Lawnmowers and Bees (or What I Learned Today)

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Skyhigh, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    Ohhh...kaaaaay... :chased: What I learned today was that, if the neighbor decides to mow his lawn JUST as I'm approaching the hive, smoker in hand, all prepared, I need to STOP.

    Well, I sort of did. I waited until he was done with the parts of his lawn that are in sight of the hive. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. When I smoked (which I didn't do adequately, I realize now) and took off the lid, the bees became a minor cloud around my daughter and I. They tolerated my taking one frame out, then started popping my daughter (on the neighbor's side of the hive). About the time we decided to close up (after taking out one additional frame), the neighbor moved his still running lawnmower over to the garage. HE was stung. But only once. (Now I know for sure he's not allergic. Phew!) But the bees were all riled up. A dozen followed my daughter and I all around the house. (Still no stings for us.) Finally, we were left alone. I went to speak with my neighbor (who was armed with a can of raid) and one stung me on my lip. :oops:

    Of course, I was very upset, my daughter says, "requeen!" The bees are all over the outside of the hive. I finally got hold of my association president and FEEL MUCH BETTER. Gas fumes + hive inspection + OVERCROWDED bees = upset bees.

    Apparently, these two stings seemed to reassure him that I have a nice, European hive. (And my friend said, she's not even sure it counts as "hot".)

    Oh, another thing I learned, a new swarm can totally fill a 10 frame hive in 4 weeks. Jam packed. Bees in all 11 spaces. Honey and pollen on the 9th frame and brood on the 8th (that's all I checked.) Super is now on! (I put on a queen excluder so I hope they can get up past it. I'm certainly not going out to check today, though.)
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would remove the excluder ASAP. If you plan to keep a one box brood chamber, then replace the excluder when they start drawing comb in the super.

    If you want to do splits and make nucs, let her have at least two boxes for the brood.
     

  3. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    I went out and adjusted the super, freed the poor bee stuck by a leg or something between the boxes and removed the entrance reducer. A couple bees were suspicious of me, but neither pops nor stings. Almost back to normal.

    Iddee -- I was going to put the excluder sideways like someone here suggested, leaving a 1" + space front and back, but with all the excitement, it ended up on straight. Tomorrow I need to replace the feeder top with the telescoping cover (as I'm not feeding anymore) so I'll either removed the excluder or set it sideways. Depending on how the bees are "feeling". (Just removing it will be quicker, in other words.)

    As for nucs, I want to wait a while on that, spring maybe? Unless, of course, if I catch this hive thinking about swarming. (I need to feel like these two hives are "settled" before I start playing around with the nucs, though I'm planning! LOL)
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I got stung up pretty good a couple years ago and so did the wife. I was out back working a couple hives I had in the back yard. The little lady thinking she was doing right decided to mow the front yard which went right down the side of the privet hedge we have growing fro a privacy fence to the back yard. the hive was on the other side of where she ran the rider. They came uncorked on us both and the dog.
     
  5. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    When I had the 2nd hive set up at the trap-out during the summer I had it open and was checking things out when the lawn man came from the house next over (turns out he does a hole row on the street) he waves to me and gets about 15 feet away a cloud of bees came right off the top of the box I had open and went right after him, looked like something out of a cartoon, I would have been laughing my arse off but for the fact the moment he outran them they went after me, I had my veil on but a t-shirt only 1 thought came to mind FEET dont fail me now :lol: the lawn man didnt even get close enough for the gas or exhaust fumes to get to the bees, they just dont like lawnmowers :lol:
     
  6. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Mine didn't seem to mind the riding mower, as long as I was wearing a light colored t-shirt. I could ride right by the front of the hive, (ducking so as not to block their flight path) without so much as a second look from them. When I unthinkingly wore a dark blue t-shirt while on the mower-took a sting to the back of my left arm, and one to the left side of my ribcage. A week later, my wife was mowing-while wearing a dark top-and took 2 stings to the top of her head. The next day, her eyes were almost swelled shut. She manages a convenience store and had several customers asked if I had beat the #$&? out of her. She had to explain that we keep bees, and got 3 more honey customers. :D
     
  7. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Great lesson, better not to work them when neighbors are working in their yards with gas engines. Urban beekeepers need to be a little more conscious how their actions interact with neighbors.
     
