Feed trough inundated by honey bees

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Jan 16, 2021
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Hi all,

We supplement feed our beef because we live on sand and our pasture grasses aren't very rich in nutrition. Also, our cattle go to the butcher in a few weeks so we are also trying to finish them. Over the last couple of weeks we have increasingly been having problems with honey bees in our food trough, and the cattle getting stung and now are avoiding the food trough to a degree. We have never had this issue in previous years. We took out sweet based feed from our normal mix and are just doing corn and oats. The corn alone is attracting them. Any suggestions on what we can do?
The bees are trying to source anything they can to build up for winter. I beg you not to kill them. I'd first try setting up a hummingbird feeder and simply filling it with sugar syrup. Mix it 1 part sugar, I part water. Bring it to a rolling boil on stove top and stir. I'd hang the feeder about 10' from the feed trough(s). Then you can move it farther away every couple of days. Do that either early morning or at night. Basically, you're baiting them away from the cattle.
Probably not much. Hard to fight and win against several million years of nature's instinctiveness. As Hogfarmer said, the bees are trying to get enough sugar to store in hives for winter.
I believe you will need a lot more than a hummingbird feeder tho.

I'm not sure you would need to boil it either. That might turn it into the soft candy stage and thicken it.
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Dad has kept bees since 1971, usually close to 100 hives, and now my wife does it for him (he's in terrible health). Ironically, I'm highly allergic to them. Great place to grow up, right? Boiling it makes I a syrup. That's how we've always done it. It flows through pinholes in quart jar lids. Also, the syrup can be stored in old gallon milk jugs just fine. Basically all I was suggesting was to provide them an easier solution for something to eat. But the ideas about early and late feeding were also very good. I would like to think you should definitely be able to reduce your problem, especially if it's only a short time that you will be finishing your calves. One other thought, if there is a tractor supply or similar store near you, if they have any beekeeping supplies, they should have what is called a pollen patty, or a protein patty for bees. They're very reasonable and all you'll have to do is open it and set it out for them.
Thanks all. I am going to try to feed at night as my first solution.

These are definitely bees. They aren't very aggressive. I can run my hand through the feed and even though they are everywhere (100's of them). They pretty just move an inch or two aside go back to their business. I've seen my cattle get stung in the mouth, but not their face or body. It's obviously a problem though so I have find some solution.
Find somewhere away from where you are feeding cattle and leave out the corn for them during the day .
Feed cattle in the evening for a few days to get the bees to move over to the new location.

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