The first year Al Crim began his beekeeping hobby in 2005, he found only one swarm of bees. This year already, Crim has found 25 swarms. His secret? Dowsing.
For three years, Crim has been a member of the Tri-State Dowsers, an official American Society of Dowsers chapter created in 1998. The club gathers on the last Thursday of every month at the Newburgh Central Library to explore different uses of the practice.
Dowsing is a type of divination used to search for items or information, like water sources. Raymond C. Willey, a founder of the American Society of Dowsers, claims dowsing “allows one to obtain information in a manner beyond the scope and power of the standard human physical senses of sight, sound, touch, etc.” Many experts say dowsing can be explained by the ideomotor response — a reflexive, automatic muscular reaction brought out by a thought or mental image. Such assessments don’t deter Tri-State dowsers from their practice, however.
“People think dowsing is two sticks looking for water,” says Mary Buchanan, the group’s president, “but we have people in the group who are treasure hunters or dowse for lost things, illness, oil wells. Someone found graves. There just are so many different things.”
Crim says dowsing for vibrations helps him catch swarms of bees. He uses geopathic energy lines that run through the earth and create a grid. Crim finds intersections of two lines, the Curry line and Hartmann line — named for the discoverers Dr. Manfred Curry and Dr. Ernst Hartmann. The third piece of the puzzle is finding where these two lines intersect and cross a water vein. Where all of these unite is where Crim hangs his swarm trap or places a beehive.
“There’s vibration from everybody,” he says. “Basically, humans’ vibration is 7.83 hertz and bees’ vibration runs about 250 hertz. So these lines where they all cross vibrate around 250 to 290 hertz. It’s quite interesting. The more you know, the less you know.”
For more information about the Tri-State Dowsers, visit tristatedowsers.org.