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Full text of "American honey plants, together with those which are of special value to the beekeeper as sources of pollen"

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HONEY 

PLANTS 






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AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



American Honey Plants 



Together With Those Which Are of Special 
Value to the Beekeeper as Sources of Pollen 



BY FRANK C. PELLETT 

Author Beginner's Bee Book, Productive Beekeeping, 
Practical Queen Rearing, Etc. 



155 Illustrations 



1920 
AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL 

Hamilton. Illinois 






copyright, ivzti. 
By Frank C. Pellelt 
All Rights Reserved 



N.C.S« a * e 



•"""Si*** 



To my indulgent parents, 

who early encouraged me 

in my passion for the study 

of Nature, 'this book is affectionately 

dedicated. 



■': i 60 1 



FOREWORD 

In the first volume of American Bee Journal, published in 1861, appears 
a plea for the publication of a volume devoted to the honey flora of 
America. In numerous instances since that time, writers have mentioned 
the great need of a work of this kind. In common with other students of 
beekeeping, the author came to feel this lack in our beekeeping literature. 
This book is an attempt to fill that need. It is to be expected that the first 
work on this great subject will overlook many things which should have 
been included and that numerous errors should creep in. In an attempt to 
gather the desired material, the author has visited the important beekeep- 
ing regions from the Atlantic Coast to California and from Canada to 
Florida and Texas. Careful notes have been made of the honey plants 
of each section as indicated by the many beekeepers with whom the 
author has come in contact. To this multitude of beekeepers who have 
thus assisted by furnishing notes of this kind the author is greatly in- 
debted. 

The literature of beekeeping has been carefully examined for refer- 
ences to honey plants, and hundreds of quotations appear in the text. 
The few bulletins which have appeared on the subject have been quoted 
freely, as well as similar material appearing in the bee magazines 

The illustrations are for the most part from the author's original 
photographs, although a number have been borrowed from the American 
Bee Journal, which appeared in that publication, from John H. Lovell, 
Homer Mathewson, J. M. Buchanan, M. C. Richter, C. D. Stuart, Florida 
Photographic Concern, Wesley Foster, W. A. Pryal, and some others, the 
identity of the originator of which are lost. 

Since most of the readers of this book will be men who are not accus- 
nomed to botanical classification, it has been thought best to treat each 
plant under the name by which it is most widely known, giving other 
names as cross references, and to treat all in alphabetical order. Numer- 
ous related subjects which seemed to have a place in a book of this kind, 
such as nectar and nectar secretion, poisonous honey, propolis, pollina- 
tion, weather and honey production, etc., have been likewise included in 
proper alphabetical order. 

No one is likely to be more conscious of the shortcomings of the 
volume than is the author. As it is his hope to expand the scope of the 
work in a later edition, he will be grateful for notes on additions and 
corrections from all parts of America. 

Hamilton, 111. FRANK C. PELLETT. 

November 18, 1919. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



The late Prof. A. J. Cook estimated that there are nearly eighteen hun- 
dred species of plants on which bees work in America. Most of these are 
minor sources, which the bees visit incidentally for the minute quantity 
of nectar that may be available, or for pollen. There are some plants rich 
in nectar which can never be important to the beekeeper because they 
are not sufficiently plentiful. 

Honey production, as a business enterprise, is dependent upon a few 
species which yield nectar abundantly and which are sufficiently common 
to enable the bees to secure honey in large quantity. In order to make 
the most of his business, the beekeeper should have a thorough knowledge 
or the honey plants in all the country surrounding his apiaries. It often 
happens that a distance of but a few miles makes a great difference with 
the available honey sources. Many a man by moving an apiary a few 
miles has greatly increased the yield. It sometimes happens that the plant 
which is the main dependence will fail, and that by moving to some other 
source, a crop may be harvested. To know fully the honey plants of his 
region, their time of blooming and habit of nectar secretion under his 
particular conditions, is of fundamental importance to the man who would 
succeed as a beekeeper. 

In many places the presence or absence of a single plant determines 
whether or not beekeeping is worth while. Over a large portion of the 
Middle West, the beekeepers depend almost entirely upon white clover for 
surplus, and in seasons when this plant fails they get no honey to sell. 

Likewise, in many localities in the irrigated regions of the Rocky 
Mountain States, when alfalfa fails to yield, there is no surplus honey. 
Yet in all these sections, beekeeping would be impossible if there were no 
other plants. There are localities where tremendous honeyflows occur for 
a short period of time, where beekeeping is not practical because there is 
insufficient forage to support the bees the rest of the year. In such places 
beekeepers often take advantage of the flows by moving the bees away as 
soon as the plants cease to yield nectar, and returning them the following 
year at blooming time. This applies to some parts of the valley of the 
Appalachicola River in Florida. While the flow from Tupelo is sometimes 
remarkable, there is a shortage of pollen throughout the summer months. 

The ideal situation for beekeeping is one where there are at least 
three plants which yield surplus honey in considerable quantity, and which 
bloom at different periods. Beside the main sources, there should be a 
great variety of minor plants yielding both pollen and honey throughout 
the season to support the bees between the main flows. In such a situa- 
tion, there is seldom an entire failure of the honey crop; and, in good 
years, the beekeeper fares well, indeed. 

There are many localities where the bees suffer seriously for lack of 
pollen at some seasons of the year. An available source of pollen is 



8 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

second only in importance to an abundant honeyflow. This being the case, 
the plants which are generally regarded as valuable for pollen, especially 
those blooming at seasons when pollen is not abundant generally, are 
included in this book. 

HONEY PLANT REGIONS 

Several attempts have been made to outline the principal regions of 
the United States. A careful examination of all these outlines brings out 
serious discrepancies. There are too many small regions within larger 
ones to permit of anything like accuracy with the present data and the 
present knowledge of the honey plants. In general, white clover may be 
said to be the principal honey plant of all the region from Nova Scotia 
west to eastern Dakota and south to Tennessee and Arkansas. Yet 
within that large area, there are many places where white clover is un- 
important, and where other plants furnish the principal surplus. In much 
of Michigan white clover is of first importance, yet in the cut-over dis- 
tricts of the northern part of the State, raspberry, fireweed and milkweed 
furnish nearly all the honey that goes to market. It is good clover terri- 
tory, and with the ultimate development of the region, clover will pre- 
dominate. 

In the irrigated regions of the Rocky Mountain States, alfalfa is the 
principal source of surplus, but sweet clover is rapidly crowding it for 
first place. 

Basswood was once a very important source of honey over all the 
Northeastern States. The cutting of the basswood forests has gradually 
reduced the basswood area until there are now few localities, in Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois or Iowa, where it is really an important honey source. 
In parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario, basswood is 
still sufficiently plentiful to yield large quantities of honey, but there it 
ii; being rapidly reduced. 

In the cotton belt, where cotton would naturally be expected to be the 
principal source, the area would be divided into many small regions. Cot- 
ton may yield much honey in a locality where the soil is heavy and rich, 
while a few miles distant, where soils are light and sandy, there is little 
honey from cotton, although the plant is just as commonly cultivated. In 
the cotton region there would be a great many sub-divisions. In parts of 
Texas, mesquite is the principal source, in others catsclaw and huajilla 
(wa-he-ya), while in eastern Texas basswood yields heavily. Buckwheat 
is important principally in the region about the Great Lakes and south in 
the higher elevations to Virginia and Tennessee. Goldenrod is one of the 
most important sources of nectar in New England, while it is seldom of 
much value west of the Mississippi River, although growing abundantly. 

In California and Florida there are several entirely different regions 
within the State. There is no one plant of major importance over all 
parts of either State. A large amount of work still remains to be done 
before the honey resources of America can be mapped out with anything 
like accuracy. Changing conditions are rapidly removing one plant and 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 9 

substituting another in many sections. When the author visited west 
Texas he was told by the beekeepers there that the clearing of the land 
and planting it to cultivated crops was rapidly curtailing the bee range, 
as no cultivated crops being planted were equal to the desert flora which 
was being removed. 

In other sections, the planting of forage crops which are good sources 
of nectar, like alfalfa and sweet clover, is greatly increasing the available 
bee pasturage. In parts of California, the extensive growing of garden 
seeds is providing pasture sufficient for producing surplus honey of a kind 
seldom heard of in the markets a few years ago. Parsnip and celery 
honey are examples. 

THE MINOR PLANTS 



Although only a few dozen plants are important sources of surplus 
honey, there are hundreds of minor plants which are of value for the sup- 
port they give the bees when no 
major plant is in bloom. The num- 
ber and variety of these plants 
will largely determine the value 
of the locality, and whether it will 
be necessary for the beekeeper to 
resort to migratory beekeeping at 
times. 

Catnip is famous as a bee 
plant, yet it is doubtful whether a 
single pound of catnip honey was 
ever stored in America, unmixed 
with honey from other sources. If 
catnip could be grown in large 
fields like clover, it is probable 
that catnip honey would appear 
in the markets. 

If the beekeeper is familiar 
with the minor plants, he will 
often be able to locate outyards 
where the bees will be able to 
gather enough nectar from such 
sources to keep his colonies in the 
best possible condition for the 
surplus flows. It is a well-known 
fact that it is only the big colonies 
which produce large crops of surplus honey. A little nectar coming to 
the hive for some time in advance of the main flow, is the best possible 
stimulant for brood rearing. It often happens that bees will be poorly 
prepared for the harvest in one yard, while others only two or three miles 
distant will be in the best possible condition, because of the presence of 
some minor plants not within reach of the first. 




Blossoms of huisache (Acacia far 
nesiana.) 



1U 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



ACACIA. 

The acacias are shrubs or small trees which are widely distributed 
throughout the warmer portions of the world. There are said to be 450 
species, of which nearly 300 are native to Australia and Polynesia. We 
also find reference to them in India, Africa and South America. The 




Fig. 2. Acacia melanoxylon. 

different species are known by various local names. In Europe some are 
known as mimosa trees. As sources of honey they are important in 
Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. 

The sweet acacia (Acacia farnesiana), in Texas called huisache, is 
found along the gulf coast in Alabama and as far east as South Carolina. 
In Texas the huajilla (Acacia berlandiera), is an important source of nec- 
tar. In fact, according to the Texas bulletin on honey plants, it is the 
main source in southwest Texas. It grows abundantly on dry and rocky 
hills which often are not suited to growing agricultural crops. The honey 
is white and of fine quality. 

The catsclaw, or paradise flower (Acacia greggii), is another very im- 
portant source of honey in the southwest. It is one of the principal 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



sources of dependence in Texas, where it is reported as yielding in April. 
Arizona reports a later yield, blooming here in May and June. Like the 
huajilla, the honey is light colored and of very fine quality. 




Golden wattle (At 



ifolia) 



Figure 4 shows the black wattle of California (A. dscurrens mollis), 
which is largely grown as an ornamental in the gardens and along the 
roadsides of that State. It blooms from February to June and produces 
some honey and an abundance of pollen. Fig. 3 is the Sydney golden wat- 
tle (Acacia longifolia), another widely-grown California shrub. A third 
California species, A. melanoxylon, is shown at Fig. 2. 



12 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



The huisache (A. famesiana), Fig. 1, already mentioned, is a common 
plant in south Texas, from San Antonio to the lower Rio Grande valley. 




Fig. 4. Acacia or Hack wattle (Acacia decurrens mollis). 

It is of special importance for early pollen, though Scholl reports it as 
yielding honey also. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 13 

The huajilla (pronounced "wa-he-ya") grows abundantly over a wide 
territory in southwest Texas and, as it requires but a small amount of 
moisture, makes beekeeping profitable where it would otherwise be a 
precarious business. Large quantities of white honey of mild flavor and 
fine quality are stored from this source. In a journey of several hundred 
miles among the beekeepers of Texas, the author found this plant, together 
with catsclaw and mesquite, to be the principal source of surplus south 
and west of San Antonio. Various sources were reported, but in nearly 
every case these three plants were mentioned as heading the list. Huajilla 
ranks high in both quantity and quality of nectar produced. 

The catsclaw (Acacia greggii), known in some localities as paradise 
flower or devil's claw, is a low spreading, bushy shrub or small tree with 
curved thorns, hence the name, "catsclaw." This is a close rival of huajilla 
for first place as the source of white honey in much of southwest Texas 
The far-famed Uvalde honey is largely huajilla and catsclaw. In many 
places the yield of surplus honey is being reduced through the clearing of 
the land for farming purposes. Both these plants grow in very dry sec- 
tions, on land which until recently was thought to be of little value for 
any purpose without irrigation. 

Scholl lists the round-flowered catsclaw (Acacia roemeriana Schlect) 
as a heavy yielder of honey of good quality, but plants are not abundant. 
He also lists Acacia amentacea as a source of pollen and some honey, 
but not in sufficient quantity to be important. 

ACER, see Maple 
ADAM'S NEEDLE, see Yucca. 
AESCULUS, see Buckeye. 
AGARITES, see Barberry. 
AGAVE, see Century Plant. 

ALABAMA — Honey Sources of. 

There is a large district in Alabama where sweet clover is the princi- 
pal source of surplus honey. In this region good crops are the rule, since 
it yields from early June till late in August. In addition, rattan, tulip- 
poplar, black gum, hawthorne, field peas, privet, locust, redbud, cotton,- 
bitterweed, asters and occasionally white clover, yield honey. There is 
the usual spring stimulation from fruit blossoms and willows in Alabama 
and a large number of minor sources which add something to the total 
yield, but which alone are unimportant. 



ALASKA — Honey Sources of. 

By the accounts given in Bancroft's History of Alaska and in transla- 
tions made for me by Rev. George Kotteometinoff from the records of the 
Orthodox Russo-Greek Church at Sitka, the honeybee was first introduced 
into Alaska in 1809 by a monk named Cherepenin. These bees came from 
the Department of Kazan, in Siberia, and were brought that honey might 



14 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



be added to the scanty food supply of the pioneer teachers of the Faith 
as well as to supply the candles for the church services. By decree of 
Church, only beeswax candles can be used, and it is recorded that at Sitka 




Fig. 5. A group of Alaska honey plants. 



in 1816, no services could be held for six months because the supply of wax 
ran out. As early as 1819 apiculture was taught in the church school and 
was continued up to 1894. It would appear that the bees never flourished 
and seldom swarmed. There are a number of records of new importatjons 
to take the place of dead colonies. Very early a white clover was intro- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 15 

duced to help out the honey supply. About 1830 bees were taken from 
Sitka to Fort Ross in California. As late as 1905 there were about 30 
colonies at the Russian school at Sitka. These bees were in straw skeps 
and were kept on shelves under the eaves of the house. In winter they 
were kept within the same projecting eaves. In 1906 the Experiment Farm 
at Sitka made an unsuccessful attempt to keep bees in Langstroth hives. 
It is not probable that beekeeping will ever be a commercial project in 
Alaska. References to beekeeping at Sitka by Dr. Sheldon Jackson are to 
be found in the Report on Education in Alaska, Bureau of Education. 
Prof. C. C. Georgeson, in the reports on work done at the Experiment 
Station in Alaska also mentions beekeeping. Bees were observed collect- 
ing nectar and pollen from plants given below during the years 1905 to 1912. 
It should be observed that a majority of these plants have pendulous 
flowers. In a climate such as at Sitka, where the normal precipitation is 
120 inches, only pendulous flowers could protect the nectar: 

Willow (Salix speciosa). 
Crab Apple (Pyrus rivularis). 
Salmon Berry (Rubus spectabilis). 
Salmon Berry (Rubus nulkonus noctino). 
Cloud Berry (Rubus Chamaemorus). 
Nahgoon Berry (Rubus stellatin). 
Wild Red Raspberry (Rubus strigosus). 
Blue Berries (Vaccinium uliginosum). 
Blue Berries (Vaccinium ovalifolium). 
Blue Berries (Vaccinium vitis Idaea). 
Seaside Portulaca (Claytonia sp.) 
White Clover (Trifolium sp.) 
Wild Tansey (Achillea borealis). 
Yellow Water Lily (Ny— .phaca advena). 
Water Smart Weed (Polygonum sp.) 
Elder (Sambucus racemosa). 
Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum). 



-H. B. Park< 



ALBERTA— Honey Sources of. 



In the southern part of the province alfalfa is of first importance. 
Fireweed, white clover and alsike are the chief sources elsewhere. Wil- 
lows and maples stimulate early brood rearing and some honey is gathered 
from prairie flowers. — F. W. L. Sladen. 

ALDER (Alnus). 

The alders are a group of shrubs or trees common from New England 
and Canada west to Michigan and south to Texas. The bark is sometimes 
used for tanning and as a dyestuff. and to some extent in medicine. The 
blossoms appear early in spring, and are the source of an abundant supply 
of pollen at a season when it is often much needed by the bees. 



16 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

ALFALFA (Medicago sativa). 

Alfalfa is the most important honey plant west of the Missouri river. 
It is also the most valuable forage plant in the same region. Once estab- 
lished, a field of alfalfa continues to return valuable crops year after year. 




Fig. 6. Pollen-bearing blossoms of the alder. 

From two to five cuttings are secured each season, depending upon the 
available moisture and the length of the growing period. It thrives best 
in the irrigated regions with its roots in the rich soil supplied with abun- 
dant, but not excessive, moisture. It is an old-world plant which has con- 
tributed much to the prosperity of western farmers since its introduction 
to this country. 

The honey from alfalfa varies in color and quality in different locali- 
ties. In Colorado and Idaho it is of very light color and with a spicy, mild 
flavor of excellent quality. In the Imperial Valley of California it is much 
darker in color and of poorer quality. Alfalfa honey granulates readily, 
but is generally regarded as a high quality of honey. The tendency to 
early granulation makes it more desirable to market in the extracted state 
than in the sections. 

The yield varies greatly, according to season, but the heaviest yields 
come when there is a vigorous growth of the plant. Where grown with- 
out irrigation a much greater variation in yield can be expected. In Ne- 
braska and Kansas, alfalfa often yields good crops of nectar without irri- 
gation, while east of the Missouri River it is seldom of much value to the 
beekeeper. The author had a small field of alfalfa in western Iowa for 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



17 



several years. Only one season did the bees pay much attention to it. 
That season was very wet in the early part of the summer, thus promot- 
ing a vigorous plant growth. Later the weather turned very hot and dry. 
Conditions similar to those of the irrigated sections of the west were ap- 
proximated. The roots of the plants were supplied with an abundance of 
moisture, while the air was hot and dry. Under such conditions alfalfa 
is at its best as a honey producer. 

Alfalfa is reported as the source of considerable surplus honey in 
northeastern Louisiana, which is the farthest east of any locality where it 
is important, with which the author is familiar. While it is largely grown 




Fig. 7. Blossoms of alfalfa and yellow sweet clover, 
as a field crop in parts of Iowa, Illinois, New York and other eastern 
States, beekeepers all report but little honey from it. It seldom yields 
to any extent in humid climates. Given sufficient moisture at the roots, 
the hotter and dryer the atmosphere, the better seems to be the yield of 
nectar. The conditions which most favor nectar secretion are also favor- 
able to seed production. 



18 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

Field Culture 

Alfalfa is a long-lived plant and very deep-rooted. The long tap root 
penetrates deep into the soil, thus securing all available moisture and 
making the plant drought-resistant when once well established. The plant 
is very tender when young, and great care is necessary in the preparation 
of the soil when starting a new planting of this crop. The seed bed should 
be thoroughly stirred, all lumps fully pulverized, and the surface soil as 
smooth as an onion bed. It is important that the ground be prepared 
some time in advance of seeding and frequently stirred to start any weed 
seeds that may be present, and destroy them before the alfalfa is sowed. 
On old land it is advisable to prepare the seed bed in the spring and stir 
it at frequent intervals until August before sowing the alfalfa seed. 

Alfalfa does not do well on sour land, or land that is wet or weed- 
infested. It does best on rich, well drained soil, well supplied with lime. 
Lime is essential, and if the soil is lacking in lime it must be supplied. 

In many localities it is the practice to grow a crop of sweet clover in 
advance of seeding to alfalfa. 

From seven to twenty pounds of seed are required per acre. If good 
seed is used and put in with a drill, ten to fifteen pounds should be ample. 

In cutting alfalfa it is important that some care be used to select the 
proper time. When the new shoots are well started is usually regarded 
as the safest time, if the plant is cut for hay. The leaves constitute the 
greatest portion of the feeding value, and much care is necessary in 
handling the crop to avoid shattering. 

In localities where the plant is grown for seed, a much longer bloom- 
ing period results and the beekeeper profits accordingly. Where cut for 
hay, alfalfa loses much of its possible value through the cutting just when 
it is reaching its period of greatest nectar secretion. 

Harry K. Hill, of Willows, California, states that he zets three dis- 
tinct shades of pure alfalfa honey in the same year. The honey from 
first extracting is much darker than later extractings. — Western Honey- 
bee, April, 1913. 

ALFILARIA, see Pin Clover. 
ALGAROBA, see Mesquite. 
ALLIGATOR PEAR, see Red Bay. 
ALLIUM, see Onion 

ALMOND (Prunus amygdalus). 

The cultivated almond is closely related to the peach and is native to 
Southern Europe, where it has been grown for centuries for its nuts. 

The tree is extremely early in its blooming period and more tender 
than the peach. It is grown in large orchards in parts of California, and 
to some extent in Arizona. It grows on higher and dryer lands than any 
other fruit trees in California. The tree will not thrive on wet lands. 

Bees gather both honey and pollen from the flowers and in the almond 
belt of California it is of great value for early brood-rearing. There it 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



19 



blooms in February, and beekeepers sometimes move their bees from a 
distance to the almond orchards to build them up for the orange flow. 



ALSIKE CLOVER (Trifolium hybridum). Hybrid or Swedish Clover. 

Alsike clover is one of the very best honey plants of America. The 
beekeeper who lives within reach of large fields of this crop is fortunate, 
for there is no better honey, and under favorable conditions the crops 
harvested from alsike are such as to give little ground for dissatisfaction. 
Some beekeepers have estimated that alsike will produce 500 pounds of 
honey per acre in a good season.— American Bee Journal, page 409, 1886. 

Alsike thrives on clay soil, or lands in- 
clined to be wet, where the other clovers do 
not succeed. It is sown very generally in a 
meadow mixture with timothy or red-top. 
In localities where grown for seed there is a 
long period of bloom, which is greatly to the 
advantage of the beekeeper. It is good for 
either pasture or hay, and although by itself 
alsike does not yield as many tons of hay per 
acre as red clover, when mixed with red 
clover the two together make more and bet- 
ter hay than red clover does alone. 

Alsike is intermediate in size between 
white and red clover. The blossom looks like 
that of white clover, except it has a pinkish 
tinge of color not found in the white clover. 
The stem is upright and branched and on land 
with sufficient moisture reaches a height of 
two feet or more. 

While alsike will grow nearly everywhere 
that red clover will grow, it thrives best in Fig. 9. Alsike clover, 

the northern part of the country. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, On- 
tario and New York all report alsike as especially valuable to the bee- 
keeper. 

The honey is white in color, mild in flavor and is regarded as one of 
the best for table use. At times the yield is very heavy. In American Bee 
Journal, Nov. 2, 1899, are given several instances of large yields from this 
source. In one case a single colony of bees gathered 72 pounds in four 
days, or 18 pounds per day. Another report was of 251 pounds in 21 days, 
or 25 pounds per day, from alsike. 

In number two of the first volume of the "Review," Editor Hutchin- 
son states that ten colonies of bees gathered 300 pounds of extracted honey 
from alsike, with only two acres within reach. This, of course, takes no 
account of the honey consumed by the bees, but indicates that the yield 
is good for the acreage within reach. In the following number of the same 
journal an Ontario beekeeper reports that he had not known a failure 
from alsike in eight years. 

See also Clover. 




20 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



ALTHEA, see Hollyhock. 
ANDROMEDA. 

"Andromeda (a scraggy shrub of the heath family) blooms in the cen- 
tral northwestern part of Florida for about four weeks in March and 
early April; yielding but little, three years out of four. The honey, too, is 
reddish yellow, thick and pungent, not very valuable as a surplus honey 
plant." — E. G. Baldwin, Gleanings, March 15, 1911. 

AMERICAN ALOE, see Century Plant. 
AMERICAN CRAB APPLE, see Crab Apple. 
AMERICAN IVY, see Virginia Creeper. 
ANAQUA, see Knockaway. 
ANGLEPOD, see Bluevine. 

APPLE (Malus). 

America's best and most widely used fruit is the apple. It is a native 




Fig. 8. Almond orchard in bloom. 

of Asia, but as a cultivated fruit is grown in most of the temperate regions 
of the world. Hundreds of varieties have been developed by plant breed- 
ers until there are few horticulturists who are familiar with them all. They 
range in size from the small cultivated crab-apples not more than an inch 
in diameter to the big Wolf River, often five or more inches in diameter. 
Some varieties are hard and sour and suitable for little else than making 
cider, while others are of the finest quality. 

There is no more beautiful sight than an orchard in bloom in spring. 
The blossoms secrete nectar freely and in favorable weather the bees 
fairly swarm over them. The honey is light amber in color and of good 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 21 

quality. The trees bloom so early that it is of greatest value to stimulate 
spring brood-rearing, though strong colonies easily store surplus when the 
weather is suitable for the bees to fly freely during the period of bloom. 
Large orchardists often offer inducements to beekeepers to locate near 
their orchards for the better pollination of the fruit blossoms which re- 
sults from the presence of large numbers of bees. In orchard districts 
there is frequently complaint on the part of the beekeepers that the bees 
are killed by the application of poisonous spray while the trees are in 
bloom. When American beekeepers learn to winter their colonies in such 
a manner as to maintain a reasonable strength in early spring, surplus 
honey in quantity may be expected from the orchard districts in favorable 
seasons. The weather is often too wet or too cold for the bees to fly 
during apple blossom, and this condition the apiarist can never overcome. 

APOCYNUM, see Dogbane. 

APRICOT (Prunus armeniaca). 

The apricot is a well known cultivated fruit, somewhat intermediate 
between the plum and peach. It blooms very early in spring and is valu- 
able as a source of early nectar and pollen. It is grown in large acreage 
in some portions of California, where it is regarded as valuable, by the 
beekeepers. 

ARBUTUS (Epigaea repens). Trailing Arbutus or Ground Laurel. 

A trailing plant with evergreen leaves. The rose colored flowers, in 
small clusters, appear in early spring. They are fragrant and attractive to 
the bees. There is an occasional report to the effect that arbutus is 
valuable to the bees as a source of early nectar. 

ARCTOSTAPHYLOS, see Manzanita. 
ARIZONA BUCKTHORN, see Gum Elastic. 

ARIZONA— Honey Sources of. 

The sources of our honey are the desert flora and cultivated crops, 
chiefly alfalfa. A few of the principal producing plants and their seasons 
are as follows : Time of Blooming. 

Mesquite (Prosopia velutina) April-July 

Screw Bean (Prosopis pubescens) April-July 

Catsclaw (Acacia greggii) May-June 

Acacia (Acacia constricta) June 

Paloverde (Parkinsonia torreyana) May 

Desert flora (Miscellaneous) Depending upon rainfall 

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) April-September 

The wild honey plants, because of grazing animals and of wood-cutters, 
have greatly decreased within recent years. The area in alfalfa, on the 
other hand, is constantly increasing; but without a corresponding increase 
in honey-producing power. This is due to two principal causes: Farmers 



22 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

are now cutting alfalfa for hay at a much earlier stage in its growth than 
formerly, not allowing the plant to come into full bloom; and the alfalfa 
butterfly (Colias eurytheme), has so increased in numbers since 1895, that 
the honeyflow, which used to continue well into September, is now cut 
short in July. It is difficult to state the net effect of these changes upon 
the producing power of the country as a whole; but in Salt River Valley, 
under present conditions, judging from the shipments made during the last 
few years, our present irrigated areas, with adjoining desert tracts, are 
pretty fully stocked with bees. Other parts of the territory are as yet 
less thoroughly occupied.— R. H. Forbes, University of Arizona. "Timely 
Hints for Farmers," No. 46. 

