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What Type of Ground Cover Under Hive?


#1

Hi y’all, I was wondering if anyone could give me a few ideas on what type of mulch, stones, dirt, they would recommend for under a hive? I built my hive stand about 18 inches from the ground side after leveling and am going to put down weed guard around it and something low maintenance. I did a search on Google and alot of conversation around attracting beetles, ants, etc. What does everyone use? Here is my set up. Thanks in advance!


#2

Hello Sargant,

Here’s a couple ideas I use in pixs ! By far not the only ground cover n way ! :wink:.

I like some type of solid footing under the legs so the plume of the hive stand stays level. Also ant n other pest preventions are easier to add. #1 has cement blocks n woodchips I use in my hen house. #2 has cement blocks n sand at the moment. My hens are always scratching under n around my apiary. Helps keep all the dead bees cleaned up. Looking at your setup … Chickens don’t seem to be in the equation ! :+1:

I guess that’s my thots n 2 cents worth of advice …

Good luck n enjoy,
Gerald in Washington State.


#3

Thanks Gerald,
I actually have 8 chickens and 2 ducks that can help keep the dead bees cleaned up. They actually were scratching eating some grubs where I dug out for the legs Haha. I like the idea of the wood chips but the wind picks up a bit and they would blow away, as even the bark nuggets in the landscape even scatter some times. I like the layout you have, I don’t even have my first bees yet and already want to get my second hive.


#4

I would use native dirt :slight_smile:


#5

If n when you buy/get your second setup purchase the 8 frame stuff so you can trade between setup. I have a mix of 10, 8, n 5 frame setup so my inventory of extra super, feeders, pollen traps is larger … Keep it simple !

This is my second season back from a 55 year absence. I raised honeybees as a Jr n Sr High agriculture project … When I went to Nam my dad took over n somehow lost all my colonies. At my return I was way too busy getting married, new civilian job n raising kids ( different type of birds n bees) … Now 72 yrs old n semi-Retired im returning to old interests n hobbies.

Yah ! Your set up looks a bit more open than mine. Make sure you secure the hives so strong winds don’t blow them into the neighbors place or next county.

Got to get to my job here soon. My wife had MD n is disabled so I keep busy n try to fit a couple of paying jobs in for Bee $$$'s :grinning:

Cheers n take care,
Gerald


#6

Hey @Gerald_Nickel What do you have hanging on the front of your hive? Is it solar powered?


#7

Hey Gerald, here is one of the hens helping dig the holes for the concrete squares that I leveled up to set the posts on.


#8

Hi Adam,

There are two solar panels that power a hive instrument package. I can access data from the hive 24/7 for temp/humidity/weight…

I have my flow-Hive in a local research group that is gather hive data year around. So that’s what your seeing hanging off the back sunny side of the Flow-Hive.

Cheers bro,
Gerald


#9

As Jerry (@Gerald_Nickel) is too busy earning $$, let me explain. He has a hive monitor a bit like yours and mine. Weight and other data, I am sure he will share. His model is a beta-unit, if I remember right. The solar panels help reduce the load on the batteries - my Arnia has the same useful feature. :blush:

Oh, too late with this, he beat me by seconds :slight_smile:


#10

Dawn : just barely ! Thanks Bee buddy. It is a beta version of the monitor. Your the data is nicer n fancier … But yes … I do get all the basics needed. I got in on the ground floor so bit cheaper. If furnace biz get going late summer into autumn I might add one more to get a better feel of my hives … But not sure !

Thanks for the input. I was into my buns in jobs n work this morning n midday. Appreciate you standing in there for me :+1:.
Rain coming back in here tonight so was also trying to get couple bee hive components painted before more WET !

Cheers,
Gerald


#11

Sarg,

Love the hen. SAme same up here My hens always under foot if I’m digging, raking or tilling the garden patch. They keep the bugs way down ! :ok_hand:.

Got rain working inland from the coast now. I see winds kicking up. Trees are blowing around some now but no rain YET. Few robins really singing loud outside. Wx station starting to get a little exercise !


