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Hunting Bees From Sumac

Sumac begins to bloom about the first of July and continues through
the month. It is unquestionably the greatest source of honey in the
country in which I live. From the time the dew is off until dusk
the bee is busy on it. Every old worn-out field is plentifully
supplied with it and a different variety is found growing in small
patches all over the mountains. I have found more bee trees by the
plan now given than perhaps any other.

We will visit some of these places and select a spot where there
are a few bunches near together, if no more than a half dozen
bunches the better. Now having our bottle containing bait prepared,
let us select two or three bunches standing close together and
sprinkle them freely with the bait, then break off all others
standing near. At first the bees will fly around as if they don't
like to light on the wet bushes but the ones that were used to
getting honey from these flowers may visit other flowers and fly
away, but they are sure to come back, and, after taking a sip,
finding it a quicker method of getting a load of sweets, settle
down to business and in a short space of time adapt themselves to
the new order of things and are soon on their way home, never
failing to return, bringing others along. Keeping the bushes well
supplied with bait, we will soon discover a course and perhaps two
or more. Then take the scented cloth, lay it near the bait, and
after ten or fifteen minutes break these bushes off a foot or more
below the flowers and we are ready to start on the course. After
going two or three hundred yards, select a place clear of trees so
that they can fly on their course without being compelled to fly
around timber, lay the scent cloth near by, and in five or ten
minutes you will have plenty of bees, or, we may be going on the
line of flight and find the bees suddenly cease to come to bait.
This is an unfailing sign that we have passed the tree or are very
close to it.

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