ARKANSAS— Honey Sources of. 

White clover is the source of some surplus in Arkansas, although it 
is too far south for such heavy yields as occur in the northern part of the 
range of this plant. Sweet clover is valuable in some localities. Tupelo, 
holly, blackgum, redbud, locust, tulip-poplar, blackberry, heartsease and 
asters are the important sources of nectar. Cotton yields in some sections 
of the State. Fruit bloom is valuable in spring, and where colonies are 
sufficiently strong some surplus may be expected. 

ARTICHOKE, see Sunflower. 
ASCLEPIAS, see Milkweed. 

ASPARAGUS. 

The garden asparagus is an introduced plant widely cultivated. It is 
very attractive to the bees and yields pollen plentifully. As a source of 
nectar it is unimportant. 

ASH (Fraxinus). 

There are more than twenty species of ash trees common to various 
sections of America. Some are well known timber trees, furnishing lum- 
ber for furniture and for interior finishing. The flowers are small, incon- 
spicuous and of a greenish color. Their principal value to the beekeeper is 
as a source of pollen, although Richter lists the Oregon ash (Fraxinus 
oregona) as a source of honey also. 

ASH LEAVED MAPLE, see Box Elder. 

ASPEN (Populus). Poplar or Cottonwood. 

There are several species of poplars. It is a widely distributed group, 
some species being found in most all sections of the country. They are 
important for pollen, though some honeydew is reported from them also. 
They thrive especially well on the low lands along streams and are the 
most common trees of the plains region from Dakota scuth to Oklahoma 
and western Texas. This group should not be confused with the tulip- 
poplar, which see. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



23 



ASTER. 

The aster family is very widely distributed, being common in Europe, 
Asia and South Africa, as well as America. There are more than 200 rec- 




Fig. 10. White field aster {Aster vimineus). 



ognized species, of which at least 125 are found in the United States. They 
are extremely common in the Eastern and Southern States, although 
some kinds are to be found in every State in the Union, and from Canada 



t C State College 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



tc Mexico. Every American beekeeper may be sure that his bees are 
within reach of at least one species of aster, and, in most localities, there 
are several species. Some species produce nectar much more abundantly 




Fig. 11. Purple stemmed aster {Aster puniccus). 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



25 



than others, and it is probable that the flow from all kinds is more or 
less affected by soil or climatic conditions. So few beekeepers differen- 
tiate between the species that it is very difficult to secure satisfactory 
information regarding their comparative value. 

Asters are very seldom mentioned as sources of nectar in the south- 
west. Yet twenty-one species are listed as occurring in New Mexico. They 
seem to be of importance principally in the Eastern States. There are 
numerous reports of honey from asters in the Southeastern States of 
Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, the amount of surplus increasing north- 
ward. 

In most localities, the aster honey is mixed with that from goldenrod, 
and the two sources are usually 
spoken of together. In the Septem- 
ber, 1917, issue of the American Bee 
Journal, appeared an extended article 
on goldenrods. Like the asters, they 
are of wide distribution, and, like 
them, they seem to produce nectar 
more abundantly in the moist climate 
of the Eastern States. Both bloom 
late in autumn, the crop often being 
cut short by frost. 

According to Lovell, the asters 
are never common enough to yield a 
surplus in Maine, and the honey is 
always mixed with goldenrod. 

As to the quality of the honey, 
there are many conflicting reports. 
Many reports are to the effect that 
the quality is poor and not suitable 
for table use. The fact that the 




Fig. 12. Large- 



(Asti 



saved 
phyllus). 

honey is seldom unmixed with that of other fall flowers, may be respon- 
sible for this impression. C. P. Dadant had one year, in Illinois, a crop of 
about six barrels which was almost pure aster honey. This honey was 
secured late in the season, after other plants had ceased to yield, and was 
almost white, and of very fine quality. 

There are numerous reports that a strong odor is apparent in the 
apiary when asters are yielding. We quote some of these : 

"We had a fall flow from wild asters that filled the hives with 
honey for wintering, and gave a few gallons of extracted honey. The 
honey is of good color and weight, but rather strong for table use. It 
also granulates very quickly. When the bees are gathering this honey 
the hives give off a rank and somewhat sickening odor, which can be 
detected for quite a distance away. * * * This odor disappears as 
the honey ripens and the flow ceases, but the strong taste never en- 
tirely disappears. It is as strong as basswood and not nearly so pleas- 
ant." — D. E. Andrews, Bloomington, Ind., page 98, American Bee Jour- 
nal, 1907. 

"The odor is not unpleasant, but is very noticeable when the bees 
are bringing much of it in, and it can be distinguished a considerable 



26 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



probably accounts for 
In some localitie: 



the trouble in 
asters seem to 



distance from the hives. The amount of 'smell' is such a good criterion 
as to the amount of honey that one can tell the quantity he is getting 
from these indications alone." — W. H. Reed, Herrodsburg, Ky., page 
228, Gleanings, 1911. 

"In the Shenandoah Valley, in Virginia, where I lived for fourteen 
years, there were many acres of white aster. There were several 
years when the bloom was in sheets, affording a good yield of surplus. 
The honey was very light amber, of fine quality, and was considered 
next to white clover. At such times a strong odor, which was distinctly 
sour, could be noticed " — Burdet Hassett. Page 257, Gleanings, 1911. 
Much has been written concerning the danger of aster honey for win- 
ter stores. So many reports of disastrous results from wintering on aster 
honey have been published, that it is generally understood not to be safe 
for winter stores. However, it is probable that the trouble comes from 
honey gathered too late to be properly ripened, rather than because the 
honey is of poor quality. The fact that the honey granulates readily also 

some cases. 

be a dependable source of surplus, 
while in others they yield in ap- 
preciable quantity only in rare 
seasons. Kentucky seems to be 
in the heart of the territory where 
asters are important. The follow- 
ing are typical reports : 

"We have never failed to get 
a good crop of surplus honey, 
and plenty left for the bees, 
from aster for more than twenty 
years, till this year." — H. C. 
Clemons, Boyd, Ky. Page 90, 
Gleanings, 1909. 

"In this section the asters are 
invaluable as fall forage for bees. 
Let the season be cold or hot, 
we are certain to have a con- 
tinuous bloom from early in 
September until a really hard 
frost occurs. My Italian bees 
have never failed to secure 
enough honey from aster to 
carry them through the winter, 
even when there was hardly a 
pound of honey in the hives at 
the end of August — Daniel M. 
Worthington, Elkridge, Md., 
American Bee Journal, page 125, 
1869. 

"Blue aster (Aster azureus), 
Arrow-leaved aster (Aster sagitti- known among farmers as blue 
folius). devil, or stickweed, in my judg- 

ment, is one of the best we have, from the fact that it produces honey 
in the fall of the year. It is usually in full bloom until about the mid- 
dle of October, and if the weather is warm enough for the bees to fly, 
they get plenty of honey to winter on from this flower." — West Vir- 
ginia. Page 869, American Bee Journal, 1906. 




AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



27 



It is probable that most of the species are of more or less value for 
honey under favorable conditions. The writer has seen bees working on 
arrow-leaf (Aster sagittifolius) on sunny days in Cass County, Iowa, the 
first week in November, after everything else had been killed by frost. 
Figure 13 shows this species, which occurs in dry, open woods, from New 
Erunswick to Ontario, and west to Dakota, and from New York to the 
Ohio valley, and along the mountains to Georgia and Alabama. 

Generally speaking, the small-flowered species with willow-shaped 
leaves, are best for honey. Aster tradescanti is probably first in the list 
as a source of surplus. It is found from Ontario to Saskatchewan, and 
throughout the States east of the Mississippi, south to the Gulf States. 
Aster salicifolius is probably one of the best in Iowa and Illinois, being 
common on low ground. 

In a private letter, F. W. L. Sladen writes concerning the asters in 
Canada, as follows : 

"I have this year had confirmation that Aster cordifolius is a use- 
ful source of surplus honey in favorable seasons in the Gatineau val- 
ley in September. During a period of very fine weather between Sep- 
tember 11 and 22, a crop of 12,000 pounds of honey, principally from 
this source, and from the late flowering species of goldenrod, was ob- 
tained by Joseph Martineau, at Montcerf, Quebec, from 300 colonies. 
The honey was light amber color, 
and a pleasant flavor, and not un- 
wholesome for wintering, not 
granulating in the combs. (See 
Experimental Farms report 1914- 
15, page 996). Other valuable 
species of aster in Canada for 
honey production are A. lateri- 
florus (Maritime provinces to On- 
tario) ; Aster umbellatus (Mari- 
time provinces to Eastern Mani- 
toba), and Aster puniceus, Fig. 11 
(Maritime provinces to Ontario)." 
—Ottawa, October 2, 1917. 
Aster puniceus, the purple-stemmed 
aster, Fig. 11, is found from Nova 
Scotia to the Rocky Mountains and 
south to Northern Alabama. It is 
one of the most attractive of the 
asters, growing on wet land and in 
the borders of swamps. Lovell writes 
that in Maine he has seen the bees 
on this species in large numbers on 
September 17. 

The white field aster, or frost 

. . v „. ,„ . F.g. 14. Swamp aster (Aster acuminatus). 

flower (Aster vimineus), Fig. 10, is 

common from Eastern Canada to Minnesota, and south to Arkansas and 
Florida. It grows in dry, open fields, along roadsides, and in waste places. 
It is a late bloomer, belonging to the group of field asters which are im- 
portant for nectar. Some other species, however, yield more freely. 




28 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

The swamp aster (Aster acuminatus) occurs on wet land, but as far as 
available information goes is not valuable for honey. 

The large-leaved Aster macrophyllus, Fig. 12, is a northern species, 
found in open woodlands. Graenicher observed ninety-five species of in- 
sects on the flowers of this species in Wisconsin, which indicates nectar 
in abundance in that State. 

Several other species are known to produce nectar freely, A. multi- 
florus, A. lateriflorus, A. dumosus, A. paniculatus and A. vimineus being re- 
ported from various localities. A. ericoides is reported as valuable in 
Missouri. 

"There is an abundance of Aster ericoides now in full bloom. The 

bees are working on it more vigorously than they have on white clover 

or any other bloom." — George E. Wilkins, Wright County, Mo. Page 

699, American Bee Journal, 1904. 

So far, we have been unable to find any records of surplus honey from 
asters west of the Missouri River. 

ASTRAGALUS, see Loco Weed. 

AZALEA (Rhododendron). 

The azaleas are closely related to the mountain laurel and are like- 
wise sometimes reported as poisonous. (See Laurel; also Poisonous 
Honey). The flame-colored azalea is common in the mountains of the 
Eastern States from Pennsylvania to Georgia. It has a profusion of 
showy, flame-colored blossoms coming just when the leaves appear. Prob- 
ably several of the group yield nectar in quantity to be important wherever 
they are sufficiently plentiful. 



B 



BALLOON VINE (Cardiospermum halicacabum). 

The balloon vine is a herbaceous climber with alternate leaves and 
clusters of small white flowers, followed by a three-celled inflated pod. 
This species is common along streams in south Texas. C. molle, a Mexi- 
can species, is also found to some extent in the mountains west of the 
Pecos River, according to Coulter. 

Balloon vine is reported as the source of considerable honey in Texas. 
Scholl lists it is a fair yielder, but plants not abundant. Other reports in- 
dicate that it is the source of considerable surplus along the Gulf Coast 
of that State. 

BALSAM APPLE, see Wild Cucumber. 

BANANA (Musa sapientum). 

Since the banana plant is little grown in the United States, it is sel- 
dom mentioned as a honey plant, yet it secretes nectar very abundantly, 
and in countries where bananas are grown on a large scale it must be im- 
portant to the beekeeper. We are showing herewith two illustrations, one 
of the plant in fruit and one showing the opening of the bloom. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



29 




Fig. 15. Blossoms of the banana. 



The following description of the possibilities of this plant is reprinted 
from page 83 of the American Bee Journal for 1880, and was written by a 
correspondent in Clifton Springs, Florida : 

"Recently noticing bees working upon blossoms, I concluded to ex- 
amine them. To my surprise, I found that each blossom had a sack on 
its under side, which contained several drops of nectar of the consist- 
ency and sweetness of thin syrup. This sack gradually opens, allowing 
the contents to escape, unless appropriated by some insect. The blossom 
hangs in a position that rain cannot enter to dilute or wash out the 
nectar. Procuring a teaspoon, I emptied into it the contents of a dozen 
blossoms, which filled it full. Each stalk, on good land, will produce 
a head having a hundred hands or divisions of blossoms, and each hand 
averages six blossoms, giving 600 blossoms to "the stalk. Estimating 
100 teaspoonfuls to the pint (88 of the one used filled a pint measure) 
we have 50 spoonfuls, or half a pint to the stalk. Planted in checks 
8x8 feet, there will be 680 plants to the acre, yielding, according to the 
above estimate. 42 ' _. gallons of nectar. But usually more than one 
stalk in a hill blossoms and matures fruit annually. The blossoms 
used were below those that produce fruit, which later, I am told, are 
much richer in honey. 

"The first blossoms which open mature fruit. These vary in num- . 
ber from 25 to 100, according to quality of land, cultivation, etc. They 



30 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 




Fig. 



sell here at from \)A to 2 cents per finger or pod. Estimating fruit at 
25 fingers per bunch and the bunches at 25 cents each — which, you see, 
is a low estimate for both, the result will be a barrel of nectar, or $170 
worth of fruit per acre. How does this showing compare with other 
cultivated plants as combined honey and money crop?" 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 




Fig. 17. Triple-leaved barberry, or agarita. 

BARBERRY (Berberis). 

The common barberry, introduced from Europe, has become natural- 
ized in the Northern States and occurs in thickets and woodlands from the 
Atlantic Coast to Iowa and southward. It blooms in May and June and 
is well known as an attractive plant to the bees, though seldom sufficiently 
abundant to be important. It is much cultivated for ornament. 

In Texas, the triple-leaved barberry (Berberis trifoliata) is known as 
agarites, the Mexican name, and as wild currant. It is common over a 
large part of the southern portion of the State and is an important source 
of early nectar. It is a shrub 4 to 6 feet high, with stiff leaves and bright 
yellow flowers that grow in dense clusters along the stem. The red berries 
ripen in May and are often called currants. They are used for jelly or 
sauce, as well as for barberry wine. The plants are to be found in thickets, 
ir: open woodlands and along roadsides, in fence corners and other waste 
places where the seeds have been scattered by birds. 

"As a honey plant it is one of much value to me. It blooms here 
early in February, and the bloom continues for several weeks, some 
bushes blooming later than others. The pollen yield is abundant, 
bright yellow in color. It is the second bloomer of the year on my 
list of Texas honey plants, coming after mistletoe and before our main 
fruit bloom." — Louis Sc'holl, Gleanings, Feb., 1907. 

Richter reports the California barberry (Berberis pinnata) yields sur- 
plus in Monterey County after manzanita has bloomed. The honey is 
amber in color. The plant is rather common from Berkely Hills south to 
Monterey, Mooning in March and April, according to Jepson. (See also 
Oregon grape). 



32 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 




Fig, IS. Basswood tree in bloom. 

BARNABY'S THISTLE, see Star Thistle. 

BASIL or MOUNTAIN MINT (Pycananthemum virginianum). 

Basil is common from New England to the Missouri River and south- 
ward. There are numerous reports from beekeepers to the effect that bees 
work upon it very eagerly from morning till night. It is probably nowhere 
of much importance, 'though it would be if sufficiently common. 



BASSWOOD (Tilia americana). 

The basswood, also known as linden, whitewood, and sometimes as 
limetree, is one of the best known sources of honey in the Eastern States. 
There are other species closely related which also produce nectar, and 
which, perhaps, would not be distinguished by the casual observer. The 
natural ringe of the basswood is from Canada to Florida and west to Ne- 
braska and Texas. It is also grown as a shade tree in other Western States 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 33 

and is mentioned by Richter in the bulletin on "Honey Plants of Califor- 
nia," as an introduced species of value. Fig. 18 shows the trees in bloom, 
and Fig. 19 a close view of the blossom and leaf. 




Fig. 19. Blossom and leaf of the basswood. 

The tree thrives on rich lands, and in the cooler regions of the coun- 
try reaches a large size. The wood is soft and white and much in demand 
for making sections, separators and other bee supplies requiring a soft 
wood cut in thin sheets. For such purposes basswood has no superior. 
The wood is also sought for use in the manufacture of furniture, packing 
boxes, etc., as well as for paper making. 

The blooming period is short, seldom yielding to exceed ten days or 
two weeks, and often for a much shorter period. The honeyflows from 
baswood are irregular and only to be depended upon about two or three 
years out of every five. A heavy flow from this source occurs only occa- 
sionally, but when it does come it is worth waiting for, for enormous yields 
are sometimes secured. The honey is white in color, with rather a strong 
flavor, but is usually regarded as high quality. Good basswood locations 
are no longer plentiful, as the cutting of the forests over the entire coun- 
try has resulted in a large reduction of this along with other trees. 

The European linden (Tilia europaea) has been planted in many places 
and, according to Sladen, is the source of surplus honey at Charlottetown, 
Prince Edward Island, 



34 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

BASTARD-PENNYROYAL, see Blue Curls. 
BATCHELOR'S BUTTON, see Centaurea. 
BAY, see Magnolia. 

BEAN (Phaseolus). 

There are two varieties of the garden bean which are the source of 
nectar in quantity. Surplus honey from beans is seldom reported except 
in Southern California. Ventura County is said to produce as high as 72 
per cent of the lima beans raised in the entire United States; 800,000 
sacks is the reported output for 1910. The honey from lima beans is 
almost water white in color and of fine flavor, according to M. H. Men- 
dleson, of Ventura, California, who has produced many tons of this honey. 
The black-eyed beans yield a dark amber honey, but of good quality. A 
peculiarity of honey from lima beans is that it will sometimes sweat and 
ferment when left too long on the hives of weak colonies, near the coast. 
This, according to Mendleson, seldom happens with strong colonies, nor 
does it happen in any case in the interior. Honey from beans granulates 
very readily. 

The honeyflow from beans is regarded as very dependable. Occa- 
sionally the blossoms are blasted by hot east winds, but not frequently. 
In Ventura County the average from this source is reported as 50 pounds 
per colony per year, with as high as 140 pounds in an exceptional season. 
The beans bloom through a long season, beginning in July and continuing 
till September, with the principal crop of nectar harvested in July. The 
bloom is prolonged by irrigation. 

The principal counties of California where beans are important are: 
Ventura, Orange, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego. 

BEARBERRY, see Manzanita. 
BEAVER TREE, see Magnolia. 

BEE BALM (Melissa officinalis). 

A sweet perennial herb, cultivated in gardens, from Southern Europe 
and North Africa. Sometimes escaped; flowers yellow or whitish, several 
in each auxiliary cluster. Plant erect and branching, with broad opposite 
leaves. Attractive to the bees, but not sufficiently abundant to be im- 
portant. 

BEECH (Fagus grandifolia). 

The beech is a large tree common to Eastern America. It is known 
from Nova Scotia to Ontario and southward, sometimes in extensive for- 
ests. Its principal value to the beekeeper is as a source of pollen, though 
lioneydew is sometimes secured from the leaves. 

BEEWEED, see Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. 

BEGCAH TIC!', sec Spanish Needle. 

BINDWEED (Polygonum convolvulus). 

The black bindweed is a common weed throughout the Eastern States. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



35 



It is of European origin, introduced into this country. It belongs to a 

family of plants which produce 
honey in quantity, but, is itself, of 
little value. The first indication 
that reached the author that this 
plant was sometimes of value to 
the bees, was the receipt of a 
specimen, by mail, with the in- 
formation that the bees were 
working upon it. Careful watch 
was then kept for several years, 
before they were seen to seek it in 
his locality. Since that time there 
have been a few occasions when 
the bees have sought it freely and 
when it seemed to yield some nec- 
tar. It is doubtful whether it is 
ever of much importance as a 
source of honey. 

The seed has been widely dis- 
tributed with grain seeds and is 
very troublesome in fields of small 
grain. The vine closely resembles 
the wild morning glory, to the cas- 
ual observer, but the blossom is 
small and inconspicuous, followed 
with a seed somewhat like buck- 
wheat, hence it is often called 
wild buckwheat. 

BIRCH (Betula). 

There are several species of 
birch trees and shrubs common to 
Eastern America. They are partial to low, rich woodlands, and some oc- 
cur in the far north. In some localities they are valuable for pollen. 




20. The Black 



Ivveed is a common 



BITTERSWEET (Celastrus scandens). Waxwork, or Climbi 



itter- 



sweet 



sweet. 

A well-known climbing shrub common in woodlands. The orange- 
colored pods displaying the scarlet covered seeds are often gathered for 
winter bouquets. The flowers are small and greenish in raceme-like clus- 
ters at the termination of the branches. 

"The bees work freely on bittersweet."— Miss Mitchell, Keokuk, Iowa. 



BITTERWEED (Helenium tenuifolium). 

The author's first experience with bitterweed honey was in south 
Missouri in 1904 or 1905. There had been a good flow from white clover, 



36 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

followed by a dearth for a time, and the unfinished sections were filled out 
with bitterweed honey. The sections looked very nice and a northern 




Fig. 21. Honey from bitterweed is unfit for table use. 

beekeeper who had recently settled near the town of Salem, innocently 
sold his honey to the townspeople. The next time he came to town there 
were numerous persons looking for him, and lie found it necessary to 
take back most of the honey he had marketed on his previous visit. The 
honey from this source is so bitter that a very little of it will spoil a fine 
crop of the best white honey. A few cells are sufficient to make a whole 
section absolutely unpalatable. 

On a visit to Tennessee the author was very much interested in this 
plant, which grows freely along roadsides, in barnyards and similar places, 
much as dogfennel or mayweed does in the Northern States. The range 
of the plant is given as from Arkansas and Texas to North Carolina. It 
probably does not appear to any extent north of Tennessee. 
Chas. Mohr says of it (Plant Life of Alabama, page 54) : 

"The bitterweed, originally from the sunny plains west of the Mis- 
sissippi River south of the Arkansas Valley, was first observed in Mo- 
bile in 1866. It has spread along the embankments of the railroads 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 37 

to the mouth of the Ohio River, literally covering in many places 
the waste and uncultivated grounds, and reaching out along byroads 
and borders of fields and woodlands. It its northward spread it has 
largely taken the place of the mayweed (Anthemis cotula), a European 
weed of early introduction." 

Regarding honey from this source J. J. Wilder says (American Bee 
Journal, Vol. 54, page 410): 

"It is truly a nectar-laden plant. Though it does not grow in great 
fields as yet, bees will store from 30 to 35 pounds of surplus from it. 
Its flowers are of a deep yellow; the honey, light yellow, heavy body, 
soon granulates when extracted. It is bitter; in fact it is about as 
offensive to the palate as quinine. In most sections of the South the 
cotton plant begins yielding two or three weeks before the bitter- 
weed, and if it were not for the well-established fact that bees do not 
desert a honey plant for another as long as it yields well, nearly all 
the summer and fall honey would be unfit for market on account of 
the bitterweed. In sections where the cotton does not yield much, the 
honey is all bitter, and a small amount of it will ruin a tank of good 
honey. Bitterweed is also a great pollen plant, furnishing abundance 
of bright yellow pollen throughout its blooming period. Even the 
stems and foliage of this plant are intensely bitter, and no animals 
eat it." 

Pammel cites a quotation which states that it has been reported as 
fatal to horses and mules in several of the Gulf States. It is said to con- 
tain a narcotic poison and to be the cause of bitter milk. 

A relative of this plant, the northern sneezeweed (Helenium autom- 
nale) is also a good honey plant, and probably less bitter than the south- 
ern or narrow-leaved sneezeweed just described. Neither, however, can 
be said to be a desirable addition to the honey-producing flora, because 
of spoiling good honey from mixing with it. The northern sneezeweed is 
found in various localities from Connecticut to the Dakotas and south- 
ward. It is also found in places in the Rocky Mountain States. 

The bitter honey seems to be as good as any for brood-rearing and, 
where present, the beekeeper should use care to avoid mixing it with his 
marketable produce, and use it for feeding the bees. The bitterness is 
said to come from the pollen grains present in the hone}-, which improves 
greatly with age, as the pollen grains settle to the bottom of the con- 
tainer. 



BLACKBERRY (Rubus). 

The blackberries, dewberries and raspberries are closely related 
plants, all of which are good honey sources. The blackberry is especially 
well known in the Southeastern States, where it thrives in fence corners 
and moist woodland borders. In north Georgia it is one of the principal 
sources of surplus honey. Farther north the nectar yield is apparently 
not as good, and in some localities the bees apparently do not get much 
honey from this source. Lovell states that in New England there is very 
little nectar available from either wild or cultivated blackberries. Richter 
states that the Himalaya variety of blackberry yields some honey in Yuba 
County, California. John W. Cash reports an average of 25 pounds per 



58 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



colony of surplus at Bogart, Georgia. The honey is amber, very thick, and 
does not granulate. 

There are parts of California where the dewberry is reported to be 
very important and to yield surplus. The honey is of good flavor and a 
light amber color. 

The raspberry is the most important of the group. (See Raspberry). 




BLACK BINDWEED, see Bindweed. 
BLACK GUM, see Tupelo. 



BLACK HAW (Viburnum prunifolium). 

The black haw belongs to a group containing several valuable honey 
plants. It occurs from Connecticut to Michigan and south to Georgia, 
Albama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (In the South it is given a 
varietal name.) It is a shrub or small tree, blooming in the North in May 
and June and in the South in April and May. Its principal value lies in 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



39 



stimulating early brood-rearing, since in few localities it is of sufficient 
abundance to be important as a source of surplus. 
Scholl lists it as yielding well, early, in Texas. 




Fig. 23. The black mangrove tree. 
BLACK LOCUST, see Locust. 

BLACK MEDIC (Medicago lupulina). 

Black medic is a widely distributed plant in California, but not very 
common. It blooms from April to June. It is the source of some nectar, 
but is probably not of much importance, except possibly in a few limited 
localities. 



BLACK MANGROVE (Avicennia nitida). 

Black mangrove (Avicennia nitida) is also known as blackwood, or 



40 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



blacktree. It is an evergreen tree, growing along the seashores of the 
coast of Florida. It is said also to occur to some extent along the gulf 
coast to Texas and throughout the coasts of Tropical America. It varies 
from a bushy shrub to a tall tree 60 or more feet in height in tropical re- 
gions. The wood is coarse-grained, hard and very durable in contact with 
the soil. The tree is to be found only in the vicinity of salt water. 

The honey from the mangrove is light in color, mild in flavor, and is 
generally regarded as of first quality. According to E. G. Baldwin it was 
the heaviest yielder of nectar known in the south prior to the big freeze 
ot 1895. In one year he reports Harry Mitchell, of Hawk's Park, as having 
secured an average of 380 pounds per colony from mangrove alone. Fol- 
lowing the freeze it failed to yield nectar in surplus quantity for about 
fifteen years, and reports since that time have indicated that it is not up to 
its former importance. 

The blooming period opens about the middle of June and usually 
includes the entire month of July. The flow usually lasts from six to 
eight weeks. 

BLACK TREE, see Black Mangrove. 
BLACKWOOD, see Black Mangrove. 

BLOODROOT (Sanguinaria canadensis). 

The bloodroot is a common wild flower in the moist woods of all our 
Northern States. It blooms early in April, and is eagerly sought by the 
bees for pollen. The plant is shown at Fig. 24. 









j 



Fig. 24. The bloodroot is a source of early pollen. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 41 

BLUEBERRY (Vaccinium). 

There are at least four species of blueberry which give surplus honey 
in localities where 'they are abundant. According to Sladen, the dwarf 
or early sweet blueberry, (Vaccinium pennsylvanicum), and the sour-top 
or velvet-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium canadense), often give surplus in 
northern Ontario, northern Quebec and eastern Manitoba. . 

