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Question about beekeeping

1472 Views 26 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  bees12angrymenice
Hello everyone. In December I purchased my first hive body, frames, etc... I ordered a nuc of italian bees and they are supposed to arrive in April. I live in an urban area and have a chain link fenced in back yard.

Question: I use a lawn service. How much room around the hive should I block off to keep the lawn service personnel from experiencing any issues?

I am thinking about an area 10 feet on either side of the hive i.e. landscape fabric covered by mulch: should this be sufficient to keep them from getting agitated by the mowers?

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I am in eastern NC
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10ft sounds like a reasonable starting point. It really depends on the temperament of the colony though. I’ve had some I could mow right next to and I’ve had others I gave a wide berth when going by with a mower or weed eater. Their temperament can also change throughout the season. It’s possible you will find they couldn’t care less how close you get during a nectar flow, but 25ft could be too close during a dearth.

Congrats on the bees and good luck this coming year.

P.S. You may find you get more pertinent advice from people in your area regarding certain questions if you put your general geographic location in your profile.
 

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Mowers vibrate the combs, which resonate. Sometimes the bees can be very irritated by mowers. I tend to put on a full bee suit when mowing right next to hives.

If you watch them while mowing, they generally ignore you and go for the mower. Stings have no effect on metal & plastic but they valiantly try to kill the annoying rumbly monster.
 

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You should probably also think about putting a section of fence several feet in front of the hive. This forces the bees to go up and over the fence and eliminates that beeline across the yard that really annoys the yard guys.

You'll also want to keep very close tabs on what chemicals the lawn guys use. It can really cause havoc depending on what and when they spray.

I was just thinking. I've never met a beekeeper that didn't mow his/her own yard;) I'm guessing most wait till the clover and dandelion are pollinated before mowing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
10ft sounds like a reasonable starting point. It really depends on the temperament of the colony though. I’ve had some I could mow right next to and I’ve had others I gave a wide berth when going by with a mower or weed eater. Their temperament can also change throughout the season. It’s possible you will find they couldn’t care less how close you get during a nectar flow, but 25ft could be too close during a dearth.

Congrats on the bees and good luck this coming year.

P.S. You may find you get more pertinent advice from people in your area regarding certain questions if you put your general geographic location in your profile.
Thank you: I am in eastern NC
 

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Your location in the profile would be helpful in giving advice but I'm guessing if you're getting bees in April, you're up north. I have a mix of bee yards (and no landscaper) and in my urban/suburban yards (usually 2 or 3 hives) in western NJ, I use a weed wacker and never have a problem (I have all VSH Italian mutts). Typically, you want 10 feet in front of the hives, and you'll see in those 10 feet, they go straight up to 20 or 30 feet and then head out to wherever they're going. Thing about bees-don't over think it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your location in the profile would be helpful in giving advice but I'm guessing if you're getting bees in April, you're up north. I have a mix of bee yards (and no landscaper) and in my urban/suburban yards (usually 2 or 3 hives) in western NJ, I use a weed wacker and never have a problem (I have all VSH Italian mutts). Typically, you want 10 feet in front of the hives, and you'll see in those 10 feet, they go straight up to 20 or 30 feet and then head out to wherever they're going. Thing about bees-don't over think it!
Sorry about that: I am in eastern NC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don't be sorry, it's right there in your original post 😊
Thank you. I just added it to that post a few minutes ago.

I have checked with the city inspections department just to make sure that all bases have been covered and am probably overthinking everything.

I have a large back yard with a wooded undeveloped area behind it and neighbors on each side. The perimeter of the back yard has a 4ft chain link fence.
 

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Hello everyone. In December I purchased my first hive body, frames, etc... I ordered a nuc of italian bees and they are supposed to arrive in April. I live in an urban area and have a chain link fenced in back yard.

Question: I use a lawn service. How much room around the hive should I block off to keep the lawn service personnel from experiencing any issues?

I am thinking about an area 10 feet on either side of the hive i.e. landscape fabric covered by mulch: should this be sufficient to keep them from getting agitated by the mowers?

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I am in eastern NC
i'd provide them with a full suit just in case they are a little spicy.
 

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Your first job will be to determine your best apiary location.Bees basically want a full or mostly full sun location. Entance SE or S with a bit of shade to the W for the beekeeper.
In NC youwill need a bear fence.
Bees fly "towards the sky" to get above the trees so you need to plan so that their flight path does not interfere with backyard activities, laundry,swimming pools etc of you and especially your neighbors.Stockade fences and shrub barriers can raise their beeline but bee poop falls staight down.
If you are lucky,you can find a spot in the back,out of sight of the neighbors and far enough from the house to not bother anyone.

Mowing:
Surround your bees with mulch,ground covers or (shock) flowering weeds.
If you really need to have a manicured look because of an HOA,invest in a battery opperated weed wacker and do it your self.To be honest,if you don't have time to spend 10 min/ week to trim arround the hives,you don't have time to keep bees.
Better yet,get a 6x6 piece of used carpet from your local rug store dumpster for a weed barrier and you wont need to trim all season.
 

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I have acreage but I have a mowing service in the area I keep my bees. I have 10' in front of the hives (gives unimpeded departure and approach) and 5' in the sides and the back. I put a small fence around the paddock to block the bees view of gardeners, mowers, kids, and dogs from the landing board. Its worked out well so far...going on 6 years now. I keep 7 hives and 5 nucs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have acreage but I have a mowing service in the area I keep my bees. I have 10' in front of the hives (gives unimpeded departure and approach) and 5' in the sides and the back. I put a small fence around the paddock to block the bees view of gardeners, mowers, kids, and dogs from the landing board. Its worked out well so far...going on 6 years now. I keep 7 hives and 5 nucs.
Thank you!
 

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If it’s a big yard and they are mowing with zero turns I would be concerned. My bees hate my zero turn. I mow close to the hives with my little JD tractor and they don’t seem to care. When I drive by with the big zero turn running they go bananas. Probably the vibrations like mentioned before.
 

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I mow with a 6 ft. Hustler. I make the first pass right in front of the hives as fast as it will go, then leave the area for 5 minutes and then the second pass. I try not to throw clippings toward the hive. The third pass gets you about far enough way that you might be safe.........but then again, maybe not.......some of those gard bees are pretty anal about their job. 😕
 

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I have some large blue stone from a patio tear out that I’m going to put under the hives so I won’t have much trimming around them and hopefully my neighbors won’t complain if it’s a today area.

I will say that the type of equipment likely does matter. I upgraded to an electric zero turn this year and mowed around a bald faced hornets nest all summer. They were 6’ off the ground in my young fir and I used to brush the bottom bows all summer until the hive was bigger than a basketball and I realized they were there. I gave them a little wider birth in September and they were frozen by October. They oddly never bothered me so I didn’t bother them.
 
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