BEE MOUNTAIN (BREWSTER COUNTY)
BEE MOUNTAIN (Brewster County). Bee Mountain, sometimes called Dee Mountain, is located about a mile north-northwest of the community of Study Butte in southwestern Brewster County (at 29°21' N, 103°32' W). The elevation of its summit is 3,452 feet above sea level. The mountain rises in sheer cliffs several hundred feet high on its southern and western exposures, towering over the desert flats. Remnants of mining activity around Bee Mountain, particularly to its south and west, bespeak its location in the historic Terlingua quicksilver district (see MERCURY MINING). The mountain and surrounding area are covered with sparse, arid vegetation characteristic of Chihuahuan Desert scrub. The name Bee Mountain is said to derive from the numerous bee hives that could once be found in the rocky crevices and pockets on the sides of the mountain. The small black honey bees native to this region commonly build their hives in such locations. The intensive harvesting of honey from these wild hives by settlers, who would burn out the bees in order to take the honey, greatly reduced the bee colonies in the region. Some of the native colonies have been replaced, however, by domestic bees brought into the area that subsequently escaped their apiaries and colonized in the wild.
Clifford B. Casey, Soldiers, Ranchers and Miners in the Big Bend (Washington: Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1969). Virginia Madison and Hallie Stillwell, How Come It's Called That? Place Names in the Big Bend Country (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1958). Ross A. Maxwell, The Big Bend of the Rio Grande (Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, 1968). Kenneth B. Ragsdale, Quicksilver: Terlingua and the Chisos Mining Company (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1976).