NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Bees and Weed Control  (Read 251 times)

familybenny4@gmail.com

  • Joined May 2019
Bees and Weed Control
« on: May 31, 2019, 11:26:30 am »
We are looking for advice on weed control that will not do harm to our bees.

Until getting the bees last year I had just sprayed where and when necessary with a glyphosate weedkiller, this year we decided against this as it might harm the bees.  We have quite an array of paths, patios and yard space and I have been unable to keep up with the weeds using manual methods.

Any suggestions please?
Voss Electric Fence

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 10:41:58 pm »
Petrol strimmer ?
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 12:26:02 am »
A flame gun works well if the weeds are not too big.  You might scorch other insects though.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

familybenny4@gmail.com

  • Joined May 2019
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 06:54:54 pm »
Thanks for the advice, we are strimming and burning but not keeping on top of the overall problem.
We have been reading about cider vinegar/salt/vegetable oil mixes as an alternative but amongst the information we have found it says that whilst wet this would still be harmful to bees, so would it actually be any different to using the glyphosate?

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 09:06:26 pm »
What sort of bits are you trying to keep weeds down in? I’ve never managed to stay on top previously but this year, spread bit of compost/raked ground, then layer of thick cardboard and wood chip mulch and seems to be holding the ground elder, buttercup, docks, etc at bay. Other areas I only did wood chips and have to hoe this every five days or so to keep on top of the ground elder, but still much much easier with the mulch than just soil. Don’t know if any interest or help to you? Depends on what and where your problems are.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2019, 01:58:01 am »
Thanks for the advice, we are strimming and burning but not keeping on top of the overall problem.
We have been reading about cider vinegar/salt/vegetable oil mixes as an alternative but amongst the information we have found it says that whilst wet this would still be harmful to bees, so would it actually be any different to using the glyphosate?


I think your mix would be a physical problem for the bees, in that they would get oil, salt and vinegar on their bodies and hairs, and would carry some of this back to the nest (for bumbles) or hive (for honey bees), and become a problem to remove.  Glyphosate is taken up into the bee's body, collected with the pollen and nectar, so ingested by larvae, and would generally poison the colony.  I think the oil etc would be a nuisance, and the glyphosate would be a toxic killer.  It would also appear in honey if honey bees were exposed to it.  I think you would need an awful lot of the oil mix to make any inroads into your problem.  I don't think there is an answer, or at least not the one you are looking for.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 03:40:13 pm »
Unless the weeds are actually in productive areas of your veg garden etc, just leave them. Or get some goats and let them graze the weedy areas, collect nettles for compost tea etc etc

Any flowering plants will be useful for your bees, incl dandelions, nettle (both varieties), rosebay willowherb etc etc...
Using glyphosate was/is just the worst thing you can do...

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 08:43:30 pm »
Thanks for the advice, we are strimming and burning but not keeping on top of the overall problem.
We have been reading about cider vinegar/salt/vegetable oil mixes as an alternative but amongst the information we have found it says that whilst wet this would still be harmful to bees, so would it actually be any different to using the glyphosate?

Remember you don't need to actually burn the weeds  a quick scorch kills most  aftr several session the area is much easier to  re do so long as you keep it fairly short /.

 It ideal for knocking brambles back a couple of times a  year  once the initial four or five sessions of  proper knocking back is done .

 You can have a wide flame gun on a 4 mtr hose  running off a gas cylinder  strapped to a sack barrow … or even put four of five spread flames on a T bars running off a sack barrow like the road workers use from time to time to heat a mtr wide strip of tarmack or roofers  use to soften thick roofing felt .

I fitted my sack barrow with a pair of the yellow silicon no puncture wheels after the old  rubber tyres & tubes  died at  8 yrs old .

 Are you a reasonable DIY'er with access to a workshop .. if so make your own  burner heads .
Mine is made from a length of 1/2 " bore scrap iron galv gas pipe & a bit of 40 mm x 60 mm long steel  scaffold tube for the hood . I welded up an adjustable venturi , used quick release 8 mm small push to fit gas fittings to connect the hose to a hose fitted to the  regulator
Flame through a 1 mm home made jet is about two feet long and 18 inches wide , it roars like a tank with out an exhaust silencer on it .

I can't / daren't light it up in the garage …. I might set the place on fire . :D
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

familybenny4@gmail.com

  • Joined May 2019
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2019, 01:06:00 pm »
Thanks for all the replies, we have been using compost/mulch/cardboard in the planting/veg areas, membrane around the soft fruit and stuff than can be reached with the lawn mower gets a trimming!
My concerns are around pathways, patios, gravelled tracks and parking areas.
Think I might try the larger flame thrower method! Or maybe just more regular use of a standard one!

Thanks again for the advice

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Bees and Weed Control
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2019, 11:51:43 pm »
What weeds are we talking about?
There are new 'fatty acid weedkillers, supposed to be more environmentally friendly,  and if you spray in the evening, should be safe by morning?

 

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