Earlier this summer I was given a copy of Dr. Thomas Seeley’s book Following the Wild Bees (here) and have been enjoying beelining during down time. In short, beelining is the practice (or sport) of catching bees, feeding them a delicious syrup, and convincing them to bring fellow foragers back for syrup while you follow their flight line to their hive.
While this is a traditional hive-hunting method for honey collection, it’s now a hobby and a means of surveying the wild bee population.
I built a beelining box from scrap lumber and a small sheet of acrylic and set off to (briefly) trap foraging bees.
Around the farm it’s silly to beeline (other than to practice technique) because I know where the bees are coming from — on the hill above the garden! At parks, though, it’s fair game.
I took a break from catching apis mellifera to gather up carpenter and bumble bees as well.
I’m thoroughly enjoying beelining and I’m learning a great deal about what pollinators are around. Much recommended!
A few links about Dr. Seeley & beelining:
Biography of Dr. Seeley: https://www.beeculture.com/tom-seeley/
Interview about his book on beelining: https://awaytogarden.com/beelining-in-search-of-wild-honey-bees-with-tom-seeley/
University or Arkansas extension article on beelining: https://www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/special-programs/beekeeping/beeliner.aspx
Northwoods article with plans: https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/bee-lining-the-oldtimers-way-to-find-wild-beehives#prettyPhoto