Bee Hunting in the Ozarks

The time is rapidly approaching when our friend Jasper will come around, inviting us to come along with him on another Bee Tree Hunt. (for photos of a bee hunt, click here) This is an ideal time for a bee hunt, or “coursing bees”, as it is called around here.  This is a skill that was once common among the subsistence farmers who inhabited this area in the past.  It is an art that is quickly disappearing, so we are fortunate to have Jasper teach us the tricks of the trade.  This is our friend Jasper:

Jasper on a bee tree hunt

Jasper is an incredible man.  At 82 years young, he can scramble up and down these hills and hollers all day long coursing bees, and even being three decades his junior, I can barely keep up with him.  Jasper also gathers black walnuts from our ranch, as well as surrounding farms, and is consistantly the regions leading supplier to the Hammons Walnut Company, who sets up collection stations throughout the Ozarks every fall.  During summer, Jasper will spend about 6 weeks gathering blueberries from a large local farm, which he gladly shares with all his family and friends.  But these are stories for a later day, which I will most probably babble about come this summer.

Meanwhile, I want to share a couple of bee photographs that Retta took last spring.

Bee gathering pollen

Another bee doing its thing

Sometimes I wish that we humans were endowed with 10X zoom, macro-enabled eyes – wouldn’t that be something?

5 thoughts on “Bee Hunting in the Ozarks

  1. Wow, that was an excellent photo essay about finding bee trees!!!!! I tihnk I’m going to give it a try. I’ve seen honey bees once or twice in my woods, and I would love to find a bee tree just for the novelty of having done so.

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  3. My 6 year old daughter & I have recently tried bee hunting several times this past year. We enjoyed it thoroughly .The articles & photos I’ve seen online have motivated me to document this dying art of bee lining. So, I’ve started a site about bee hunting – If Hal has any wisdom he’d like to provide a newbie bee hunter, I am all ears. My contact info is available at this website address.

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