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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Harrison, IN
    Posts
    24

    Default Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I do not yet have bees. I am in a planning phase right now.

    This may be a dumb question... but... I assume that bees would rather not have you mowing right up against the hive. So what do you plant around the hives that require little work to keep it from over growing everything?

    Thanks!
    Tiffany

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lander, WY
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    Bricks and sand.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Limstone county, Alabama
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    Not a dumb question at all.

    My bees usually let me mow pretty close to the hives. In fact from the back of the hives I can mow right up a against them. I usually suit up and run a weedeater around the bases every few weeks, and I have gotten good results from Roundup as well. I have some old rubber mats were used in a gym that I am going to put down around some of mine this year to cut down on maintenance. Some of the other beeks around here use landscaping fabric to keep the grass/weeds down. I have heard some speculation that the fabric may make things harder on hive beetle grubs too.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work" -- Thomas A. Edison

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I started out using heavy rubber stall mats available at many farm stores. They measure a little less than 5X5...cost around $40 each...will last forever. Major drawback is the weight. Being flexible instead of rigid, it almost takes two people to move to the desired location.

    Another option - go to Lowes, Home Depot, etc., and get some of the reduced ceramic floor tiles. Probably about half the cost of option #1 and easier to handle by oneself. Grass may grow between joints but a tiny bit of Roundup should take care of that. Or a few layers of newspaper before the tiles go down.

    That would be some high class girls with a tile floor!

    CC
    Last edited by ChickenChaser; 03-01-2012 at 12:07 PM. Reason: spellin errir

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    hmmmmmmmm my plan for this is to make a large dutch white clover patch for my hives to sit in. The clover doesn't get tall enough to worry about having to cut it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    IMHO I wouldn't use roundup around the hives, but if it's done prior to setting them down it may be fine. I'm a bit crazy perhaps, but I want to keep as much chemicals out of the hive as possible and if the bees fall on the grass that you just put roundup on then they'll cary some in. I haven't had any problem with them just mowing near the hives. They do get a bit touchy if I blow the grass into the entrance, but other than that it doesn't seem to bother them much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Townsend, TN
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I am planting wildflowers in front of my hives this year, not because I couldnt mow in front of them last year, just because I dont like mowing
    I have seen hives setting in grass neck deep but the girls didnt seem to mind weaving in between the blades of grass.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    The area where my hives are located used to be lawn, but when I put the hives back there I just let it go natural and planted alot of native plants that the bees like, if the weeds get too high in front of their entrances I just weed whack them early in the morning before they get flying real good, just takes a couple seconds per hive. John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    You can use scrap carpet or old plywood on the ground in front of the hive. My mentor is a large sideliner with about 800 hives, he made a deal with the local carpet installers to get some of thier scraps. He uses them because he visits some of his beeyards only 1-2 times a year and doesn't have the time for mowing or care to bring a mower with him.

    Personally, I never had a problem with string trimming at any hour of the day. They bees just go about thier business....sometimes the grass gets very high and the trimmings cover the hive eintrance. Still the bees dont care. I wear a veil just incase though.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    Michae B, How does your mentor only visit some hives 1 or 2 times a year? I understand being busy, but I'd like to know what he does with these hives. Is he making anything off of them, or does he just let them go? I have recently been talking with my wife and she is concerned about how long it takes doing inspections etc. and I'm wondering how to speed things up some. I realize that as a new beekeeper it does take longer so I hope things will go faster this summer, but having some thoughts as to what to cut-out or to look for etc. would be helpful. (Sorry for being a bit off topic.)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lucas, Collin Co., Texas, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I have two hives of feral bees I relocated from my porch roof last year. I think they are Italians, but I'm not 100% sure. The hives are in my garden, and I want them to be ornamental as well as productive. We built a platform out of some leftover pave stones, about 8 ft. square, and set the hives on a stand on there. I have no problem mowing around the platform on my riding mower. I'm just careful to approach it from the back, and go sort of fast across the front. I use grass shears to hand trim close to the edge to keep it neat, and don't even wear a veil. Some of the girls will come out to check my work, but leave me alone. At times, some of the more nervous guards will warn me when I've been there long enough and I just walk away for awhile.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,658

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I'm seriously thinking of going to get some roll roofing. I can cut off a strip to put under the hive stands to keep the grass and weeds down around them. I think that roofing is 3 1/2 feet wide? It should work well and be fairly inexpensive.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    ...if the weeds get too high in front of their entrances I just weed whack them early in the morning before they get flying real good...
    Well, John already kinda beat me to it, but I prefer to maintain the plants near my hives after dark. Once it's fairly dark out (but before it gets so dark that you have to use a light) the bees can't really see to fly, so you don't have to worry about any kind of "coordinated attack" and at worst, should only get a couple stings if you do peev 'em off but good.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Whitefish, MT
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I'm seriously thinking of going to get some roll roofing. I can cut off a strip to put under the hive stands to keep the grass and weeds down around them. I think that roofing is 3 1/2 feet wide? It should work well and be fairly inexpensive.
    Exactly what I used and works great. Another idea would be some asphalt shingles.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    DeSoto County, MS, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I have bees out back of the house. Lawn service has never had a problem mowing with riding mowers around the hives, of which there are two. That is, as long as the blower is turned AWAY from the hive entrance. One of their helpers didn't know to pass by with the blower away from the entrance and the ladies let him know it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    The biggest downside with laying anything down around here is mice will move in quick. I weed-eat the grass low, the spray spray round up in the evening.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    Is it an option to but them where you won't have to mow?
    I put most of mine in the pine trees and very little grows though the pine straw

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I put pond liner 45 mil epdm under my hive stand. If I go to the pipe stand, I will still do this. I planted wildflowers in front of the hives last year, and try to keep mowing to a minimum. I find a suit a big plus if they are testy. Last year's hive staged a concerted attack when I got within 8 feet.

    Bad news about pond liner, fire ants like to get under it. Warm and dry. Hence, my nematodes. I don't like fire ants anymore than the bees do.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Pompano Beach, FL
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I can get pretty close to the hives with my mower, and even the weed wacker, but DO NOT let the string from the weed wacker touch the stand or box. I made the mistake by accident and got tore up by stings...Ran like a little sissy girl to my garage. ..Now I just clear it by hand when I do my inspections. Also made a 1 foot white gravel mote around the hives..also keeps track of the dead bees that always end up in front of the hive...pretty cool to watch them clean the hive and carry dead bees away from the hive.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Lawn maintanence around hive?

    I've got lawn on 3 sides (within a couple of inches) of my hive, and I mow and weed wack in front, back and one side. It doesn't seem to bother them at all. I do try to do the yard work early evening, when there is less activity.

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