Blueberry honey is frequently reported from New England. W. J. 
Sheppard reports that Vaccinium ovalifolium is of importance in British 
Columbia. 

There are several other species in the Northeastern States that proba- 
bly yield some nectar. Sladen reports blueberry as important in Nova 
Scotia. 

According to Lovell Vaccinium corymbosum, the high bush blueberry, 
is important in southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecti- 
cut, in some localities beekeepers being principally dependent upon it. The 
flow comes late in May or early June and lasts for about ten days. Strong 
colonies store as high as 50 to 90 pounds of surplus from it. He reports 
V. pennsylvanicum, the low bush blueberry already mentioned, as common 
throughout northern New England, in pastures and on rocky land. It is 
important in the blueberry barrens of Maine. The honey is amber and 
of good flavor. 

BLUEBONNET, see Lupine. 
BLUEBOTTLE, see Centaurea. 

BLUE CURLS (Trichostema lanceolatum). 

Blue curls is a plant known by a great variety of names in California. 
It is known as vinegar weed, camphor weed, turpentine weed, flea weed, 
bastard-pennyroyal, etc. It abounds over a large portion of California. 
According to Jcpson, the range is throughout the Coast Ranges, Sierra 
Nevada foothills and southern California. The Western Honeybee lists 
it as the best fall honey plant in California. Both foliage and flowers have 
a pungent, penetrating odor. The plant is found mostly in stubble fields, 
where it appears after grain harvest. From the same source we quote as 
follows : 

"Under favorable atmospheric conditions it yields abundantly of 
a very white honey, that granulates quickly and with a fine grain. 
Sometimes it granulates before the bees have time to seal the cells. 
One peculiarity of this plant is that it continues to yield honey for 
several hours after falling to the ground. The quality of the honey is 
good." — Western Honeybee. October, 1914. 

"It is often claimed that rain will end the honeyflow from blue 
curls. I find by several seasons' observation that this is an error. If a 
rain is followed by favorable atmospheric conditions — warmth and hu- 
midity — the nectar secretion is increased instead of diminished." — 
Western Honeybee, November, 1916.. 

The flow from blue curls begins in August and continues till frost. 
Richter reports that very large yields are sometimes secured from this 
source, tons of honey sometimes being stored in the vicinity of Fresno. A 



42 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



report of an average of 80 pounds per colony from this source reached 
the author when visiting at Visalia. 




Fig. 25. The blue curl. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



43 



BLUE GUM, see Eucalyptus. 
BLUE LUPINE, see Lupine. 
BLUET, see Centaurea. 

BLUE THISTLE (Eryngium articulatum). 

The blue thistle is listed by Richter as the source of a dark honey of 
good flavor in California. He reports it from the Suisun Marshes, along 
the Consumnes River and the Alvarado Marshes, blooming from August 
to October. 

BLUEVINE (Gonolobus laevis). 

This plant is also known as devil's shoestring, climbing milkweed, 
sand vine, wild sweet potato vine and anglepod. It is a vine of luxuriant 




Fig. 26. Seed pods and 



the bluevine, or sandvine. 



growth, common on low lands from Virginia and Tennessee westward to 
Missouri and south to Texas. It is common in Southern Ohio, Indiana 
and Illinois, where it is a persistent and troublesome weed. It is espe- 
cially troublesome in the corn fields, where it may be found climbing the 
stalks. A single vine will run for many feet on fence wires or other sup- 
port. It blooms freely through July and August, and is the source of large 
quantities of surplus honey of good quality. The honey is light in color, 
mild in flavor and does not granulate readily. S. H. Burton, of Washing- 
ton, Indiana, reports a yield of 60 pounds per colony in three weeks and 
an average of as high as 80 pounds per colony has been reported from 



44 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Southern Indiana. From Missouri come similar reports, W. L. Wiley, of 
Brunswick, reporting as much as 100 pounds surplus from strong colonies. 

The plant may be readily recognized by the abundant clusters of small, 
white flowers, which are followed by seed pods similar to those of the 
milkweed. When the pods are dry they split open and the seeds are 
widely scattered by means of their cottony parachutes. 

The honey is clear, heavy-bodied and of excellent flavor. The plant 




Fig. 27. Boneset yields in late summer and fall. 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 45 

grows chiefly in cornfields in river bottom land and is perennial. It 
blooms before smartweed, but the smartweed honey is usually mixed with 
it, as it comes in later. 

BLUEWEED or VIPER'S BUGLOSS (Echium vulgare). 

The blueweed, or viper's bugloss, is a weed naturalized from Europe. 
It is common in the meadows and roadsides of the Eastern States. It 
has showy purple or blue flowers and grows about two feet high. June 
is the flowering period. Sladen lists it as an important source of nectar 
in Southern Ontario. Probably not sufficiently abundant to be very im- 
portant in many places. 

This plant was introduced into Australia from Europe by a settler 
named Patterson, and has become widely spread there, where it is known 
as "Patterson's curse." Rayment states that it yields honey, but hardly 
sufficient to store much in the supers. (Money in Bees in Australasia). 

BONESET (Eupatorium). 

There are 475 species of Eupatorium known, many of them found in 
Tropical America. Some are found in Europe, Asia and South America, 
so that the plants have a wide range. Forty-five or more species are com- 
mon to North America. Whether nearly all yield nectar, we have no rec- 
ords to prove. Fig 27 shows Eupatorium ageratoides, a species common 
from New England south to Tennessee and Georgia. According to J. M. 
Buchanan, it is common over the State of Tennessee, but only yields 
honey in the northern part. He reports the honey to be a light amber, of 
strong flavor. The yield comes in August and September. Fig. 28 shows 
the white snakeroot (E. urticaefolium), a species common to the wood- 
lands of the Middle West. Although the bees visit this species freely, 
from September until killed by frost, usually in October, the honey yield 
is probably rather small. 

The Joe-Pye weed or turnip weed (E. purpureum), is frequently re- 
ported as yielding honey, and it is one of the most widely distributed 
species. It is found from New Brunswick to Manitoba and south to Colo- 
rado, Texas and Florida. 

The boneset of commerce is made from thoroughwort (E. perfoli- 
atum), which is one of the best for honey in the Northern States and 
Canada. 

All the bonesets are autumn bloomers, and the honey is usually mixed 
witli that of heartsease, asters, goldenrod, Spanish needles and other 
plants blooming at the same period. Several years ago Professor Beal 
made the statement, in the American Bee Journal, that there were twenty 
species or more valuable to the bees. The wide distribution of the group, 
together with the regularity of its yield, make it one of special importance 
to the beekeeper, although the amount of surplus gathered from boneset 
is not often as large as that of many other well-known plants. 

Some species of boneset are to be found in almost any kind of situa- 
tion, While white snakeroot grows in shady woodlands, other kinds de- 



46 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



■ 










M/ 




SH^\^^^B( ^^^J= 


Pi 



irfc 






Fig. 28. White snake root. 

light in open, sunny situations, along roadsides and in pastures or waste 
places. Some do best on high lands, while others thrive in low, wet land. 
In places in the Mississippi River bottoms in Illinois, boneset, together 
with heartsease and Spanish needle, cover acres of the richest land like a 
waving grain field. 

An Illinois beekeeper reports Eupatorium serotinum to be one of the 
best honey plants he knows. 



BOOTJACK, see Spanish Needle. 

BORAGE (Borago officinalis). 

Borage is a European plant which is cultivated for honey and as an 
ornamental. Its blue flowers are very attractive to the bees. The follow- 
ing quotations indicate its value to the beekeeper: 

"The period of blooming is from June 20 to cold weather. Where 
there arc no plants for bees to work upon, borage does very well; but 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



47 



when white clover and hasswood are in bloom, bees will forsake the 
borage for them. As cold weather begins to come, they swarm to the 
borage. It is a good honey plant, when there are no plants of greater 
importance in bloom." — Fisk Bangs, American Bee Journal, page 84, 
1878. 

"In Practicher Wegweiser, page 280, Herr Willhelm says that in 
response to the general cry, 'Sow borage,' he has been sowing it for 
years and now has it in abundance. How the bees do hum upon it! 
But, alas! now that he has it in such abundance that it shows its char- 
acter in the surplus honey, he rinds it such as no customer wants, and 
says it is as black as a certain 'gentleman' with whom beekeepers do 
not generally care to have dealings. The task of getting it now rooted 
out is a difficult one."— American Bee Journal, page 103. 1908. 

BOX ELDER (Negundo aceroides or Acer negundo). 

The box elder, or ash-leaved maple, is a near relative of the maples, 




Blossoms of tlic box elder 



and is sometimes included with them. Fig. 29 shows the staminate blos- 
soms of box elder. As in the willows, the stamens are borne on one plant 
and the pistils on another. 

The box elder is found from New England and Southern Canada west 



48 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

to Dakota and southward. It is also common in California. Apparently 
its range does not extend as far southward as other maples. It is very 
commonly planted for windbreaks and shade in the prairie States of the 
Central West. Some honey is yielded by the blossoms, and honeydew is 
often secreted by aphis feeding on the leaves. While not generally re- 
garded as especially valuable, its season is such that its addition to honey- 
producing flora is important. The blooms come very soon after soft 
maple, in April. 

BOSTON IVY (Ampelopsis veitchii). 

The Boston ivy is a well-known climbing vine, clinging to the walls of 
brick and stone buildings in all our northern cities. The flowers are very 
attractive to the bees in midsummer and the bees store some honey from 
this source. The quality is rather inferior. 

BRASSICA, see Mustard. 

BRAZIL or LOGWOOD (Condalia obovata). 

Brazil or logwood is a spiny shrub, or small tree, common to Western 
Texas. It occurs in the lower Rio Grande and is reported as a source of 
honey at Brownsville. There it is smaller than farther north and west. 
In places it forms very dense thickets, called "chaparral." Beekeepers 
report it as important in the fall, yielding a dark honey. The honey is 
said to be of fine flavor, despite its dark color. The flow at Beeville is 
reported as being very rapid. At Goliad, W. C. Collier reports Brazil as 
the best all-round honey plant. He states that it blooms sometimes in 
spring and sometimes in fall. Again, it sometimes blooms several times, 
and yields at irregular periods. At Crystal City, the honey from Brazil 
is reported as rank flavored, exactly opposite from reports of quality in 
eastern parts of its range. 

BRITISH COLUMBIA— Honey Plants of. 

Indigenous honey-yielding flowers, Kootenays, B. C. : 

Willows — Glauceus or pussy willow (Salix discolor). River bank wil- 
low (Salix longifolia). Flower in March and April and probably yield 
more pollen than honey. 

Dandelion (Taraxicum officinale). Flowers in April and May. 

Bearberry — Kinnikinnik Arctostaphylos Uva ursi). 

Blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium). 

Huckleberry (Gaylussacia resinosa). 

Choke cherry (Prunus demissa). 

Bird or pin cherry (Prunus pennsylvanica). 

Bearberry — Kinnikinnik (Arctostaphylos Uva ursi). 

Wild raspberry (Rubus). Flowers in June. 

Dogbane — Milkweed (Apocynum androsaemifolium). Spreading dog- 
bane. 

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos racemosus). 

Wolfberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis). 

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). Flowers in June and July. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



49 



Willow herb or fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium). 

Goldenrod (Soladago canadense). Flowers in July and August. 

— W. J. Sheppard. American Bee Journal, Nov., 1917. 

BROOMWEED (Gutierrezia texana). 

Broomweed is a common fall plant over a large portion of Texas, on 
the prairies. According to Scholl it yields well in September and October. 
The honey is dark and strong and valued mostly for winter stores. In the 
November 1, 1906, issue of American Bee Journal he writes as follows con- 
cerning this plant : 

"Broomweed is still in bloom, the pastures being one sheet of 
golden yellow. Cold nights and cool, windy days have interfered with 
the bees somewhat, but there are yet many warm days when the bees 
are very busy. Some of my bees have stored a good deal of surplus 
from this plant, for this time of the year — about 20 pounds per colony. 
The honey is a golden yellow and has a somewhat strong taste, a little 
bitter, and hence is not a suitable honey for market." 



BUCKBRUSH, see Indian Currant, also Snowberry and Dogbane. 
BUCKEYE (Aesculus). 

The buckeye or horse chestnut 
is widely distributed and well 
known because of the poisonous 
properties of the peculiar nut-like 
fruit, everywhere called buckeye. 
There are several species, with 
minor differences. The photo- 
graph is of the blossoms of the 
Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra). 
This species occurs from New 
England west to Iowa, Kansas and 
Oklahoma and south to Georgia, 
Alabama and east Texas. There is 
a species common on the Pacific 
Coast known as the California 
buckeye (Aesculus californica). 
This species is reported as yield- 
ing considerable honey in some lo- 
calities in California, and some 
beekeepers think it is poisonous to 
the bees. 

The buckeye is widely men- 
tioned as a honey plant, though 
there are few localities where it is 
sufficiently abundant to be import- 
ant as a source of surplus. 

Fig. 30. Blossoms and leaves of buckeye 
horse-chestnut. 




50 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

BUCKTHORN (Rhamnus). 

The common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is a hedge plant intro- 
duced from Europe and commonly cultivated. It has become naturalized 
in some localities. 

In California there are three species reported as important sources of 
honey. The coffee berry (Rhamnus californica) is an evergreen shrub 
4 to 6 feet high, with olive-like leaves, common to the Coast Ranges and 
the Sierra Nevada Mountains and southward. Called also pigeon berry. 

Richter reports this species as yielding an amber honey of very heavy 
body in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and also in San 
Diego County. Honey of good flavor, slightly cathartic. 

The redberry (Rhamnus crocea) occurs in the Napa Range and south- 
ward near the coast to southern California, according to Jepson. It is 
tree-like, with a distinct trunk, sometimes several stems clustered, 5 to 12 
feet high. Richter reports it of special value for early breeding. 

The Cascara Sagrada or Chittam (Rhamnus purshiana) occurs in 
northern California, where it is reported as an important source of amber 
honey. In the timbered portions of western Oregon, Washington and 
British Columbia, it is reported as one of the chief sources of honey. The 
honey is amber, with a delightful aroma. When fully ripened it is too 
thick to extract readily, and there is much breakage of combs. The flow 
begins in May and the honey is usually mixed with that from other plants. 
The blooming period lasts about a month. 

"We get more honey from cascara than from any other one plant 
in this vicinity. It is so dark as a comb honey that it is a poor seller 
to those who go on looks alone. We prefer it on our table to any 
other honey. I have customers who will take no other. It is not purga- 
tive, but one of the best remedies for chronic constipation known. I 
have never known any of the pure article to granulate under any con- 
ditions." — A. D. Herold, Gleanings, Jan. 1, 1910. 

BUCKWHEAT (Fagopyrum esculentum). 

Buckwheat is a native to Asia, which was early introduced into 
America from Europe by the colonists. It has become an important field 
crop, and buckwheat flour is a staple in American markets. It is often 
sowed as a catch crop on lands that have not been ready for early sown 
crops, or where the first sowed crop failed to secure a stand. It requires 
a short season in which to reach maturity and is usually sown in June or 
July. It needs a cool, moist climate for best results and often fails to 
yield a satisfactory crop of grain or to secrete nectar in the hot and dry 
atmosphere of Iowa and Nebraska. 

It is well suited to sandy or other light soils and is grown exten- 
sively in the sandy lands of northern Michigan. 

Buckwheat is an important source of surplus honey in the region of 
the Great Lakes. Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan 
are the States from which come the great crops of buckwheat honey. 
Although the crop is often grown further west, the amount of honey 
secured is very disappointing in most cases. The author corresponded with 
a number of prominent Iowa beekeepers, and found only one who had 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



secured surplus honey from buckwheat to any extent, and his was mixed 
with other sources to such an extent as to have a very different color and 
flavor from that which is secured unmixed. 

It was given a trial at the Texas Agricultural College for a period of 
three years. It failed to meet expectations as a honey plant on account of 
the hot and dry weather which prevails there during most summers. It 
was reported as blooming profusely, but not yielding nectar. 

In New York it is regarded as one of the best honey plants. The late 
E. W. Alexander, writing in Gleanings, stated that he had kept 200 colonies 
in a location with scarcely 100 acres of buckwheat within four miles, yet 



S^&fci 






^5% 










Fig. 31. Buckwheat field in bloom, 
had harvested 15 to 20 pounds of section honey from buckwheat per colony. 
He stated that it yielded best with cool nights followed by a clear sky 
and a hot sun. with little or no wind. Under such conditions it secreted 
nectar Ereely from about 9 a. m. to 2 p. m. No bees would be seen on it 
earlier or later in the day. On one occasion, when there were 1,500 acres 
of buckwheat within reach of his bees, they were gathering fast at the 
beginning of the August harvest. A thunder storm caused the tempera- 
ture to drop 21 degrees in less than half an hour. The weather remained 
cloudy and windy, with a temperature of about 65 degrees, for eleven days. 
During that time the bees gathered no honey, and destroyed much of their 
brood. — Gleanings, March 15, 1907. 

The Ontario Association's Crop Report Committee reported an aver- 
age per colony production of 23 pounds from the more than ten thousand 
colonies belonging to its members for two vears in succession. A writer 



52 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

in the American Bee Journal asserts that in a favorable season an acre of 
buckwheat will yield 25 pounds of honey daily, and that a strong colony 
within half a mile of a field, will store six to eight pounds per day. Alex- 
ander kept as high as 700 colonies in one yard, at his home near Delanson, 
New York, and secured satisfactory crops, though, of course, there was 
a large acreage within reach. 

Quality of the Honey 

Honey from buckwheat is very dark and has a strong flavor. People 
who are accustomed to light and mild honey of the clover type seldom like 
it. On the other hand, residents of the west, who were raised in the buck- 
wheat country of eastern New York, regard the clover honey as insipid 
and not to be compared to the dark honey with which they were familiar 
in childhood. Buckwheat honey has a peculiar flavor, slightly nauseating 
to one unaccustomed to it. 

During a heavy flow from this source there is a strong odor present 
in the apiary which can be detected for some distance. J. L. Byer, in the 
American Bee Journal, tells of a case where a farmer and his wife spent 
some time looking for dead chickens in the vicinity of the hives, mistak- 
ing the odor of the new nectar, which the bees were bringing in, for that 
of a dead fowl. (Page 306, October, 1908.) 

Buckwheat varies somewhat in density, acording to weather condi- 
tions at the time it is gathered. When fully ripened on the hives it is 
sometimes so thick as to be hard to extract. Some beekeepers report 
honey from this source which weighs as much as fourteen pounds to the 
gallon. On the other hand, there are numerous reports of very thin honey, 
probably because of being extracted before fully ripened. 

Buckwheat honey is used largely in France to make a gingerbread 
"pain d'epices," in which the peculiar odor and flavor of the buckwheat is 
very noticeable and is much liked by those who are accustomed to it. 

BUCKWHEAT TREE, see Ti-Ti. 
BUFFALO BEAN, see Loco Weed. 
BULL BAY, see Magnolia. 
BUM-WOOD, see Poisonwood. 

BURDOCK (Arctium lappa). 

The burdock is a coarse, disagreeable weed, introduced from Europe 
and Asia. It is now common over the United States. The burrs fasten 
themselves to the clothing or to passing animals, and in this manner the 
seeds are spread. It is a biennial, common in barn lots and waste places. 

The burdock is one of the many plants on which the bees work to 
some extent that never count for very much in the total production of 
the hive. The sources of surplus are comparatively few in number, but 
there are hundreds of plants from which the bees get a taste of honey or 
pollen. The presence or absence of these minor plants makes a great 
difference in the value of a locality for honey production. If there are 
enough of them to keep the bees busy, and sustain the colony between 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



S3 



flows when the good yield comes, the bees are in the best possible condi- 
tion to take advantage of the opportunity. 




Fig. 32. Burdock. 

BUR CLOVER (Medicago denticulata). Wild. 

Bur clover is a relative of alfalfa which is very common over much 
of California. The burs are produced abundantly and the plant is prized 
as a stock forage. The plant, although spreading like a weed, is valuable 
both to live stock and for bees. The principal blooming period is from 
March till June, though it blooms to some extent at all seasons. 

Richter lists it as especially valuable to stimulate early breeding, but 
states that surplus is occasionally harvested from this source and that 
it is fully equal to filaree or pin clover as a honey plant. 



BUR-MARIGOLD, see Spanish Needle. 

BUSH HONEYSUCKLE (Diervilla Lonicera). 

The bush honeysuckle is a common bush shrub in the northeastern 
States. It is to be found from Newfoundland south to North Carolina and 
west to Minnesota. It is reported as common in New England and On- 
tario. In Northern Minnesota, where it is abundant, beekeepers report 



54 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



that the bees work it eagerly when the weather will permit. The flowers 
are not showy, but the profuse bloom is rich in nectar. The blooming 
period begins in June and, in some places, continues as late as August. 

BRUNNICHIA. 

The tendril-bearing smartweed, or ladies' ear drops (Brunnichia cirr- 

hosa) is a perennial climbing vine, common to the southeastern States. 
It ranges from southern Illinois and Arkansas to South Carolina and 
Florida. An Arkansas beekeeper reports that the plant is abundant in his 
locality and covered with bees. 

H. B. Parks reports it grows on the low lands of Southeast Texas, 
where it blooms from March till August and yields some surplus. 

BUFFALO CURRANT (Ribes aureum). 

The yellow flowers of the buffalo currant are very fragrant and ap- 
parently contain much nectar. The writer has often noticed the bees 
working on the blossoms, but since the corolla tubes are half an inch or 
more in length he supposed they were getting only pollen. A close ex- 
amination showed that the bees were unmistakably getting nectar from 
this source and that the tubes had been slit entirely down one side by 
some unknown agency. Whether this is a common occurrence the author 
cannot say. 




Blossoms of the button-bush. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 55 

BUTTER WEED or GROUNDSEL (Senecio). 

The groundsels are herbs with alternate leaves and mostly yellow 
flowers, common to the northeastern States. The bees are reported as 
working upon them freely, but they are probably of minor importance. 

BUTTON-BUSH (Cephalanthus occidentals). 

The button-bush, also called button willow, is a bushy shrub growing 
in marshy places, stagnant shallow water, and along streams, from New 
England to Texas and west to California. This shrub, or in places a small 
tree, has a very wide range and is found in most of the States where 
honey production is important. Bulletin No. 102 of the Texas Agricul- 
tural College, reports it as common throughout Texas, and the bulletin 
relating to honey plants of California (217 Experiment Station), records 
it as a good honey plant in California. It is listed in the catalog of plants 
of nearly every State and of Canada, which the author has consulted. It 
is also said to occur in Asia, and possibly Africa. 

Our readers who live in the vicinity of wet lands are likely to find 
specimens near at hand. In a few sections it is sufficiently abundant to 
be an important addition to the midsummer flora. It is reported as more 
particularly valuable in the overflowed lands along the Mississippi River. 
The bees seek it eagerly when in bloom, and in places where it is plentiful 
it is regarded as of considerable value as a honey plant. 

The honey is light in color and mild in flavor, according to published 
reports. Fig. 33 shows a near view of the flowers, which are crowded to- 
gether in dense heads, giving them the appearance of cotton balls. 

The shrub is very bushy, with an abundant foliage. It is reported as 
reaching a height of 40 feet in California. In Alabama it is recorded as 
a shrub of from 6 to 15 feet in height, which is more like its appearance in 
Iowa, according to the author's observation. Here it is rather a small 
bush, not much higher than a man's head, and as far across, with many 
branches from the ground. 

The blooming period is July and August, according to locality, a sea- 
son when additions to the honey-producing flora are most welcome. 

BUTTON-WEED (Diodia teres). 

The button-weed occurs on sandy lands from New England to Florida 
and west to Kansas and Texas. Scholl lists it as yielding honey well 
during drought in Texas, but not as a source of surplus. 

BUTTON WILLOW, see Button Bush. 



56 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



CABBAGE (Brassica oleracea). 

Cabbage belongs to a group of valuable honey plants, including mus- 
tard, turnip, etc. In the seed belt of California, where grown for seed 
on a large scale, cabbage is valuable. The late J. S. Harbison said of it: 

"Cabbage blossoms afford a considerable amount of honey of a 

fine quality and flavor." — Beekeeper's Directory. 

CACTUS, see Prickly Pear. 
CALICO BUSH, see Laurel. 
CALIFORNIA HOLLY, see Christmas Berry. __ 

CALIFORNIA— Honey Sources of. 

Honey plants yielding a surplus during an average season: 

Yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei). 

Willow (Salix sp.) 

Wild buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum). 

Berberis pinnata. 

Black mustard (Brassica nigra). 

English mustard (Brassica sp.) 

Rocky Mountain honey plant (Cleome integrifolia). 

Jackass clover (Wislizenia refracta). 

Christmas berry (Heteromeles arbutifolia). 

Pear (Pyrus communis). 
Apple (Pyrus malus). 
Wild alfalfa (Lotus glaber). 
Bur clover (Medicago denticulata). 
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) . 
White sweet clover (Melilotus alba). 
Yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis). 
Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). 
Alfilerilla (Erodium cicutarium). 
White stem filaree (Erodium moschatum). 
Orange (Citrus aurantium). 
Tree of heaven (Ailanthus glandulosa). 
Poison oak (Rhus diversiloba). 
(Laurel) Sumac (Rhus laurina). 
Pepper tree (Schinus molle). 
California buckeye (Aesculus californica). 
Coffee berry (Rhamnus californica). 
Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana). 
Wild hollyhock (Sidalcea malvaeflora). 
Prickly pear (Opuntia lindheimeri occidentalis). 
Lemon scented gum (Eucalyptus citriodora). 
White stringy-bark (Eucalyptus eugenioides). 
Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus). 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 57 

Red gum (Eucalyptus rostrata). 
Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis). 
Blue thistle (Cryngium articulatum). 
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos). 
Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon trichocalix). 
Caterpillar phacelia (Phacelia hispida). 
Valley vervenia (Phacelia tenacetifolia). 
Carpet grass (Lippia nodiflora). 
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare). 
Peppermint (Mentha spicata). 
White sage (Salvia apiana). 
Thistle sage (Salvia carduacea). 
Annual sage (Salvia columbariae). 
Purple sage (Salvia leucophylla). 
Black sage (Salvia mellifera). 
Creeping sage (Salvia sonomensis). 
Blue curls (Trichostema lanceolatum). 
Button willow (Cephalanthus occidentalis). 
Xapa thistle (Centaurea melitensis). 
Spike weed (Centromadia pungens). 
Bull thistle (Cirsium lanceolatum). 
Common sunflower (Helianthus annuus). 
Coast tarweed (Hemizonia corymbosa). 
Tarweed (Hemizonia fasciculata). 
Yellow tarweed (Hemizonia virgata). 
"Yellow Tops" (Hemizonia). 
Goldenrod (Solidago occidentalis). 
Rabbit brush (while) (Chrysothamnus nauseosus hypolluca). 

Cultivated plants that would rank with the above had they a wider 
distribution : 

Common century plant (Agave americana). 
White clover (Trifolium repens). 
American linden (Tilia americana). 
Tamarisk (Tamaris, Eucalyptus calophylla). 
Yate tree (Eucalyptus cornuta). 
Sugar gum (Eucalyptus corynocalyx). 

Cider gum (Eucalyptus Gunnii, Eucalyptus Lehmannii). 
White ironbark (Eucalyptus leucoxylon). 
Spotted gum (Eucalyptus maculata). 
Honey scented gum (Eucalyptus ficifolia). 
Red boxtree (Eucalyptus polyanthemos). 
Red mahogany gum (Eucalyptus resinifera). 
Swamp mahogany gum (Eucalyptus robusta). 
Broad leaved ironbark (Eucalyptus siderophloia). 
Victoria ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon). 
Apple scented gum (Eucalyptus Stuartiana). 
Forest gray gum (Eucalyptus tereticornia). 



