Method of discovering bee hives in the woods in order to get their honey sent from New England by Paul Dudley

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                                VII An account
of A Method lately found out in New England for Discovering where the Bees hive in the woods in order to get their
Honey. By the same Curious Gentleman.

The hunter in a clear sun shiny day, takes a plate or trencher, wth. a little sugar, Honey or Molasses spread on it,
& when got into the woods, sets it down on a Rock or Stump in the woods, this sweetner the Bees soon sent and find out; for 'tis
generally supposed a Bee will sent honey or wax above a miles distance. The Hunter secures in a Box or other conveniency
one or more of the Bees as they fill themselves & after a little tme, lets one of them go observing very carefully the course
the Bee steers, for after he rises in the Air, he fly’s directly, or upon a streight Course to the tree where the hive is.
In order to this, the hunter Carrys with him his pockett Compass, his Rule & other Implements with a sheet of paper &
sets down the Course, suppose it West by this he is sure the tree must be somewhere in a West line from where he is, but wants 
to know the exact distance from his station, in order to determine that he makes an offset either south or North (we’ll suppose 
North) an hundred perch or Rods, (if it be more it will still be more Exact because the Angle will not be so Acute) then he takes 
out another Bee and lets him go observing his Course also very carefully, for he being loaded, will as the first (after he is mounted 
a Convenient heighth) fly directly to the hive, this second Course, (as I must call it) the hunter finds to be South, 54 degrees West,
then there remains nothing but to find out where the two Courses Intersect, or which is the same thing the distance from 
B to A or from C to A as in the Table on the other side, for there the honey tree is.
For which reason if the Course of the second Bee from C had been Southwest, and by South Vizt. to D then the hive tree 
must have been there, for there the lines are found to Interest.
The foundation of all this is the Streight or Direct motion of Bees, when bound home with their honey &
this is found <s>certain <\s> to be Certain by the observation and Experience of our hunters every Year; and Especially of late 
years since this Mathematicall way of finding honey in the woods has been used with such success.
An Ingenious Man of my Acquaintance the last year took two or three of his Neighbours that know nothing of 
the matter & after he had taken his Bees, set the Courses the first and second Bee steered made the offset, & taken the 
Distance from the two Stations to the Intersection Ordered to Cut down such a tree pointing to it, the Labourers 
Smiled & were Confident there was no honey there, for they could not perceive the tree to be hollow, or to have any 
hole for the Bees to Enter by, and would have disswaded the Gentleman from felling the tree, but he insisted on it, &
offered to lay them any Wager that the hive was there, & so it proved to the great Surprize of the Cuntrey men.
I Cannot Dismiss this Subject without acquainting you that all the Bees we have in our Gardens or 
in our woods and which now are in great Numbers, are the produce of such as were brought in hives from 
England near a hundred years ago, and not the Naturall produce of this part of America; for the first planting 
of New England never Observed a Bee in the woods untill many Years after the Countrey was setled, but that 
which proves it beyond Queston is, The Aboriginees (Indians) have no word in their language for a Bee, as 
they have for all Animalls whatsoever proper to, or <s>Aboriginally <\s> Aboriginally of the Countrey, and therefore 
for many years Called a Bee by the Name of English Mans fly.
Our People formerly used to find out honey in the Woods by Surprizing & following one 
Bee after another by the Eye, till at length they found out where the Bee treed
I will mention another thing with Respect to Bee’s tho’ I don’t know but it may be 
commonly observed, And that is when they swarm they near goe to the Norward. But move Southward 
Inclining that way.
I should have taken notice in the proper place that when one Bee goes home from the sugar 
plate. He Returns with a Considerable Number from the hive.
This account was sent from New England by Paul Dudley Esqr.
to be communicated to the Royall Society, June the 30th. 1720
                            
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Manuscript details

Author
Paul Dudley
Reference
CLP/10iii/42
Series
Cl.P
Date
1720
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Method of discovering bee hives in the woods in order to get their honey sent from New England by Paul Dudley, 1720. From The Royal Society, CLP/10iii/42

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