Winds up to 21 to 25 mph … Front must be getting closer ! I see on radar loops the moisture is about 60 miles SW moving our way fast. Got heavy brick on the hives. Had 51 mph wind couple weeks ago n everything stayed together.

Got to get supper done bro …

Ta ta, :umbrella:
Gerald


#12

Morning Sarg,

It’s Friday ! Out here in the Interior of Puget Sound a very deep fast moving Low pressure system is bearing down on us. If it turns more North or NNE our Gake Warnings will drop to Low Gale n not so bad. This morning I’ve been out in the apiary securing n weighting down all hives. Some are Emtpy thus light weights ! One or two good bricks seem to hold the lids n roofs on great here.

. The worst suppose to hit mid afternoon into the early evening hours. We’ve got the small generator, camp stove, latherns, flashlights checked n ready. That about it here. As long as the :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee:’s are good … I’m G​:eyes:d ! Hate trying to secure stuff in the middle of a storm or during darkness. Well ! :dash::umbrella:️:dash: let errrr Rip now ! Rain :sweat_drops: sure is messing with our bees foraging this cooler n wetter Spring. According to Weather (NOAA) we’ve had the fourth Coldest n Wettest winter/spring at Seatac International airport. My Wx station verify its been both !

Hanging in there now,
Gerald


#13

Aye, Sir G Nickel, hives secured, ready for the storm.
Time to snug up inside with your sweetheart, watch the weather through the window and cook a hearty casserole.
Hope it’s just a tiny relative of cyclone Debbie and you just get puffs of little gales and a few nourishing raindrops for your nectar and pollen plants.
The world had enough big weather for a while, yes, please.
Best wishes from the Webers.


#14

We had high winds up to 50 mph gusts out here in NC. I let the bee boxes (2 mediums) out in the stand to see how they would hold up before we got our bees (no frames). They didn’t budge. Not even a little, so I am happy about that, although after the bees move in next Friday I am sure I will take extra precaution when there is a wind advisory.

Thay is some crazy weather you are getting up there. After moving down to the mid south I can’t imagine ever going anywhere here else.


#15

Evening Sarg,

Good test ! It’s actually surprising how much a hive can handle especially when bees have added weight with comb, nectar/honey n used bee glue to seal the supers together.

Knowing these facts like you I wouldn’t want to take a chance with my girls. I have added Two 2 1/2 lb bricks to each roof even my peaked one. Many people feel a need to add latches, straps n more… And that’s okay ! I can understand some situation require better n more !!

I work with a commercial beekeeper. One of his apiaries we have about 8 lbs of bricks on them, That area often get winter mountain gap winds over 70 mph. Since we added these double four pounders no issues ! My brother lives near that apiary. He has a two story house n I’ve been inside n heard the walls creak n moan ! And double strength windows bulging. That’s almost scary.

Anyway our top winds thus far have been SE-40 mph n lots of gusts in the mid to upper 30’s. It’s still rocking n rolling here n lights blinking too. The hives are all secure. So I will close !

Stay safe n have a great weekend.
Gerald


#17

We are out camping this weekend and I am sketching up ideas for how I want it to be based on all the great ideas. I will be working on it Tuesday or Wednesday and will post some pics as soon as it is all done. Thanks everyone for all the great advice!


#18

to SLOW down ants i have the verticals in treated pine poles, with each leg sitting in a tin with sump oil.
you could put water but it evaporates, sump oil seems to stop the little fellows


#19

Ok so I got the back side of my cover down. I heard loud and clear the need for a stable hard surface behind the hives so I got some 16 x 16 concrete squares. I have them laid out to see how they look, I put weed barrier beneath it aND plan on putting sand on it to make sure they are perfectly level. Tomorrow I am going to get a load of some type of mulch or pine or rock to go around everything the width of the weed barrier (36"). (The flow frame is just on for pictures. The bees come Friday)


#20

omg, can I move in??? :smile: That is just beautiful.


#21

Thanks everyone for your advice on ground cover. I think I am all done and ready for bees on Friday. I went with two layers of weed cloth and river rock.