Honey bees everywhere on Winters warm days

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This Winter on the warm days, I'd say 50 F and above, honey bees are all over my chicken feed. They must have swarmed in on me somewhere close because I've never seen them in the Winter time. I have in early Spring for just a day or two but there are so many honey bees I have to make a mash out of the dry feed so my chickens can eat in peace. The bees aren't trying to sting but I'm sure my chickens would rather avoid them.

The honey bees are basically just rolling around in the chicken feed trying to pick up some protein dust for the hive. There isn't a single flower bloom around as far as I know. Is there some way I can help the bees and keep them out of the feed? I don't expect them to stop until the Easter flowers come out.
 
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This same thing happens quite often here except they are after the liquid in aluminum cans. What I do is float a sponge in sugar water (hummingbird food). This way they can land on the sponge, load up with sugar and not drown.
 
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Bees will feed happily on sugar water, and cope quite well with using small 'rafts' of some sort, but they can't smell it, so may not find it (Wasps can smell sugar). Add a little honey and they will find it. Honey is their main diet, pollen, with protein in, is what the young bees in the hive eat when they are producing 'milk' for the grubs, but they will store it in honey comb cells 'til they need it. One of the most spectacular things I have seen in a beehive was a frame of bright yellow rape seed pollen with a splash of crimson horse chestnut pollen across it.
Bees will travel a radius of about 3/4 of a mile in search of food, so the hive may not be too close. A swarm happens when a new Queen cell hatches, the old queen leaves with all the mature, flying bees, leaving the younger ones that take care of the hive and the new queen. Because of a parasite (Varroa) imported from Asia wild hives no longer survive in this country, I don't know how it is in the US.
 
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Bees will feed happily on sugar water, and cope quite well with using small 'rafts' of some sort, but they can't smell it, so may not find it (Wasps can smell sugar). Add a little honey and they will find it. Honey is their main diet, pollen, with protein in, is what the young bees in the hive eat when they are producing 'milk' for the grubs, but they will store it in honey comb cells 'til they need it. One of the most spectacular things I have seen in a beehive was a frame of bright yellow rape seed pollen with a splash of crimson horse chestnut pollen across it.
Bees will travel a radius of about 3/4 of a mile in search of food, so the hive may not be too close. A swarm happens when a new Queen cell hatches, the old queen leaves with all the mature, flying bees, leaving the younger ones that take care of the hive and the new queen. Because of a parasite (Varroa) imported from Asia wild hives no longer survive in this country, I don't know how it is in the US.
At least in central Texas wild bees are quite common. I have a hive on my property. There is an alarming number of hives, both wild and domestic that are being eliminated due to that parasite and because of the widespread use of insecticides both contact and systemic.
 
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I think these bees swarmed off from one of my neighbors bee hives to live in the wild.
 
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I think these bees swarmed off from one of my neighbors bee hives to live in the wild.
It shouldn't happen if you check brood frames regularly, but we all miss queen cells sometimes. The queen produces a substance that stops the bees making new queen cells, but if she gets old, or the hive gets too big, there is not enough to go round. The bee keeper should check for queen cells regularly and destroy them before they pupate and hatch, if it keeps happening it is time to either take out the old queen and give them a new one, or split the hive. Take a couple of frames and put them in a new box in the old location. Then move the main box to a new location and all the bees already flying will return to the old location, effectively making a controlled swarm, but with the starter of a couple of frames. Producing new hives can be almost as profitable as producing honey.

If he regularly loses swarms make a bait box with five frames with bees wax in them, sizes and frames are on line, and put it out. The swarm will find it and you are in business. If you are into making stuff a bee suit is easily made from a white boiler suit with added cuffs and ankles, and a veil from an old fire spark guard with a cardboard 'top hat'. The smoker is a little more difficult, I bought mine, but my brother had one he made from a car wing he found beside the road :)
 
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I can get bee keeping stuff at a local farm store but at this time I don't have any interest in keeping the bees. Really dont know anything about taking care of them but I do like honey. I do want to keep them alive and coming around. Last year I didn't see many honey bees around during the gardening era.
 
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The honey bees aren't a bit interested in the sugar water. They only want to roll around in the feed dust. I put some cracked corn out for the chickens and the bees roll around in that dust too.

Is there something that I can plant that blooms real early so at least they will get out of the feed sooner? We have easter flowers and pear trees. Is there something sooner? Plenty of white clover in the yard but I don't remember when it blooms.
 
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Bees will feed happily on sugar water, and cope quite well with using small 'rafts' of some sort, but they can't smell it, so may not find it (Wasps can smell sugar). Add a little honey and they will find it.

Unless, of course it is the time of year. If the queen has started laying they may want pollen to produce 'milk' for the larvae, and they have honey stored but not pollen. Try just a dab of honey on the plate.
 

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