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Bees and lawnmowing

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  • karaho@aol.com
    Wheee--my first hive (in pieces) arrived tonight by UPS and I will be assembling it tomorrow (and painting it some lovely color). My next newbie question: I
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 12, 2004
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      Wheee--my first hive (in pieces) arrived tonight by UPS and I will be
      assembling it tomorrow (and painting it some lovely color).

      My next newbie question: I have a good site for the hive, about an acre from
      the house and about 15 feet from a big pond, facing south (the hive's
      entrance will face away from the house, toward the pond), with a windscreen of tall
      raspberry canes and cedar trees behind and to the north of it, in the middle of
      a couple of acres of raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and currant, and plum,
      apple, peach, and nut trees, a tenth of a mile from an unmowed meadow of
      several acres and only a mile or two from a huge local community garden--some
      local beekeepers have said they ought to be very happy here. I will order a load
      of mulch this weekend to keep the grass from growing up around the hives.

      My questions: how do bees react to lawn mowing (this, remember, will be in
      my own very large back yard)? How large do I need to make the mulched
      area--that is, how far away do I need to keep the lawn mower from the hive(s)? Is
      there any particular time of day (or kind of day, weatherwise) when lawn mowing
      would be better (or worse)?

      The guy who mows our grass is a nice guy and an intrepid and brave young man,
      a policeman and volunteer fireman, but I'm not sure how he'll react to the
      bees--or they to him. Should I offer him protective clothing to wear when he
      mows that part of the yard?

      Nancy
      karaho@...
    • Leslie J. Huston
      Nancy - Sounds like you are on the edge of a very exciting time - your first hive! I mulch around my hives (weed fabric under the mulch), and the mulch goes
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 13, 2004
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        Nancy - Sounds like you are on the edge of a very exciting time - your
        first hive! I mulch around my hives (weed fabric under the mulch), and
        the mulch goes 3-4 feet in front of the entrances and seems to work
        well. Two of my hives are a couple feet off the edge of the lawn and
        face toward the cut grass. When I placed them there, I let the lawn
        care folks know that they should let me know if it posed any problem.
        They have never done so. They come by while I'm out of the house, but I
        know that they cut the grass in all sorts of weather. Once in a great
        while, I see that they left a wide berth around the hive entrances, so I
        figure that the bees were especially active while they were there. Then
        the next week, they mow the whole area so things must've settled down a
        bit.

        Enjoy!
        - Leslie, in Connecticut

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        Message: 4
        Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 19:48:59 EST
        From: karaho@...
        Subject: Bees and lawnmowing

        Wheee--my first hive (in pieces) arrived tonight by UPS and I will be
        assembling it tomorrow (and painting it some lovely color).

        My next newbie question: I have a good site for the hive, about an acre
        from
        the house and about 15 feet from a big pond, facing south (the hive's
        entrance will face away from the house, toward the pond), with a
        windscreen of tall
        raspberry canes and cedar trees behind and to the north of it, in the
        middle of
        a couple of acres of raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, and currant, and
        plum,
        apple, peach, and nut trees, a tenth of a mile from an unmowed meadow of

        several acres and only a mile or two from a huge local community
        garden--some
        local beekeepers have said they ought to be very happy here. I will
        order a load
        of mulch this weekend to keep the grass from growing up around the
        hives.

        My questions: how do bees react to lawn mowing (this, remember, will be
        in
        my own very large back yard)? How large do I need to make the mulched
        area--that is, how far away do I need to keep the lawn mower from the
        hive(s)? Is
        there any particular time of day (or kind of day, weatherwise) when lawn
        mowing
        would be better (or worse)?

        The guy who mows our grass is a nice guy and an intrepid and brave young
        man,
        a policeman and volunteer fireman, but I'm not sure how he'll react to
        the
        bees--or they to him. Should I offer him protective clothing to wear
        when he
        mows that part of the yard?

        Nancy
        karaho@...


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      • Martin Hickey
        I keep a 6 foot radius around my hives mulched. The entire bee yard is planted with Dutch Clover - good side effect, but clover does not grow high, & will
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 14, 2004
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          I keep a 6 foot radius around my hives mulched.  The entire bee yard is planted with Dutch Clover - good side effect, but clover does not grow high, & will push out the grass.  I normally only have to take a weed eater into the bee yard every three or four weeks.  I try to do so at the peak of the day when most bees are out foraging.  This will be my third year of beekeeping, so my experiance level is not great, but I have never had any issues with bees being bothered by my riding mower or the weedeater, even with in a foot or two from the hive.  I keep Russian, New World Carniolians and Gray Caucausians.  Hope this helps.
           
          Martin
          Bowling Green, KY
           

          karaho@... wrote:

          My questions:  how do bees react to lawn mowing (this, remember, will be in my own very large back yard)?  How large do I need to make the mulched area--that is, how far away do I need to keep the lawn mower from the hive(s)?  Is there any particular time of day (or kind of day, weatherwise) when lawn mowing would be better (or worse)?

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        • zoodood71
          Nancy, this spring I will be removing 2 colonies of bees from hollow trees where they have been an issue for the homeowners while mowing. I have had other
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 16, 2004
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            Nancy,
            this spring I will be removing 2 colonies of bees from hollow trees
            where they have been an issue for the homeowners while mowing. I
            have had other reports of non-bee people having similar issues. As
            for the brave policeman who is helping you, the least you should do
            is insure that he isn't allergic to beestings. Secondly, sure,
            provide him a veil and suggest he bring a longsleeved shirt, at least
            until you know how the bees will react. Hopefully, you'll have some
            docile ones.

            I once had a hive that I could mow right up to the hive stand and the
            entrance. A few yards a part was another hive that I had to had to
            hit the clump of grass next to it with the mower in high gear on my
            way out of the area. I think I only got by once without getting
            stung.

            Bees don't hear like we do, but vibrations seem to annoy them. I
            think it would be better to err with caution for your friend until
            you and he know what to expect.

            Good luck,
            WayaCoyote
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