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Author Topic: Mowing the apiary?  (Read 6060 times)

Offline TheMasonicHive

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Mowing the apiary?
« on: May 15, 2010, 06:48:32 PM »
Hello everyone,


I have a question regarding my new apiary...

As of today I hived my second package of bees.  I was talking with a guy (who isn't a beekeeper but has some knowledge of it through reading) that said that I have to keep the grass around it mowed or I can be giving SHB a place to breed.

The amount of growth around the boxes is minimal and my hives are on bricks to elevate it that are placed on top of lawn paver stones giving me a pad of sorts to keep the grass from getting high around the entrance.

You can see a video of my apiary here:  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,27980.0.html

I think I probably SHOULD mow it, but I'm curious how I should go about doing that so I don't get popped by an angry hive.

Thanks!
Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive

Offline Highlandsfreedom

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010, 06:58:53 PM »
I use a non moterized mower that I got from lowes.  Like the ones used in the 50's.  It works great!!  The girls have a HUGE dandilion plant right at the entrance I think its cute and dont mow over it.  You could use that right around the hives and a reg. mower for the rest of the lot.  Just my 2 cents.

Dave
To bee or not to bee that is the question I wake up to answer that every morning...

Offline wd

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2010, 07:59:45 PM »
I had one hive in my lawn area for a three years, I used a motorized mower but gave them 7 to 10 of space then pulled weeds or cut by hand. I like the idea of push mower. In out yards, I pulled what growth was around them.  The hive in my lawn area sat in a square bowl with bricks inside then filled with used oil. The ants would crawl up the stems of any growth and get in the hive.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2010, 08:51:35 PM »
depends on your bees.  i run the tractor right behind the hives and have no problem.  i start out close to the hives and work my way out.  that seems to give them less time to get ticked off.  of course, that big mowing deck makes pretty quick work of it and might not be the same as a push mower.
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Offline wd

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2010, 09:09:31 PM »
needless to say the dust is terrible either way if dry. I have some hives where its green and full of flowers. Its let go for them to forage on. No longer have any in my lawn area

Offline ccwonka

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2010, 09:10:16 PM »
Yeah, I mow right up to the edge of my pad, which is about 2'-4' from each of the hive entrances, and haven't gotten tagged yet . . . knock on wood.  Course I fly by as fast as I can on a riding John Deere, but hey, it's not 'cause I'm scared.  Realy.  Promise. :-D

Offline gardeningfireman

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2010, 09:52:26 PM »
I mow my yard right up to the front of the hives. I just make sure the mower chute is always pointed away from the hives. I also have to mow in their flight path. Not only have I not been stung, the bees don't even pay atttention to me when I go right past their hives! :)

Offline G3farms

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 10:22:54 PM »
I just throw on the veil and weed eat around them, seems to work best in the middle of the day when most of the foragers are busy.

In front of my hives I have big pieces of rubber roofing to keep the weed down also.

That is a great idea of the old reel mower, matter of fact I just happen to have an old one in the garage, it was my grandmothers.

G3
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Offline Highlandsfreedom

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 10:25:23 PM »
I love the reel mower.  It works great you just have to mow it once a week or so.  Mut the maint. is CHEAP   :-D
To bee or not to bee that is the question I wake up to answer that every morning...

Offline kedgel

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 12:09:35 AM »
A couple points:  The guy is mis-informed about the height of the grass having anything to do with SHB's.  If anything, tall grass would impede the larvae from reaching the ground where they pupate.  Do you have SHB in your area?  Many places up north don't have a problem with them yet.  As for the mowing issue, it depends mostly on your bees.  If they are gentle, you can mow around the hives as long as you don't pelt them with the clippings.  Last year my son made the mistake of showering the hive with them and they ate  him up!  This year one of my hives got cranky and so I wore my hood as I got close to the hive.  They sent a phalanx of angry guards to chase me several yards away from the hive.  My son took their anger again as he was unfortunate enough to be in the yard--I guess they remembered him from before!  My next plan is to mow at night, as they are typically loathe to fly at night.  I'll turn off the lights when I get close enough to raise their ire.  I'll let you know how that goes...

Kelly
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2010, 12:19:46 AM »
SHB don't breed in grass, they breed in dirt.  Mowing will not deprive the SHB larvae of dirt.
Michael Bush
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Offline bull

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2010, 03:06:17 AM »
it doesnt seam to matter to my hives , the big weed eater, the gas mover or the neuton battery mover.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2010, 06:29:46 AM »
The last time I mowed in front of my hives.... well I never mowed in front of my hives.  I used to pull the grass back when I had bottom entrances because the bees couldn't get in... but now that I have top entrances I don't do that anymore...
Michael Bush
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Offline lenape13

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2010, 06:54:54 AM »
I just mower with my tractor, no special precautions.  The girls don't mind, and just keep going about their business.

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2010, 06:56:31 AM »
 
Hello everyone,


I have a question regarding my new apiary...

As of today I hived my second package of bees.  I was talking with a guy (who isn't a beekeeper but has some knowledge of it through reading) that said that I have to keep the grass around it mowed or I can be giving SHB a place to breed.

The amount of growth around the boxes is minimal and my hives are on bricks to elevate it that are placed on top of lawn paver stones giving me a pad of sorts to keep the grass from getting high around the entrance.

You can see a video of my apiary here:  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,27980.0.html

I think I probably SHOULD mow it, but I'm curious how I should go about doing that so I don't get popped by an angry hive.

Thanks!

SBH fly in to hives they do not crawl in.



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :)
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Offline TheMasonicHive

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2010, 09:14:45 AM »
I know the guy doesn't know much about beekeeping, he just thought he read that somewhere. 

When he uses beek terminology he uses it incorrectly and everything and I don't know why his point had me going.

Since I've never used this site over the course of a full year yet, I'm unaware as to how much undergrowth there really will be, but I guess I should be prepared for the possibility of having to mow it.

Where do you get one of those reel mowers?  That sounds like a great idea!
Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive

Offline Xperiment

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2010, 02:55:14 PM »

I use a push mower out of preference.   They're quiet, always work, zero maintenance, and cheap; I got both of the two I've had for free.    I only have a small lawn though.   I mow the flight path in the front of the hive from the side so my body isn't blocking it at all.   Other than a couple of bees giving me the 'buzz off' treatment there hasn't been a problem.    Now using a mattock to root out a shrub near the hive was a different story ...

Yours,
xperiment



Offline buzzbee

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2010, 04:47:58 PM »
Masonic Hive:
Do a google search for hand powered reel mower. Here is one result:
http://www.amazon.com/American-Lawn-Mower-Company-1204-14/dp/B00004RA3F
They may be tax deductible as a health care item,LOL :)

Offline JP

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2010, 05:10:58 PM »
I smoke my hives before I mow in front of them. The same way I smoke them before I make a cut in a tree with a chainsaw. It works.


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Offline annette

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Re: Mowing the apiary?
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2010, 08:57:17 PM »
I just put my entire suit on with veil and gloves and get onto a riding lawn mower in the middle of the day when most of the foragers are out. I mow right up to the hives with no problem. Also have someone who weed wacks all around where I cannot get the riding mower and he never gets stung.  So far very lucky I guess.

 

anything