Yesterday we wrote about making tea from fresh pine needles and various other ways in which pines can be consumed. A friend of mine wrote a comment and contacted me last night about ways to survive from eating the bugs and grubs that live inside of dead trees.
Now my friend retired from the US forest service and knows what he is talking about. He provided me with a lot of the information that is in the post. While there are about 5000 different species of bug and grubs that consume trees, for the purposes of this post there are basically three types of bugs and grubs that we are interested in. The first are the ones that bore though the bark and end up killing the trees. These are small about the size of a grain of rice and are hard shelled. While they are not poisonous, they are so hard shelled they would be like eating grains of sand. So avoid these.
The second are the grubs. They multiply right after the tree dies. These are small soft shelled and can number in the millions. You will find them under the bark. These stay for about the first year or so. He says that they taste good. The ones he has eaten are from pine trees and reminded him of pine nuts.
After about the end of the first year the long horn beetles move in. Now these are larger and can be as big as your thumb. There are about 1000 different types of them; however, they and all their larvae are edible. These will help break down the wood and stay until the tree is largely rotted away.
All of these bugs and grubs are high in protien and fats which are important in a survival situation. You can eat them, raw but personally, I would cook them, either on skewers over an open fire or by boiling.
Now you may find that you are competing with the bears for them. You will see where the bears will tear apart dead trees and stumps looking for them. Depending on the weather, the bugs and grubs may go dormant during cold periods.