Avoiding the inevitable bees

   / Avoiding the inevitable bees #1  

MMagis

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,491
Location
Guernsey Co. Ohio
Tractor
Ford 3000, JD 2550
Each year about this time I start brush hogging the family farm (135 acres) in southeastern Ohio. I'm the only one left on the farm, and my job doesn't really allow me the time to run cattle. I like to keep it clean however, so I spend most of my free time from now until Oct. mowing the hay fields and pastures. Without fail, I run into a number of yellow jacket nests, and the occasional hornets nest. Unfortunately, I seldom notice them before they notice me. In thirty minutes mowing Friday evening, I hit 3 hornets nests. One good bite to the top of the head, and I've already had enough for the year. Since I've just got started mowing for the year, I know there's plenty more to come, specifically yellow jackets. Does anybody have any ideas on how I can avoid getting stung as often, while still actually getting something done. It's frustrating having to leave a field only partially mowed and waiting for the skunks to find the bees. My only thoughts are, either a bee keepers type suit, which doesn't seem too pleasant in the August heat. Or, building a makeshift "cab" for the tractor, though I have my doubts how well I can seal it up. A Bug Tamers suit is another thought, but I'm unsure if they prevent bee stings. I guess I'm just looking for any ideas that may help. I've always just considerd it part of the job, but apparently I'm getting soft, because I've had enough. :)
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees #2  
MMagis said:
Does anybody have any ideas on how I can avoid getting stung as often, while still actually getting something done. :)

Talk to a beekeeper and get the protective gear they suggest. Use tape on all seams that mad stinging insects might penetrate. Pants, sleeves, etc.
Bob
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees #3  
How about some surplus mosquito netting hung haphazardly from the rops? Might slow the little buggers down. Not to mention increasing available discussion topics at the local feed store :)
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees
  • Thread Starter
#5  
I saw that about the mothballs as well. However, I don't know if they'd stop a bunch of angry hornets or yellow jackets. I also looked at the netting, but I suspect they may be able to bite or sting through it. I searched some bee keeper sites and see that one of the better suits is very light and comfortable in hot weather, but I have to decide if it's worth $200 to keep from getting stung a few times a year. I'm not so sure it is.
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees #6  
A nice new air conditioned cabbed tractor sounds like a winner to me!!!
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees #7  
MMagis said:
I searched some bee keeper sites and see that one of the better suits is very light and comfortable in hot weather, but I have to decide if it's worth $200 to keep from getting stung a few times a year. I'm not so sure it is.

200? Worth it? Sure is worth it. Save you from stopping work, save you from one ER visit, save you from allergic reaction, and then once you suffer any of these, you will buy the suit. And finally, the comfort and security of wearing the suit is worth it. NO FEAR!!!!!!!
Bob
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees
  • Thread Starter
#8  
I suspect your right, as it appears to be my best option, though I do like the idea of a new tractor. :D Luckily I have almost zero reaction to the stings now, but I realize that just because I never have doesn't mean I never will.
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees #9  
Speaking as a beekeeper, you don't need to spend $200. Get one of these:
https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=823

or one of these:

https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=588

It will set you back $13.90 plus shipping.

Wear it with a broad rimmed hat and then wear gloves, long sleave shirts and pants, boots. Use duct tape to seal the connection between the boots and pants and the shirt and the gloves. The bad thing is that you'll get hot wearing full gear, so try to do this in early or late hours.

When you find that you disrupted a ground nesting yellow jackets nest (the worst kind IMO), Don't panic, just keep on mowing. Eventually they'll leave you alone. When you get a safe distance get up an inspect yourself. Sometimes they're persistant and will look for a way to sting you. Try to make a note of where you think the hole might be (so you can kill it later if you want). If you are in a panic (or plan to be) a CO2 fire extinguisher will quickly knock them down. Better yet, don't panic.

As a precautionary measure, the next time you're at your doctor's office, ask for an Epi-pen prescription...just in case.

Finally, carbaryl powder (Sevin, etc) applied to nest hole will quickly kill the colony.
 
   / Avoiding the inevitable bees #10  
srjones said:
Finally, carbaryl powder (Sevin, etc) applied to nest hole will quickly kill the colony.

Great advice.
Bob
 
 
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