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Well, hello. This is my second thread on this site, and hoping to get some oldtimers here to give me some information on beelineing....Has anyone on here ever done it? Has anyone used the box method? I have a video from Brushy Mountain; the title is FREE BEES FOR YOU 2000. It is very cool with the old timers taking the narrator out into the woods and finding ferral hives, cutting down the tree, taking the honey and the bees....Aaahhh, the good ole' days........If anyone has an opportunity...it's kind of slow, but interesting to say the least...... Anywho.......I would like to build a beelineing box; just to do it....have the experience....Would like to get information from anyone who may have tried this or actually built the box...I need some instruction or diminsions...... Thanks..........Min:eek:
 

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I have a collection of old bee hunting boxes. Maybe I could take some pictures and send them to you, if you think that would help?
 

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I agree...This in "our time" thinking....I guess in the old days, not too much thought was put into the waste of the tree, albeit, most likely pretty much rotten...could have been fire wood or something....not just left there.... Back to the bees........I need info..... I've sat near my hive and watched the bees coming in...which direction..etc...seen where they fly off, which direction...So, if I were to capture one of those bees...gone in the direction of their flight..as far as possible, then let that bee go...and watched it again..potentially I could continue in that direction until I would find their source of pollen or whatever....conversely; if I were at a stream or grove, and captured several bees(in the box), then let one go and tracked it's direction until I could not see it , then let another one go...and repeated the process, I could then locate the hive... Anyone with me on this....or am I way off base here with my understanding.......I still want to give it a try....and would appreciate some help here....Thanks, Min
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Lawrence for your response. I'm hoping for some time off work to practice the skill.. I liked your idea of the cigar box.....I have seen pictures of a few beelineing boxes..and am anxious to see the ones mentioned above...
 

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I built a beelining box using 3/32" craft plywood, plastic picture frame "glass" and a wooden box (all for less than $10 from a craft store). Last summer I had captured a swarm in my neighborhood and I wanted to know where they came from (hopefully not someone's house). If you're beelining when nectar is sparse, you can get plenty of action, but I found that a saucer in a cigar box worked just about as well as my beelining box. I also learned that my patience was a little too thin for serious beelining.

I then convinced my niece, a sixth grader, to do a "beelining" science project. She won first place! At first she tried marking foragers with bright acrylic paint (back to the craft store!) and timing their round trips. She had found equations for estimating distance to the hive on the internet, but that didn't prove to work. She had figured that she could see which way they were going...march off a calculated distance...and there they woud be. That didn't work, but she was fascinated by seeing marked bees coming back over and over again. (When she started marking bees the second day, things got screwed up by yesterday's marked bees coming back too.) She used four or five different colors with some bees marked on the abdomen and others marked on the thorax, so marked bees started going and coming faster than she could right down the time.

The real unknown in the equation is how long it takes for them to unload and start back. To eventually find the hive, she just watched their direction of travel and triangulated the location...370 yards through the neighborhood from her starting point to about 25' up in a hollow pecan tree. Her strategy was to watch the direction of traffic for a little while, then close the cigar box and moved that way about 75 - 100 yards (she would lay in the grass to silouette the bees against the sky). Her project display included a Google Earth map with arrows pointing from her observation stations in the direction of travel...and to the hive. She had photos her mom made of her marking bees and marked bees on the saucer taking syrup/honey mixture. She was fascinated at how quickly the number of bees coming to her lure would grow as the foragers "spread the word".

I talked her into presenting her project at our local beekeepers meeting and she did a good job. She answered a number of questions about her work with the bees, but when asked if she wanted to be a beekeeper, her thoughtful reply was “No.” (She has lots of time to change her mind.)

It was kinda fun and good to know that the feral colony was safely living in a hollow tree. The second place winner (and my favorite) was entitled "Why Dead Fish Float".
 

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I'll take some pictures and se if I can post them- not sure how to do that though, so it may take me some time to figure it out.

Couple of books you might look for-

an older volume by George Edgell called "The Bee Hunter"

and a more recent publication by Robert Donovan called "Hunting Wild Bees". Donovan's book shows how to make a box out of a cardboard milk carton.
 

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Fascinating. I never knew such a thing as "beelining" existed.

Always learning something new here at the good ole beesource forums!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great input folks!!!! Keep it coming....This is a very interesting topic....and still; awaiting the pictures.....I too am trying to work on getting some pictures on here....I have an old extractor I'm wanting to work on(see Equipment forum)....took some pictures of it, and currently working on getting them on here...stay tuned......Thanks again.....Min
 

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I bought one of Jim's Bee lining boxes and between it and some homemade bait stations that I made I have big fun with this.

I enjoy the challenge of the hunt. I usually end of finding them in the side of someone's house (who is usually aware of it, but sometimes does not know either.) Last one I found was 30 feet up in a dead tree.

I use google earth to set waypoints and directions from my bee box and bait stations. I can usually triangulate tier position within 100 feet when my bait stations are still 1/4 mile away.

I have a book that I read by Winchester Press that is just fantastic. Here is the info on it......

I looked it up on Amazon as I could not remember the author's name. Here is the data from Amazon:

Hunting Wild Bees (Hardcover)
by Robert E. Donovan

# Hardcover: 184 pages
# Publisher: Winchester Pr (August 1984)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0876913109

It's out of print, but 3 copies were available (when I last looked) they were used and starting at $10 (no I'm not selling mine). It is very well written and I highly recommend it.

Good luck - it is fun hunting for them, and it is more challenging than bird watching. Bee Finding, it's your new sport.
 

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beelining

i think that it is wise to learn the old methods for finding the feral colonies so that you know where to catch swarms!! If you are planing to try to get the bees from the tree, you need to realize that you stand a better chance of killing the queen than not. imho it is not about you or your need for bees as it is for humanity to leave as many feral colonies to develop immunities and natural defenses to the parasites and diseases that we gave or they got. they will produce more swarms than you will be able to use and the ones that you dont catch will repopulate the area and everyone will benefit from it. swarm traps and the knowledge we have for catching them have advanced to the point that it is so much easier to use them than it is to go thru the trouble of tearing down a tree for the bees. i have caught swarms for about fifteen dollars (maybe less) and wonder why would you not want to use them?
 

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moonlight,

I agree that learning the old ways is a prerequisite for learning new ways of doing things.

That is what the Winchester press book is all about. They made an attempt to catalog the old ways of hunting, fishing and things in those series of books and the one I mentioned above is excellent at doing that.

Troy
 

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This is a very interesting topic, I'd like to hear more about these boxes. I've tried to do it without equipment or paint & found a swarm once while trying to locate a hive.

Dan
 
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