58 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

Honej' plants occasionally yielding a surplus : 

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis). 

Live oak (Quercus agrifolia). 

Blue oak (Quercus douglassii). 

Valley oak (Quercus lobata). 

Mistletoe (Phoradendron). 

Common mustard (Brassica campestris). 

Wild radish (Raphanus sativus, Escallonia montevidensis). 

Wild currant (Ribes sanguineum). 

Greasewood (Adenostema fasciculatum). 

Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis). 

Islay or holly leaved cherry (Cerasus illicifolia). 

Bitter almond (Prunus amygdalus). 

Apricot (Prunus amygdalus). 

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca). 

Cherry (Prunus cerasus). 

Plum and prune (Prunus domestica). 

Peach (Prunus persica). 

Raspberry (Rubus strigosus). 

Cultivated bla'ckberry (Rubus villosus). 

Himalayan berry (Rubus villosus var). 

Common wild blackberry (Rubus vitifolius). 

Black wattle (Acacia decurrens mollis). 

Golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha). 

Rattleweed (Astragalus). 

Yellow sweet clover (Melilotus indica). 

Locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia). 

Sour clover (Trifolium fucatum). 

Alsike (Trifolium hybridum). 

Gorse (Ulex europaeus). 

Mandarin (Citrus nobilis, Croton californicus). 

Turkey mullein (Eremocarpus setigerus, Ceanothus cuneatus). 

Wild lilac (Ceanothus, Rhamnus corcea). 

Grape (Vitis vinifera). 

Cotton (Gossypium herbaceum, Godetia bottae). 

California waterweed (Jussiaea californica). 

Sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). 

Madrona (Arbutus menziesii). 

Oregon ash (Fraxinus oregona). 

Olive (Olea europaea). 

Morning glory (Convolvulus arvensis, Gilia chamissonis). 

Hill verveilia (Phaceli a distans, Phacelia ramosissima). 

Heliotrope (Heliotropium). 

Lawn plant (Lippia repens). 

Wild verbena (Verbena prostrata). 

Verba Buena (Micromeria chamissonis). 

Hedge nettle (Stachys bullata). 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 59" 

California figwort (Scrophularia californica). 

Simpson's honey plant (Scrophularia vernalis). 

Watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris). 

Cantaloupe (Cucumis mello). 

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus). 

Winter squash (Cucurbita moschata). 

Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo). 

Globe artichoke (Cynar a Scolymus). 

Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus). 

Mayweed (Anthemis cotula). 

Beggar ticks (Bidens frondosa). 

Spanish needle (Bidens pilosa, Coreopsis gigantea). 

Cultivated plants that would rank with the above had they a wider 
distribution : 

Mignonette (Reseda odorata). 

White tree clover (Cystisus proliferus, Melilotus bicolor). 

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). 

Honey plants not known to yield a surplus : 

Corn (Zea mays). 

Tanbark oak (Quercus densiflora). 

Virgin's bower (Clematis ligusticifolia, Clematis). 

California laurel (Umbellularia californica). 

California poppy (Eschscholtzia californica). 

Cream cups (Platystemon californicus). 

Canyon gooseberry (Ribes menziesii). 

(Western) chokecherry (Cerasus demissa). 

Rose (Rosa californica). 

Wild sweet pea (Lathyrus splendens). 

Lupin (Lupinus affinis). 

Nonesuch (Medicago lupulina) . 

Red clover (Trifolium pratense). 

Spring vetch (Vicia sativa). 

Maple (Acer negundo). 

Virginia creeper (Ampelopsis quinquefolia). 

California wild grape (Vitis californica). 

Small flowered mallow (Malva parviflora). 

White mallow (Malva sylvestris, Helianthemum scoparium). 

Milkweed (Asclepias mexicana). 

Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). 

Dodder (Cuscuta). 

Common heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum). 

Tournefortia heliotropoides. 

Tule mint (Mentha canadensis). 

Pennyroyal (Monardella lanceolata). 

Loving sage (Salvia amabilis). 

Winter savory (Satureia montana. 



60 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Stachys ajugoides. 
Stachys albens. 
Veronica andersonii. 

Common plantain (Plantego major). 
Wild honeysuckle (Lonicera). 
Blue elderberr\- (Sambucus glauca). 

Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), Encelia californica, Eriophyllum con- 
fertiflorum, Heterotheca grandiflora, Malacothris saxatilis. 

Common sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus, Sonchus maruanthus). 

— M. C. Richter, Bulletin 217, Agricultural Experiment Station, Cal. 

CALIFORNIA POPPY, see Poppy. 

CAMPANILLA (Ipomoea). 

The campanillas, or Christmas bells, are plants similar to our American 
morning-glory, which are common to Cuba and adjacent countries. The 
vines are perennial and grow to considerable size, covering wayside fences, 
trees, etc. The name Christmas bells, applied to white bellflower, comes 




Fig. 3.5. Catalpa blossoms, 
from the fact that the height of the blooming period is reached near the 
holiday season. There are two species, known as white campanilla (Ipo- 
moea sidaefolia), and the pink bellflower (Ipomoea triloba).. The latter 
blooms a month or two before the white variety. 

The honey, according to Root's ABC, is equal to alfalfa or sage in 
color and flavor, the comb built during a campanilla flow being pearly 
white and the wax, when melted, as white as tallow. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



(.1 



CAMPHOR WEED, see Blue Curls. 
CANADA THISTLE (Carduus arvensis). 

The Canada thistle is a most troublesome weed, naturalized from 
Europe and widely spread through Eastern America. It is a perennial 
plant, growing from one to two feet high. The roots creep extensively, 
thus gradually spreading the plant to surrounding areas. It is very per- 
sistent and difficult to eradicate. It is common in fields, pastures and along 
roadsides. 

It is the source of a light honey of good quality. It is most frequently 
reported as a source of surplus in Ontario and the Eastern States. 
CANADIAN HEMP, see Dogbane. 
CARPET GRASS (Lippia). 

The carpet grass of California (Lippia repens) is a native of Chili 

which has been introduced on the 
Pacific Coast and widely culti- 
vated as a lawn plant. It is known 
as lawn plant, carpet grass and 
lippia. It is much sought by the 
bees and is the source of some 
honey, a surplus of two cases per 
colony being not unusual, accord- 
ing to C. D. Stuart. The honey, 
he states, is light amber, heavy 
body, and similar in quality to al- 
falfa. The plant is of trailing 
habit, spreading by rooting of 
runners like strawberries. Fig. 34. 
Lippia nodiflora, mat grass or 
fog fruit, is native to California, 
and. according to Richter, is the 
principal source of surplus honey 
in the vicinity of Sacramento. 
Three-fourths of the surplus 
honey from Sutter County he 
reports as from this source. There 
it begins to bloom in May and 
lasts till frost. According to Jep- 
son, the plant is esteemed as a 
covering for levees, to resist ero- 
sion. It is especially valuable on 
overflowed lands after the water 
recedes. The honey is said to be 
light in color, mild in flavor, and 
to granulate readily. 

CARROT (Daucus carota). 

The carrot is a well-known 
garden vegetable which came from 




Fig. 34. Carpet grass or Lippia. 



62 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



Europe and is everywhere cultivated in gardens. It has escaped and be- 
come naturalized over a wide scope of country. It yields some honey, 
and where grown on a large scale for seed or for the roots, it is valuable 
for the bees. 

We quote Richter as follows : 

"Honey white, with a characteristic flavor, and granulating within 
a few months after extraction. A most excellent yielder in the Sacra- 
mento Valley, where it is considered to surpass the onion as a honey 
plant." — Honey Plants of California. 

CASCARA SAGRADA, see Buckthorn. 
CASSIA, see Partridge Pea. 

CASTOR BEAN (Ricinus communis). 

The castor bean, or castor oil plant, is often cultivated for the oil con- 




Fig. 36. Catnip. 

tents of the beans. Large areas were planted during the late war, espe- 
cially in Texas. The plant has escaped from cultivation and become nat- 
uralized in the Southeastern States. It is generally planted for ornament 
over a large scope of country. It is reported as very attractive to the 
bees and of some value for honey, where sufficiently abundant. Scholl 
lists it in the Texas bulletin as yielding well in favorable seasons. Richter 
lists it also for California. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 63 

CASTOR OIL PLANT, see Castor Bean. 

CATALPA (Catalpa speciosa). 

The catalpa tree produces a great profusion of bloom. The blossoms 
are so large that a bee can readily crawl right into the heart of the flower. 

The testimony of competent observers gives an unqualified indorse- 
ment of the catalpa as a nectar producer, though there is slight mention 
of it in our literature. The fact that large areas of these trees are being 
planted for timber, in many places, makes them of special interest to the 
beekeeper. The catalpa, or Indian bean (Catalpa speciosa) is a native of 
the woodlands of southern Indiana and Tennessee, west to Arkansas. This 
form, known as the hardy catalpa, is also widely planted in Iowa, Illinois, 
Kansas, Nebraska and other States. There is another similar species 
closely resembling it which occurs further south, and is common in the 
Gulf States. 

The leaves are heart-shaped and the blossoms are large, nearly white, 
and grow in large clusters, as shown in Fig. 35. The tree grows very rapidly 
furnishing desirable timber for fence posts, telephone poles, railroad ties, 
etc. In Kansas, large areas have been planted by the railroad companies 
for the purpose of growing ties. Beekeepers situated near such plantings 
should find the trees of material value. 



CATNIP (Nepeta Cataria). 

Catnip, or catmint, was introduced from Europe, and cultivated in herb 
gardens. It is thus an escaped introduction and has become very widely 
naturalized in the United States, although it is generally considered a 
weed. It is usually found only in the vicinity of buildings and gardens, 
and seldom spreads into the fields to any extent. Almost all of us remem- 
ber the popularity of catnip tea among the grandmothers of an earlier 
generation. The plant is a perennial, growing from 2 to 3 feet high, with 
flowers in clusters, the more conspicuous ones being in a terminal spike. 
The blooming season is rather long, and the bees visit it very freely. Ap- 
parently, the plant yields much nectar, although it is seldom present in 
sufficient quantity to test its real value as a honey producer. If it had 
sufficient value for other purposes to justify its cultivation, it would prob- 
ably be an important source of nectar. 



CATSCLAW, see Acacia. 

CAT'S EAR (Hypochaeris radicata). 

Cat's ear, sometimes called California dandelion, is abundant west of 
the Cascade Mountains in Washington and south to California. It is a 
naturalized European weed in pastures and fields, blooming in midsummer. 
According to H. A. Scullen, it supplies considerable nectar in Washington. 
It is amber color and in some localities darkens the fireweed honey. 



64 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

CELASTRUS Scandens, see Bittersweet. 



CELERY (Apium graveolens). 

The blossoms of the cultivated celery yield nectar abundantly, and 
where grown for seed, it is a valuable source of honey. In the seed belt 
of California it yields well, as the following will indicate: 

"I saw the hives stacked five or six high and on opening them 
we found them jammed full of honey; in fact, the bees should have had 
room long before, but Mr. Gear had had difficulty in getting help, and 
the bees had got ahead of him. The colonies were so crowded that 
the space between the frames and the tops of the hives were built full 
of burr combs. All this honey was from celery and parsnip. * * * 

On our arrival at the field it was easy J_ . '^__ 

to see that there was honey in the 

blossoms. In the sunlight the little 

drops of nectar gleamed like myriads ^ 

of little diamonds. * * * I tasted CfM^ 



some of the raw nectar from the cel- 
ery. Sure enough, there was quite a 
strong suggestion of celery flavor." — 
E. R. Root, Gleanings, Nov., 1919, page 
712. 

CENTAUREA. 

There are several species of centaurea 
which yield nectar. The common corn- 
flower of the gardens (Centaurea Cyanus), 
also known as blue-bottle, bluet, ragged 
sailor or batchelor's button, is a good 
honey plant. The bees work upon it from 
morning till night, though it is seldom suf- 
ficiently abundant to be important as a 
source of surplus. Richter lists this spe- 
cies from California as commonly culti- 
vated. He also lists the Napa thistle, or 
tacalote (Centaureau melitensis), as yield- 
ing some honey of light amber color, good 
flavor and fair body. This species is known 
in the southeastern States as Lombardy 
star thistle. (See Star Thistle.) 

CENTURY PLANT (Agave). 

The agaves are an important group of 
long-lived perennial plants native to Trop- 
ical America, Mexico and, to some extent, 
to the southwestern United States. Each 
plant has a cluster of numerous fleshy 
leaves and, when blooming, a tall flower 
stalk. There are at least five species na- 
tive to the United States. The range is 
southern New Mexico, Arizona and Cali- 



4£-&9Bb 




Fig. 37. The century plant is 
slow to bloom, but is a strik- 
ing sight when it does so. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 65 

fornia. The best known is the common century plant (Agave americana), 

an introduced species, cultivated for ornament. This is a conspicuous 
hgure of ornamental planting in southern California. 

In Mexico some species of agaves furnish fibre, while others are the 
source of pulque and mescal, intoxicating drinks much used in the country 
below the Rio Grande. 

The plants do not bloom until they are several years old. The flower 
stalks grow very rapidly and reach a height of 25 or 30 feet within a few 
weeks' time. When in bloom they secrete nectar in abundance, and the 
bees swarm over them in great numbers. As will be seen by the illustra- 
tion, the flower stalks support innumerable blossoms, so that a single 
plant will yield a considerable amount of honey. The fact that the plants 
are nowhere abundant in this country, together with the long period which 
must elapse before they bloom, makes it improbable that they will ever be 
of much importance to American beekeepers. 

CEPHALANTHUS, see Button Bush. 
CHAM1SE, see Greasewood. 

CHAPMAN HONEY PLANT (Echinops sphoerocephalus). 

The Chapman honey plant was introduced from France about 1885. 
The bee journals of 1886 and 1887 devote a large amount of space to a dis- 
cussion of this plant. It was brought prominently to the attention of 
American beekeepers by Hiram Chapman, of Versailles, New York, who 
planted about three acres of it at that place. He made such glowing re- 
ports of the plant at tin- National Beekeepers' Convention that a com- 
mittee of prominent men was appointed to visit the Chapman home and 
report on the new plant at the convention of the following year. They 
made a lengthy and very favorable report, which is published in full on 
page 28 of the American Bee Journal for January 5, 1887. 

Numerous beekeepers secured seed, and so attractive did the plant 
prove to the bees that favorable reports appeared frequently in the 
columns of the journals for the next few years. However, the great 
expectations were not realized, for it soon disappeared, and is seldom 
mentioned in current literature. The following quotation from Dr. C. C. 
Miller, which appeared in Cleanings, in December, 1918. is probably a cor- 
rect estimate of the value of the plant : 

"After reading the British Bee Journal of September 26, I should 
have made a vigorous effort to secure a supply of seed of Echinops 
Sphoerocephalus, if I had no previous experience with the plant. No 
bee plant that I have ever grown was so attractive to the bees. When- 
ever the weather was favorable the heads were crowded. I have 
counted fourteen or fifteen bees on one at the same time.' 

This is the Chapman honey plant that had a big boom in this 
country a number of years ago; but it is not heard of now, and is not 
included among the honey plants in the bee books. Upon its introduc- 
tion I planted quite a patch of it, and like Mr. Harwood, I never saw 
the bees so thick on any other plant. But close observation showed 
that the bees were not in eager haste in their usual way when getting 
a big yield, but were in large part idle. It looked a little as if the 



66 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

plant had some kind of stupefying effect on them. At any rate, I 
should not take the trouble to plant it now, if land and seed were fur- 
nished free. 

CHAYOTE CSechium edule). 

Chayote is a vegetable of the squash family, commonly grown in the 
American Tropics. It is found in Mexico, Cuba, Porto Rico and other 
countries in that latitude. There has been some discussion of the plant in 
the bee magazines and occasionally the plants have been grown in Ameri- 
can gardens. That it is a valuable honey plant there can be but little 
doubt. J. J. Siebert, writing from Porto Rico to the American Bee Journal, 
says that it is all that it is claimed to be, and that as a source of nectar it 
has only one rival, the banana, blossoming all the year round. The follow- 
ing is from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 28: 

'As in other vegetables of the squash family, the stamens and pis- 
tils are in separate flowers, pollination taking place through the 
agency of insects. To attract these, the flowers of both kinds, but es- 
pecially the pistillate, yield abundant nectar, which is secreted in 
ten glands, two at the base of each of the lobes of the corolla. In 
most of the countries into which it has been introduced, beekeeping 
has not been a regular industry, and the value of the chayote as a 
source of honey has not been noticed, but the reports of experimenters 
in New South Wales contain very emphatic statements on the subject: 

'When the plant is in flower I have noticed that the vines were 
swarming with bees, and as flowers are scarce in the autumn, the plant 
will no doubt be valuable as a honey-producer. 

'The plant, which spreads over a large area, commenced flowering 
at the close of the year, and has been well laden with mellifluous blos- 
soms ever since. The bees are extremely fond of the chocho, and with 
the apiarist the newly-introduced plant must become a strong favor- 
ite.' 

"The chayote differs from many cucurbitaceae in producing numer- 
ous flowers on each fertile branch. It has long been known that the 
flowers of this family are rich in honey, but from the standpoint of 
the beekeeper they have been considered of little importance, because 
seldom accessible in sufficient amount, though in the United States 
fields are recognized as good bee pastures. The chayote seems to make 
up by numbers what the flowers lack in size, so that the yield of honey 
may be larger than in related plants. In addition to this there is the 
fact that Sechium is a perennial bloomer in the Tropics, and in the sub- 
tropical regions has a very long season. It is thus possible that in the 
regions like parts of Florida, where beekeeping is already an estab- 
lished industry, the honey-producing qualities of the chayote may be 
found of practical account in connection with its other utilities." 

CHEROKEE ROSE (Rosa laevigata). 

The Cherokee rose is found from the Coast Region of the South At- 
lantic States westward through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisi- 
ana to eastern Texas. It occurs also in California. It was in Alabama 
that the author first heard it mentioned as a source of nectar. Later re- 
ports from California indicated that bees sometimes find nectar from this 
source, though most of the roses yield only pollen. H. B. Parks states that 
he has observed the bees getting honey from this source, and M. B. Talley, 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



67 



of Victoria, Texas, states that he has observed the bees gathering nectar 
from it in Mississippi and also at Victoria. It is probably of little import- 
ance, unless it be as a source of pollen. 

CHERRY (Prunus cerasus). 

The cultivated cherry is closely related to the plum and is equally at- 
tractive to the bees. Both bloom at about the same time. In California 
the cherry is reported as one of the best of the fruit trees for honey pro- 
duction. In the East it is valued principally for stimulating early brood- 
rearing. 

When the weather is warm and bright during its period of bloom a 
great variety of insects may be found on the blossoms. Bees are seldom 
strong enough to store surplus from cherry. (See also Wild Cherry. 




Fig. 3S. Cherry blossoms. 



CHESTNUT (Castanea dentata). 

The chestnut is an important timber tree from northern New England 
and Ontario to Michigan and along the mountains to Georgia. It is a tall 
and slender tree in the forests, but a magnificent spreading shade tree 
when grown with sufficient room. It sometimes reaches a height of 90 
to 100 feet. 

As a source of nectar it is probably nowhere important, though it 
yields pollen in June or July. E. E. Hasty, writing in the American Bee 



63 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Journal, from Toledo, Ohio, (Sept., 1906), reports that there the bees 
roar on chestnut bloom, even when basswood blooms at the same time. 

It is frequently listed as a source of honey, but the author can find 
no authoritative records of surplus stored from it. 




Bloom of China-tree 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



b9 



CHINABERRY, see Wild China. 
CHINA TREE (Melia azedarach). 

The China tree, also known as pride of India, is a native of the Far 
East, probably coming from China. It has become naturalized in the 
Southeastern States from the Atlantic Coast to Texas. It is found as far 
north as Arkansas and Virginia. 

H. B. Parks reports that in Texas it is a fairly good honey plant, 




Fig. 40. The chinquapin. 



70 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

blooming very early in the season. On account of its early blooming, it 
is principally valuable to stimulate early brood rearing. 

This tree should not be confused with the Wild China, which see. 

CHINESE SUMAC, see Varnish Tree. 

CHINQUAPIN (Castanea pumila). 

The chinquapin is a shrub or small tree common from New Jersey 
and southern Pennsylvania southward to Missouri and Texas. It is well 
known to the beekeepers in parts of Alabama, Georgia and north Florida, 
where it flowers in May. In Arkansas, it is a large tree, reaching a 
height of fifty feet in some cases. 

In some localities beekeepers report good crops of honey from chin- 
quapin, but the quality is inferior. It is dark and strong, with a bitter 
taste. Some use it for feeding to replace the better grades of honey which 
may be taken from the bees. In color it looks like New Orleans molasses, 
and a sample, in the author's collection for several years, shows no ten- 
dency to granulation. 

CHITTAM, see Buckthorn. 
CHOCTAW ROOT, see Dogbane. 
CHOKE CHERRY, see Wild Cherry. 

CHRISTMAS BERRY, or CALIFORNIA HOLLY (Heteromeles arbuti- 
folia). 

The Christmas berry is known also as toy-on or tollon berry, as well 
as California holly. It is common along the streams and on the mountain- 
sides of California, where it flowers in June and July. It has white flow- 
ers and the bright red berries ripen in late autumn. The berries, accord- 
ing to C. D. Stuart, are acid and slightly astringent, though not unpleas- 
ant. He states that the berries were eaten by the Indians as a kind of 
salad, and that a wine-red drink is sometimes made from them after an 
old Spanish-Californian recipe. The plant is much used for Christmas 
decoration on the Pacific Coast. 

According to Richter, the plant is the source of a thick amber honey 
of decided flavor, which candies with a coarse grain, within two or three 
months after extraction. He reports surplus from this source in Monte- 
rey, Colusa and Nevada Counties, California. 

Jepson gives the range as "Throughout the coast ranges and Sierra 
Nevada, and southward to southern and Lower California. Frequent 
along streams and gulches in the lower hills, and also abundant on stony 
slopes at middle elevations, especially from Napa to Humboldt Counties. 

At Visalia the author heard reports of an average of a case per colony 
of surplus honey from this source in the mountains. 

CITRUS FRUITS, see Oranges, Lemons, Etc. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



71 



CLEMATIS. 

The white clematis is commonly known by the name of virgin's 

bower, but also has several other 
local names, such as love vine, 
traveler's joy and devil's hair. 
Fig. 42 shows the delicate white 
blossoms and the leat, and Fig.. 43 
shows a mass of vines on a road- 
side fence. 

The range of the plant is from 
Nova Scotia and Ontario west to 
Lake Winnipeg and Nebraska 
and south to Louisiana and Flor- 
ida. It may be expected almost 
anywhere east of the Mississippi 
River. It is a slender climbing 
vine on the borders of woods, 
roadsides and hedgerows. The 
blossoms are white and fragrant, 
blooming in midsummer. It is 
much sought by the bees, and ap- 
parently produces considerable 
nectar. It is doubtful whether the 
plant is anywhere sufficiently 
abundant to make an appreciable 
difference in the production of 
the hive. 

Richter, in his "Honey Plants 
of California," reports a related 
species, the hill clematis, (Cle- 
matis ligusticifolia, as common in the hilly districts almost throughout 
California. It is said to produce "a great deal of pollen and probably some 
honey," but it is not known to produce surplus. Common also in the Rocky 
Mountains. 



1 T 


^L 


i 1 

LU, 
P f 






r Hi* 


mW II 




■k !>K 




%>-jm 


k 



Fig. 



Blossom ant 



white clematis. 



CLEOME, see Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. 



CLEOMELLA (Cleomella angustifola). 

The Cleomella is very similar to the Rocky Mountain bee plant, or 
cleome. The flowers are small and yellow and the plant does not grow so 
tall as the cleome. 

An Oklahoma beekeeper reports as follows : 

"It seems to be a remarkable honey plant. It was in bloom for 
more than ten weeks during the dry season, and bees worked upon it 
freely every morning. The blossom is very fragrant, sweet, yellow, 
and is at the branches. It keeps crowding out a new growth and 
blooming, forming small purse-shaped seed pods as the blossoms drop. 
The growth is much like sweet clover or yellow mustard, but forming 
a larger spreading top. Some plants grow four feet tall and three feet 



72 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



across and an inch through at the butt. It is an annual, and no stock 
will eat it."— M. S. Hubbell, Helena, Okla. American Bee Journal. 
Cleomella is found from Nebraska to Utah and south to Texas. 

CLETHRA, see Pepperbush. 
CLIMBING MILKWEED, see Bluevine. 

CLOVER (Trifolium). 

The clovers are by far the most important American honey plants. 
If we include the closely related alfalfa and sweet clover, they probably 
are the source of more surplus honey than all the other plants together. 




Fig 41. The Christmas herry, or California holly. 

They are to be found in nearly every part of America and yield nectar 
more freely than most plants. The quality of clover hone}' is of the best 
and in quantity of yield it ranks high, under favorable conditions. If the 
whole group was to be removed, honey production as a commercial propo- 
sition would decline to a very large degree. 

Clover seems to yield most heavily in the northern part of its range 
and gradually declines southward. White clover is the most important 
of the group. Alsike is quite as valuable where equally abundant. The 
corolla tubes of red clover are usually too deep for the honeybee to reach 
the nectar, but occasionally some honey is secured from this source. (See 
Red Clover). Each of the clovers is considered separately. (See White 
Clover, Alsike, etc.) 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



73 



COCKLEBUR (Xanthium canadense). 

The cocklebur is a coarse weed, common in fields and waste places 
from Louisiana. In Texas, Scholl lists the plant as a source of pollen in 
clinging to clothing and to the hairs of horses and cattle. 

There is an occasional report of honey from this source, especially 
from Louisiana. In Texas, Scholl lists the plant as a source of pollen in 
late fall. 




Fig. J.:. White clematis mi a roadside fence. 
COFFEE BERRY, see Buckthorn. 

COLIMA (Xanthoxylum pterota). 

Colima is a species of prickly ash common to the valley of the lower 
Rio Grande River. It is a small shrub with zigzag branches, armed with 
short curved thorns. The flowers are in axillary clusters. 

Colima is reported as yielding but a light flow, of principal value for 
stimulative purposes. At AI at his. Texas. \Ym. Atchley reports that he had 
a good surplus flow from colima in 1900. The honey was golden and very 
thick, weighing I2j4 pounds to the gallon. The flavor was good. Although 
he kept bees in that vicinity for a number of years he secured surplus 
from Colima but the one time. (See also Prickly Ash). 



COLORADO— Honey Plants of. 

Practically all surplus is secured from alfalfa and sweet clover, with 
an occasional crop from cleome. The rosin weed (Grindelia squarrosa) 
yields considerable honey of low grade which often spoils the grade of 



74 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



the white honey by being mixed in the supers. Narcissus, parsley and 
prairie clover are prairie plants which attract the bees freely. Wild onion 
yields some honey. Dandelion and fruit bloom are important for spring 
brood rearing and canteloupes yield some surplus in the Rock Ford region. 




Fig. 44. A white clover field in Iowa. 

Sunflowers, mentzelia, lupines and loco weeds add something to the sum 
total brought to the hives. The white clematis is very common along the 
streams, as are willows. Wild currant is common in the mountain can- 
yons. Gaura coccinea, the red gaura or ragged lady, is much sought by 
the bees for both honey and pollen. Oreocarya is a desert plant which 
yields surplus, but which is rapidly disappearing through cultivation of 
the land on which it grows. 

COLUMBO. see Monument Plant. 



COMA (Bumelia lycioides). 

Coma is the Mexican name for southern buckthorn (Bumelia lycio- 
ides), which is found from Florida north to Virginia and west to Texas. 
It is also known as ironwood. It is a spiny shrub with flowers in dense 
clusters. In South Texas it is also known as coma and is frequently re- 
ported as an important source of honey. It blooms there from October 
to February and produces nectar freely. At Rio Hondo, in the lower Rio 
Grande Valley, beekeepers reported to the author that a flowof six weeks 
from coma, from September to November, was common, and that swarms 
issuing as late as December had gathered sufficient honey from this source 
to carry them through. The honey is said to be light amber in color and 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



75 



of good quality. The flow varies greatly, depending upon the rains. (See 
also Gum-elastic.) 

