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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    media, pennsylvania
    Posts
    42

    Default cutting the grass

    howdy all,

    new beekeeper question: how close do you all mow the grass near your hives? i have a smallish suburban backyard and there's grass growing within 3 feet of the place i want to put the hive. i worry about getting that close with a lawn-mower.

    thanks in advance for your time and advice,

    -eric

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Bloomington, IN, USA
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    I get pretty close with my push mower. I just make sure it spits the grass out away from the bees. I've never had a problem, some others may have.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Imperial, MO, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    I have grass around the base of 5 of my hives, and I run the mower right past the front of them (trying not to bump them, and with the mower discharge pointed Away from the hives)... I just wait until dusk to do that strip of grass.

    I also run the weedeater right around the base of the hive stands (also at dusk). I used to wear a veil, but got lazy after awhile and have gone without... hasn't been an issue.

    I DO have a couple of hives that are more aggressive, but that apiary is in a different location where they are surrounded by gravel instead of grass.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Maine, USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    I mow right up next to the hive, usually with no problem. Last year my lawnmower broke down, and I bought a new one. First time I mowed with it I got stung and chased away about 15 - 20 feet. I guess they didn't like the sound or vibrations of the new lawnmower. After a while they got used to it and ignored it. Just be careful you don't bump into the hive!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    media, pennsylvania
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    hey thanks everybody. i have a rear-bagger so the discharge won't be an issue.

    i appreciate all the quick replies!

    -eric

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mechanicsburg PA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    here is how i do it... http://youtu.be/v3qL3BQXSqI
    You are not too far away, maybe I can build you one. Probably have to sign a few waivers first!

    Cheers -Rod

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,593

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    Very cool Rodmo1 - I want one!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    I run a 35+ year old garden tractor right across the front of them without too many problems. If I have a hot hive (one that bothers me when I just walk around it), that hive will respond aggressively. Typically, I never have a problem. Your mileage may vary.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    I mow right around my hives and unless I bump one there is normally on problem, but I don't linger to close to them either.
    It you have a grass catcher bag thats great as thats ONE discharge you don't have to worry about bur don't forget the engine exhaust, you want to keep it away from the hive as well if at all possible.
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Galveston Co., Texas & Adair Co., Oklahoma
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    Just a word of caution. I have been keeping bees since the mid 50s so have a bit of experince. Last year I was mowing without My shirt and in shorts and took a pass by one pallet of bees and when i turned around about 30 feet away there was a BIG CLOUD of bees leaving the front of the hive. I am a 68 year old man in not very good shape but when the adrenlin kicked in I set a speed record leaving the area, still sustained 15 stings. Moral of this DONT EVER THINK THEY WONT ATTACK!! It can be deadly. I should have suited up or at least had long pants and shirt on but it will not happen again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    486

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    It's not too tough I use a push mower like this around the bees. http://www.lowes.com/pd_212761-270-1...3D2&facetInfo=

    If I do it every two weeks or so it cuts the grass well. If the grass gets real tall it doesn't work the greatest. No Gas is kind of nice. Quiet.... I do the rest of the yard with a gas powered one.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fort Myers, Florida, USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    Your mileage will vary. I have had hot hives that hated the mower going, and the ones I have now, I can leave the riding mower running in front of the hives for a few minutes and they don't care,let alone mow in front of them. Just exercise caution til you know for sure.
    I started out as an opportunistic beekeeper. Now the bees keep me...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    media, pennsylvania
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    thanks all. rodmo1, that is a really cool contraption, good work!

    i am going to clear out the grass and weeds to about 3 feet away from the hive. i'll lay down a bunch of old treated boards from a swingset i dismantled to keep the grass from growing back.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    If I feel the bees are not in the mood for me to mow I just hit them with a few puffs of smoke and it is no longer an issue.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    >how close do you all mow the grass near your hives?

    I don't...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    My hives are set in a rhomboid grid pattern with about eight feet clear space between each. I do one pass each way through each gap with my riding lawn mower and get as close as I can without knocking them over. Then I come back through with a string trimmer. In short, I pretty much ignore the bees and for the most part, they ignore me. I've been doing this for years, and cannot remember more than once when I have been stung. I'd say don't linger about with an engine running though.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    Mine ignored me all last years so long as I didn't open the hive. I recommend NOT blowing grass clippings or exhaust into the hive though, I'm quite certain they won't like it.

    I put a coat of primer on the neighbor's fence today - a yard or so from my hive, and I don't think he's too excited about painting it due to the presence of the bees. Easy enough for me to take care of it. The bees ignored that, too, to the point they still buzzed around the deadnettle growing below the fence.

    Might be a different story with less gentle bees, though.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lander, WY
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    My wife mows Around the hives...
    Actually I do as well, old Cub Cadet so noise and commotion prevail, I just go fast

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    Quote Originally Posted by dmpower View Post
    ... just make sure it spits the grass out away from the bees...
    This can't be stressed enough. On a warm day early last Winter I used a Bush Hog to cut down the okra patch beside two of my hives.

    I hit a mound of dirt, potting soil, and compost I had dumped at the edge of the okra patch right after first frost. Big black cloud of dirt, dust, horse manure, and shredded okra stalks went flying out the back of the Bush Hog and right into the front of the hives. I run SBB by the way. I only got maybe 10 stings but it was fast times on the old Ponderosa before I got out of range. Sorry, no video.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Victor, New York, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: cutting the grass

    The lawnmower I use around my bees was used in this commercial for one of my web businesses. It works great.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84Tv_g5w9ak

    Joe

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