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I may be over thinking things, but I was wondering what a good ground cover would be under the hives. Right now I have the hives on a bench extended inside a trellised arbor over bare ground. It is in a suburban community were people expect you to keep you grass cut down to a certain length.

So I was wondering, with the thought of air drainage, holding humidity, and weed control, what would be good solutions? Oh, it needs to look nice, too:rolleyes:. What is everyone else doing, if anything?

I've considered a landscaping fabric covering all the area I wish with a gravel on top. I thought of plastic covered with mulch first, but am afraid it would hold to much moisture and cause a humidity problem. Concrete would be very low maintenance, easy to clean, but more permanent than I would like, plus it may radiate alot of heat and cause more problems.

Thanks for the input, John
 

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I'd go with the gravel and fabric. That would help control the moisture as well as the pests. Concrete is nice though
 

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Roundup the vegetation, put down road cloth, or weed barrier if road cloth is not available. Dense grade gravel works well for me. It has lime that helps keep away some insects. Mine is about 6' wide, so I can walk in front and back of the hives. My hives are in a line on a platform.
 

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I use the landscape fabric, bought a 300 foot roll x 6 feet wide, I put it down in all our beeyards, pallets sit on the fabric and I get very few weeds growing through it, if I see one I just pull it out. I use round up around the edges of this fabric, good system, I think adding the gravel is a good idea too for your purposes.
 

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old rubber roofing works for me, no weeds and you can see what is being thrown out of the hives for the most part.

G3
 

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flowers for the bees to enjoy like Dandilions and ragwort, and other plants people call weeds makes for the best Honey. Or just mow your grass once a week.
 

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"I've considered a landscaping fabric covering all the area I wish with a gravel on top."

That's what I did in my suburban backyard. I haven't seen a humidity problem from it, but I have pretty good drainage.
 

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Here, the ants will build nests among the gravel and then assault my hives so what i did was put down DE, then used roundup on all the weeds the used harwood mulch over that. I did that around my fish pond as well 2 years ago and still dont have any ants or weeds ner it, so I did the same for the yard. Here is what it looked like right after i did it. There are more hives now, nbut thats the only change.

 

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I do not see how I could use carpet, matts or other types of covers. I have a large ant problem under anything lieing on the ground - board, felt paper , etc. will have huge ant colony within just a couple of days. The ants then decide a better home is on top of inner cover.

I am currently using Borax on the ground and cinnimon on the inner covers.

I was thinking of a ground cover such as periwinkle or creeping thyme.
 

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I wouldn't use Round-Up, as it stays in the soil. Pesticides and herbicides are in the same book for me - no use is good use.

I'd turn the soil, or cut the sod out and compost it - cover with landscaping cloth - then cover that with cedar mulch. Working well for me.

Adam
 

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Landscape fabric and bark mulch. I would stay away from gravel. It collects leaves and dust and develops into soil over time, perfect for weeds to germinate. Almost impossible to get clean. Bark mulch breaks down but can be renewed every few years, not a big issue. Have you though about growing a low ground cover like Thyme in full sun, or Creeping Jenny for shade? Just kill the grass first... :)
 

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You are getting some bad advise from some good people. Round up does not stay in the soil, and gravel with fabric under it will not and can not turn to dirt. Bark mulch can, and will. Anyone ever see rock turn to dirt?
 

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I use left over roofing shingles layered on the ground. I do get ant mounds occasionally,but this also helps with shb, it keeps them from pupating in the ground close to the hives.
 
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