they are flying more readily.
whatever you decide, try to domesticate them, leave them wild.. having honey bees on or near your property is HUGE. do your best to avoid pesticides, I even go to the extent of bringing my neighbors in and having them not use any pesticides either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much for your response and willingness to help! I will let you know if they return when the weather warms up!


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I LOVE honey bees. since starting the beekeeping hobby I have really learned a lot from hive. I thought I had sent you a pm however when I look back I dont see it. look into your PM, I am interested in where you are and how you plan to move forward
 
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