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Pet owners try to do their best to eliminate situations when their four-legged friends may find themselves in danger. Bees are considered not the best company for a pet for obvious reasons. However, if you decide to start beekeeping, your dog may become your great helper. The main thing here is to follow safety rules. Why can it be useful to get a furry buddy at an apiary? In fact, you can get a double profit from such an idea. Firstly, your dog can help protect the hives from intruders, both animals and humans. This issue is still relevant nowadays, so it will not be superfluous to have someone who can warn you of imminent danger. You should just create comfortable conditions for your guard and provide it with the best food for senior dog. Secondly, the dog may help you with detection. This role is of great importance and requires a more detailed description.
Bee Sniffing Dog
Beekeeping is a serious occupation that requires deep knowledge of every trifle. Even though many people believe that everything they need to do is to take care of the hive and harvest the honey, it is not so. Bacterial infections can become a key stumbling block on the way to developing your beekeeping business. The bacteria pose a mortal danger for bee larvae and babies, and when they die, they turn into a sticky substance that becomes a home for spores that dry it up. A well-trained dog may alert beekeepers about it. One should just get the right detection dog with an easygoing character and enough intelligence to do this job. If you plan to have many colonies, you will hardly be able to inspect each of them on your own properly. On the other hand, it may take time to educate other beekeepers, so using a dog can become a great way out.
Imagine a situation. You have agreed to provide your 1500 hives to help pollinate gardens or the almond crop. Before they hit the road, you have to inspect each of them for the presence of contagious colony killing bacteria. If there are some infected colonies, they must be quarantined. Most beekeepers just control that field to make sure the danger has gone while some choose to burn it out. It will not be the easiest task since you don’t have such a perfect sense of smell as a dog has. A dog can cope with the task in about 20 minutes, while you will need several days. If you want to have a profitable beekeeping business and have a huge apiary, you will not do without a four-legged helper. However, one should bear in mind that a dog can make such inspections only when it is cold outside and bees are sleeping. But the dog should have training sessions almost daily to keep its skills sharp. It is better to use a real comb infected with the bacteria for such a purpose.
How to Keep Your Dog and Bees Safe?
Even though a dog can become a wonderful beekeeping companion, you shouldn’t forget about your responsibilities as its owner. You should provide comfortable conditions for their coexistence with each other, not to face any serious issues. So, if you want your dog to help you protect your hives from intruders and detect dangerous bacteria, it is necessary to come up with ways to help both species live in peace. Sometimes, it happens that a dog cannot escape a bee attack, and it may result in unpleasant and life-threatening consequences.
1. Provide both species with plenty of space
Even though you want to get a guard dog, it is worth cutting back on its interaction with bees. There should be enough free space between the dog’s house and bee colonies, so they can calmly coexist and avoid each other. It will not be a big deal to train your dog to stay off the hives’ territory if you have got a dog that can detect the bacteria and learn how to protect its territory from strangers.
2. Don’t place the dog’s house near bees
Even though we live in an era when people get dogs as their pets, some continue to use them as their slaves and keep them chained. However, when it comes to a dog at an apiary, the worst and stupid thing one can do is to leave a confined animal near the hives. In such a case, a dog will not be able to escape a bee attack if something. Annoyed bees will not try to find out who has disturbed them but will attack the first object they will encounter. The dog will become the most obvious target.
3. Rail your hive in
When you have just got a dog that is not familiar with bees, it is better to rail in your hives to prevent the occurrence of unpleasant and even dangerous situations. Such a step will help keep both species safe. Even though bees don’t get aggressive until they believe their hives are in danger, your curious and playful dog may find itself in trouble. Besides, if it turns out that the dog is allergic to bee stings, it can die if bees decide to attack it. Your task is to prevent such incidents and provide all the species with enough space.