Friend/chief photographer Bo Rader’s photos of a swarm of bees that descended on his buddy’s little truck in California (photo below) reminded me how pesky the little insects can be.
The worst concentrations I’ve dealt with were on a New Mexico elk hunt near Chama. They seemed to be about everywhere. Bees swarmed the meat from any elk brought back into camp. We had to constantly replace twist-off caps on soda bottles so we didn’t accidentally take a stinger in the mouth on our next sip.
One guy got stung on the tip of his lip. Several people mentioned they were allergic to bee stings and showed serious concern for their health at the camp.
Eventually we started making bee traps which worked pretty well.
I took a bottle of Mountain Dew and drank just enough that when it was placed on its side the soda was even with the bottom of the bottle’s neck. Within minutes bees were landing and marching in. Within about two hours the bottle was so crammed full of bees there wasn’t room for any more.
It appeared the bees would walk in, get on the soda and flush upwards when they tried to leave. I screwed the cap on tight ,long enough to make sure all were dead then poured several hundred bees into a stream to feed the trout.
So it went for several days, each of which seemed to have fewer bee problems in camp. We played around a bit with different types of soda to see what worked best.
Mountain Dew and 7-UP were best. Dark and diet sodas didn’t work as well.
Before I start hearing from bee-rights groups let me say I’ve only taken such measures a couple of times and only when a number of people were in jeopardy.
Amid the food plots and other wildlife habitat I’m creating at our farm is an old fashioned bee-tree. A small cloud of bees is usually swarming around the hole in the trunk of the old bur oak.
I’ll not do anything to harm the little creatures that help pollinate my patches of clover.
Nor will I ever be drinking Mountain Dew or 7-Up anywhere nearby.