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Author Topic: Hunting Honeybee nests  (Read 899 times)

Offline bee-nuts

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Hunting Honeybee nests
« on: June 30, 2009, 06:33:29 AM »
Has anybody ever tried hunting honeybee nests with success or know someone that has.  I have found a little info about it.  One way was trapping them with bait like honey and wax then releasing them one at a time and following them to there nest.  Another way was to put plates of honey in two different spots and seeing which direction they fly from each using a compass then between the two directions they should cross one another giving you the area of the nest.  I hope I made sense there.  I'm wondering if this is a reliable way to get some swarms back or maybe even get some feral survivor stock.  I would like to try it.  Maybe it is not as hard as it may seam.  I guess lots of people used to hunt like this for honey and colonies back in the day.  I guess you can cut down a bee tree, cut the hive portion out and either drum the bees up into a box or set a box on it and come back and take the box when you know the queen is in it.  Sounds like fun (if your not in AHB territory that is), what do you think.  Yes , of course you have to have land to do it on and be able to cut down the tree.

Oh I keep forgetting to ask how far do bees usually swarm if there is viable homes near the original hive.  Do they typically stay within a 1/4 mile or so, or may they go a mile or more easily? 

Thanks for any info beeks

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson

Offline Rebel Rose Apiary

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Re: Hunting Honeybee nests
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 01:58:10 PM »
What you are wanting to learn about is called 'beelining'. There used to be a lot of the older beeks who did this. It is hard to do and takes more time than it is worth in most cases. You might spend days or even weeks locating a colony. Usually the colonies are found in trees, high up in the middle of a timber. Not the best place to try and remove the colony.

May I ask why you are wanting to find a colony of wild bees?

If you are wanting to get started into beekeeping, I am sure that there is someone on here who will help you to get started with an established hive.
It would be much easier for you than trying to locate a feral hive.


Online iddee

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Re: Hunting Honeybee nests
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 02:38:12 PM »

Have fun. It's a great game.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline riverrat

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Re: Hunting Honeybee nests
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 02:50:26 PM »
If your doing it to get free bees your working to hard. If you are doing it for the thrill of the chase getting out in and around nature. I say cowboy up and go it would be good exercise.  ;) Especially if you end up tresspassing and the land owner takes into you with rock salt in a shot gun, or you cross a pasture in 10 seconds getting chased by a bull that can do it in 8. :-D :-D :-D Seriously it would be fun just to get out and enjoy the outdooors getting exercise. sure would beat walking around the local school track.
never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house