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Early Spring Hunting

Bees are very fond of salt in the early spring, and, in fact, in
all parts of the season when brood rearing is in progress. Now we
will start out some fine spring morning, take a hatchet or an ax
and a polk of salt, and we will go up on the side of the mountain
and chop out a little trough large enough to hold a quart or more,
then sprinkle a little water, scented with oil of anise or
bergamont, on the outside of this trough, then put a few corncobs
and a handful of salt in the trough and place the trough in the
fork of a small tree out of the way of any stock that may be
pasturing in the woods. Our work is now done at this place. We can
go on and put out several of these baits along the mountain. The
first rain that comes will fill the trough, dissolve the salt,
which will soak into the corncobs, and the scent which we placed on
the outside of the trough will entice any bees that may be flying.
After this we go home and a day or so after the first good rain
that comes, we will go back and the chances are that we will have
several good courses. Now we will cover the trough over with a
bunch of leaves--green boughs--and sprinkle these freely with
sweetened water. Take a pint bottle, fill it one-fourth full of
granulated sugar and fill up with water. This is better than more
sugar, for when the syrup is too thick it requires more time for
the bees to load up and if too thick, in a short time the bushes
become sticky.

After several bees have loaded up and gone home, we will take a
cloth and saturate it with the same scent used on the trough, then
take the bait--bunch of bushes--with us on the course, hunt a place
as free from timber as possible and lay out bait on the top of a
bush, the cloth beside it, and in a short time we should have
plenty of bees. After determining on the course the same tactics
are pursued until we arrive at the tree, or, if we have good reason
to believe the bee stands in any certain group of trees and we fail
to find the tree, to make sure that our ideas are correct we will
move our bait off to one side of the original course and thus get a
cross course, and at the junction of the first line of flight and
this second line, the bees must certainly have their home. We must
look at every tree with the utmost care, for it is a very easy
matter to overlook a bee tree, even experienced bee hunters have
done this. But if we take time to examine a tree from all sides we
should always be able to locate them.

Next: Bees Watering How To Find Them

Previous: An Old Bee Hunter

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