CONE FLOWER (Rudbeckia). 

The cone flowers, also called golden glow, are not often mentioned as 
honey plants, yet the bees visit them freely and apparently they are the 
source of some nectar. The plants are widely distributed east of the 
Missouri River and are probably of limited local importance. 




Coma in bloom. This species (Bumclia angustifolia) is abundant from Pearsall, Texas, to the 
Rio Grande River, blooming from October to February, and is the best of the group. 



CONNECTICUT— Honey Sources of. 

The clovers, alsike and white clover, occur all over Connecticut and yield 
nectar freely. Goldenrod and asters are also important. Buckwheat, wild 



76 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

raspberry and milkweeds all yield surplus under favorable conditions. 
Basswood, locust maple and clethra are among the valuable trees and 
shrubs. Fruit bloom, willow, etc., are important in early spring. Some 
honey from tobacco is reported in Connecticut. 




f the cotton plant. (U. S. Department of Agriculture.) 



CORAL BEAN or FRIJOLILLO (Sophora secundiflora). 

The coral bean is a small tree common along the streams of Texas 
and Xew Mexico, and southward to the interior of Mexico. The Mexicans 
call it frijolillo. The beans are said by Coulter to be used by the Indians 
as an intoxicant. The beans are round and red and as large as small mar- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



77 



bles. They contain a powerful poisonous alkaloid. Some beekeepers have 
expressed a fear that the honey might be poisonous to the bees, though 
apparently there is little grounds for such fear. The tree is abundant 
aiong the Nueces River in the shade of larger timber and was yielding 
nectar very freely at the time of the author's visit to that section on 
March 10, 1918. There had been a long dearth of nectar and the bees were 
extremely short of both honey and pollen. The new nectar was coming in 
in considerable quantity and the honey stored had a peculiar flavor. The 
tree is particularly abundant in the vicinity of Matagorda Bay. 







rrr 


ry /-- 


z 


-y 




^ 


>? 


7 X 


l^^r^ 


i 


"^S~ ^^T^S /U ^, JV. rt 


\ 


T ' N 


- 7 


J -r - ~zfx¥Ij 


~ij 


,»- 1 i — J i - ■ ' 


-y ,-- 


I^i^fe/C^k^ 


\\ 


\ i t^tl rS^ 


ysy Jy^x^C 




/^\Y ^~\ \~ t 


iZH^l Fl K\jfc 



Fig. 46. Honey plant regions of Texas. 
CORAL BERRY, see Indian Currant. 
CORAL SUMAC, see Poisonwood. 
CORN, see Indian Corn. 
CORNEL, see Dogwood. 
CORN-ITCH, see Cow-itch. 

COTTON (Gossypium herbaceum). 

Although the cotton plant is found growing wild in many warm coun- 
tries, in the United States it is known only as a staple field crop. It was 



78 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

brought to this country as earl}- as 1621, and has been the most important 
plant grown on southern plantations since the early development of the 
country. 

The plant thrives in a warm and humid climate, and needs five to six 
months of warm weather. However, it is grown successfully under semi- 
arid conditions in parts of Texas and other Southern States. The so-called 
cotton belt extends from the nortwhest corner of Texas south to the Rio 
Grande, and east to the Atlantic seaboard. A limited acreage is grown in 
California, but, excepting very restricted areas, it is not important outside 
the territory mentioned. Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia are 
perhaps the most important of the cotton-growing States. The Carolinas, 
Louisiana and Oklahoma also grow it in large areas. 

Honey production reaches its highest development in localities where 
good nectar-bearing plants are grown in large acreage. Hence we find 
beekeeping thriving in dairy communities, where alsike and white clover 
are grown abundantly. We also find the beekeepers prosperous where 
alfalfa is an important crop. In the Southern States, cotton is the one 
field crop grown on a sufficient scale to offer ideal conditions for the bee- 
keeper. However, cotton is fickle in its behavior, and cannot always be 
depended upon to produce nectar, no matter how abundant the crop. In 
some cotton-growing districts the beekeepers swear by cotton, while in 
other localities they declare that it is of little value. The character of the 
soil seems to be a very important factor in the secretion of nectar by this 
plant. The vigor of the growth and the amount of available plant food 
in the soil are also important. Reports from different sections indicate 
that the quality of the honey varies in different sections. 

W. D. Null, of Demopolis, Ala, wrote to the author as follows : 

"This, you know, was for sixty years the heaviest cotton-growing 
section in the nation. Bees will not work cotton if they can work 
anything else, even bitterweed. It yields honey of very poor quality, 
and never very much, some years none at all. Weather conditions 
must be just right, and that don't come often. The honey is the same 
grade as the most honeydews." 

In contrast, we find the following report of good honey and abundant 
yield in American Bee Journal for 1907, page 267: 

"Cotton blossoms furnish a great deal of excellent honey, and the 
theory that it explodes or ferments is all bosh. It makes an excellent 
rich honey, oily, and it is not liked so well by some until they get used 
to it." — Jules Belknap, M. D., Sulphur Springs, Ark. 

When the writer made his first trip through Georgia he was much puz- 
zled by the different reports of apparently good observers in different 
parts of the State. The matter was finally explained by a beekeeper who 
had lived in different localities, by the variation in behavior of the plant 
under different conditions. There is perhaps no important honey plant 
which varies so much, in the quality of its nectar, as does cotton. The 
poor quality in some places can doubtless be explained by the fact that 
the flow is not abundant, and is mixed with other low-grade stores. How- 
ever, honeydew is also sometimes reported from the plant itself. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 79 

"Sometimes, during a damp spell, the cotton gets covered with vast 
numbers of aphis, and the upper side of the leaves will first get gummy 
and then will even drip a kind of dirty-looking sweet fluid. If there is 
anything else on hand the bees will not touch it." — W. H. Alder, Calla- 
han County, Texas, page 334, American Bee Journal, 1899. 

It is needless to say that this would make a poor product, and it is 
not improbable that honeydew is sometimes secured from cotton in lo- 
calities where it seldom yields nectar. The secretion is apparently depend- 
ent far more upon soil than upon any other condition. Upon the black, 
wavy lands of Texas and upon other soils, it reaches its highest develop- 
ment. The boundary of the belt, where cotton yields freely and where it 
does not, is very marked in Texas. North of the escarpment which runs 
across Bexar County, Texas, near San Antonio, it is an important source. 
South of that line few beekeepers report it as dependable. North of this 
line the soil is black and heavy; south it is sandy. Wherever the writer 
has found beekeepers on sandy soil, they have reported the yield from 
cotton as uncertain; while on the heavy soils they report it as fairly con- 
stant, with suitable weather conditions. The map shown herewith, Fig 46, 
roughly outlines the heavy section where honey from cotton is important 
in Texas. Cotton is grown east, south and, to some extent, west of that 
line. In east Texas cotton is reported as yielding well on river bottom 
lands and but little on the hills. In the southern sections, and also in other 
States, an occasional crop is reported where it does not yield regularly: 

"We had a very dry, sultry spell here the latter part of last Au- 
gust, and up to that time the bees were living from hand to mouth. 
All at once they began storing from the cotton bloom, though it looked 
as though cotton was going to die in the fields from drought and heat, 
yet it yielded until the bees had stored from 30 to 60 pounds per col- 
only." — J. J. Wilder, Cordele, Ga., American Bee Journal, page 141, 1906. 
On suitable soils it is one of the most dependable sources of nectar: 

"The apiarist who has his bees located within range of extensive 
cotton areas can count on at least an average crop year after year, 
with more certainty than many of the other numerous honey yielders 
which we have." — Louis Scholl, page 652, Gleanings, 1912. 

"My main sources for surplus are mesquite trees, the cotton 
fields being the second of importance in the central and northern parts 
of the State, or throughout the black land region. On sandy or light 
soil cotton yields very little honey. * * * 

"The yield is good, averaging about 73 pounds of bulk comb honey 
per year. One year it was over 100 pounds. Honey from cotton is very 
light in color, the comb very white, and of excellent flavor when well 
ripened. As soon as cool weather sets in this honey fairly draws out 
in long strings, when handled with a spoon." — Gleanings, page 1313, 
1907. 

From the above it will be seen that cotton honey is of good quality, at 
least in some localities Samples said to be from cotton from Georgia, 
are strong and of rather poor quality, while cotton honey received from 
Texas is light in color, of mild and rather pleasing flavor. The honey 
from Cotton granulates very quickly. That produced in the Southeastern 
States also has the effect of bursting the containers, possibly from the 
effects of fermentation. The humidity of the atmosphere evidently has a 



80 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

marked effect on the quality of the honey from this plant. The following 
reports indicate the quality : 

'As to the quality of cotton honey, I can say from my own experi- 
ence, that it varies in color from light amber to almost water white. 
While I do not consider it equal to white clover in flavor, it is superior 
to basswood. * * * The flow increases toward the last of the sea- 
son, and if we can get two weeks of nice weather after frost it 
amounts to a considerable increase in the crop." — J. D. Yancey, Hunt 
County, Texas. Gleanings, page 162, 1910. 

"It did well on our rich bottom land and yielded a fair crop of the 
finest honey it was ever my pleasure to see. It was so thick that it 
was almost impossible to extract it, and entirely out of the question to 
strain it through a single thickness of cheese-cloth. It was light in 
codor, mild in flavor, and very heavy, and in my opinion superior to 
any honey ever shipped to this locality, not excepting huijilla. The 
long drought and consequent absence of all other bloom, enabled us 
to get a purer cotton honey than we had ever been able to get before. 
Again, in the late fall, when the weather began to get cool, our cotton 
took a second growth, soon blooming profusely, and by accident we 
got also a fair fall crop." — O. Saunders, Trenton, Texas. Page 734, 
Gleanings, 1910. 

One great advantage of the cotton flow is its long continuation. In 
Texas it begins to bloom in May or June, and the bees work it steadily 
until late fall, often November. Extra cultivation or fertilization of the 
soil increases the vigor of the plant and the nectar flow is increased ac- 
cordingly : 

"I can remember when the bees gathered only enough nectar from 
it to stimulate brood rearing, and now we get from one to three supers 
of surplus from this source alone. * * * On land where we used 
to make a bale of cotton to 4 or 5 acres, now we make 1 to 2 bales per 
acre, using high grades of commercial fertilizer and more prolific 
varieties of the plant. It yields more where it grows best, and of a 
much longer duration."— J. J. Wilder, Cordele, Ga. Page 237, American 
Bee Journal, 1911. 

Bees get nectar not only from the cotton blossoms, but from extra 
floral nectaries as well. At times almost entirely, and to gather freely 
they seem to neglect the blossoms for the extra-floral nectaries. Some 
of these are located under the flower and begin to secrete nectar before 
the blossoms open. Others are located on the under sides of the leaves, 
and vary from one to three on each leaf. When atmospheric conditions 
are favorable, these glands secrete abundantly and the nectar gathers in 
drops. At times it is so abundant that the men cultivating get their 
clothes saturated with the nectar, from the brushing of the leaves against 
them. Later in the day the heat of the sun evaporates most of the moist- 
ure, leaving the clothing sticky. In hot and dry weather the flow is on in 
the morning and again in the evening, while in cloudy or damp weather 
it lasts all day. 

When first gathered, the honey is said to be very thin and clear, with 
a strong and nauseating taste, resembling the taste of the plant itself. 
As the moisture is evaporated and the nectar ripens in the hive this dis- 
agreeable taste is lost to a large extent. During a heavy flow a strong 
odor is frequently present in the apiary, which can be noticed at some dis- 
tance from the hives. Scholl compares this odor to that of crushed cot- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 81 

ton leaves. He reports that at times it becomes so strong as to have a 
sickening effect on the apiarist, even interfering with his work, on 
calm days. 

The heaviest flows come from rank-growing plants on rich soils, 
during warm and wet weather. At such times the honey is lighter in color 
and superior in quality, while the honey stored from plants growing on 
light' soils during dry weather is darker and strong in taste. 

Pollen from the cotton plant is white in color, and is produced in 
abundance from the large bell-shaped flowers. When the bloom first 
opens it is white, later turning pink. 

COTTON -GUM, see Tupelo. 
COTTONWOOD, see Aspen. 

COW-ITCH (Cissus incisa). 

The cow-itch is a climbing vine found from the coast of Florida to 
western Texas and north to southern Arkansas. In south Texas it is 
called "yerba del buey," according to Coulter. 

Scholl states that it "yields sufficiently to keep the bees out of mis- 
chief during a dearth, and giving surplus when abundant." At Buffalo 
and Palestine, Texas, the author found reports to the effect that cow- 
itch was a heavy yielder of nectar, bees beginning on it as soon as the 
basswood bloom closed. It blooms from June till October, with fruit in 
all stages. The honey was reported to be light amber in color and of 
good flavor. R. A. Nestor reported that he had secured as high as 35 to 
40 pounds of surplus per colony from this source mixed with partridge 
pea. It is also called corn-itch. 



COWPEA (Vigna sinensis). 

The cowpea is widely cultivated in the warmer regions of the old 
world and in our own Southern States. It is grown for forage and for 
green manure. The plant is more closely related to the beans than to the 
peas. 

R. A. Nestor reports that it yields freely in east Texas, and where 
planted in sufficient acreage yields surplus. The honey is very dark in 
color, but of mild flavor, according to his report. 

The nectar from cowpeas is secreted by extra floral nectaries and 
beekeepers are often mystified because the bees are working at the 
"joints" instead of on the flowers. Some report that bees gather nectar 
from the flowers, also. 

The following reports indicate the value in different localities: 

"There is no finer honey plant than the cowpea, while it lasts, but 

it blooms only about a week. During this time, if the weather is fair, 

the bees swarm over the fields from early morn till dewey eve." — J. 

D. Rowan, Tupelo, Miss. Gleanings, Sept. 15, 1909. 

"The cowpea is one of our most abundant sources of honey for 

late summer. The crop is planted here from May 1 to August 1, and 

furnishes nectar through a considerable period of otherwise scarcity. 



S2 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Unlike other plants, the stems, and not the blossoms, secrete the 
nectar as the young pods are forming. These the bees work upon 
excessively. The honey is of good body, thick, deep, approaching 
dark yellow in color, and of strong taste like that of tulip-poplar, only 
stronger, with a somewhat slight, wild-green-bean-like flavor." — C. C. 
Gettys, Hollis, N. C. Gleanings, Sept. 14, 1909. 

"A small patch of peas was covered with bees from morning till 
night. Nearly all of them were working on the stalks, as usual; but 
here and there I saw a few Italians pushing their tongues down into 
the blossoms. I have never noticed any pollen from the field peas." — 
Mrs. Ameda Ellis, Fremont, Mo. Gleanings, June 1, 1910. 

"The peas bloom when there is a honey dearth and the bees gather 
honey from them. However, I notice they do not work on them much 
if there is a better honey plant blooming at the same time. My bees 
get a good deal of nice honey from them." — G H. Latham, Jr., Rapidan, 
Va. Gleanings, May 15, 1910. 




Fig. 47. Crocus blossoms are among the first to furnish pollen in spring. 



COYOTE WEED, see Turkey Mullein. 



CRAB APPLE (Malus). 

There are several species of wild crab apples native to America. The 
fruit is small and sour and of little value. The blossoms are rose colored 
and very fragrant, making the tree worthy of cultivation as an ornamen- 
tal. As a source of honey the wild crab apple ranks with the cultivated 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 83 

apple and other fruit trees. The blossoms appear from March to May and 
serve to stimulate spring brood rearing, though where abundant, strong 
colonies may gather some surplus. 

The southern crab apple (Malus angustifolia) occurs in open woods 
from southern Pennsylvania south to Florida and west to Louisiana and 
Missouri. 

The American crab apple (Malus coronaria) is common from eastern 
Canada to Michigan and south to Alabama and South Carolina. It is a 
small tree and often grows in dense thickets, where it furnishes ideal bee 
pasturage. 

The Soulard crab apple (Malus soulardi) is much like the American 
crab apple in tree and Mower, but has a larger fruit, which leads some 
authors to regard it as a hybrid between the cultivated apple and a na- 
tive species. It is sometimes cultivated for its fruit, which is used as a 
substitute for quince. It occurs in the wild state from Minnesota to Texas, 
but not very common. 

The Oregon crab apple (Malus diversifolia, is a native of the Pacific 
Coast from Alaska through Western Canada south to California. The 
fruit was formerly dried by the Indians for winter use. 

All the wild crab apples are valuable sources of nectar, though the 
principal value is to stimulate early brood rearing. 

CRIMSON CLOVER (Trifolium incarnatum). 

Crimson clover is grown in the Southern States, but is not hardy in 
the North. It is an earlier bloomer than the other clovers. The blossoms 
are more showy than either alsike or red clover. The plant is an annual, 
and must be resown to perpetuate a field. 

The honey yield is reported to be good and the quality similar to that 
of the other clovers. It is nowhere grown on the scale of the others, so 
is not so well known as a source of honey. 

Bonnier gives it third rank as a honey yielder, while the British Bee 
Journal states that it is about on a par with buckwheat, and that neither 
is satisfactory when honey of later yield is worked for. 

Niswonger lists it as a very important plant in Kentucky, and states 
that the honey is of a very light yellow color of good quality. 

CROCUS. 

A group of early spring flowers native to the Mediterranean region 
of Europe, widely cultivated in gardens. Among the first flowers to bloom, 
they are very attractive to the bees, as shown in Fig. 47. 

CROTON (Croton). 

Scholl lists four species of croton as yielding pollen and nectar in 
Texas, though none of them are of much importance. Richter states that 
the bees visit the small blossoms of Croton californicus in large numbers. 
The author can find no records which indicate that the plants are of spe- 
cial value anywhere. 



84 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



CROWNBEARD (Verbesina). 

There are several species of 
this plant, some of which are very 
attractive to the bees. They may 
be found in the borders of open 
woodlands and partially shaded 
situations of the region east of 
the Missouri River. Where suffi- 
ciently abundant the crownbeard 
is the source of a considerable 
quantity of nectar. A coarse 
weed, growing four to eight feet 
tall, with winged stems and yel- 
low, or sometimes white, blos- 
soms. 

CUCUMBER (Cucumis sativus). 

The cucumber is dependent 
upon bees for pollination of the 
blossoms. The flowers are imper- 
fect, the male organs being con- 
tained in one flower while the fe- 
male organs are in another. For 
this reason it is necessary that 
insects carry the pollen fron the 
staminate blossoms to the pistillate ones. Where pickles have been 
grown under glass, they have proved unfruitful until bees are given access 
to the bloom. Formerly the pickle growers fertilized the blossoms by 
hand to some extent. This was very laborious. According to B. N. Gates 
(In 3rd Report Iowa Bee Inspector), one grower has forty acres under 
glass in Massachusetts and the industry requires about three thousand 
colonies of bees annually to serve in the cucumber greenhouses. 

In some sections, cucumbers are grown extensively for pickles. At 
Marengo, 111., Doctor Miller reports that about 600 acres are planted to 
pickles. He reports that, whereas he formerly had no fall flow, his bees 
now gather some fall crop, part of it evidently from cucumbers. There 
are numerous localities where cucumbers are of some importance to the 
beekeeper. Lovell states that the honey is pale yellow or amber and has 
at first a rather strong flavor, which largely disappears in time. 




Fig. 



48. The crownbeard is a favorite of 
the bees. 



CUP PLANT (Silphium perfoliatum). 

Cup plant, also called rosin weed, is a common square-stemmed plant 
with leaves grown together at the base forming a cup. It grows from 
four to eight feet high and is abundant on rich lands, along streams and 
in woodside borders, in the Mississippi Valley. It produces numerous large 
yellow flowers and, where plentiful, furnishes considerable forage for the 
bees. It is probably seldom important as a source of surplus. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



85 



CULVER'S ROOT (Veronica virginica). 

The Culver's root is found from New England and Ontario to Mani- 
toba and southward to Arkansas and Georgia. There are reports to the 
effect that the bees fairly swarm on this plant, but apparently it is not of 
much importnce to the beekeeper. 




Fig. 49. The cup plant. 
CURRANT (Ribes). 

There are several varieties of the cultivated garden currant and many 
species of the wild currants which are valuable sources of nectar. There 
are at least seven species of wild currant native to New Mexico. It is 
probable that some species of wild currants are to be found in every State 
where bees are kept. In the vicinity of large plantings of cultivated cur- 
rants they are an important source of nectar, but generally speaking, they 
are a minor source and of chief value for pollen and for stimulating early 
brood rearing along with most other fruits. 
CYNOGLOSSUM, see Hound's Tongue. 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



D 



DAHOON, 



Holly. 



DANDELION (Taraxacum officinale). 

The dandelion is one of the most widely distributed plants in America. 
Originally introduced from Europe, it has been naturalized over practi- 
cally the entire continent. As each plant will produce hundreds of seeds, 
which are borne for long distances on the wind, its wide distribution is 
not surprising. The plant is sometimes used for medicinal purposes, serv- 
ing as a mild laxative and tonic. The tender shoots are very popular as 




Fig. 50. The much despised dandelion is a valuable source of nectar. 



a table delicacy in early spring, with those who are fond of greens. The 
bright yellow flowers are very showy, and if the plant was not so abund- 
ant, would be considered attractive. The warfare against the dandelion is 
as relentless and as continuous as the campaign against the house fly. 
Little is to be accomplished by digging the plants from one's own lawn, 
when a whole pastureful are going to seed a mile or two away. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 87 

The beekeeper has little to complain of from these weeds, as there 
is nothing of greater value during the short period of bloom. While the 
honey gathered from dandelions is dark and strong, most of it will be 
consumed for brood rearing. Occasionally a small surplus will be se- 
cured from this source, but it blooms so early that surplus is unusual. 
Large quantities of pollen as well as nectar are produced, so that a large 
acreage of dandelions within reach of the apiary is much to be desired. 
Fig. 50 shows the plant as it appears during the period of bloom, with 
blossoms and unopened buds. 

Hon. Eugene Secor, the beekeeper's poet, has written a number of 
things regarding the intimate relation existing between bees and flowers, 
and for one of these, the dandelion furnished the inspiration: 

"Here's a bee, my children see! 
Gathering sweets for you and me, 
On Sir Dandy Lion's crown; 
She is yellow that was brown, 
Yellow with the golden dust 
Lent to her in solemn trust; 
Blossoms bart'ring gold for gold. 
Through this dusty trader bold, 
Dandy Lion seeks a bride, 
Sends his offerings far and wide 
With his trusty friend, the bee, 
And with Honey pays the fee." 

DATE-PLUM, see Persimmon. 
DEER CLOVER, see Wild Alfalfa. 
DEER'S EARS, see Monument Plant. 

DELAWARE— Honey Sources of. 

Clover, tulip-tree, willows, maples, fruit bloom, dandelion, heartsease, 
buckwheat, blueberry, huckleberry, boneset and asters are among the well- 
known sources of honey in Delaware. Beekeeping is not highly developed 
in this State and few pay serious attention to honey production. 

DEVIL'S CLAW, see Acacia. 
DEVIL'S SHOESTRING, see Bluevine. 
DEWBERRY, see Blackberry. 
DIERVILLA, see Bush Honeysuckle. 
DOCTOR-GUM, see Poisonwood. 

DOGBANE (Apocynum). 

When not in bloom the dogbane resembles the milkweed. There are 
several species found in Europe, temperate Asia and North America. In 
the United States there are two common species, Apocynum cannabinum, 
known as Indian hemp, Canadian hemp or Choctaw root, and Apocynum 
androsaemifolium, the spreading dogbane. 

Dogbane can be distinguished from milkweed by the finer stem and 
smaller leaves. The stems are unusually reddish in color. By Fig. 51 it 



88 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

will be seen that the flowers are very different. At times the bees work 
on this plant very freely. It is especially abundant in some localities 
along the Missouri River in Kansas and Missouri. 

DOGWOOD (Cornus). 

The dogwoods or flowering cornels are a large group of shrubs with 
showy flowers. Some species are common over all of Eastern America, 
from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick south and west to Texas. The 
group is not important to the beekeeper, although occasionally some 
honey is reported from them. W. C. Brass reports that in central Arkan- 
sas smooth dogwood (Cornus femine), locally called spicewood or buck- 
brush, is very abundant, and the bees work upon it industriously during 
May. He reports, however, that it is uncertain in its value, the bees not 




Fig. 51. Dogbane. 

working upon it every year. H. B. Parks reports that the bees work upon 
the red dogwood (Cornus paniculata) in Missouri, but the author never 
knew them to work on this species in Iowa. 

Scholl lists Cornus asperifolia as yielding nectar freely in Texas, 
though the species is not plentiful. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



89 



DOORWEED, see Heartsease. 
DROUTH-WEED, see Turkey Mullein. 



EBONY, see Texan Ebony. 

ECHINOPS SPHOEROCEPHALUS, see Chapman Honey Plant. 

ECHIUM, see Blueweed. 

ELDERBERRY (Sambucus canadensis). 

The American elder or elderberry is a common shrub from New Brims- 
wick west to Saskatchewan and south to Arizona and Texas. Fig. 52 shows 
the flower clusters of the common elder (Sambucus canadensis). Since 




The elderber 



the plant blooms late in May and June, there is usually an abundance of 
pollen in most localities. The bees, however, gather the pollen freely at 
times, and it is of value where pollen is not plentiful at this season. 

The berries are used for pies and wine. The flowers and bark are used 
to some extent for medicinal purposes. 



90 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Richter lists the blue elderberry (Sambucus glauca) as important for 
pollen in California, but as yielding no nectar. 

ELM (Ulmus). 

The elms are verjr attractive to the bees for pollen. The American 




5Soms of the blue gum of California {Eucalyptus gh 



or white elm is more especially valuable, and a large tree will attract 
so many bees that the humming sounds like a swarm. 

There are numerous reports of nectar from elm in Texas. Scholl lists 
the winged elm (Ulmus alata) as giving a good yield of honey, surplus 
sometimes being secured from it. He described the honey as amber in 
color, with strong and characteristic aroma. He also lists the American 
elm as a source of nectar. 



EPILOBIUM, see Fireweed. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 91 

ERIOGONUM, Wild Buckwheat or Flat Top. 

A group of low annual or perennial plants common to the Rocky 
Mountain and plains States. It is a large group and numerous species are 
to be found from Nebraska to California. In New Mexico the Eriogonum 
are among the commonest plants, there being something like forty species 
recorded from that State. The best known is the wild buckwheat of 
southern California (Eriogonum fasciculatum). This is an important 
source of nectar in that region. The honey is said to be light amber and 
of good flavor. It granulates readily. 

Richter lists it as the most important honey plant in many southern 
California localities. 

In Colorado Eriogonum effusum is sometimes known as "heather." Ac- 
cording to Herman Rauchfuss it yields nectar nearly every year when 
there are late rains. It blooms in August and September and is usually in 
bloom for some time before the bees are attracted to it. He sometimes 
gets a super of comb honey per colony from this source. The honey he 
reports to be amber, of fine quality, and strong aroma, of which one does 
not easily tire. 

It grows abundantly on the prairies about Denver. The plant is small 
and inconspicuous, with minute flowers, and is not generally recognized 
as a honey plant among beekeepers of Colorado. 

"Wild buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) is one of the principal 
honey plants of southern California. In the Acton, Antelope Valley 
and Elsinore districts it is the main reliance. Although quite abund- 
ant at lower levels, it does not yield much nectar below 1,500 feet nor 
above 5,000 feet. The honey is a deep light amber, but of fine flavor, 
and the comb is very white. The honey has such a heavy body that 
it is seldom extracted."— J. D. Bixby, Western Honeybee, May, 1917, 
page 116. 

