Originally Posted by Kathy
Thanks for the post! We launch on the Main on the 26th and I had been wondering about the bees. This year they seemed worse than normal on our Lower Salmon trip (a few weeks ago), so I was trying to formulate a game-plan.
I looked at the brand you used... Rescue. Did you have a new trap for each night? Did you hang more than one per camp? Other than Paine Creek, which camps were the worst? We are a small group, so we can camp pretty much anywhere. Any bee advice is welcome.
P.S. How were the biting flies?
Biting flies were not noticeable until last night at Johnson Bar.
We only had one trap and stored it inside 2 gallon zip locks between camps. Seemed to work fine if kept upright. We just added a little extra water each time we set it back up. If possible I would bring 2-3 and use the extras at the worst of camps. Just remember that they are an attractant though, so only use them when needed as they can exacerbate the problem in calm camps (only Upper Devils Tooth was mild for us and we didn't even use the trap for the 10-20 we saw).
Yellowjackets were bad at every camp and we were a small group using lower water beaches. They seemed to be the worst in the middle stretch of the river. That said, they were very active at Corn Creek camps from the beginning.
Definitely don't swat. It was the first time I have been stung by any, as we never experienced them on my previous trip. Odd sting that seems to come back at random times with pain and itching. Definitely keep them bites clean.
They love meat right now. Bacon, salmon, you name it. They are impressive to watch as they carry away chunks as big as themselves.
I assume there population sizes are similar issues related to red ants on the Grand. Hida had been poorly used by some groups before us and was horrible. We cleaned up the food trash that we could but the yellow jackets were there to stay.
Its a practice in Zen for sure as you try to cook and eat with 30-40 yellow jackets swarming around you. Definitely pissed our dog off.
Extremely glad no one got stung by the bald faced hornets on that were common as well. Same family as the yellow jackets but rumored to be extremely painful. At least a single yellow jacket sting is tolerable for those who aren't allergic.
Still a great trip, just took some getting use to.