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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    829

    Default How and when to mow around hives

    This is my first year , my bee yard is in a secluded area away from any houses , but I'm going have to weed eat and mow around my bear fence . Whats the best time to mow around the hives , so I don't get them agitated and in the attack mode .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    829

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Sorry guys I should have searched first I see there was a discussion on this .

    I don't see anyone suggesting mowing around dusk wouldn't that be the best time , they would be less likely to come out .
    Last edited by laketrout; 04-16-2013 at 06:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    I'd mow on a nice warm sunny day, when the population of the hive is lower b/c the foragers are out in the field.

    When I mowed in front of the hive, I would pull, rather than push the mower. That way, by the time the noisy machine is right in front of the hive, I'd already be past the entrance.

    I'd put my fencing far enough from the hive so that the mower is unlikely to cause a problem when mowing there.

    Or,
    I 'd use top entrances so I don't have to mow at the hive, and use a swing blade to trim under the fence wire.

    A swing blade is quiet, easier to haul to an out yard, and unlikely to disturb the bees much if you keep up with the trimming so it can be done quickly while near their entrances.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    I agree with the mid day/early in the day philosophy. Also, we make a very conscious effort to reduce the speed and RPM's of our mower near the hives. We also converted from a two stroke weed whacker to a 4 stroke...again, less vibration. Knock on wood, thus far, never an issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Clarendon County, SC, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    I spray around mine, no grass cutting for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater Bees View Post
    I spray around mine, no grass cutting for me.
    Only way to fly....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    829

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    What kind of spray that won't hurt bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    I usually puff a bit of smoke in each hive before I begin mowing, some days they act like they don't notice other days I have to don the ultrabreeze. But that is the nature of the beast.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    Sorry guys I should have searched first I see there was a discussion on this .

    I don't see anyone suggesting mowing around dusk wouldn't that be the best time , they would be less likely to come out .
    the girls in my hive never did any thing when I mowed around the hives ,, I had the smoke blowing away from the hive ,

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,489

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Do not ever point the discharge chute of the mower into the entrance of the hive and they will pretty much ignore you. Bees cannot hear as they don't have ears, but they do feel vibrations through their feet and legs. Since they cannot really hear the mower, they don't respond to it.

    A blast of stinky air and flying clippings into the entrance appears to be a major alarm signal, and they will try to sting you to death.

    I have mine on stands about 14" high, and mow around them with impunity. Of course, these are the bees that land on you to warm up if you stand in the flight path, too, so it's hard to say what more aggressive bees would do.

    Best time to mow is the same as the best time to inspect -- mid afternoon when the largest number of bees will be out of the hive.

    Peter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Grass clippings, hays, wood chips, thick plastic film, landscape fabric weed guard, foam sheet, card boards, and pond liner.
    Anything else you can think of for weed suppression around the hive fence?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Clarendon County, SC, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Round up or 2-4D. Doesn't bother the bees, its been tested in lab and field tests. I've sprayed it for 25+ years around wild and domesticated hives without incident.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    I never mow anywhere anytime. Especially in front of bee hives... but that's why I have horses... and top entrances...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    480

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater Bees View Post
    Round up or 2-4D. Doesn't bother the bees, its been tested in lab and field tests. I've sprayed it for 25+ years around wild and domesticated hives without incident.
    may not hurt the bees, but it's not good for other things.
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    I weed whack right up to my hives after I do an inspection. . I don't spray anything, just weed whack. I leave my jacket and hood on, but they basically ignore me, I have never had them become agitated or start bumping me. But they are pretty tolerant and calm from what I can tell. They were from nucs in 2012. Wintered. No change in disposition this year. But it will depend on the hive. YMMV

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    forsyth, NC, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Haven't had much issue with this. All that grows in front of our hives is some pretty thing grass and weeds, pretty much. Nothing under the hive as we have our hives on a platform. Getting up close with a weedeater is no problem. I try not to fling clippings up towards the hive and that keeps them uninterested in me. As long as I'm not standing directly in their flight path, i.e. trim from the side.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    How about planting some nectar and pollen plants all the way around your hives so you don't have
    to mow anymore. After these plants establish themselves you don't see grass anymore. Nectar and pollen
    producing ground covers come to mind. How's that for a change?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Phoenix, OR
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    An electric mower or weed eater would not be as disturbing. Can get them used for cheap.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Clarendon County, SC, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    Quote Originally Posted by imthedude View Post
    may not hurt the bees, but it's not good for other things.
    I know its not good for the other things, that's why I sprayed it on them. I pick the appropriate tool for the job and go with it. Weeds and Gum trees around here will grow 5-6 ft a year if you don't do something to knock them down. The kudzu will cover your house in a year if left uncontrolled. I burn all my other woods/fields yearly which helps a lot, but I don't burn around the hives. That gets sprayed.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Brookshire, Texas
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: How and when to mow around hives

    The vibration a mower puts out makes a big difference in how my hives are disturbed when mowing around them during warm weather. Here in S.E. Texas our grass/weeds grow a foot a week sometimes so I have to mow each and every week as my hives are only about 18" off the ground. I have two riding mowers. The smaller one with a 18hp motor barely disturbs the hives when I mow in circles around the grouping. The larger mower with a 28hp motor runs the blades at a much higher sound frequency and just one pass around the hives disturbs them immediately. I generally mow before the sun rises and use the smaller mower unless the grass/weeds get out of hand and are too thick.

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