Bird pressure on hive productivity

Bird pressure on hive productivity can certainly be significant; 300 bees per day.

I notice that we have a diversity of insect-eating birds that congregate around our hives in the morning. Do you think that the swarms are large enough to sustain the losses from these drongos, and what sort of impact will they have on honey production?

My sense is that it could be negligible and that we should allow them to take the bees they can, especially as they do not hang around the hives all day. What are your thoughts?

It's an interesting question; and I would like others to contribute to this topic. The bird in question is I presume the fork tailed bee-eater, or drongo. Each one can apparently take up to 300 per day; that is a considerable threat to the colony.

Each bee will collect about a teaspoon of honey in her life time; it's a significant threat.

The problem looking at the bigger picture is that the drongo makes a great contribution to keeping other insects under control; they are an important part of the ecological cycle.

They are highly intelligent birds, not easily frightened off; and I for one will not shoot them, despite the significant damage they do.

I keep a paintball gun which I fire off, aiming to hit the branch they are sitting on but not the bird. That does frighten them off but they revert when your back is turned. It's mainly a problem in misty weather, early in the morning and the late afternoon; when there is little activity.

When there are large numbers of bees flying they will attack a drongo; so the birds stay away.

It's a nuggety problem; I wonder what others think?

Bird pressure on hive productivity

Beehives in autumn

Bird pressure on hive productivity is a worry as a drongo can take up to 300 bees per day apparently.

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