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Author Topic: How do you keep the grass under control in the bee yard?  (Read 3504 times)
jeremy_c
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« on: April 27, 2009, 02:27:57 PM »

How do you keep the grass under control in and around the hives?

Jeremy
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Natalie
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 02:35:58 PM »

I set my hives on pavers and make the platform wide enough that nothing grows too close to the hives.
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Hethen57
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 02:38:47 PM »

I've seen local beekeepers put tar paper under their hive stands to keep weeds down in the immediate area.  i had a big rubber mat in the shop that I wasn't using, so I put that under my hive stands and it seems to work pretty good.  I imagine I will have to weed wack around it, but it gives me a buffer and prevents anything from growing directly under or around the hive stands.  
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hankdog1
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 02:49:54 PM »

I've got some of mine on a large rock.  But i use old mining belt around the rest of them as a matter of fact i've gotta go get some more belt this week.  Good thing about mineing belt that's used if you can find it it's nice and free and very durable.
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 02:53:23 PM »

I have mine up on cinder blocks so the hive will not be damaged by the grass, but I am speaking more about the grass that is around the hive that will have to be cut simply to maintain the bee yards apperance. I'm not looking for a manicured beeyard, but not a jungle either.

Jeremy
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 03:06:53 PM »

I use them old fashioned hedge clippers. big scissors really. And I have an older push mower, no motor, seems to work ok, but stumpy oaks, I need the shears.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 03:09:00 PM »

I just give the old beeyard a quick trim with a weedeater....................electric, that is!
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Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 03:28:04 PM »

Before I got the hives I ripped out all the grass in a 15x25 foot area as best I could and then I put down sheets of cardboard to keep down any grass or weeds that wanted to come up later.
On top of the cardboard I put loam that I had delivered and then I leveled some areas and put the pavers down and then the hives.
Then I planted shrubs behind the hives and perrenial flowers all around.
It looks nice and I don't have to do much maintenance there. No grass.
Unless you really like the grass look around the hives I would get rid of it all.
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annette
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 03:33:11 PM »

Here we have a natural drought. so just wait for the grass to almost dry up and mow once. Done until next year. 
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 03:39:54 PM »

Here we have a natural drought. so just wait for the grass to almost dry up and mow once. Done until next year. 

If only I were so lucky as to only have to mow once a year. During the spring/early summer it seems that I mow the front lawn, then go to the back and when I'm done with it, the front is on the verge of needing mowed again smiley All joking aside, during spring and early summer if I want to keep my lawn (not bee yard) looking decent and keep up with the Jones, I need to mow every 5-6 days. Now, come summer that can be cut back quite a bit but when the grass starts growing, it grows!

Jeremy
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wisconsin_cur
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 03:56:47 PM »

I use an old weed scythe around the hives... granted my placement is mostly weeds so a lot of things do not grow that tall and when they do they are brambles which go down easy with a scythe, but if you keep it sharp a scythe will take down grass as well.

If you have a friend or neighbor who uses a non-powered push mower for their grass that would work as well.
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doak
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 04:03:27 PM »

E or G Weed eater .veil and gloves :)doak
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 04:08:49 PM »

I keep mine in check with a Noisy, Smoky and Irritating 2 cycle weed whacker  evil
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bassman1977
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 04:10:00 PM »

I use left over roofing shingles to keep the weeds down in front of the hives. If weeds grow on or around it, I'll tramp it down when I go out for inspections.  I also have my hives up on cinder blocks.  Nothing too elaborate.
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sarafina
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2009, 08:51:23 PM »

I have my 2 hives on cinder blocks and I put down some thin landscape cloth underneath them to keep the grass and weeds down.  I put down 2 widths of it and set the hives towards the back edge so most of it was in the front.

