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Day 17: swollen

Do chickens eat bees? Do they get stung?

There’s a surprisingly lively conversation about it online. There are bee- and chicken-keepers who deliberately keep hives near their henhouses. They say the chickens help by eating dead bees and hive parasites and almost never get stung. There are bee- and chicken-keepers who say their chickens won’t touch a bee, dead or alive.

And there was one poor soul having no luck at all because her chickens stationed themselves outside the hive entrance and plucked delicious bees out of the air as soon as they appeared.

Our garden is full of bees, including some great big (rare) bumblers. This is bee conservation country. I’ve seen my chooks chase them (and the cats too, for that matter) but never seen them eat one.


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: October 17, 2018, 11:18 pm

Huh. Here’s a dude what loves his spotted dick:


Although he does prefer the Simpsons’.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: October 17, 2018, 11:25 pm

When I was a little kid, my friend Wesley told us boys that his dad could catch a live bee in his bare hand without getting stung. This was so stupid a conceit that we all laughed unmercifully at Wesley. This made Wesley so angry that he reached out and snatched a bee off a flower and held it, alive, in his hand. He didn’t get stung at all! This amazed us, but knowing Wesley was a mere mortal boy like the rest of us, we ALL reached out and grabbed a bee and held it in our hands.

None of us got stung. It seems, having researched this a bit, a bee needs a little bit of velocity to get his stinger to pierce the relatively tough skin of one’s hand. So, it seems quite possible a chicken could eat a bee, even a live bee, without being stung.

However, we boys learned a second lesson that day: bees follow the rule of Kings, to wit: never strike at a King (or a bee) and fail to make the kill. The King (or the bee) if left alive, will extract a terrible revenge. And so when we all let go of our live bees they flew off, and then flew back, and stung us, every one.

Comment from Janna
Time: October 18, 2018, 12:39 am

Do you have the list of the words, or do you get one a day? It would take me a day or two to come up with something to draw.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 18, 2018, 2:07 am

I love bees. This spring I could hear my mountain laurel tree humming! Actually it is still humming but now the bees are taking care of the Pride of Barbados tree.

Maybe some bees simply don’t taste good. Maybe what they’ve been pollinating is not appealing. I also have oleander and the bees don’t care for it at all—of course every part of oleander is poisonous (and I would never plant it, but these were already growing in front when we bought the house.)

Comment from AliceH
Time: October 18, 2018, 3:05 am

Janna – the official list of prompt words for “inktober” can be found on sweasel Oct 1 post.

I’d post it for you here but cut/paste stopped working for me on this blog a long time back (it works everywhere else) and it’s too long to try typing it out with no fumbles.

Tomorrow’s word is “bottle”. That ought to be good!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 18, 2018, 7:23 am

Cut and paste doesn’t work here for you? Extraordinary.

Yes, I’m working from the generic prompt list. I don’t particularly like it, but I’ve found from experience I quickly run out of steam left to my own imagination.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 18, 2018, 7:25 am

Great story, Some Veg. But if you ate a bee, you’d get the venom along with the bee, I’d think. All I know is, I’ve seen pictures of dogs with swollen faces who supposedly et bees.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: October 18, 2018, 11:15 am

I like and respect the little buggers.
Reminds me of honey
and I’m hungry


Comment from Mitchell
Time: October 18, 2018, 6:13 pm

My elder brother taught me the trick of looking for the white dot on the head of a bumblebee to catch the stinger-less drones. Alas, sometimes the glare on their shiny black eyeballs makes the fully armed and operational female bees look like they have a white dot on their heads. They do not like to be caught.

Comment from Pupster
Time: October 18, 2018, 7:44 pm

Sorry to be asking a few days behind, but…

I started clipping at the blackberry brambles clearing a path to her,

What precisely where you going to do when you got there? Shake the tree? Scamper up the trunk? Call the fire department?

Comment from BJM
Time: October 20, 2018, 3:23 am

And there was one poor soul having no luck at all because her chickens stationed themselves outside the hive entrance and plucked delicious bees out of the air as soon as they appeared.

I literally LOL.

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