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When setting up a new bee yard what would be the best ground cover to use? Something that would keep weeds down(no mowing) . Would garden mulch work? It would be nice to have a space that stayed clear and was not expensive and yet didn't harbor other little critters. Any ideas? Thanks
 

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Mill slag. it compacts nice and neatly. Weeds do not grow through it easily. Hive beetles have trouble burrowing into it. It is cheap often free for 0 to 3/16"
 

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Round here we call it 'lime waste' or 'the fines' meaning the particles of limestone, just above agricultural lime. If being placed on soil I would suggest 'base rock' it has from 3/4 inch to fines mixed with water content, this is intended to be compacted while moist as a base layer for Asphalt. Get it dry though. add your own water after placing it in 3 inch lifts, sets up like concrete if you do it right. contact a local asphalt Co. or rock quarry. Not sure what you would have available in TX. Warning; This hard and heavy work, and not easy remove.

For a small area around my 'back yard bees' I pin down black landscape fabric right on top of the ground. I buy the 3 foot wide stuff you can get anywhere, I lap it under my hive stands (concrete blocks in my case) so it's almost 6 feet of coverage, the weight holds the lapped portion down. Pin the edges with #16 or #20 galvanized nails. this allows me to mow right over this edge and no weed eating needed. Just an idea.
 

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Round here we call it 'lime waste' or 'the fines' meaning the particles of limestone, just above agricultural lime.
Actually it is not the same. Mill slag is the remains of the rock that has been through a blast furnace when removing the iron from it. after processing it is dumped into a huge pile where it is then separated into size grades. Where it is sold for construction projects. The fine almost sand is abundant and supply outgrows demand making it almost worthless. It is completely different that the fines, sand, or dust from the limestone/gravel plants.
It does sound as though they both would preform in much the same manner.
 

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QUOTE=Tenbears;1127952]Actually it is not the same. Mill slag is the remains of the rock that has been through a blast furnace when removing the iron from it. after processing it is dumped into a huge pile where it is then separated into size grades. Where it is sold for construction projects. The fine almost sand is abundant and supply outgrows demand making it almost worthless. It is completely different that the fines, sand, or dust from the limestone/gravel plants.
It does sound as though they both would preform in much the same manner.[/QUOTE]

Your right of course, I should have been more clear. every area in the country it seems has some kind of "waste' that would work for this purpose. might be different in Ontario/PA/TX/MO Here it is Limestone, PA Mill slag, TX Sandstone waste? The idea being dig around for what resources construction guys might know of that would work.
 

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I get damaged asphalt shingles from roofing companies and put them under my hive stands. It works great for preventing weeds from growing up to the hives. You should be able to get the shingles pretty cheaply, plus if you need to move your hives, the shingles come up easily and can be moved.
 

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I used an old carpet that someone was going to toss in the landfill after replacing their carpet. I originally picked it up to put in my garden to deter weeds, but it has been great in the apiary. Looking around for some more carpet scraps now to facilitate expansion.
 

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I used pine mulch and it is working fine to keep weeds out but the extra critters around seem to be an issue. Probably time for plan b. Whatever that may be.
 
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