site logo

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
rough, 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.