Bee losses caused by rotary mowers

Rotating mower
Rotary Mower with Conditioner

Meadows in agricultural areas often contain large numbers of flowering, often mowed with fast rotary mowers. In this study the bee losses, resulting after mowing have been examined. About 9‘000 to 24‘000 bees per hectare were lost in white clover fields and 90‘000 bees were lost in phacelia fields.

Recommendations for farmers, mowing flowering fields are given in order to keep bee losses as low as possible. It is recommened that mowing be not carried out during an average or very active bee foraging activity (more than one bee per m2. Bee activity is least early in the morning or late in the evening or under cool or windy weather conditions. Using of a suitable mowers, e.g. of rotary mower without processor or mower with cutter bar will keep bee losses low.

Losses of bees during mowing of flowering fields (PDF, 306 kB, 22.09.2016)
P. Fluri, R. Frick (2001)