My friend and I noticed several years ago that bees and other potential pollinators attached to flowers are so preoccupied in collecting pollen, that they do NOT detach themselves before the mowing operation destroys them. Bees that are en route to the flowers are deflected away. We noticed this repeatedly and hundreds of bees were injured or destroyed at every mowing depending on number of flowers in the lawn as well as time of day and weather conditions.
Knowing there is a major problem with pollinator decimation, we wondered what we could do to prevent this. We attached a gas powered leaf blower to the mower and the blast of air did displace the bees from the posie's. We have since designed and built several prototypes to fit nearly all mowers, riders or push type, using other equipment besides bulky leaf blowers. We also have some "rough" video of with and without the blower attachment that shows bees being displaced with and destroyed without. (we are not professional photographers!). While we do realize that there are better hours in the day to mow than other, the majority of millions who mow, do it when they have time and lawn service business's mow all day long. We've alerted several lawn mowing business professional's who have confirmed and added to our evidence as well as many small vegetable farmers of which we are also.
As serious an issue as this is we wonder if there has been any study's with research data available? we'd appreciate your thoughts on this very serious matter.
Bob Phillips and Kevin Muffie
Hi Bob and Kevin,
First of all - way to go! Simply being aware of the bees around you and how your actions can affect them is great, and taking the initiative to explore practices that do them less damage is even better.
I have e-mailed you some information about research publications from Europe and the US which address the impacts of mowing on bees.
We love to see how honey bee research impacts and informs not only the practices of beekeepers and growers, but can even extend to lawn-mowers and gardeners.
Thank you for sharing!
Bee Informed Partnership
Honey Bee Health