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 Post subject: Do Beeswax Candles Attract Bears?
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2006, 12:16 pm 
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I picked up some nifty beeswax candles at MEC that will fit my candle lantern. I like that beeswax is so long burning (less weight to carry for the # of hours of burn time), but I wonder if the gentle honey scent will be enough to arouse the curiosity of bears. What are your thoughts?

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Most of the world's political, social, and environmental problems have the same root cause: human overpopulation. By 2050 or so, the world population is expected to reach nine billion.


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2006, 12:39 pm 
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Hi Steve,
My brother in law (who is a beekeeper) made a batch for me a few years ago. I had the same thoughts at the time. To date I have not attracted any bears, at least as far as I know anyway :)

I suppose it's *possible* they might be something a bear might want to investigate but so far no problem.

Cheers,
MikeD.

P.S. they are great winter camping. From what I've seen (side by side comparison) they burn hotter, longer and somewhat brighter than plain parfin.


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2006, 2:49 pm 
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While a bear's nose is sensitive enought that it'll probably be able to smell the honey scented candle, it'll probably also be sensiitive enough to give the bear a pretty good idea of how much honey is associated with the smell - ie, just the scent. I'm not aware of any records that indicated beeswax candles have generated undue interest in bears, but other things people often take into their tents at night and not think twice about should be more concern. Most bars of soap for example contain rendered animal products and I know of one confirmed incident where a bear ate a bar of soap left exposed at a campsite - yet many people take their toiltery kit complete with soap into the tent at night. More than likely there are other things we take for granted that are probably more interesting to bears than a bit of beeswax.


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2006, 2:57 pm 
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I used one years ago and burnt my finger on the top of the lamp something fierce. I put the lamp away and haven't used it since. I don't miss it.

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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2006, 4:47 pm 
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Deodorant, toothpaste, shaving lotion, hair products,any sort of make-up, perfumes/colognes(what the hell would you bring that crap for?).

PK

Rolf Kraiker wrote:
While a bear's nose is sensitive enought that it'll probably be able to smell the honey scented candle, it'll probably also be sensiitive enough to give the bear a pretty good idea of how much honey is associated with the smell - ie, just the scent. I'm not aware of any records that indicated beeswax candles have generated undue interest in bears, but other things people often take into their tents at night and not think twice about should be more concern. Most bars of soap for example contain rendered animal products and I know of one confirmed incident where a bear ate a bar of soap left exposed at a campsite - yet many people take their toiltery kit complete with soap into the tent at night. More than likely there are other things we take for granted that are probably more interesting to bears than a bit of beeswax.


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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2006, 4:48 pm 
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No

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PostPosted: January 23rd, 2006, 7:02 pm 
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if it is then I'd better quit using them and my Burt's Bees lip balm... lol


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 9:32 am 
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pknoerr wrote:
Deodorant, toothpaste, shaving lotion, hair products,any sort of make-up, perfumes/colognes(what the hell would you bring that crap for?).


Never ceases to amaze me what I've seen some people bring along on canoe trips.

The other thing that I scratch my head over is the folks who are meticulous about "bear proofing" their food by hanging in trees etc, yet keep wiping their hands on their pants while preparing and eating food and leave those same pants beside them in the tent overnight. Any time we have kids along with us, I also like to go through their pockets before bed time. More often than not there's a food wapper or treat stash from lunch leftovers that shouldn't be in there over night.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 9:46 am 
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Hi Rolf,

Or the guys that seem to miss their mouth when they eat... leaving a trail of food on their shirt... the same shirt they sleep in.... just asking for a bear in camp with that.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 9:51 am 
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I bring unscented anti-perspirant and toothpaste and sunscreen and a lip balm (for the sunscreen in it)... mostly because my fellow campers don't need to experience a really stinky me... and I burn easy... but that is it and it gets hung in the tree... gee i've seen girls wearing lipstick and mascara on wilderness trips... whatever happened to natural beauty? We even saw women in dressy sandals last year... I think when the guys told them to wear sandals they misunderstood... the one woman was almost in tears.

lol - hair products for me are comb and elastics... on a real bad hair day I don a bandana

<----------------- avatar is example of bad hair day - lol

pknoerr wrote:
Deodorant, toothpaste, shaving lotion, hair products,any sort of make-up, perfumes/colognes(what the hell would you bring that crap for?).

PK



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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 10:36 am 
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******* wrote:
Or the guys that seem to miss their mouth when they eat... leaving a trail of food on their shirt... the same shirt they sleep in.... just asking for a bear in camp with that.

I've seen guys and gals do the same thing. Being a messy camper has little to with what sex you are. And pleeeeeeze don't let this remark take this topic onto another tangent. I just wanted to let people know what I've seen. 8)

I figure that if a bear will sniff out and eat a bar of soap, it'll smell the bees wax candle too. But whether that's enough to encourage a bear to enter your camp site or not is questionable.

Myself, I wouldn't have a problem with using them. All the bear encounters I've had were daytime ones. Usually there's nothing but strange sounds in the night with one's mind left to build them up far bigger than they really are. Dave Hadfield's song called Bushwacker (from the album Wilderness Waltz) sums it up quite nicely.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd be more worried about night foraging raccoons checking out the scent than bears.

Dave

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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 10:41 am 
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******* wrote:
<----------------- avatar is example of bad hair day - lol[

I'd call that a good bandana day.

I wish I had enough hair to have a bad hair day.

Dave

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The Wilderness needs strong voices to protect it. And yours can be one of them.
Visit the Friends of Temagami website to learn more.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 10:45 am 
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I meant it in more of a general term and not to gender slam - I should watch what i type

bandanas are fun - i tend to look for the really tacky ones - the brighter the better (makes me stand out)


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 11:38 am 
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Back to the original question: beeswax candles and bears. I seem to think different from you other folks but neither of us is a bear so we won't be the "final judge"... :wink:

Here's my logic:
* bears that are habituated to humans will go for it and anything else that is associated with human stuff - even if it's just to be checked out. For example, a garbage bear is used to the weirdest of smells and there's the experience that something is edible in between all these presents from humans
* bears in the wild may not be interested in many smells that we bring along (even colognes etc) and it may turn them off. But the smell of honey is something that they know and cherish: I have come a few times across raided bee holes, typically in the ground and I suppose the culprit is Mr Bear. And the smell of the candles is substantial - even I can smell them from a distance. I'd leave the beeswax at home and bring paraffin candles.


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PostPosted: January 24th, 2006, 11:54 am 
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I find parrafin burns cleaner anyway


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