  8. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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  9. Yvonne

    Yvonne New Member

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    We mow all around our hives,(12 total now) and the bees ignore us. Use a riding mower. Daddy did it for years and it never seemed to bother the bees. I guess they became used to it. No stings. We do make sure that the clippings aren't blowing towards the hives. That would surely aggitate them. We mow about 3 feet from the hives and no problems.
     
  10. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    same here...i mow with my push mower right up to em....well 2 feet anyways....then weed eat around the hives....as long as im not throwing junk in their face they dont seem to care....but i have nice bees (snicker...ima live to rue that statement)
     
  11. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    When we were first starting out with our bees we had them situated about 50 yards or so from a cotton field that butts up to the edge of the property. We got outside one morning and opened a hive only to have a HUGE ball of bees explode out of the top of the box and I swear we heard a bugle call "charge!". Me, 2 of the kids, and a neighbor who just happened to be walking out to his truck were all 3 covered in bees before we could blink. It took several hours to even be able to get away from enough bees to safely walk into the house.

    Come to find out the farmer who owned the field had been out in wee hours of the morning plowing with his big tractor...apparently the bees really didn't want that sort of wake up call. :lol: The kids all still talk about it, but the story somehow gets funnier every time they tell it.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    lawnmowers and weed eaters can present a problem. primarily with lawn mowers you don't want to run the mower so that the discharge tosses cut grass at the front of the hive. almost anyone in an urban/populated area should think about installing robber screens just to limit the possibilities of stinging incidents created by mowers and weed eaters.

    I don't know how many feral bees I have been called out to look at that had resided in some spot for years until the weed eatin' man showed up.
     
  13. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    Wow, so this is part of the learning curve, huh? :eek: I feel like I'm in good company! :drinks:

    Good point about the lawn people and throwing grass...I think the service I have does it purposely, just to "show them" or something. Well, I've taken the reducer off and that hive is packed full, so I'm going to have to warn them. (The guy in charge is great, his help is a little less so. Young and not happy with being nervous about the bees.)

    I am very concerned with neighbor harmony. It didn't bother me that I got stung, just that he did. I have renters on either side of me and the ones in those places now are OMG so much better than the ones before. I want to keep them happy so they stay. (I don't want people to get upset about bees, too, of course, but if you'd had the winners we'd had over the past few years, you'd be thinking this kind of thing, too.)
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    skyhigh writes:
    I am very concerned with neighbor harmony.

    tecumseh:
    excellent and the only reasonable attitude in many places in the US. with the arrival of africanized bees, even more so.

    I have perhaps 50 hives of bees in various states of growth here at my house. I have neighbors who I like and who favor my current endeavor. it is primarily for these neighbors that I went to some efforts a couple of years back in first researching and then deploying robber screens. I got my first glimpse of this simple solution from Iddee (hats off to him on helping me here :hi: ) and they have made my life so much easier in regards to proper relations with my neighbors.
     
  15. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    What kind of robber screen do you use? If it's homemade, could you tell me how you make them? With only two hives, I'm good with buying as well as making. Thanks!
     
  16. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    I find that if I immediately ride by the hives they will come after me, but if I mow far away first and slowly work my way closer they get used to the noise and leave alone. I mow up to about 2-3 ft as well, also with clippings going the other way.

    Only once did a bee chase me all the way back to the house - about 150 ft away.
     
  17. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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  18. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    I hope it's kosher to copy a quote from another thread, but I have questions...
    I'm seriously thinking of looking around for a woodworking class :-?
    So, there is 1 piece 1x3/4xwidth of entrance.
    2 pieces that are 3/8x3/4x6" long
    and 1 piece that's...???
    staple them around the cloth, 2 6" pieces on one side the 2 others on the opposite...crossing at corners?

    Now, assuming I'll figure this out (I will), at what time of day do you put it on? I plan to have something ready today or tomorrow (at the latest).

    THANK YOU!

    (Walt B --- your pictures on that thread really helped, too. :thumbsup: )
     
  19. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    I put mine on at night, mostly because after I get home and have dinner, it's almost night.

    Also, I figure all the bees will be home too, and I won't confuse any of them. I don't know if they get confused or not, but it makes me feel better. ;)

    Walt
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    No, There is 2 pieces that are 3/8X3/4X with of entrance.
    There are 2 pieces that are 3/8X3/4X6inches.
    They are nailed in a rectangle, with the screen between them.
    Install them in the morning. Give the house bees all day to orient to the new entrance.

    Putting them on at night accomplishes the same thing. I just don't like working bees at night.