My husband mows pretty close to the hives - usually early in the morning on a sunny day.  We bought one of those push mowers from Sears last year - the old-fashioned mowers with the rotating blades and no motor.  Wasn't too expensive - and we both use it right in front of the hives where the landscape cloth ends.  He keeps a close eye on the girls but they have never bothered him.
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doak
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2009, 08:56:44 PM »

For push and riding gas mowers, pass by so the grass and exhaust goes away from the hives. :roll:doak
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annette
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2009, 09:02:14 PM »

If I tell you this you may not believe it, but it is true.  I have my hives on my friends property up the block. He has 20 acres of land. He gets onto his riding lawnmower without any bee suit and drives that thing directly in front of the beehives.  He goes back and forth and all around and sometimes makes a mistake and blows the grass all over them.  They sometimes all come out to see what is up,but he has never gotten stung. He has even stopped in front of them and gone into reverse after sitting a few seconds. He is crazy, but he believes the bees will not sting him. 

We only have to do this once a year as I posted up above. Thank god because I go up there when he does this work and I sit and wait with the benedryl

He is a very brave soul
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deerhunter
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2009, 09:15:58 PM »

I use landscaping fabric in front and around the hives and use Creek sand and rocks on top so I never have any grass around my hives.

 
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2009, 09:40:26 PM »

Maybe a walk behind reel mower (the ancient push type with no motor)?  reasonably quiet, no ehxhaust, not very not sure what word I need here - it doesn't fling stuff at near ultrasonic speeds.
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dpence
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2009, 10:26:54 PM »

We use a bagger mower, and hand clippers.  Plant lots of ladino clover, it doesn't grow too high... grin

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2009, 11:03:11 PM »

Cover it with something the grass can't grow through.  Old area or throw rugs work well.  So do sheets of plywood, tarps, tarpaper, or even layers of old newspapers spread out between the hives in the bee yard.  The nice thing about the newspaper is that it will compost over time and needs to be replaced but you're weeding using a green method.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2009, 11:49:41 PM »

How do you keep the grass under control in and around the hives?

Jeremy


With a lawnmower and weedeater.
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lenape13
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2009, 11:52:27 PM »

Pavers on top of landscape fabric.  Built them a nice little patio.  (Need to find them some patio furniture next... cheesy)
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2009, 11:57:01 PM »

If I tell you this you may not believe it, but it is true.  I have my hives on my friends property up the block. He has 20 acres of land. He gets onto his riding lawnmower without any bee suit and drives that thing directly in front of the beehives.  He goes back and forth and all around and sometimes makes a mistake and blows the grass all over them.  They sometimes all come out to see what is up,but he has never gotten stung. He has even stopped in front of them and gone into reverse after sitting a few seconds. He is crazy, but he believes the bees will not sting him.

I do the same thing and for the most part the girls completely ignore me.  Occasionally I'll notice a bit more activity, but they don't even ping me or buzz around my face. 
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Two Bees
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2009, 08:42:45 AM »

Wow!  A lot of beeks go to elaborate means to keep weeds down (especially Natalie)!

I just spread mulched leaves and grass clippings that I bag when I mow my lawn.  After you get a nice, thick layer of this natural mulch, only a handful of the bravest weeds can come up.  For these volunteers, I just snatch them up when I'm at the hives doing an inspection.  Sheeesh!
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eri
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2009, 10:03:55 AM »

I haven't done this, but someone at a recent field day gets free burlap coffee bean bags from a local importer and lays them as mulch, recarpets as needed. They're colorful, sturdy, and biodegradable.
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« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2009, 12:15:18 PM »

Right under the bees we don't really have to mow.  Our landscapers just go by them quickly.  we have one hive on the lawn, they do a quick pass with a ride on mower - no problem.  We did buy a weed whacker to clean up closer if necessary.  No problem so far.  My one hive is right up on the edge of my veg garden.   They come out to see what I'm doing but don't really bother me.
Dig up the grass and plant some flowers!
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2009, 12:21:37 PM »

If I tell you this you may not believe it, but it is true.  I have my hives on my friends property up the block. He has 20 acres of land. He gets onto his riding lawnmower without any bee suit and drives that thing directly in front of the beehives.  He goes back and forth and all around and sometimes makes a mistake and blows the grass all over them.  They sometimes all come out to see what is up,but he has never gotten stung. He has even stopped in front of them and gone into reverse after sitting a few seconds. He is crazy, but he believes the bees will not sting him. 

