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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    sc
    Posts
    47

    Post

    I read the article on here about bee hunting. I see that you do it. Can you tell me where you set up your scented sugar ( ie in a park, or in a field)
    How do you mark the bees. with out hurting them.
    Do you do round trip times?
    how do you follow them back

    I am very interested in this..
    thanks
    chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Greetings Chris,

    I'm certianly not an expert on bee hunting but have been at it on and off since the late 60's.

    One of the oldest tricks to bee hunting involves searching out the watering spots for bees. They don't go very far from the hive for water and they can be trailed from there. It works great in a dry area with restricted water resources and is a lot faster than baiting the bees.

    I usually hunt bees in the fall after the amount of bee pasture is greatly reduced. It's easy to find a concentration of bees and bee forage in single location. I gather a couple dozen or so bees and use the "mass recruiting method" described by Dr. Wenner on this site.

    In a few hours, hundreds of bees will be working the sponge I soak with anise scented sugar syrup. It's easy to mark the thorax or abdomen with a small spot of paint. I like to use "white out". It's quick drying, non offensive to the bees and comes in a variety of colors.

    I drill a small hole in the cap and replace the brush with a nail the same diameter as the hole in the lid. I grind the pointed end of the nail flat. When it is pulled from the lid all the paint is scrapped off the sides of the nail and a small amount is left on the flat end. It's perfect for marking bees.

    To mark a bee wait until it's completely engrossed in feeding, then very gently touch the thorax or abdomen with the paint on flat end of the nail. Move slowly, so as not to scare the bee.

    Choose an open area. I like to get down low on the ground and somewhat away from the scented sugar source to watch the bees flight path. They will usually circle the area several times and then take off in the direction of the hive.

    If you can get a topographic map of the area you're working in, the general location of the hive can be determined by using the time-distance formula developed by Wenner and his students.

    I wish they were more feral bees in my area because hunting them is quite alot of fun even if I don't remove them.

    Regards
    Dennis


    [This message has been edited by BWrangler (edited May 15, 2003).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    sc
    Posts
    47

    Post

    Dennis,
    thanks so much for the reply. I am very intereted in doing it. I am going to read more. Do you have any suggestions on books to buy? I just find it hard to follow them with my eye.I tried following bees from my own hive and they fly so fast. How far away do you travel from your own bees to track em. I am afraid i will track my own bees .
    Do you catch the bees in a can and then let them go one by one. or do you just mark them and time em.
    How excitng is it to walk up on to the tree they are living in...man it must be a rush

    [This message has been edited by Chris L (edited May 15, 2003).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Greetings Chris,

    Have you seen
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/bsjun1992.htm

    It's a good resource for bee hunting.

    I catch all the bees in a metal can like the old coffee cans.

    I slip a sponge saturated in a very light sugar syrup for 15 minutes or so. The sponge should be wet but not drippy. KDon't want sticky bees.

    I set the can in a open meadow and cover it so that its dark inside the can. The bigger the meadow the better.

    I find it hard to follow the bees against the trees and so get down low to catch them above the tree line against the sky. They like to circle the area in about a 50' radius or so a few times before departing to the hive. After watching them for awhile you'll understand their behavior.

    It will take some time but eventually some of the bees will return and recruit other bees. It's those bees that you can track and mark the easiest.

    Bee hunting for me is like mushroom hunting. It takes time and it's a very pleasant way to spend a day in the outdoors. I do most of my hunting on public land away from the cities. Bees have no regard for property lines.

    It's kind of like one person orienteering. Kids enjoy it. The adventure, challenge and possibly the thrill of the hunt.

    I tracked a hive from the top of a very rugged canyon down 3500 feet to an area about 100 yards across. The area was a jumble of rocks and very dense timber. Looked for them for 3 years and never did find the hive. Found lots of berries and wildlife though. Watched lots of clouds float by while waiting on the bees. I certainly enjoy it.

    Give it a try and share your experiences. I would like to hear about them.

    Regards
    Dennis



    [This message has been edited by BWrangler (edited May 15, 2003).]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    sc
    Posts
    47

    Post

    Dennis,
    thankyou so much for sharing with me. I will let you know how it goes. its going ot be hard but i will enjoy it i know.
    If you have any other pointers let me know, or a good book to readabout it
    thank you again
    chris

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