Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bees tolerate my tractor and bush hog fairly well, my new zero turn John deere brings them out for war. That said, I can mow closer and between the hives with the mower. My next thought was putting headlights on and mowing after dark. I wanted to know if the bright lights on a mower would make it even worse? The mower is always available and I use it often, so adding a trip to the hives is easy. Putting the bush hog on the tractor is fairly rare. My other option is too suite up for war and go mow anyway. But it makes me nervous when they are in full attack mode. I had a couple of scary adventures removing hives from old barns that turned out to be Africanized bees. I don't do that anymore, not worth it.
Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
when i mow in front of the hives
i turn the RPM down as low as I can and still cut the grass.
Blow it away
do it 10 min before dark, its dry and the bees are flying way less.
the last 10 - 20 inches I do with a head lamp after dark on some of then.

else look at it as venom therapy.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Your zero turn probably has a different sound or vibrates at a different frequency and the bees can sense that. I find that they are most offended by the exhaust fumes. If thats the case, I don't think mowing at night will help. Its not like they are asleep, they will come out to greet you all the same at night. Also at night, 100% of the foragers (the ones most likely to sting you) are all home. During the day, most of them are out foraging.

I mow well away from my hives and I done my bee suit to mow around the hives with a weed whacker (they REALLY hate weed whackers).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
I have an nice old Scott's push mower that I trash picked a few years ago and do the front 4 feet or so with it. Cutting regularly keeps the grass short and makes quick work of the chore-bees don't seem to mind at all. I can do the gas mower on the sides and back without any problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Change the bulbs to red or put a red lens on the lights on the lawnmower. Commercial beekeepers load at night with red lights because white lights will bring the bees out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
My bees tolerate my tractor and bush hog fairly well, my new zero turn John deere brings them out for war. That said, I can mow closer and between the hives with the mower. My next thought was putting headlights on and mowing after dark. I wanted to know if the bright lights on a mower would make it even worse? The mower is always available and I use it often, so adding a trip to the hives is easy. Putting the bush hog on the tractor is fairly rare. My other option is too suite up for war and go mow anyway. But it makes me nervous when they are in full attack mode. I had a couple of scary adventures removing hives from old barns that turned out to be Africanized bees. I don't do that anymore, not worth it.
Thoughts?
Is your John Deere zero turn a gas or diesel engine? Just a theory on my part but typically diesel engine have a much more softer and quieter exhaust note/sound. My bees did not particularly like my John Deere F-525 but I eventually gave that to my daughter & son inlaw. I got "his" and "hers" Bad Boy AOSD 7200 zero turn mowers. They are powered by a Caterpillar 1600 cc 4 cylinder engine. The bees for the most part still don't like the Bad Boy mowers but they are not nearly as aggressive towards them. About the same as they are to my John Deere 4410 tractor.

You might look into installing as big a muffler as you can to quiet your Deere down and if you are thinking about upgrading, once you try out a diesel zero turn mower, you will never go back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
When use the zero turn near my hives I wait until everything is cut except about 25' from the hive. After that I put on my bee suit and finish up. Sometimes I will chance it and zip by the hives at full speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
I put black rubber mats (old conveyer belt) under my hives to stop the grass / weeds. 2 strips meeting under the hives and extending out 3' front and back. No mower problems andyou can see anything that drops out of a hive.
 

·
Premium Member
Mutts.
Joined
·
466 Posts
2nd Murdock's suggestion and add friction mats used in shipping. Recycled rubber (tires mostly but you see all colors mixed in) these are thin sheets put under pallets to keep them from sliding during transit. Daughter is a trucker and saves them on the rare occasions she gets them. Also mud flaps from big rigs. Pretty useless for anything else once they break off at the bolts. Will kill grass and act as 'stepping stones' at the same time. If mud is not a problem move them around every few weeks to kill wider areas.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top