Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Drone Congregation Areas - I'm going on a bee hunt!

Some time ago I wrote about Drone Congregation Areas and Gilbert White. Well we are going home to the UK for a vacation and I have decided to see if I can find the DCA Gilbert White first documented on 1st July 1792!

I sent an email to the Gilbert White museum in Selborne (in Hampshire) asking them if they know of the DCA and possibly where it might be located. I got a very prompt reply from their office saying they would pass on my enquiry to their Head Gardener, David Standing. This morning I got a delightful email from Mr Standing. Clearly he is something of a detective.

He had looked at Gilbert White's reference on 1st July 1792. This refers to the...

'loud audible humming of bees.... on the highest part of our down'.

Gilbert White goes on to say that...

'The sound is to be heard distinctly the whole common thro', from the Money-dell's, to Mr White's avenue-gate.'

Well, David believes 'The Down' is in this case the top of Selborne Hanger, the highest part of which is nearest the NW edge of the area and thinks that it is close to an old path (still in existence) that runs from the the top of the "zig-zag" path to Newton Valence, the neighbouring village. This old path would have been used by villagers traveling between Selborne and Newton Valence. The present path is a more direct route following the route that was cleared through the trees, of a water pipe that was laid in the 20th Century.

Although David is not sure where 'the Money-dell's' are, he suspects they are on the eastern side of the common, as 'Mr White's avenue-gate' was on the west. 'Mr White' being the Rev. Edmund White, Gilbert White's nephew and the Vicar of Newton Valence.

So I'm getting excited and I'm really looking forward to trying to locate this DCA. I have a map reference which will be where I will start looking. I plan to recruit the help of my sons, as I will need some sharp eyesight and keen hearing!... Watch this space!

1 comment:

  1. What a great opportunity!

    I've often wondered where the DCA(s) are in my area. I've got a couple of ideas though.

    Do let us know how the hunt goes!