View Full Version : Lawn Mowers and Leaf Blowers
06-10-2008, 03:49 PM
I know that bee hives dont like lawn mowers, leaf blowers, weed whakers and the like and may attack someone using them near a hive. My questions are: is it the noise (or likely the vibration) and/or the fumes from the gas powered motors that set them off? Do bees dislike electric powered mowers too? How close can one safely get (in front of and/or along side) a hive with a mower, whacker, etc? does a 6 foot high brick wall or wood fence effect this distance or will bees go right over it (I am sure a lot of backyard beekeepers have their hives fairly close to a neighbors fence)?
06-10-2008, 05:32 PM
I've only had hives for three weeks, but I've mowed three times around them and they've yet to become very riled up. My thinking is that they are too busy to worry about the mower and I don't hang around the hive for long. We'll see in late summer when they have a full hive with not much forage and guard bees hanging around just looking for a fight. :)
The first time, I was in jeans, long sleeved white shirt, boots and a veil. Last time was shorts, ball cap and tennies.
If they turn on me, it will be back to pants, veil and long sleeves. :)
If they get real bad, maybe an old fashioned push mower? :D
06-10-2008, 05:35 PM
I ride my murray mower right past the hives and they could care less. I have had 2 hives for a month now with no problems in working the yard with tools.
I never have a problem, However I dont go out of the way to hit a hive with a mower or weed wacker.
FYI I use a garden hoe under them.
06-10-2008, 06:00 PM
If you are smart you will have at least a veil on. I normally wear a coat and veil when mowing near the hives. Most days this is overkill but some days they really can get mad.
06-10-2008, 06:12 PM
Yeah my girls were very sweet and I could mow/weedeat right up to them, I dont know if their more protective with more bees and honey but I cant just mow next to them now without my veil...... Be cautious other newbies, they do get protective.....
06-10-2008, 07:04 PM
I got mad at my wife a few times for cutting by the hives. Cutting close wasn't good enough, she'd bump into them all the time. Never had a problem. But, this is the norm, not the exception! Always be carefull and try to keep the grass discharge and exhaust gas from blowing on the hive. I'd recomend a veil at minimum within 10 feet.
06-10-2008, 07:48 PM
06-10-2008, 08:05 PM
From my experience they don't mind so much when a flow is or or they're just generally busy.
Come fall when there's no flow or just in a dearth they become much more testy.
I wear a veil when I mow close, the tractor doesn't go fast enough.
06-10-2008, 08:08 PM
Sometimes mybees are OK with the mower and weed-whacker and other times they go ballistic. Don't know whatthe difference is. I wear my veil anyway.
06-10-2008, 08:10 PM
Be very cautious. I have mown around mine without them raising an eyebrow. I have also mown around them and thousands of bees would come out in full protective attitude. I Never mow close without my full suit on. Let the mower beware.
06-10-2008, 08:40 PM
My concerns are not so much for me. Our bees are in a community garden. The bees are in a small, wire (to let the sun in and bees out) fenced and locked (to keep the curious out) bee yard. All the other gardeners love the bees and know how to behave around them. We don't use gas powered mowers or such in the garden. Problem is, the yard is next to one fence of the garden. A standard 6 food redwood job. On the other side of the fence are some abandoned buildings (actually, part of a decommissioned military base) that have been unused for decades. Couldn't ask for quieter neighbors. But in the next year or so the property is being transfered to the local school district and the buildings are going to be torn down. I suspect gas powered tools may be employed. And further in the future is what ever they turn it into which will no doubt include mow and blow landscapers. It WONT be a school though. S.D. will probably just sell the land to a private developer.
I just love all these posts about 2 month old hives being gentle while we're in the middle of the spring flow. Try those same tricks when the hive is 6 boxes tall and it's late August, 95 degrees, and hasn't rained in a month. You will get your b#tt kicked.