ERODIUM, see Pin Clover. 

EUCALYPTUS. 

There are about one hundred and fifty different species of eucalyp- 
tus trees, most of which are native to Australia and Tasmania, where 
they are the most characteristic and important timber trees. Many of 
them secrete resinous gums, hence are called "gum trees." A number of 
commercial products are derived from them. They have been widely in- 
troduced into California, and, to some extent, also into Florida, Texas 
and other Southern States. The various species are known as sugar gum, 
blue gum, mahogany gum ,red gum, stringy bark, white iron bark, red 
box tree and various similar names. Richter lists 21 species as yielding 
honey in California. According to this author there is a great variation 
in the quality of honey from the different species. While some species 
seem to yield water-white honey of good quality, others produce an amber 
product of low value. The blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) is said to pro- 
duce "honey, amber, of acid flavor, heavy body and granulating within 
a few months. The blue gum is very constant in nectar secretion, even 
in spite of unfavorable weather, and since it is of wide distribution, con- 
siderable quantities of honey come from this source. On account of the 



92 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



pronounced flavor of eucalyptus honey there is little or no demand for 
if in the retail trade." 

On the other hand, he describes white ironbark (Eucalyptus leucoxy- 
lon) "a great honey producer, with a beautiful flavor much like vanilla 
extract." 

Almost all of the honey seems t^ be gathered from the sources which 
produce the poorer grade, so that tne eucalyptus honey is not favorably 
known in the markets. 

The blooming period of the different species varies so that there are 
some in bloom at all times during the year. The blue gum, already men- 
tioned, blooms from December until June, while the sugar gum blooms 
from August to November. Several species bloom during the winter 
months, when they are especially valuable in sustaining the bees until 
the time of the main honeyflows. Fig. 53 shows the eucalyptus blossoms. 

At the California short course, at Davis, in 1918, M. H. Mendleson, of 
Ventura, spoke as follows concerning this source: 




Fig. 54. 



of eucalyptus trees in California. 



"Every winter the gum, or eucalyptus, comes into bloom. Last 
winter they filled two or three stories high on eucalyptus. I got 1714 
cents per pound for it; previously I never could get more than 4 cents, 
but it was seldom that I got a surplus from this source. The most 
eucalyptus honey I have ever known was gathered last spring. 

"The scarlet bloom (Eucalyptus ficifolia) is one of the greatest 
honey producers I have ever known, It grows from 10 to 25 feet and 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



93 



has a brilliant bloom, in clusters, a beautiful sight. * * * The honey 
is of fine flavor, water white. You can see the nectar wave in the 
flower cup when you shake it. The flow sometimes lasts a month. It 
will stand a light frost, but not a heavy one. Our hot east winds are 
very hard on it, as they scorch the trees." 

EUPATORIUM, see Boneset. 

EUPHORBIA, see Snow-On-the-Mountain, also Poinsettia. 



FALSE INDIGO (Amorpha fruticosa). 

False indigo is a tall shrub common to low lands along streams from 




Fig. 55. Figvvort, or Simpson honey plant. 

Pennsplvania west to the plains. It grows in thickets and is very attrac- 
tive to the bees. It is of special importance in Nebraska and Kansas. In 
the Arkansas Valley beekeepers report that bees get both nectar and pol- 
len in considerable quantity, though it is seldom mentioned as a source of 



94 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



surplus. Nebraska beekeepers value it because it fills in the period be- 
tween fruit bloom and white clover. 
FARKLE-BERRY or SPARKLE-BERRY (Vaccinum arboreum). 

The farkle-berry or sparkle-berry is also known as winter huckleberry 
and tree huckleberry. It is a tall shrub 6 to 25 feet in height and common 
from southern Illinois and Missouri east to North Carolina and south to 
Texas and Florida. In parts of Arkansas it is one of the main sources of 
honey. W. C. Brass writes that in Lonoke County, near the center of 




Fig. 



Blossoms of fireweed. 



the State, it is very abundant and takes the place of clover further north. 
It blooms in May and the bees roar on the sparkle-berry bushes like 
swarming time. It belongs to the group of plants to which the blueberries 
belong and most of these are good honey plants. 
FIDDLE NECK, see Phacelia. 
FIGWORT (Scrophularia marilandica). 

Simpson honey plant, or figwort, is another widely distributed plant. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 95 

It is common in the woods from Maine to the Rocky Mountains and south 
to the Gulf. It is also said to occur on the Pacific Coast. The same, or 
a similar plant occurs in Europe and Asia. 

It is a tall growing plant from 3 to 6 feet high, with numerous small 
branches. The stem is four angled, with rather long-pointed leaves. The 
flowers are very numerous and quite small, as will be seen by the pic- 
ture, Fig. 55. It blooms in the late summer and is freely visited by the 
bees. 

FILLAREE, see Pin Clover. 

FIREWEED or WILLOW HERB (Epilobium anguslifolium). 

Fireweed is a common plant in the woodlands of the Northern States 
and of Canada. It is a tall herb with attractive pink blossoms on a long 
terminal spike, as shown in Fig. 56. It springs up following forest fires 
and covers the burned district with a dense growth. The blooming period 
is long, lasting from July till frost, as new blossoms appear as the older 
ones fade. It is important as a source of honey in much of eastern 
Canada, Minnesota, parts of Michigan, Wisconsin and on the Pacific Coast. 
where it is also valuable in Oregon, Washington and parts of Montana. 
It is gradually crowded out by other growth. A locality may yield great 
crops of fireweed honey for two or three years and then little surplus 
be gathered from it for many years. The author has visited beekeepers in 
Northern Michigan who count on an average of fifty pounds or more per 
colony, with as high as 125 pounds, in locations where fireweed was yield- 
ing. As fireweed disappears in that locality, raspberry and milkweed fol- 
low, and these are also good sources, so that the location does not suffer 
from the change. 

Honey from fireweed is very light in color and of high quality. The 
late W. Z. Hutchinson, who wrote much concerning beekeeping in the 
forest region of northern Michigan, styled it as the whitest and finest- 
flavored honey with which he was acquainted. 

As the timber is removed, settlement gradually clears the land, and the 
wild growth gives place to cultivated fields and pastures. Most of the 
fireweed country is also good clover territory, so that the beekeepers need 
not fear the development of the country. 

FLAT TOP, see Eriogonum. 
FLEA WEED, see Blue Curls. 

FLORIDA— Honey Plants of. 

Wild Pennyroyal in southern half of the State. 

Titi, in pine swamps in northern portion, gives surplus only in west 
Florida. 

Black Tupelo, in same territory as titi, bad weather makes the yield 
'uncertain. 

White tupelo in low swamps over west Florida; main source in 
swamps along the Appalachicola and Chipola rivers in Calhoun County. 



96 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

Orange from the north central portion to the southern end of the 
peninsula. 

Andromeda, central and northwestern part of the State, not important. 

Gallberry or holly grows in almost all parts of Florida, but does best 
in north part of the State. 

Saw or scrub palmetto thrives on sandy soils, doing best on moist 
hummocks. 

Black mangrove grows on lands overflowed daily by salt water along 
the east coast, but yields best on east side. 

Partridge pea grows in great abundance in the high pine lands of the 
northern half of the State. 

Cabbage palmetto reaches its greatest height on the coasts and keys 
of the southern section. Yields heavily when it does yield. 

Manchineel, on southern coast and keys as far north as Palm Beach. 

Dogwood, along the keys and southern coast. 

Pigeon cherry, same range as the two preceding. 

In addition there are a number of such fall flowers as wild sun- 
flowers, asters, goldenrods and thoroughwort. 

Four-fifths of all the surplus honey produced in the State comes from 
the blossoms of nectar-producing trees or shrubs, not flowering plants. — 
E. G. Baldwin in Gleanings in Bee Culture, March and April, 1911. 

FLORIDA MAHOGANY, see Red Bay. 
FLOWERING RASPBERRY, see Salmon Berry. 

FRUIT BLOOM. 

All the orchard fruits are of more or less value to the beekeeper, and 
few differentiate between them when speaking of the sources of early 
nectar. In localities where a great variety of fruit is grown, the blooming 
period is longer than where there are large orchards of one kind. In 
most localities the beekeepers depend upon fruit blossoms for building up 
their colonies in spring, and when the weather is unfavorable at this time, 
feeding is often necessary to carry the bees until the next honeyflow. Ap- 
ples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots and cherries all secrete nectar abund- 
antly and, given strong colonies of bees and favorable weather, large 
quantities of surplus honey should be gathered from these trees. If it 
were possible to bring the bees through the winter as strong as in the fall, 
there is no estimating the amount of honey that would be gathered from 
the early blooming orchard fruits. 

FOG FRUIT, see Carpet grass. 
FRASERA, see Monument Plant. 
FURZE, see Gorse. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 97 



GAILLARDIA, see Marigold. 

GALLBERRY (Ilex glabra). See also Holly. 

The gallberry, in some localities better known as inkberry, is usually 
heard of as a honey plant only in the South. However, it occurs as far 
north as Nova Scotia, on the seashore, and along the coast from Massa- 
chusetts to Virginia and Florida, and west to Louisiana. It is a common 
shrub in the low pine barrens of the Gulf States. It is a small evergreen 
shrub with small, dark leaves. It is an important honey plant in southern 
Georgia, where it is widely distributed over the sandy lands, especially of 
the coastal plains. It is important, also, in the Carolinas. It grows in 
dense thickets and rapidly extends over newly cleared lands. Fig. 57. 

"As a honey plant perhaps it has no equal in the southeast. We 
have never failed to get a surplus from it, even during the most unfa- 
vorable weather conditions. It begins to bloom the first of May and 
continues for 24 to 28 days. During this time bees disregard other 
bloom, working it up to about 8 o'clock for the pollen; then the flow 
comes on for the remainder of the day. * * * It is a great bloomer; 
even the stems are rolls of bloom. * * * We have never taken oft 
a large crop of this honey, as 147 pounds of surplus is the best crop 
we have ever had from one colony. The honey is a light amber color, 
has a heavy body, a very mild taste, and is highly flavored. The de- 
mand for this honey is so great that we cannot furnish our local mar- 
kets, consequently very little is shipped from the southeast to other 
markets. 

"We have raised tons of this honey and have never seen a pound 
of the pure article, well ripened, that granulated. 

"It has been said that it is impossible to overstock a good gall- 
berry location. We do not know that this statement is true, but we 
have never heard of one being overstocked. We have had bees in a 
location where there were 362 colonies, with the same result as with 
100 colonies. Good gallberry locations are nearly numberless and large 
quantities of this fine honey are wasted every year in localities where 
there is not a bee to gather it. The gallberry should be included in 
the list of the best honey plants."— J. J. Wilder, Cordele, Ga. Glean- 
ings, page 1200, September, 1907. 

GAURA. 

There are several species of gaura of wide distribution. Although 
frequently mentioned as honey plants, they are seldom of sufficient abund- 
ance to be important. 

Scholl reports that Gaura filiformis occasionally yields surplus in 
Texas, when conditions are favorable. The red gaura is reported as of 
value in Colorado. (See Red Gaura.) 

GELSEMIUM, see Yellow Jasmine. 



98 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



GEORGIA— Honey flora of. 

The earliest blooming of our spring forage plants is the alder (alnus), 
which commences about the middle of January and lasts,, some seasons, 
till the middle of February. It yields little or no honey, but during its 
time of bloom, its pollen-laden catkins are covered with bees. The amount 
of pollen that this plant affords is immense; and it comes in a time when 
breeding should be most encouraged. 




Fig. 57. Gallberry. 



In some sections of the South, particularly on light, sandy soils, there 
may be found some yellow jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens). As its 
flowers possess very decided toxical properties, it is not a very desirable 
plant to have within range of one's bees. It blooms after the alder While 
our native black bees are very seldom seen working upon it, the Italians, 
in some seasons, will work upon it quite briskly. I am inclined to think, 
from close observation, that it is mostly pollen they gather from it, though 
in some seasons it does yield some honey. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



99 



The wild plum (in some sections known as the hog plum) usually 
commences to bloom the last of February and lasts for two or three weeks. 
This is peculiarly a southern tree, and grows to great perfection nearly 
everywhere. Whole acres are often covered with it, forming a dense 
thicket, thus affording the bees rich pasture. 

In March we have the p'-ach, the apple (which continues into April), 
the mock orange, or evergreen wild cherry (Cerasus carolinaensis), the 
huckleberry, strawberry, and a few other plants of minor consideration. 
Further south they have the titi, the saw palmetto and the orange, all 
good forage plants. 




Fig. ,5S. Germander, or wood sage. 

The willow, wild cherry, hawthorn, blackberries, raspberries, locust, 
holly and tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) bloom in April. The two 
latter are most valuable for honey. The holly blooms for about two weeks 
— the height of its flowering is about the first week in May. The tulip 
tree blooms for three weeks. This is the poplar tree of the south. 

In May we have the black gum (Nyssa multiflora) and the persimmon, 
both excellent for forage. The blooms of these trees are dioecious, that 



100 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

is, the male flower is found on one plant and the female flower on another. 
Bees are very seldom seen working on the female tree, while on the male 
bloom they work in a continuous swarm. 

In May, also blooms the bay (Magnolia glauca). This tree flowers for 
at least one month, and extends into June. It affords some of our best 
and most abundant forage. The Magnolia grandiflora, linden and China 
berry (Melia azedarach) bloom also in May. The magnolia blooms for 
six weeks, the linden from six to ten days, and the China tree for two 
weeks. 

Sourwood, the varnish tree (Sterculia platanifolia), Japan privet (Lu- 
gustrum) and a few other plants of less note embrace the principal forage 
in June. 

I have now enumerated the chief honey-producing plants that go to 
make up our spring honey harvest. Take one season with another, our 
bees commence to lay up surplus about the last of April and continue until 
the first or middle of June. After this date but little honey is gathered 
from the holly, persimmon, black gum, bay and sourwood. Of course, 
some seasons there is considerable honey gathered from other sources. 
The color of the honey is usually a little dark, but of excellent flavor. 

There is comparatively little forage during the summer months of 
July and August. The button bust (Cephalanthus occidentalism, sumach, 
Asclepias tuberosa (known as pleurisy root and butterfly weed), and 
Yucca alnifolia (Spanish bayonet), are the most important. The cotton 
plant, which generally commences to bloom about the first of July, 
yields largely of pollen, but very little honey. Sumach is a rich melliflu- 
ous plant, but the warm, dry atmosphere evaporates the secretion very 
rapidly, so that the bees can only work on it very early in the morning, 
while the dew is on. The Spanish bayonet plant no doubt furnishes some 
nectar. It generally swarms with flies, various sorts of wild bees, and 
now and then a few honeybees will visit it. 

Bees are generally able to gather sufficient stores during July and 
August to keep up brood rearing and the strength of the colony until the 
blooming of the autumn forage. 

The first to bloom of the fall pasturage is the Chrysopsis graminifolia 
of Nuttall, a perennial, composite. This plant is often taken for a species 
of dog fennel, but it is altogether distinct. It is indigenous to the south 
from Florida to North Carolina, which seems to be its northern limit. It 
is a yellow flowering weed that commences to bloom in August and keeps 
on till frost. 

The goldenrod and the asters bloom till killed by frost. I esteem 
both these plants very highly for their honey-producing qualities. In some 
seasons I have hives filled with aster honey alone. — Dr. J. H. P. Brown, 
Augusta, Ga. American Bee Journal, Page 500, 1880. 

GERMANDER or WOOD SAGE (Teucrium canadense). 

The germander, also known as wood sage, is found in open woodlands 
and thickets from Nova Scotia to Nebraska, and south to Florida and 
Texas. It is common in the Central States, and is much sought by the 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



101 



bees. The blooming period is long. In 1915 the bees were working on 
this plant in the writer's garden for nearly two months. Apparently this 
plant does not secrete nectar very freely, yet it is an excellent plant to 
keep the bees at work when they might otherwise be robbing. The writer 
does not recall ever having seen a locality where it was sufficiently abund- 
ant to amount to very much by itself, though it is a valuable addition to 
the other honey-producing flora. Fig. 58 shows the blossoms and leaves, 
which bear some resemblance to catnip. 




GIANT HYSSOP (Agastache nepetoides). 

Giant hyssop is a tall perennial herb with flowers crowded on a ter- 
minal spike, flowering in summer. It is common in woodland borders from 
New England to Minnesota and south to North Carolina and Texas. Lovell 
lists it as blooming about six weeks and much visited by honeybees. 
Probably nowhere important. 



GILIA. 

Jepson lists 18 species of gilia as common to California. The late 
Prof. A. J. Cook, writing of gilia in the American Bee Journal stated that 
all the gilias are good honey plants. He mentioned Gilia capitata as the 
source of quantities of sky-blue pollen. He mentions the fact that several 



102 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

species yield pollen of a blue color. It is probably a source of minor im- 
portance, since it is seldom mentioned except incidentally in the literature. 

GOLDEN GLOW, see Coneflower. 

GOLDEN HONEY PLANT (Actinomeris squarrosa). 

The golden honey plant is common from New York to Michigan and 
Nebraska, and southward to the Gulf States. This plant is closely related 
to the crownbeard and is sometimes classified as a verbesina. It grows 
in rich bottom lands and in the borders of woods and fields, reaching a 
height of 4 to 8 feet. The yellow flowers are very attractive to the bees 
and, where sufficiently common, are a valuable source of nectar. 




Fig. 60. Solidago puberula. 



GOLDENROD (Solidago). 

Of the eighty species of goldenrod all but three or four belong to 
North America. It is one of our most widely distributed native plan'ts. 
Some species seem adapted to nearly every condition from Canada to 
Mexico and from the Atlantic Coast to California. There is a wide differ- 
ence, however, in the value of the different species to the beekeeper, and 
it is no easy task to get reliable information regarding the range of condi- 
tions under which it secretes nectar abundantly, nor is there much re- 
corded information concerning the particular species which are most 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



103 



valuable for this purpose. It is a well-known fact that the secretion of 
nectar with any plant is greatly influenced by soil and climatic conditions. 
Some of our most valuable honey plants have been reported as producing 
no nectar when introduced into Australia. 

It is very probable that when we have studied the matter carefully 
we will find that the same species of goldenrod varies as much in its 
nectar secretion under different conditions as we know to be the case 
with alfalfa. 




Fig. 01. Solidago hisfida. 



Loveil is of the opinion that all species of goldenrods secrete nectar 
in some localities. This is quite probable, although there is very little 
honey from goldenrod in Iowa from any species. Along the upper Missis- 
sippi, in the northeastern counties, a few beekeepers report honey from 
goldenrod. In other sections of Iowa beekeepers report that they have 
never seen a bee on the plant. Dr. L. H. Pammel, botanist at the State 
Experiment Station, reports nine species of goldenrovls common to that 
State. He lists S. serotina, S. canadensis and S. gramLufolia as furnishing 
some honey here. If Loveil is right about all yielding nectar under some 
conditions, then all are of interest to the beekeeper, -tnd it remains a 
question of learning the conditions under which each species develops 
most favorably. If all do not yield nectar, it is important that we learn to 



104 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



distinguish between the species which are valuable honey plants and those 
which are troublesome weeds. 

Richter lists only two species of this plant as important in California. 
The western goldenrod (S. occidentalis), he mentions as common in wet 
places such as marshes and river banks, from August to October, yielding 




Fig. 02. Bushy goldenrod (So/itlayo graminifolia), a fine honey plant in New England. 



an amber honey. S. californica, the common goldenrod of the coast, he 
describes as common on dry plains and hillsides or mountains throughout 
the State, from August to December. He lists it as a fair honey plant. 

Scholl reports goldenrods as common to all parts of Texas, and states 
that the honey yield is good in favorable seasons when it is not too dry. 
He reports a long season, from April to November, but gives no list of 
the species furnishing nectar in that region. 

Sladen reports finding eleven species of goldenrods about Ottawa. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



105 



He finds that individually the canadensis group (Fig. 64) produce com- 
paratively little nectar, but their great abundance makes them important 
collectively. 

Sladen also notes the variation of the plant under different conditions 







M2J& 1 


*l&i 




5r 


HE 

> 


: $ 

7 y 





Fig. 



Tall, hairy goldenrod (Solidago rugosa), one of the best for honey. 



and says that the nature of the land determines the presence and 
abundance of the best species. He reports that in the wet lands of Char- 
lotte County, N. B., especially in the Honeydale district, they, together 
with asters, furnish the principal source of nectar, and that they are valu- 
able generally as a source of surplus in coastal districts of New Bruns- 
wick and Nova Scotia. The same is said of eastern Manitoba. He places 
the yield at from 50 to 80 pounds per colony in localities where the best 



106 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



species of goldenrod and asters abound. The honey is usually of good 
quality, ranging in color in the different districts from white to dark 
amber. That gathered in swampy districts is usually bright golden. Evi- 
dently goldenrod honey is seldom stored separate from aster in localities 
from which these reports are made. 

Mr. Sladen describes three types of locations in which the plants may 
be found in Canada: 




Fig. 64. Common or Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis). 



1. Open swamp or bog, where S. uglinosa and S. rugosa are found. 
The former begins blooming in August, while the latter blooms until mid- 
September, so that there is more than a month of flow from these plants. 
Although the bogs are independent of rain during the honey flow, fine 
weather and moderate warmth are necessary to a crop. 

2. Sandy or gravelly barrens or plains. On the coast, as well as in- 
land, on such lands are found S. puberula (Fig. 60), while inland are to be 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



107 



found in addition, S. squarrosa (Fig. 59) and the less important S. hispida 
(Fig. 61). Good rains in early August, followed by fine and warm weather, 
bring best results. 

3. A restricted area centering in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, 
in which S. Graminifolia is a troublesome weed (Fig 62.) 

He further reports that the roadside goldenrods of old Ontario are not 
heavy producers of honey under ordinary conditions. 




Fig. 



Early goldenrod (Solidago juncca. 



In an article on the Honey Flora of New England, which appeared in 
the April, 1916, American Bee Journal, Lovell states as follows: 

"If I were compelled to stake the existence of bee culture in New 

England on a single genus of plants I should select the goldenrods. 

There are many species, and they all yield nectar and pollen. They 

begin to bloom in midsummer and continue 'to bloom in October. They 

are very common and there are species adapted to the seashore, the 

fields, the rocks and the woods. I have never known the flow of nectar 

to fail, and a great quantity of heavy, yellow honey is stored annually." 

Mr. Lovell has kindly sent me his field notes on these plants. There 

is a large amount of interesting information which space will not permit 

inserting here. The notes include the study of six species, all of which 

produce some nectar in Maine. He describes the tall, hairy goldenrod 

S. rugosa (Fig. 63) as the latest to blossom and the most valuable as a 

honey plant. It is found in damp thickets and on moist land. While in 

bloom the bees work it very diligently and the honey is stored rapidly. 

The apiary is filled with a sour odor, which, in the evening, is noticeable 

at a distance. 



108 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

Goldenrod honey, according to him, is deep golden yellow in color, 
thick and heavy, with a more decided flavor than white clover honey. 
When extracted it granulates in a month or two, but the bees winter on it 
perfectly. 

Next in importance he places the bushy goldenrod (S. graminifolia) 
(Fig. 62). This is common in fields, open woodlands and hedgerows. The 
odor is faint, but the nectar is clearly visible in the flowers. He reports 
as many as six honeybees at work at one time on a single flower cluster. 
It will be noted that this is one of the species which Doctor Pammel men- 
tions as yielding nectar in Iowa. Sladen also cites it as important in 
Canada. 

Graenicher collected 135 different species of insects on this species in 
Wisconsin. 

The cream-colored goldenrod, sometimes called white goldenrod (S. 
bicolor), is of special interest because of the fact that it is the only one 
of the group which is not yellow in color. Although it produces nectar, 
I can find no record which indicates that it is of much importance as a 
honey plant anywhere. Lovell says that it is of little value in Maine. 

The early goldenrod (S. juncea) (Fig. 65), is the first to bloom in 
Maine and is very abundant in old fields. The bees visit it freely, but 
apparently do not get much honey from it. 

Graenicher states that he has collected 182 different species of insects 
on this plant, in Wisconsin, which indicates the presence of considerable 
nectar in that locality. 

General Reports 

In searching through the beekeeping literature for reports on honey 
from goldenrods I seldom find the particular species mentioned.. There 
are numerous reports of honey from goldenrod, but this is as far as the 
report usually goes. 

"Two colonies of bees taken to a sandy plain forty miles north of 
Ottawa, August 25, each gathered, in three weeks, about 40 pounds of 
surplus honey from S. puberula and S. squarrosa. It is estimated that 
at least three-fourths of the honey came from S. puberula, which was 
much more abundant than S. squarrosa. The honey is of a light color 
and the flavor and aroma are pleasant and distinctly suggestive of 
goldenrod." — Sladen, in 36th report, Ontario, B. K. A. 

"You ought to see the bees work on it. They store lots of honey 
from it. Last year I had five or six nuclei which did not have any 
stores at all on the first of September, but when I went to feed them 
for winter I found they had twenty pounds of nice honey gathered 
from goldenrod. They all came through the winter in good condition." 
— Kentucky. Gleanings in Bee Culture. 

"The goldenrod is one of our main sources for a fall flow. The 
bees usually fill one or more supers from it." — Connecticut. Gleanings 
in Bee Culture. 

"My bees have gathered lots of goldenrod honey this fall, and at 
times the odor has been offensive to the neighbors." — Vermont. Glean- 
ings in Bee Culture. 

"Smartweed and goldenrod grow here, but do not furnish any honey. 
Never saw a bee on them,"— Iowa. American Bee Journal, 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 109 

GOOSEBERRY (Grossularia). 

Gooseberries are native American shrubs with stems covered with 
sharp thorns or spines. There are several species widely distributed. 
They are very attractive to the bees and are of some importance, espe- 
cially where grown in large plantings for market. The wild varieties are 
common in open woodlands in nearly every section of the country. 

GOLDEN WATTLE, see Acacia. 
GOPHER WOOD, see Yellow Wood. 

GORSE or FURZE (Ulex europaeus). 

Figure 66 is a spiny evergreen shrub with yellow flowers that is com- 
mon in Europe, where it is said to be used to some extent for fuel and 
fodder. There are few references to it in this country. In California it 
is said to bloom during all seasons, although much more freely in spring. 
Richter reports it as a very good honey plant on the hills of Marin 
County. 

GRANJENO, see Hackberry. 

GRAPE (Vitis). 

The grape family is represented by wild species in all parts of the 
temperate regions of both hemispheres, and by cultivated species in 
nearly all parts of the world. There are about thirty species of wild 
grapes, and where sufficiently common they are very attractive to the bees. 
In many localities cultivated grapes are grown in large acreage. The nec- 
tar yield is not as abundant as with many plants, but is of some value 
where the vines are largely grown. Quantities of pollen are gathered from 
this source. At times honeydew is gathered from the leaves. 

Scholl lists the mountain grape (Vitis monticola) as giving a fairly 
good honey yield and furnishing pollen for early brood rearing. Richter 
lists the California wild grape as yielding some honey. 

Bees and Grapes 

Of the disagreements between fruit growers and beekeepers, probably 
those growing out of the tendency .of the bees to suck the juice from 
cracked grapes have been most serious. Many unfortunate misunder- 
standings have resulted from such circumstances, though the injury was as 
great to the beekeeper as to the fruit grower, in many cases. 

This condition arises from a combination of circumstances which does 
not often occur in the average locality. In the first place, the bees do not 
seek the grapes when there is plenty of nectar in the field, and, beside, thev 
are unable to reach the juice unless the grape has first cracked open 
through unfavorable weather conditions or has been injured by birds, 
wasps, or other agency. Grape growers, seeing the bees at work in the 
vineyards, have often accused the bees of injury to 'the fruit. The fact of 
the matter is that the bee is unable to puncture the fruit, and only sucks 



110 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



the juice from such fruits as have already been broken open and are 
already damaged. 