We only have to do this once a year as I posted up above. Thank god because I go up there when he does this work and I sit and wait with the benedryl

He is a very brave soul


One of these days, one of the girls will take one for the team, let us know when it happens  Wink
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annette
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« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2009, 12:25:44 PM »

Hey BeeHopper,  Your first install date is the same date as mine, April 21, 2006
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danno
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« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2009, 12:54:52 PM »

 Roundup
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2009, 01:09:21 PM »

Hey BeeHopper,  Your first install date is the same date as mine, April 21, 2006

Small World  grin
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2009, 01:23:43 PM »

Round Up and a weed eater when needed.
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Anny
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« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2009, 07:44:59 AM »

I use a push mower and hand clippers ( to get close to the hive)

The bees don't seem to mind the push mower. I've also seen people put woodchips around the hive.
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kdm
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« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2009, 09:16:34 AM »

 All of the methods work for different beekeepers. I have also used stock salt around the hives to kill weeds. The kind you mix in feed.
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2009, 10:06:28 PM »

This year, so far, I havent mowed around the hives as I did the last couple years...But now, My bee yard is full of flowers!!..Blue ones, purple ones, tons of yellow ones!! Its GREAT!
  But, when I did clean the grass around the hives I just pulled it out with my hands...And, if I  mowed, I'd try to do in late in the day or early in the morning when the bees are all inside....I mow as fast as I can too! Sometimes, when I mow now( within 10 feet of the hives) I get chased away and stung alot!..Sometimes I even have to jump off the mower and run in the house! And sometimes, when I go back out, they chase me again!...Its all worth it tho, as my mower is really fast and its kind of like a race between me and the bees! It makes me crack up when they start after me! Sure, I yell and holler and cuss but I laugh because I cant believe I'm so stupid and havent learned my lesson yet! grin

your friend,
john
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sarafina
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« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2009, 12:52:26 AM »

My "mellow yellow" hive doesn't give a fig if I mow around it, but my new blue hive got REAL CRANKY this past weekend when I tried mowing fully suited up - and I had just smoked them about an hour before.  I looked up and my veil had lots of angry bees on it and they were pouring out of the hive and coming after me, so I left them alone!  Didn't get stung, but I didn't get all the mowing done, either. 

I think I will invest in a jug of Roundup spray.  My company makes the surfactant for it and right now - we need all the business we can get!   evil
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qa33010
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« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2009, 01:06:42 AM »

    Since I'm pretty slow trying to mow with a walker embarassed my wife does it and a weedeater.  a member of our bee club has started using rock salt.  He talked about how it used to keep fleas out of the dog pens and may work on shb larvae and pupae as well.  I'm waiting for the results.

We are still working on the grass free yard thingy.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
SgtMaj
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« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2009, 02:24:35 AM »

Maybe a walk behind reel mower (the ancient push type with no motor)?  reasonably quiet, no ehxhaust, not very not sure what word I need here - it doesn't fling stuff at near ultrasonic speeds.

And helps burn off a beer belly.
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reeegs22
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« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2009, 04:56:01 PM »

I put a large flat rock in front of each hive so the weeds don't grow right there.  The grass has been growing like crazy though so full suited I took the weedwacker and went around the hives no problem.  I also mow pretty close to them on the zero turn mower which goes at a good clip, no suit for that and I am happy to report no stings.
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smiley Mary
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« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2009, 07:07:47 PM »

Maybe a walk behind reel mower (the ancient push type with no motor)?  reasonably quiet, no ehxhaust, not very not sure what word I need here - it doesn't fling stuff at near ultrasonic speeds.

And helps burn off a beer belly.
...with hopes for a mead belly to burn off.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2009, 02:18:26 PM »

I don't.
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« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2009, 06:16:51 PM »

Picked up a roll of vinyl outdoor furniture fabric 60 inches wide by 100yds long at an auction.  Now I just mow the area, roll out a layer a fabric, and pin it down.  No grass or weeds can grow through and it lasts forever.
If anyone would like some of it just pm me for details.
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