The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Bees & Beekeeping => Topic started by: Nelson International on June 27, 2018, 02:29:35 pm

Title: Bees & strimmers
Post by: Nelson International on June 27, 2018, 02:29:35 pm

We seem to have become beekeepers by accident over the weekend - it's something we've been vaguely interested in for a long time, but never had the prompt to get started until suddenly there was a swarm in our field. A guy from the local club came over and gathered the swarm in, and convinced my wife to take up a new hobby...

Anyway, my question is this - I know bees don't like (petrol) strimmers but how far from the hive do I have to be to be safe? There's a bit of strimming I was planning on doing to reroute some electric fencing. It's maybe 75 metres from the hive. Is that far enough away to not worry?

Title: Re: Bees & strimmers
Post by: Bionic on June 27, 2018, 04:21:06 pm
75 metres is a fair distance so you should be ok. When OH needs to strim he shuts the bees in the previous evening and strims first thing before he lets them out. He still wears his bee suit though.
Title: Re: Bees & strimmers
Post by: Fleecewife on June 27, 2018, 07:44:00 pm
Buy a scythe - so peaceful and no-one is disturbed. And you could end up with a chest like Poldark  :eyelashes:
Title: Re: Bees & strimmers
Post by: Nelson International on June 27, 2018, 10:16:34 pm

Iíve been watching videos of that this week. Scything, that is, not poldark ;-)

Thanks for the advice, I guess it canít do any harm to suit up the first few times, and in this weather Iím only going to be strimming early/late.
Title: Re: Bees & strimmers
Post by: Dogwalker on June 28, 2018, 06:01:20 am
It depends on the bees.

I've previously been stung scything near a hive early morning.

A swarm moved into a disused hive a few weeks ago and the nettles and docks were very high so needed the big brush cutter.  After a starting problem and other jobs it was mid morning by the time I got to it.  They never even came to see who was making the racket.
I've never had such good natured bees.  They're lovely.
Title: Re: Bees & strimmers
Post by: Dan on June 28, 2018, 10:44:37 am
I strim early morning before the bees are flying, never had a problem even working right up to the hives. As Dogwalker said it will depend on the nature of your bees how 'interested' they are.
Title: Re: Bees & strimmers
Post by: cloddopper on June 28, 2018, 06:15:05 pm
Think more of temperatures at 50 oF  or 10 oC when bee start to fly , they then carry on flying till about 10 min before official sunset or if the temperature drops below the magic 10 oC or 50 oF . 
Bees will also fly in very strong reflected sunlight providing there is fairly still air round the hive .Ö..  like a very on sunny day when there is snow on the ground .

 The hive & strimming ..
I found that on very hot day's like today at 29 oC bees the were too busy cooling the hive and trying to obtain nectar to bother with the strimmer if I was more than 2 mtrs away.  But do that on a cooler 14 oC day and the beggers would go crazy if I was within five metres of their hive or one of the apiary set ups .  They were trying the sting the HT lead & the rubber spark plug shroud long before they had a go at me.  Evidently it's not just the pulsating noise ofyour strimmer nor it's oily 2 stroke smell but usually it's the magnetic pulsing of the HT electricity in the HT circuit .

 I solved my problem by weed spraying for 2 mtrs round the hives whether stand alone's or in a whole apiary .. It also prevented any fire hazard happening from the use of the smoker as there was nothing growing to burn .

 Though one year that came back to bite me in the bum .. the dusty soil was light silt and  it reflected the sun ( It was also in the 30 oC's )  which caused several hives to melt down & start liquid honey running out the entrance .

Curious as to what would happen  Ö. I left them to it after putting some wooden posts in and cable tying a hessian wall along them on the sunny side of the hives. 
Within a few days they had remade their wild comb on the frames & got going again ,   the queen egg laying like mad & the workers foraging or the hive bees  storing stores etc.

 My pal was not so lucky , he had 20 hives in the corner of a newly combine harvested wheat field which bounded by a very tall thick woodland mainly of holly , conifers & hawthorn hedging,  full of brambles it was a fantastic midday to late after noon suntrap .. Every one of his hives was cooked to it's death .