Wet weather often causes ripening grapes to crack open to such an 
extent that they would be of little value, even though no insect touched 




Fig. 



Gorse or furze. 



tiiem thereafter. In dry weather, also, birds sometimes pierce the skins, 
apparently in search of moisture from lack of an available water supply. 
Some authorities say that at such times a liberal supply of water in open 
vessels near the vineyard will stop the injury from the birds. The English 
sparrow is accused of injury to grapes to a larger extent than most birds. 

The grape-berry moth infests a great many grapes in some localities. 
In fact, entomologists state that in some localities as high as 50 per cent of 
the crop is injured by this insect alone. The fact that the honeybee sucks 
the juice from the berries which have already been opened by wet weather, 
grape-berry moths or other causes, does not greatly injure the grape 
grower, for such fruit is of little value. 

The writer has visited the raisin districts of Southern California and 
discussed this condition with the raisin growers. The accompanying pic 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



111 



ture (Fig. 67) shows a bunch of raisin grapes that had been sucked dry 
by the bees. In that locality rains are very infrequent when the raisins 
are being dried. They are spread out in thin layers in crates and the 
crates left in the sun, or piled up one above another, till fully dry. 
Previous to the writer's visit there had been an unexpected rain, and some 
raisins were allowed to get wet. As a result they cracked open, and there 
being just then no available nectar for the bees, tlu-y swarmed over the 




Fii 



Rais 



IS have been broken by 



raisins and sucked them dry, as shown in the picture. The grower admit- 
ted, however, that the raisins bad been so badly damaged by the rain as 
to be of little value. 

The thing which few grape growers seem to understand, is that it is 
unfortunate, indeed, for the beekeeper in northern regions, whose bees fill 
their hives with this grape juice. In the north there are long periods 
during the long winter months when the bees are unable to leave the hive. 
Since the bee is only able to void her excrement while on the wing, there 
is a large accumulation of feces during such long confinement. If the bees 
have only the best white honey for food the tax is severe at best. When 



112 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

they have fruit juice, honeydew or other food containing a large amourt 
of waste matter, the intestines become so distended that the bees die for 
lack of opportunity of a cleansing flight. Grape growers will in many 
cases be surprised to learn that thousands of bees die from having filled 
their combs with fruit juice instead of honey. Of course, the wide-awake 
beekeeper will remove 'this material from the hive and give them good 
honey or sugar syrup instead, if it is possible to do so. This, however, in- 
volves a large amount of labor, and the gathering of the juice from the 
grapes, instead of being an advantage to the beekeeper, is a serious incon- 
venience to him. In southern California, where there is no winter con- 
finement, 'there is no particular injury to the bees, other than spoiling the 
grade of any honey with which it may happen to be mixed. 

The late Charles Dadant, who was one of the most widely known bee- 
keepers of the past generation, on one occasion had a difficulty with some 
growers who could not be made to understand that he was not getting rich 
at the expense of his neighbors, when his bees were attracted to their 
grapes. He decided that the only way to convince them that the interests 
of the beekeeper and the grape grower were mutual, was to grow the 
largest acreage of grapes in the neighborhood. This he proceeded to do, 
and after he became the largest grower of grapes in his community there 
was no longer any criticism, for they could readily see that he had too 
much at stake in his grapes to permit him to be prejudiced in favor of 
the bees. 

That bees are valuable in securing the fertilization of the blossoms of 
some varieties of grapes, there is little question. 
GRAPE FRUIT (Citrus decumana). 

Nowhere in America is the grape fruit cultivated in such extensive 
orchards as is the case with the orange and lemon. It is recognized as a 
valuable source of honey, but not equal to either of the foregoing. It is 
an evergreen tree similar in habit to the other citrus fruits, and the area 
devoted to its cultivation is being extended in various districts. 

Bees are very efficient pollenizers of grape fruit blossoms. The At- 
wood grape fruit ranch, one of the largest in Florida, is provided with 
two apiaries, brought there at the request of the manager of the ranch. 
They hold that the trees bear a larger number of fruits since the bees 
have been kept in close proximity. 

GRASSES. 

There are many grasses which are attractive to the bees for pollen. 
Timothy or herd's grass produces pollen in great abundance and the bees 
are often observed gathering it. Occasionally some honeydew may be 
gathered from the grasses also, but no honey. 

GREASEWOOD (Adenostoma fasciculatum). CHAMISE. 

Greasewood is an evergreen bush or shrub of spreading habit about 
two to ten feet in height. Jepson describes it as "the most abundant and 
characteristic bush of the higher coast ranges and Sierra Nevada, com- 
monly gregarious and occupying, to the exclusion of other shrubs, exten- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS H.3 

sive and especially abrupt slopes and mountain ridges. It often forms a 
distinct zone between the foothills and the yellow pine belt." 

Richter lists it as eagerly sought by the bees in several California 
counties, though no mention is made of it as a source of surplus honey. 

GREENBRIAR (Smilax). 

There are several species of greenbriar, some of which are common 
from Canada to Texas. They grow along watercourses and in open wood- 
lands and the stems are covered with stiff and hard thorns. Scholl lists 
one species as yielding nectar in Texas. The author found reports to 'the 
effect that bees gather honey from greenbriar in McLennan County, Texas. 
At the same time it was stated that no honey was gathered from it in other 
nearby sections. The plant seems to be of doubtful value and is not suf- 
ficiently abundant to be important. 

GRINDELIA, see Gum Weed. 
GROUNDSEL, see Butterweed. 
GROUND LAUREL, see Arbutus. 
GUAIACUM, see Soapbush. 
GUAYACAN, see Soapbush. 
GUM, see Tupelo, also Eucalyptus. 

GUM-ELASTIC or SHITTIM.WOOD (Bumelia lanuginosa rigida). 

Gum-elastic is the common name in south Texas for the Arizona 
buckthorn, a small tree occurring from western Texas to Arizona. It has 
a short stem with stiff and very spiny branches. It is frequently men- 
tioned as a source of honey in southern Texas. 

There are reports to the effect that it sometimes yields a surplus along 
the Trinity River and that the honey often sours in the combs after being 
sealed. 

GUM TREE, see Eucalyptus, also Tupelo. 

GUM WEED or GUM PLANT (Grindelia squarrosa). 

The gum weed, also called rosin weed, is a common plant from Wyom- 
ing and Colorado south to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It occurs 
sparingly eastward to Minnesota and Missouri. The bright yellow flowers 
exude a milky resinous gum, which gives rise to its name, "gum weed." It 
i; also widely known as rosin weed (Fig. 68). It blooms in August and is 
much sought by the bees. The honey is yellow and of inferior flavor. It 
i>: often mixed with light honey in the super and the grade spoiled as a 
result. In Colorado it is well known by the name of "rosin weed." There 
the comb-honey producers complain that it often spoils the quality of 
their product through being mixed with the honey from alfalfa and sweet 
clover. Honey from gum weed candies very quickly, so quickly in fact, 
that Colorado beekeepers say that the bees have to hurry home with the 
load to prevent it becoming candied in their sacs. Comb honey which 
candies cannot readily be restored, hence in localities where gum weed 



114 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



ic abundant the beekeeper may find it to his advantage to produce ex- 
tracted honey. Even this does not solve the problem entirely, since the 
gum weed honey candies in the combs so readily as to make it difficult to 
extract. There are few reports of large surplus from this source. In 
most cases it is mixed with other honey and only in such quantity as to 
make it rather a nuisance than otherwise. The tendency to candy in the 
combs makes it undesirable for winter stores. 




AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 115 



H 



HACKBERRY (Celtis). 

The hackberries are an important group of trees. There are about 
sixty species of trees and shrubs which are widely distributed in both the 
old world and America. There are about half a dozen species known to 
America, and of these, three are much valued by the beekeepers of Texas. 
The author has never known the bees to find nectar on the hackberry in 
the north, and was surprised at the many reports of honey from hack- 
berry received from Texas beekeepers while visiting that State. 

The granjeno (Celtis pallida) is a shrub common to the mesas and 
foothills of western and southern Texas. E. G. LeStourgeon, of San 
Antonio , regards it as the best of all the hackberries, blooming after every 
good rain. The honey is pale amber in color and of good quality. He re- 
ports that honey from all hackberries is of good quality. When the au- 
thor visited at Brownsville, in February, 1918, the bees were working on 
the above species very freely at that time. 

The Southern hackberry or sugarberry (Celtis mississippiensis) is com- 
mon all over the Gulf and South Atlantic States from Kentucky and south- 
ern Illinois to Florida, Arkansas and central Texas. LeStourgeon reports 
that this species blooms after the others, in March and April, and that 
while it yields some honey, it is not as good as the others. 

The Northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) is also known as sugar- 
berry, and is common from New England and Ontario to Minnesota, Ne- 
braska, Colorado and southward to Georgia and Texas. The author has 
never heard a report of bees visiting this species for nectar in the North, 
but it is reported also as a source of honey in Texas. 

HAU TREE (Paritium tiliacium). 

"The hau tree of Hawaii has nectaries on its leaves which secrete a 
honeydew. These are located on the veins of the leaves near the stem, 
and are one, two, three or five in number. Small drops of honeydew may 
frequently be seen on these spots. It is interesting to note that these 
extra-floral nectaries are present on the outside of the calyx of the flow- 
ers. There is apparently no true floral nectary. The hau tree is used ex- 
tensively as a hedge, and grows from 20 to 30 feet high. It is doubtful 
whether this is the source of any great percentage of the honeydew 
honey." — E. F. Phillips. Bui. 75, Part 5, Bureau of Entomology. 

HAW, see Hawthorne. 

HAWAII— Honey Flora of. 

The algarroba tree (Prosopis juliflora) is either the same species as, 



116 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

or very closely related to, the mesquite of the southwest. On the islands 
it grows to the size of a tree, as is also the case in Mexico. In Texas it 
is generally very much smaller. In 1908 the tree came into bloom about 
the 1st of March, the time varying considerably in different localities on 
the islands. It usually blooms until August, and this very long blooming 
period adds greatly to its value to the beekeepers. 

The following list of honey plants, other than algarroba, is furnished 
by Mr. D. L. Van Dine, Entomologist of the Hawaii Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station. Mr. Van Dine has studied the honey sources of the islands 
very thoroughly: 

Forest Trees 

"Texas mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Growing in dooryard of 
Mr. C. C. Conradt, Pukoo, Island of Molokai. Seeds under propaga- 
tion at Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station. Introduced by Mr. 
Conrad from Texas several years ago. 

Ohia lehua (Metrodsideros polymorpha). Produces a particularly 
high grade of honey. Locations for apiaries, as a rule, somewhat in- 
accessible. One location on the island of Molokai is within the ohia 
lehua belt. 

Various species of Acacia (black wattle, koa, etc.) Mountainous 
districts. 

Various species of eucalyptus. Mountainous districts. 

Wiliwili (Erythrina monosperma). In gulches on Molokai and 
Oahu. 

Rose-apple (Eugenia jambos). 

Mamani (Sophora chrysophylla). Found in higher forest belts. 

Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa and C. bignonioides). Introduced by 
Mr. Jared G. Smith, April, 1902, from the Missouri Botanical Gardens. 

Logwood (Haematoxylon campechianum). -Found in dooryards. 
Two trees are growing in the grounds of Oahu College and one in the 
grounds of Lunalilo Home, Honolulu. Seeds under propagation at 
Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station. The honey produced by 
bees from this tree is reported to be the finest table honey in the 
world. 

The black mangrove of Florida. Introduced by Mr. Jared G. Smith 
from Southern Florida, for the purpose of preventing the mud flats 
from washing along the coast of Molokai, near Kaunakakai. The 
introduction was made several years ago and the trees are now well 
established at the above-mentioned place. The tree is a valuable 
honey plant. 

Fruit Trees 

Various species of citrous (orange, lemon, lime, etc.) 
Avocado (Persea gratissima). 
Banana (Musa spp). 
Guvy (Psidium spp). 
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica). 

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica). 

Pasture Plants 

California burr-clover (Medicago denticulata). Introduced on 
Maul in 1882 by Mr. C. R. Blacow. Now found generally on the 
ranches of the islands. 

Carpet grass (Lippia repens). Growing on grounds of Hawaii Ag- 
ricultural Experiment Station. 

Alfilaria or filaree (Erodium cicutarium and E. moschatum). 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 117 

Seeds introduced in California hay. Established on upland pastures 
on Hawaii and Molokai. 

White clover (Trifolium repens). Found on Haleakala and Maka- 
wao pastures, Maui. 

Crop Plants 

Sisal (Agave sisalana). 

Various species of curcurbits (melons, squashes, pumpkins, cu- 
cumbers, etc.) 

Forage Plants. 

Alfalfa, several varieties. 

Lupins, blue and yellow. Occasionally used as green manure 
plants on sugar plantations. 
Tangier pea (Lathyrus tingitanus). Growing at Haiku, Maul. 

Sanfoin (Onobrychus sativa). A forage plant introduced by Mr. 
Jared G. Smith in 1904. Seed distributed to ranches. 

Ornamental Plants 

Palms, particularly the royal and cocoanut. 

Poppy, a horticultural form of Romneya coulteri, found in gar- 
dens in Honolulu. 

Chinese inkberry (Sestrum diurnum). 
Thevitia nereifolia). 
Vines (Ipomaea supp). 

Weeds 

Lantana, two species. . 
California Sages (Artemisia). Introduced by Hawaiian Beekeepers' 
Association in 1907. Not as yet established. Suitable for waste, arid 
lands. The most important honey plant in California. Valuable as a 
forage plant. 

Ilima (Sida spp). 

Oi (Verbena bonariensis). 

Pill grass (Heteropogon contortus). 

Spanish needle (lauki) (Bidens pilosa). 

Puakala (Argemone mexicana). 
Alii (Dodonaea viscosa var. spathulata). 

Hila hila (undetermined). 

Other weeds are Waltheria americana, Ipomaea pes-caprae (vine 
along seacoast), and Malvastrum tricuspidatum. 

Other Sources of Honey 

Hawaii is peculiar in that most of the honey produced is from some 
source other than flowers. Two-thirds of the honey shipped annually 
from the islands is largely or entirely honeydew honey. By far the greater 
part of this comes from the exudations of the sugar cane leafhopper. — 
E. F. Phillips, Bui. 75, Part 5, Bureau of Entomology. 

HAWTHORN (Crataegus). 

Figure 69 pictures a hawthorn in full bloom. The picture does not 
do justice to the masses of white flowers with which the tree was covered. 
This is an eastern species (Crataegus punctata), which occurs from Que- 
bec to Ontario and south to Georgia. It was about the middle of June 
when this picture was taken and the bees were working on these trees 
everywhere we went. Clover had not begun to yield to any extent and the 
thorn was a great boost to the bees wherever it was plentiful. 



118 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



There are many different species of hawthorn, or haw, some of which 
occur in Europe and Asia, as well as in North America. On this continent 
some species are common from Canada to Mexico and west to the treeless 




Fig. 69. The hawthorn blooms abundantly and yields nectar freely. 



plains. Scholl reports the white thorn (Crataegus spathulata) as valuable 
for both honey and pollen in Texas, where it blooms in April. There are 
about 25 species of these trees within the United States, and all may be 
regarded as valuable sources of honey where they are sufficiently plentiful. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



119 



In general, they may be regarded as similar to the tree fruits in quality 
and quantity of nectar. Five species are known to occur in Ontario, where 
they are regarded as important honey plants. 




Fig. 



The hazelnut is the source of some pollei 



HAZELNUT (Corylus americana). 

The hazelnut is a slender growing shrub common in the borders of 
woodlands of the most of the temperate North America. It yields some 
pollen and is valuable where there is a scarcity of early pollen-bearing 
plants. The figure shows the male blossoms, which are more conspicuous 
than the fertile ones. 



HEARTSEASE (Polygonum). 

We now come to another large family with a variety of names. In 
some localities one name will apply, while in another the plant will be 
known by an entirely different one. Smartweed, knotweed, doorweed, 
persicaria, lady's thumb, water pepper, heartsease and several other names 
are applied to these plants. They are widely distributed, covering practi- 
cally all of the United States and Canada, as well as much of Europe and 



120 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Asia. P. persicara, or lady's thumb, the large-flowered kind, is most often 
called heartsease, and is also said to be the best honey producer. It is an 
introduced species, coming from Europe, and is still widely scattered 
through the sale of clover seed, the seed of this plant being commonly 
mixed with red clover seed. 

The honey gathered from these plants varies greatly, both in quantity 
and quality. Some species do not seem to yield at all, at least not reg- 
ularly, while others produce large quantities of nectar. The blooming 




Fig. 



Two species of heartsease or smartweed. 



period in the North is from midsummer until frost, and occasionally large 
yields are reported, an average of 200 pounds per colony not being the 
highest on record, from this source alone. Sometimes honey from these 
plants is of very good quality, while from other species it is very dark and 
of inferior grade. The better grade of honey is sometimes designated as 
heartsease honey, while the poorer grade is called smartweed honey. 
These plants grow in moist fields everywhere, and frequently come up 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



121 



in grain fields and stubbles late in summer, after cultivation has ceased, 
thus offering plentiful forage for the bees, in fields where otherwise they 
would find nothing. 

HEATHER (Calluna vulgaris). 

Heather is a very important honey plant in Europe, but occurs in few 
places in America. Gray's botany lists it at the following places: "Low 
grounds, Massachusetts at Tewksbury and West Andover; Maine, at Cape 




Blossoms of the heather. 



Elizabeth; also Nova Scotia; Cape Breton; New Foundland, etc." It may 
in time become locally important in Eastern America, though it is doubt- 
ful whether it be so at present. 

Writing in Gleanings, D. M. MacDonald has the following comments 
on heather honey in Scotland: 

"The product of heather is of a rich amber color, bright and spark- 
ling, rather than dull and shady. It has a pronounced flavor, delicious 
to the palate when one has acquired a liking for it. The aroma is 
pungent and penetrating, making itself manifest in a room where 
heather honey is kept in a closed cupboard. Its consistency is so re- 
markable that it will not leave the comb by any amount of centrifugal 
force used in the extractor, and when desired in the liquid form, the 
combs have to be melted and pressed by heavy screw power in a 
specially constructed press. Most beekeepers in heather districts, 
therefore, work for sections only; but it pays well to press all defec- 



122 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

tive combs preserved for the purpose, and thus renew the wax of 
the brood area periodically. On account of the prolusion of the 
bloom, the flow is at times extraordinarily abundant; but as the late- 
ness of the season frequently causes unfavorable weather conditions, 
the crop is an uncertain one. 




Fig. 73. Hedge nettle. 
(Photographed by Prof. Hottes.) 

"Heather honey sells for about double the price obtained for any 
other kind in this country. While a great part of the flower, clover 
and lime honey brings the apiarist only 18 cents per pound, heather 
frequently fetches him 36 cents. While, too, the other kind drags on 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 123 

the market, heather honey sells readily and is often disposed of be- 
fore it comes off the hives. Retail prices in warehouses in Edinburg 
and London are often as high as 48 to 60 cents per section."— October 
1, 1910. 

In November, 1913, C. P. Dadant, editor of the American Bee Journal, 
wrote as follows concerning heather in southern France, seen by him dur- 
ing his visit to Europe in 1913: 

"I had often heard of the 'Landes' of Gascony, but thought them 
low, sandy plains. They are rolling hills instead, and extend for scores 
of miles along the Gulf of Gascony. 

"The growth upon the 'Landes' is confined to numerous ferns, 
scrubby pines and cork oaks, with a very thick undergrowth of 
heather. Just now the heather is in its fullest bloom (September), and 
there are perhaps 20 different varieties, ranging from the palest pink 
to almost red and deep yellow in color. It is a mass of flowers upon 
which the bees work from June until frost, which comes very late, 
usually not before November. So we may readily call this the eldo- 
rado of beekeeping. There is only one dark side to the picture — the 
heather honey is dark in color, a deep amber, strong in flavor and 
almost impossible to extract with the honey extractor. Here I ascer- 
tained positively what I already suspected, that when speaking of nec- 
tar containing 75 per cent of water, we should confine ourselves to 
the nectar of our moist prairies. I am told that much of the nectar 
harvested from heather, in this dry, sandy soil, is too thick at the end 
of the first day to be thrown out readily." 

HEATHER, see also Eriogonum. 

HEDGE NETTLE or WOUNDWORT (Stachys). 

The hedge nettles are herbs with flowers in terminal spikes as shown 
in Fig. 73. The corollas are two-lipped and Stachys agraria is commonly 
known as "mint" in the Rio Grande Valley. At several places in the ex- 
treme south part of Texas the author heard reports of surplus honey from 
this source and from related species. 

Richter lists three species, Stachys ajugoides, the white hedge nettle, 
Stachys albens, and Stachys bullata, as yielding honey in California. 

Other species are common to the Eastern States from Ontario south 
to the Gulf States. 

HELENIUM, see Bitterweed. 
HELIANTHUS, see Sunflower. 

HELIOTROPE (Heliotropium). 

The cultivated heliotrope and also the wild heliotrope (Heliotropium 
curassavicum) are listed by Richter as sources of honey in California. 
There is also an occasional mention of heliotrope as a source of nectar in 
the bee magazines, but probably it is not important. 

HERCULES CLUB or ANGELICA TREE (Aralia spinosa). 

Hercules club or angelica tree is a shrub or small tree common to 
damp borders of the woods and river banks from Virginia to Missouri, 
and south to Florida and Louisiana. The flowers are white and appear in 



124 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



early summer. It is reported as yielding nectar abundantly, though not 
often as a source of surplus. 




HERON'S BILL, see Pin Clover. 
HETEROMELES, see Christmas Berry. 

HICKORY (Hicoria). 

The hickories are an important group of forest trees of wide distri- 
bution. They are of special interest to the beekeepers as sources of large 
amounts of honeydew from aphis, which are frequenty to be found on 
the leaves. These trees are important for pollen, also, in many localities. 

HIMALAYA BERRY, see Blackberry. 

HOARHOUND (Marrubium vulgare). 

Hoarhound (Fig. 74) is a well-known plant, introduced from Europe, 
which has become naturalized from Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico. 
The plant is perennial, flowering from July to September. It occurs in 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 125 

waste places, along roadsides and near dwellings over a wide scope of 
country. 

It is one of the chief sources of nectar in places in the Arkansas Val- 
ley in Kansas, also in portions of Texas. The honey is dark amber and 
strong in flavor. Beekeepers report it as important at Seguin, Texas. Re- 
ports of honey from this source come from widely separated localities 
from the Eastern States to California. 

Richter lists it as blooming in May and June in southern California, 
but at the usual period further north. He reports that Ventura and Los 
Angeles Counties produce hoarhound in considerable quantities, but that 
it is regarded with disfavor in the sage districts because a small quantity 
of this honey, mixed with the sage, impairs the color and flavor of the 
latter. 

Wherever plentiful, hoarhound may be expected to yield some honey, 
and in many places it yields surplus in quantity. Although not of the best 
quality, it is still an important honey plant. 

HOARY VERBENA, see Vervain. 
HOG GUM, see Poisonwood. 

HOLLY (Ilex). 

The holly family is a large one, with representatives in Europe, Asia 
and South America, as well as North America. There are more than a 
dozen species on this continent, most of them common to the Southeastern 
States. The common holly (Ilex opaca) is found from Massachusetts and 
New York south to Florida and west to Arkansas and Texas. It is re- 
ported as a valuable source of nectar in most of the Southern States. The 
Myrtle-leaf dahoon holly (Ilex myrtifolia) occurs from North Carolina to 
Florida and western Louisiana. 

The holly trees bloom in May, and in Alabama, Georgia and Missis- 
sippi are reported as yielding rapidly for a short period of time, usually 
three to ten days. 

The deciduous holly or privet (Ilex decidua), of the Southeast, is 
known in Texas as possum haw or bearberry. It ranges from southern 
Virginia to Florida and west to Missouri and Texas. It blooms early 
and is reported as yielding well for a short period. 

The yaupon (Ilex caroliniana) Trelease, is frequently reported as a 
source of honey by Texas beekeepers, though Scholl lists it as unimport- 
ant. 

The gallberry (Ilex glabra) is probably the most important source of 
honey of the group, especially in the Gulf region. (See Gallberry). 

HOLLYHOCK (Althaea rosea). 

The hollyhock is one of the oldest cultivated garden flowers. It is a 
native of China and is to be found in every garden of old fashioned flow- 
ers. Wherever found, the bees seek it eagerly, and apparently it secretes 
nectar freely. 



126 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



HONEYDEW. 



Such material as the bees may store as honey, which is not secured 
from the nectaries of plants, is usually spoken of as honeydew. There 
are numerous exudations of plants which attract the bees and which can 
hardly be regarded as nectar, to which the term honeydew may well be 
applied. 

The main source of honeydew, however, is from insects rather than 
from plants. Aphids, scale insects and leaf hoppers yield this sugar in 
great abundance. These sucking insects are often found on various trees 
or plants in large colonies, feeding on the sap; while bees and ants gather 
lo feed upon their excretions. At times aphids are so abundant that they 
eject honeydew in such quantity as to cover the leaves on lower levels 
with the sticky substance, till the drops give the impression that it might 
have rained. The bees gather honeydew readily in the absence of a nat- 
ural honeyflow, carry it to the hive and seal it in their combs the same as 
iioney. 

The quality of most honeydew is inferior and it brings a low price in 
the markets, being in most demand for baking purposes. Since there is a 
much larger percentage of gums in honeydew than in honey it makes a 
poor food for winter stores. The excess matter clogs the intestines of 
the bees, and where they are confined on such stores for long periods 
without an opportunity for cleansing flight, a heavy mortality results. 

There are hundreds of references to honeydew in the beekeeping lit- 
erature. A few are given here to indicate the extent to which bees gather 
this insect product: 

"The most copious flow of honeydew I ever saw was in 1897. It 
was from the pine. In early morning and late in the evening it could 
be seen dripping from the leaves, till all the leaves and even the bare 
ground beneath them were covered with the nectar. The bees 
swarmed over the trees and the hives were filled as I had never seen 
them before. The honey was light amber and of fine flavor, and gave 
my customers the best of satisfaction. While this flow was on, there 
was scarcely any honeydew to be found except on the pines, and every 
pine was dripping with it." — C. C. Parsons, Alabama. American Bee 
Journal, page 546, 1899. 

"We have had the heaviest honeydew flow ever known in this 
part of the State. We have tons of the stuff." — Scholl. American Bee 
Journal, August, 1910. 

"My bees stored a quantity of honeydew which granulated in the 
combs as fast as stored." — South Carolina. American Bee Journal, 
August, 1910. 

"Of 250 colonies of bees in this town last fall there are not more 
than 20 left. It is not the winter that kills the bees, but poor honey. 
Honeydew is half an inch deep all over my honeyhouse floor; it soured 
and ran out of the combs where I packed up my hives. The bees will 
not touch the horrid stuff, nor can I get a swarm to go into a hive 
with one frame of it on one side, and good clean combs and frames 
of brood for the rest."— Vermont. American Bee Journal, page 458, 
1904. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



127 



"Bees are working on honeydew, the trees just glistening with it. 
I have several hundred pounds of it in the supers. It is bad looking 
stuff, not fit to eat or sell." — Iowa. American Bee Journal, page 537, 
1904. 




Fig. 75. Hops furnish pollen, but are not important to the beekeeper. 

Not all honeydew is of such bad color and flavor. There are numer- 
ous reports of honeydew of such flavor and quality that it finds a ready 
sale in competition with good honey. However, it is usually unsatisfac- 
tory for winter stores for the bees, regardless of its source. 



HONEY LOCUST (Gleditsia triacanthos). THORNY LOCUST. 

The honey locust is a well-known tree from Pennsylvania and On- 
tario to Florida and westward to Texas and Kansas. It prefers rich 
bottom lands, seldom being found on dry hillsides. The tree has spreading 
branches and very long, red brown thorns. The thorns are often branched 
and sometimes nearly a foot in length. At times they cover the trunk of 
the tree in great abundance. The flowers appear in May or June. 

