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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Lawnmower and bees...problem

    When I started beekeeping, I placed my hives far away from where I NEED to mow. At least, I thought it was far enough. I occasionally don my beesuit and mow right up next to the hives to keep the grass short. Yes, they get upset, but its one pass and Im done. I never have to put on my beesuit to mow my regular yard, as it is at least 200-300 feet away.

    Well, this weekend, I started mowing my grass and out of the blue I got about 3 stings almost simultaneously before realizing what was going on. I jumped off the mower and headed for the house still swatting them away. Only upon killing one did I realize it was honeybees. There were probably about 20-30 bees around the still running lawnmower.

    Now, this is a problem. I have never to date had them attack me or the mower 300 feet away, but boy were they pissed. I have not used my mower in three weeks and I did not mow near them. I put my suit on and kept mowing, even within a couple hundred feet, they would follow and sting my gloves.

    What in the world has changed? It is a very abrupt and disappointing change in their behavior and im not even sure which hive it is. Is it because its fall in Texas or something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    Probably a dearth so there isn't anything for them to do, and they're gearing up for winter so they have more bees than normal. My usually calm hive was quite crabby this past weekend here in west TN.

    There is a boatload of goldenrod blooming but for some reason my bees don't pull it in. So the girls are cranky.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,677

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    Being in TX. I think I might be ordering some new queens. They should not be bothering you 300feet away from the hives. I would not put up with clinging and stinging bees 300 feet from the hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    268

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    Being in Texas they may be Africanized.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,829

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    I have only been stung on 2 occasions while mowing my yard; each time a single sting to the back of the neck. If I had 20 to 30 bees attack me from 300 yards away, I would really be concerned.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Carroll County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    I agree with the others that it may be time to re queen. How do the bees act when the mower is not running, and you are working the hives?
    Natural Beekeeping Board
    http://georgefamilycrafts.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    512

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    try putting a sprinkler on the hive when you go to mow and see if you can make the girls think it's raining outside until you are done.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    Smells can get bees going also, they hate WD-40 for an example. Washing my dog in the backyard with flea and tick shampoo also gets them going.


    Don

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    I ran into this problem earlier in the summer when we went into our dearth. My 3 nucs were close to my garden. I couldn't weed out there with out getting stung. They even came at me when we went out the back door. So off they went to a non populated hay field about 3 miles away. My other full sized hives at that field were also very aggressive.

    I did requeen 3 out of 7 with Carnolians. Those hives are gentle now. I'm going to do the rest this coming spring.

    Oh yes, one of my nucs got robbed out as I didn't get it screened in time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,608

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    zombee bees for sure. lol
    Could be dearth related, could be that they are getting towards the end of the nectar gathering cycle.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Waller County, TX, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    Just to be clear, 20-30 bees were around the mower...only 2 or 3 actually stung me.

    When working hives, they are usually OK, but I can end up with several stings on my gloves if I do not smoke often. I can sense when they are getting out of control though. We just had a LOT of rain, and a new round of fall blooms just started out of the blue.

    Im going to be taking a couple of frames from them this weekend for punishment.

    It did cross my mind to requeen, but Im wondering if its a bit late to be doing that?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Gulf County, Florida
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Lawnmower and bees...problem

    I mow and use the weed trimmer around mine and them seem not to notice. Never had one sting or go after the mower or trimmer.

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