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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