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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    58

    Default Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    This might sound like a silly question. I am going to setup my first beehive this year. It will be in my backyard. I know bees can't hear, but how will they react to the vibrations of a lawn mower? How close to the hive will I be able to get without them going nuts while I'm mowing? Any suggestions for trimming the grass near the hive? My whole yard is grass. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Corryton, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    578

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Roger,
    Well bees can hear... they do so by sensing vibrations via an organ in their hind legs. Of course their hearing isn't quite the same as ours. But I'd call it hearing none the less.

    Anyway, to answer your questions, I had the same fears when I was starting out, but found that the bees really don't pay any attention to the lawn mower, even when the exhaust was pointed right at the hive entrance. I mow right up to about 6" from the front of the hive and they don't pay any attention to it... the last 6" is part of a flower-bed that doesn't get mowed but does need weeding from time to time, but I just hand-pull them, the bees don't pay any attention to that either.

    But here are some tips for mowing that I think helped me...

    1. If you have a walk-behind mower/push mower stand to the side of the hive and push it in front of the hive, that way you're not standing directly in the bees' flight path.

    2. Mow in front of the hives in the morning or evening either before the bees become really active for the day or as they are winding down for the night.

    3. Wear a beesuit? Ok, I know this is the wuss thing to do, but the first time I mowed my lawn after getting bees I was fully suited up, and after doing so I realized that the bees weren't even trying to get me and doing that gave me the confidence to go without the beesuit.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-09-2010 at 03:59 AM. Reason: UNQ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    I mow behind my hives on an old Cub Cadet tractor. I mow a little faster on the sides of the hives. I mow quite fast in front of the hives. Really. I've never had a big problem but on really active days with six hives busy, mowing isn't a great idea. Your results may vary!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Hello roger33 et al, as in almost all things, foresight is a good thing to have. Most of the time I mow with suit and veil in the closest areas of the hives. Most of the times the bees pay no attention to me and then when I am a bit futher away I take the veil off. Now having said that, there have been times when one or two did show some intense interest in me and I had to walk quickly through some bushes to confuse them and they left me alone.
    I have the theory that vibration frequency does make a difference and that there are some machines that they don't like. So, it is a matter of testing them in the safest manner first. Take care and have fun

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Smile Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    As noted; I have had very little trouble mowing around my hives. I use a rider, got a couple of acres, suit up for the first few mows,at least the vail. The mowing doesn't seem to bother the bees, even when they are very active. I am very careful NOT to blow the grass at the hive. A beek friend of mine did it (blew grass into the hive) the bees did not like it one bit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    in my experience wether the bees object to mowing(or weedeating or even gardening) varies. a very docile hive at times will object strongly. just when you think you know what their reaction will be...WHAM! maybe not this year, maybe not next,but...eventually. i get a lot of equipment from ex beekeepers. good luck.mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    I mow and weedwack around my 5 hives in shorts and a tee shirt without a problem. I am careful to blow the grass away from the hive entrance and I try not to stand right in front of the entrance. Unless you bang the hive or block their entrance they won't give you much notice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Terrell, Texas, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Mowing has never presented much of a problem. However, if you run a gas powered string trimmer....I would put on the armour. I have tried this several times and always the same results. Over 100 stings into the spark plug cable. Hundreds in my beesuit with between 10 and 20 always getting through.

    Can do the same trimming with an electric trimmer in my shorts. The problem is definately the high pitch of the gas trimmer.
    Tom
    "All Men are Equal before Fish"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbees View Post
    I mow and weedwack around my 5 hives in shorts and a tee shirt without a problem. I am careful to blow the grass away from the hive entrance and I try not to stand right in front of the entrance. Unless you bang the hive or block their entrance they won't give you much notice.
    I mow in front of the hives on the rider some times w/o a suit (YMMV).... but dont ever attempt to use a weedwacker without a suit.... they do not like weedwackers!

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    You should be ok, I try to speed by mine and make sure the chute is not pointed towards the hive.

    As long as you don't have Africanized bees you should be ok.
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Thanks for the reply's everybody. I feel a little better about it now. That was the one thing I wasn't too sure about. I'll just be very careful and quick when I mow around the hive.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    I was cutting the lawn last summer after having worked with the bees... about 2 hours after. I was wearing the same shirt, about 30ft from the rear of the hives. WHAM... sucker nailed me in the back of the nexk.

    I find if I've worked with the bees, and they're a little annoyed, they'll chase me around the yard... especially if I'm wearing the same colours as when I was in the hives.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Terrell,Tx,USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    To keep from weedeating in close to the hives can you use Roundup (weed killer)? Will the weedkiller hurt the bees?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    One thing I did not see mentioned. I always start with the first cut close to the hive, chute pointing away from them. I go around the yard before making the second pass in front of the hive, don't turn around and go right back in front of them within a few minutes.
    Married 23 years and still makin honey. www.Johnshoney.com
    John, WA9WJG

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,256

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    DroneDog, I use Roundup regularly around my hives. BUT - I have them up on railroad ties cut the width of the hive, then a regular stand and sbb. I only spray on windless days, and am very careful to spray in such a way that it does not drift into the hive. No use taking any chances. I've not noticed any problems with the bees.
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Quote Originally Posted by DroneDawg View Post
    To keep from weedeating in close to the hives can you use Roundup (weed killer)? Will the weedkiller hurt the bees?
    I use roundup around all of my pallets, I usually spray at night (bees not flying). Obviously try to spray away from the entrances, not towards them. Round up is absorbed by the grass very quickly when its warm, within an hour you can't even see moisture on the blades of grass and weeds.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Whitley City, KY, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    I like to lay old carpet or landscape fabric down under and in front of my hives. It controls weeds and grass from growing to close to my hives. Not been stung while mowing, yet.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Me beeiing a welder by day, bee keeper by night and when I'm off, My stands are on a single post set in concret, 24" off the ground. My wife mowes using a push type self propeled mower with no problems. I have as many as 15 hives in my back yard. I just don't make inspections when she is going to mow.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Corryton, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    578

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaver Dam View Post
    I just don't make inspections when she is going to mow.
    Hmm... gives me a good idea next time my wife wants to argue with me...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Mowing Yard With A Beehive Present

    When it gets to late July and August, be real careful about brush hogging around them with a diesel tractor. DAMHIKT.

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