While the honey locust is the source of considerable nectar, it is not 
equal to the black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia). (See Locust.) 

The two species are often confused, although the long thorns peculiar 
to the honey locust should distinguish it readily. 

There are numerous reports to the effect that the bees work freely 
on honey locust, but it is seldom regarded as a source of surplus, while 
the black locust yields abundantly for a short period, under favorable 
conditions. 



128 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



HONEY POD, see Mesquite. 

HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera). 

The honeysuckles are rich in nectar, but most species have corolla 
tubes of such depth as to be beyond the reach of the honeybee. There 
are numerous reports of the bees seeking nectar from such species as they 
can reach, and from Minnesota come reports of the bush honeysuckle as 
an important plant. (See Bush Honeysuckle). 

HOPS (Humulus Lupulus). 

The common bop plant is too well known to need description. It is 
common from New England to British Columbia and southward. It is 
very generally cultivated for making yeast and for medicinal purposes. 
The small greenish flowers are wind-pollenated. It furnishes pollen in 
abundance, but no nectar. (Fig. 75). 




Fig. 76. Horsemint (Monarda punctata.) The source of the well-known horsemint honey. 



HOP-TREE (Ptelea trifoliata), SHRUBBY TREFOIL. 

The hop-tree occurs from New England and Ontario south to Florida 
and westward to Michigan, Illinois and Missouri to central Texas. It is 
a shrub or small tree known also as wahoo and quinine tree. The bitter 
fruit is sometimes used as a substitute for hops. The flowers have a dis- 
agreeable odor. Scholl lists the honey yield as good, and very good, in 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



129 



favorable seasons, where the shrub is abundant. The California hop-tree 
(Ptelea crenulata) occurs in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains and in the Coast ranges. Its bloom has an agreeable aromatic 
odor. The author can find no reports that indicate it is regarded as im- 
portant to the beekeepers of that region. 

There are numerous reports to the effect that the hop-tree is a good 
source of nectar in the Eastern States. 

HORSE CHESTNUT, see Buckeye. 



'— ■ ' 


■ 






■ft W «£& 


& 




^^ ^Jtb 





Fig. 77. Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). The corolla tub 
are usually too deep for the bees to reach the nectar. 



HORSEMINT (Monarda). 

There are several species of horsemint, known also as bee balm, wild 
bergamot, etc. Some of the species are represented from New England 
to Texas. Figure 77 shows M. fistulosa, the wild bergamot of the North. 
The corolla tubes are so deep that, as a rule, the bees are unable to reach 
the nectar. In some cases it is reported as yielding freely and the author 
has seen times when the bees were apparently getting considerable nectar 
from this species. Whether the nectar secretion is unusually abundant or 
the corolla tubes shortened more than is commonly the case, the author 
will not venture an opinion. In parts of Wisconsin, M. punctata (Fig. 76), 
according to D. L. H. Pammel, can be depended upon to yield an abun- 
dance of nectar every season. This is probably the most important species 



130 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



to the beekeeper. It is found more or less commonly on sandy soil from 
New York to Minnesota and south to Florida and Texas. In Texas it is 
the source of very large quantities of surplus honey in seasons following 
wet winters and springs. The honey is A clear light amber with a de- 
cided minty flavor. It is one of the most important sources in Texas, 
where, together with M. clinopodioides, it is regarded very highly. In the 
Arkansas Valley of southern Kansas horsemint is also important, yielding 
as high as fifty pounds of surplus per colony. 




Fig. 7S. Hound's tongue. 

HOUND'S-TONGUE (Cynoglossum officinale). 

Hound's-tongue is a weed introduced from Europe. It is now common 
in parts of Canada and the Northwestern States and occurs in Missouri 
and Arkansas, and from the Ohio Valley to the Carolinas and north 
Georgia. It is named from the shape and texture of the leaf. The illus- 
tration (Fig. 78) was photographed in open woods near Guelph, Ontario. 
There it is frequently mentioned as a good honey plant. 

HUAJILLA, see Acacia. 



HUCKLEBERRY (Gaylussacia). 

There are several species of huckleberry common to the Eastern 
States. The common huckleberry of the markets, the black huckleberry 
(Gaylussacia baccata) is common from Eastern Canada to Minnesota and 
south to Georgia, in rocky woodlands and swamps. This species also occurs 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



131 



en the Pacific Coast, and W. J. Sheppard reports it is a honey plant in 
British Columbia. (Fig. 79). 

Lovell reports that it is very abundant on Cape Cod and yields every 
year. 

HUISACHE, see Acacia. 
HYDROPHYLLUM, see Virginia Waterleaf. 



IDAHO— Honey Sources of. 

The principal sources of honey in northern Idaho are fireweed, sno\ 




Fig. 79. Black huckleberry. 

berry, alsike and white clovers. Secondary sources are dandelion, Indian 
hemp, grindelia and goldenrod. — H. A. Scullen. 

In the southern part of the State alfalfa and sweet clover are the 
source of large quantities of surplus. Minor plants are probably similar to 
those of Colorado. 



132 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



ILEX, see Holly, also Gallberry. 
INDIAN BEAN, see Catalpa. 

INDIAN CORN or MAIZE (Ze a mays). 

Indian corn is native to North America and was cultivated by the In- 
dians at the time of the discovery of the continent. It has become one of 
the most important grain crops and is grown in large acreage. It furnishes 
an abundance of pollen in mid-summer and the bees work upon the tassels 
so freely as to give rise to a very general impression that it furnishes 




Fig. SO. Indian currant in bloom. 

honey in abundance. At times, aphides are to be found upon the stalk and 
the bees also get a sweet substance from the axils of the leaves. While 
on infrequent occasions the bees may get honeydew from Indian corn, its 
principal value to the beekeeper is as a source of pollen. 

"If the weather is favorable for the reproduction of plant lice, we 
may always expect them to attack the tassel, making the top leaves 
sticky and discolored. I have seen the bees pile on the tassel until 
you could scarcely see anything but the bees gathering this honeydew. 
The honey thus obtained is dark, but of very fair flavor." — Wm. R. 
Howard, White Rock, Texas. American Bee Journal, page 225. May, 
1880. 

W. K. Morrison, writing in Gleanings, states as follows regarding corn: 



"Corn is not generally set down as a yielder of the nectar sublime, 
but in tropical countries it is a very valuable honey plant, showing 
the importance of locality, showing also that corn is a native of the 
tropics. (Aug. 1, 1905.) 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



133 



INDIAN CURRANT (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus). 

The Indian currant, also known as coral berry or buckbrush, is a 
widely distributed shrub that furnishes considerable nectar in late summer. 
It may be found in the woodland borders and open forest from New York, 
west to the Dakotas, south to Missouri and Arkansas, and from New Jer- 
sey south along the mountains to Georgia and Alabama. 

The blossoms arc very small and inconspicuous (Fig. 80), but where the 
plant is abundant it is much sought by the bees. In southeastern Iowa, 
the season of 1914 was a very poor one for the bees, and many colonies re- 
quired feeding to get them through the winter. In a few localities, where 




-Ii. showing fruit. 



buckbrush abounds, they not only were well prepared for winter, but 
stored some surplus. The blooming season is July and August in most 
Northern States, so that the clover harvest is usually nearly over when it 
comes on. Figure 81 shows the bunches of red berries that hang on the 
bushes after the leaves have withered and dropped, which will be in- 
stantly recognized by anyone familiar with the plant. These berries are 
often about the only winter food available for small birds when the ground 
is covered with snow. 

The snowberry (S. racemosus) (Fig. 82). is a related species with white 
berries. It occurs from New England west to Nebraska and Dakota, also 
on the North Pacific Coast. The plant is quite similar to the red-berried 
species in habit and growth and is also often called buckbrush. 



134 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



ILLINOIS— Honey Sources of. 

There are but few important honey plants in Illinois. It is a clover 
State. White clover, alsike and sweet clover furnish the principal sources 
of surplus on the uplands, with heartsease and Spanish needle on the low 
lands. Maples and willows are important for early spring nectar, followed 
by fruit bloom and dandelion. There are numerous minor sources which 
add something to the product of the hive, but the above short list includes 
the important sources of surplus honey. In a few localities boneset and 
asters yield some surplus in the fall. Basswood, once important, has dis- 
appeared from most of the honey-producing districts, where it formerly 
produced large surplus. For list of minor plants, see Indiana. 




Fig. 82. Snowberry in bloom. 



INDIANA— Honey and Pollen Plants of. 

Skunk cabbage, March. 
Silver maple, March-April. 
Red maple, March-April. 
Box elder, March-April. 
Willow, March-April. 
Elm, March-April. 
Judas tree, April-May. 
Dandelion, April-September. 
Crowfoot, April-May. 
Sugar maple, April-May. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 135 

Fruit trees, April-May. 

Ground ivy, May-August. 

Currant and gooseberry, May. 

Buckeye, May. 

Grapevine, May. 

Black locust, May. 

Honey locust, May-June. 

Poplar (tulip-tree), May-June. 

Raspberry, May-June. 

Blackberry, May-June. 

White clover, May-June-July. 

Alsike, June-July. 

Red clover, June-July. 

Sweet clover, June till frost. 

Basswood, June or July. 

Mustard, June till frost. 

Button bush, July. 

Teasel, July. 

Catnip, July and August. 

Cucumber, melons, etc., July-August. 

Marsh milkweed, July-August. 

Sumac, August. 

Boneset, July till frost. 

Figwort, July till frost. 

Buckwheat, August. 

Ironweed, July till frost. 

Jewelweed, August-September. 

Smartweed, August-September. 

Goldenrod, August till frost. 

Asters, August till frost. 

Marsh sunflower, August till frost. 

Spanish needle (Coreopsis), August. 

Beggarticks, August. 

— Second Annual Report, Inspector of Apiaries, Indiana. 

INDIAN FIG, see Prickly Pear. 
INDIAN HEMP, see Dogbane. 
1NKBERRY, see Gallberry. 

IOWA— Honey Sources of. 

Willows and maples furnish first nectar of importance in early spring. 
This is followed by the blooming of the wild plums and cultivated fruits. 
Next dandelion blooms in profusion for most of the time intervening be- 
tween fruit bloom and white clover. White clover is the main source of 
surplus over the entire State, excepting a few small areas where sweet 
clover exceeds it in importance. Alsike is important in some sections. On 
rough lands along streams buckbrush or Indian currant gives surplus in 



136 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



midsummer. Heartsease is valuable on low lands over the State and on 
higher lands in the vicinity of ploughed fields in wet seasons. Asters, 
boneset, Spanish needle and numerous other fall flowers add something 
to the production of the hives, but in few localities can be said to be im- 
portant. Basswood was once of great value to Iowa beekeepers, but has 
largely been cut down. 

IRONWEED (Vernonia). 

There are many species of the ironweeds to be found in many coun- 
tries. They are common in Asia and Africa, as well as North America. 
They are common from New England south to Florida and west to Dakota 
and Texas. Figure 84 shows the flowers of the western ironweed (Ver- 
nonia fasciculata) and Figure 83 a clump of the common ironweed (Ver- 
nonia Baldwini). In the middle west they grow very commonly in pas- 
tures, and the purple blossoms are very conspicuous in late summer. At 




Fig. 83. Clump of common ironweed in bloom, 
times the bees work them very eagerly, but it is doubtful whether they 
are often of much value as a source of surplus. 

IRONWOOD, see Coma, also Titi. 
IVYWOOD, see Laurel. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



137 



JACKASS CLOVER or STINKWEED (Wislizenia refracta). 

Jackass clover or stinkweed is a rank scented annual plant with yellow 
flowers, growing two to six feet high. It is common from Sacramento to 
Lathrop and southward in the San Joaquin Valley, according to Jepson. 
— Flora of Middle Western California. 

It is an important honey plant in the interior valleys, where it is re- 




Fig. 84. Blossoms of western ironweed. 



ported as blooming freely only every other year. The blooming period 
is from August to December. C. R. Snyder, of Selma, regards it as a main 
source. He reports as high as 100 pounds of surplus per colony. He usu- 
ally extracts two or three times from this source in September, and has 
extracted as late as December. A heavy rain or a frost will stop the flow. 
The honey is light and of good quality. A sample presented to the au- 
thor is a light amber with a peculiar flavor, unlike our eastern honey. 
The flavor reminds one somewhat of butter-scotch candy. It is rather 
strong, but agreeable. 

Richter comments on this plant as follows: 



138 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



"Honey water white, mild in flavor and of good body; granulates 
in three to six months, when it resembles a paste made from powdered 
sugar. The very fact that it is spreading so rapidly over the poor 
lands of the San Joaquin Valley, and that it produces the only water- 
white honey, with the exception of blue-curls, as far as the writer 
knows, that is produced in the late fall, has led to the conclusion that 
jackass clover will be one of the greatest honey-producing plants of 
the State, and may in future rank next to sage and alfalfa. During the 
fall of 1909 a Fresno beekeeper reported that he extracted thirty 
pounds per colony each week for six weeks from this source. Another 
beekeeper of the San Joaquin Valley relates that during the jackass 
clover flow the noise was terrific, and that home-coming bees flew so 
slowly that they could be picked out of the air. It was Henry T 
Christman, of Colinga, who first became aware of its value as a honey 
plant and gave it its present name." 

JASMINE, See Yellow Jasmine. 
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE, see Sunflower. 

JEWEL-WEED or Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens). 

The jewel-weed (Fig. 85) is common in wet places and along small 




Jewel weed, or touch-me-not. 



streams in shady situations. Some are to be found from Alaska to New 
England and south to Florida and Louisiana. . The plant has an odd 
hanging blossom, as shown in the picture. It is often called touch-me- 
not, from the sudden bursting of the seed pod when touched. 

It is usually regarded as a bumblebee flower rather than a bee flower, 
but is reported as a source of honey in both Michigan and Wisconsin, 
where it is quite common in places. 



JOE-PYE WEED, see Boneset. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 139 



JOINTED CHARLOCK, see Radi 
JUDAS-TREE, see Red-Bud. 
JUNE-BUD, see Red-Bud. 



K 



KANSAS— Honey Sources of. 

Sweet clover probably ranks first as a honey plant in Kansas. It 
yields surplus honey from east to west in the State and succeeds on high, 
dry land as well as in the river valleys. In some parts of the State, sur- 
plus honey is secured from no other crop. In the Arkansas Valley alfalfa 
is also important and yields freely. Hoarhound, heartsease and wild sun- 
flowers also yield surplus. White clover is uncertain in most of Kansas 
and only yields honey occasionally under favorable conditions. The Ar- 
kansas Valley is excellent beekeeping territory and the yields there com- 
pare favorably with the best elsewhere. The first nectar comes from soft 
maples in late February or March. Elms furnish early pollen and willows 
along the streams furnish both nectar and pollen. There are many or- 
chards in Kansas and fruit bloom is important, surplus occasionally being 
gathered from apple blossoms. Horsemint is important in the southern 
part of the State, as high as 50 pounds per colony of surplus being re- 
ported from this source. 

KENTUCKY— Honey Sources of. 

H. R. Niswonger, in Circular 69, Extension Division of the College of 
Agriculture, gives the following as important sources of nectar in Ken- 
tucky: 

"Fruit trees and bush fruits of considerable importance, sometimes 
yielding surplus. 

"Crimson clover, very important, coming before white clover. 

"Alsike clover, comparing well with the yield, from white clover. 

"White clover usually yields a heavy surplus. 

"Red clover, sometimes worked by bees on second blooming. 

"Sweet clover, one of the most important, blooming for four weeks 
or more. 

"Sour-wood, one of the principal sources in the mountain sections. 

"Linden, also important in mountain sections. 

"Buckwheat, important, coming when there is a dearth of other 
plants in bloom. 

"Goldenrod yields an abundance of nectar. 

"Aster yields in late autumn, often sufficient to carry the bees 
through the winter, sometimes some surplus, also. 

"Many forest trees infested with plant lice yield large quantities 
of honeydew. 

In addition to the above list the following are taken from a contribu- 
tion to American Bee Journal by Mr. N. P. Allen, of Smith's Grove, Ken- 
tucky: 



140 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

"Elm, elder, hazel and willow for early pollen. 
"Maples. 

"Red-bud or Judas tree. 
"Black locust. 
"Blackberry and raspberry. 

"Poplar (tulip-tree), begins to bloom about the middle of May and 
yields more honey than any forest tree. 
"Prickly ash and sumac. 
"Yellow-wood and coral berry in July." 

KINNIKINICK (Rhus virens). 

Kinnikinick is a sumac which grows from the Colorado River to the 
Rio Grande and westward. The Indians and Mexicans mix the leaves with 
tobacco and smoke them. It grows in large quantity in the hills some 
distance north of Uvalde, Texas, and blooms from September till frost, 
with sufficient rain. Local beekeepers report that as high as sixty pounds 
of honey per colony is sometimes secured from this source. The honey 
is said to be green in color, with a rank, strong taste, and does not granu- 
late. The combs are capped very white when the bees are working on 
kinnikinick. This should not be confused with the species of dogwood 
which is also commonly called by the same name. There are several 
species of sumac which are valuable honey plants. (See sumac; also dog- 
wood). 

KNAPWEED, see Star Thistle. 

KNOCKAWAY or ANAQUA (Ehretia elliptica). 

The anaqua is a common tree with small white flowers in open pani- 
cles and oval leaves, which is common from New Braunfels, Texas south 
to the lower Rio Grande. It is commonly reported as a valuable source of 
nectar by Texas beekeepers. 

KNOTWEED, see Heartsease. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



141 



LADIES' EAR DROPS, see Brunnichia. 
LADY'S THUMB, see Heartsease. 
LAMBKILL, see Laurel. 




Fig. 86. Sheep laurel, or lambkill. 

LAUREL (Kalmia). 

The mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), also known as calico-bush or 
spoon-wood and in the Southern States as poison ivy, is a common shrub 
occurring in the higher altitudes from New England and Ontario south to 
the Gulf States. It is widely credited as being the source of poisonous 
honey. (See Poisonous Honey). The sheep laurel or lambkill (Fig. 86) is 
a closely related species which occurs from Newfoundland and west to 
Michigan and south to north Georgia. They are shrubs with showy flow- 
ers which are not often reported as important honey plants. In some 
places, hillsides are covered with the mountain laurel, which makes a 



142 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

pleasing sight when in bloom. These plants are so well known that a 
great variety of common names have become known in different localities. 
According to Sladen, the sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) is one of 
the important sources of honey in Nova Scotia. 

LAUREL-TREE, see Red Bay. 
LEATHERWOOD, see Ti-ti. 

LEMON (Citrus limon). 

The lemon is a valuable source of honey in southern California, though 
much less is heard of it than of orange. It is cultivated principally in the 
coast region, and Richter suggests that the proximity to the ocean of the 
principal lemon groves may account for the fact that it does not yield as 
well as orange. Unlike other fruit trees, it blooms more or less continu- 
ously throughout the year. This again would make its real value less ap- 
parent, since a plant which yields a little nectar for a long period of time 
may give a total greater than one which gives a heavy yield for a short 
period. It is noted, also, that oranges yield less freely along the coast 
than in the interior valleys. 

LETTUCE (Lactuca floridana). 

Figure 87 will give a good idea of the height to which the wild blue 
lettuce grows. It is common in the woodland borders, in rich soil, from 
Pennsylvania to Iowa and south to Florida and Texas. The plant produces 
hundreds of blue flowers in late summer and early fall. Although it is 
of no special importance as a honey plant, the bees visit it frequently 
and apparently get some nectar from its blossoms. In the South it is re- 
ported as blooming in May and June. The writer does not recall having 
seen it in bloom in Iowa earlier than August, while it blooms into Sep- 
tember. There are a considerable number of species of wild lettuce, some 
of which, like the prickly lettuce, become very troublesome weeds. The 
writer has not observed the bees working to any extent on any except the 
blue fall lettuce above described. 

LEONURUS, see Motherwort. 
LIGNUM-VITAE, see Soapbush. 
LILAC, see Mountain Lilac. 

LIME (Citrus acida). 

The lime is a fruit very similar to the lemon, which has been intro- 
duced to some extent into the citrus districts. Since it is not generally 
grown it is not very important, though it yields honey freely. 

LIMETREE, see Basswood. 
LINDEN, see Basswood. 
LION'S TAIL, see Motherwort. 
LIPPIA GRASS, see Carpet Grass. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



143 




Fig. ST. Wild lettuce is a tall growing plant. 

LIQUORICE (Glycyrrhiza lepidota). 

The wild liquorice is a plant of the pulse family occurring from Minne- 
sota to Missouri and westward to Washington and Arizona. It is found 
in Colorado and Wyoming at 4.000 to 8,000 feet altitude. It is reported as 
quite abundant in places in Wyoming, and some years as being a great 
yielder of nectar. 

LIVE OAK, see Oak. 



LOCALITY. 

The plants which yield honey in surplus quantity are comparatively 
few in number. In the average locality there will be only two or three 



144 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

important sources of nectar, with a considerable number of minor ones 
which furnish the bees with a partial living between the main flows. 

As an example, a typical Iowa locality may be mentioned. There 
white clover is the principal source of surplus honey. Now and then some 
surplus will be gathered in the fall, also, from heartsease. Yet the list of 
plants which yield nectar in that particular neighborhood is a rather long 
one. Were it not for these minor sources, to provide for the bees before 
and after the clover flow, beekeeping would hardly be possible there. To 
begin the season, fruit trees, apples, cherries and plums, furnish a liberal 
supply of nectar. These trees bloom early in spring when the bees are 
still weak from the long winter. If it were possible for the beekeeper to 
so conserve the strength of his colonies that they would come through 
the winter in as good condition as they are in mid-summer, a good crop 
of surplus honey would be gathered from fruit bloom in favorable sea- 
sons. Following fruit bloom, the dandelions come. There are several 
weeks of bloom from dandelion and the bees make the most of it. Consid- 
erable nectar and an abundance of pollen are gathered from dandelion, only 
to be used in brood-rearing. It takes a large amount of honey to rear a 
big force of bees, and without strong colonies of bees profitable crops of 
honey cannot be harvested. It takes honey, then, to make bees, and it 
takes bees again to gather a big crop of honey. 

The dandelion continues to bloom, in some localities, until within a 
short time of the opening of the white clover flow. In favorable seasons, 
when the clover is abundant and weather conditions favorable, a liberal 
crop may be expected from the clover. Following the clover there is a 
long period when but little honey is coming from the field. In one neigh- 
borhood the bees may be entirely idle, while a short distance away there 
may be sufficient forage to support the colony. In the one location the 
surplus gathered from clover will be consumed, in part, to support the 
colony until the fall flow from heartsease; in the other the bees will gather 
enough from minor plants to support them. The one locality thus becomes 
a good one for beekeeping, while the other is poor, and perhaps they are 
but a few miles apart. 

This is a fair example of general conditions. The locality may not be 
in the clover region, but the presence or absence of the minor plants is 
extremely important to the beekeeper who would support his family 
from the products of his apiary. 

There are many locations where the presence of plants which yield 
pollen abundantly are second in importance only to the plants which fur- 
nish the main honeyflow. As an example, there are places along the Ap- 
palachicola River, in Florida, where enormous yields of surplus honey are 
sometimes secured from tupelo, but where there is so little pollen for the 
rest of the summer that the bees suffer seriously for the lack of it. In some 
places the beekeepers find it necessary to move their bees to other loca- 
tions in order to maintain the strength of their colonies, following the 
flow from tupelo. Thousands of colonies of bees have died in locations 
where wonderful yields of honey have been harvested, because no pollen 
was available to enable them to continue brood-rearing. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 145 

It often happens that the crop will be a failure in one location, while 
but a few miles away it would be possible to gather a surplus by moving 
the bees. As an example, at Hamilton, Illinois, in 1919, the clover crop was 
a failure and the bees were on the point of requiring feed at the time 
when the clover harvest should be coming in. By moving their bees from 
fifteen to forty miles, the Dadants were able to harvest about forty thou- 
sand pounds of honey, instead of feeding to carry their bees through the 
winter. 

It has become the practice of many California beekeepers to secure 
more than one crop by moving their bees several times during the season. 
Following the harvest from one source, the bees are moved by truck to 
other fields. Thus it is sometimes possible to use the same apiaries to 
harvest two or three good crops in a single season. 

In like manner a well-known California queen breeder has found it 
possible to greatly increase his output by moving his queen-rearing yards 
to new fields when the nectar supply had ceased in his own location. 

The variation in the supply of nectar in different localities is ex- 
tremely great. A few locations will support several hundred colonies in 
one yard. Other locations will hardly support twenty colonies profitably. 
A careful study of the flora within reach is most important to the bee- 
keeper. One who fully understands his location can adapt his system to 
his conditions and succeed where failure would otherwise result. John W. 
Cash, of north Georgia, had about eight hundred colonies of bees in a 
section where thirty colonies would overstock any single location. By es- 
tablishing a large number of apiaries in widely scattered situations, he was 
able to secure a surprising uniformity of yield. For a period of several 
years he never secured less than 56 pounds average of surplus per colony. 
At the same time his highest average was 86 pounds per colony. 

The combination of plants which yield surplus honey with those which 
yield pollen and those which furnish some nectar during the periods be- 
tween the flows, together with climatic conditions, determine the value of 
a location for beekeeping. It does not require much skill to secure a crop 
of honey in a location where every condition is favorable, but the man who 
is fully acquainted with the flora will discount the crops of the hit-and- 
miss apiarist even there. In the poor locality it takes a thorough knowl- 
edge of the sources of honey and pollen, together with expert beekeeping 
to succeed. 

LOCO WEED (Astragalus). Also called Rattle Weed or Buffalo Bean. 

There are several species of Astragalus, common to the Rocky Mou- 
tain region, from Manitoba south to Texas, and west to California. The 
loco, weeds are herbs with odd-pinnate leaves, and spikes or racemes of 
purple, white, or pale yellow flowers. 

Several varieties are poisonous and are the source of heavy losses 
among the stockmen of the plains and mountain regions. Honey from loco 
is reported principally from Colorado, where it is mentioned as blooming 
with horsemint, in May and June. It is to be found mostly in the foot- 



146 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

hills and the yield is not dependable. The honey is reported as of light 
color and good flavor. 

LOCUST (Robinia pseudo-acacia). 

The black locust, or false acacia, is a native tree from Pennsylvania to 
Iowa and southward. However, it has been widely introduced into other 
States, thus greatly extending its range. It is now to be found in many 
places from New England and Canada southward. It is reported as pro- 
ducing a surplus of honey in parts of California, and is listed among the 
honey plants of Texas. 




ossoms of black locust, or false acacia. 



The wood is desirable for posts, railroad ties and other purposes re- 
quiring durability. Large plantations are often set for utility purpose:-, 
so that in some localities the beekeeper may readily expect a surplus from 
this source. Borers are a serious menace to the life of this tree, and whole 
plantations of locusts are sometimes injured by the insects, which kill the 
branches and sometimes the bodies of the trees, causing them to sprout 
again from the root. 

According to Lovell the honey is water-white, of heavy body and mild 
flavor. Figure 88 shows the blossoms and leaves. The flowers, it will be 
noted, much resemble those of the garden pea. 

In some localities the tree is known as white or yellow locust. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 147 

LOGWOOD (Haematoxylon campechianum). 

The logwood is an important tree common to the West Indies and 
Central America, but probably does not occur within the United States. 
It is the principal source of vegetable dyes, most of which have been dis- 
placed by chemical products. 

It grows in dense forests over large areas and in Jamaica is regarded 
as the principal source of honey. When conditions are favorable enor- 
mous crops of honey are harvested, single colonies sometimes gathering 
several hundred pounds. Since the forests are often miles in extent, large 
apiaries can be supported in a single location. The plant usually blooms 
twice during the year, once in November and the second time near the 
holiday period. That weather conditions affect the flow from logwood as 
readily as that of other plants will be seen by the following quotations 
from American Bee Journal of June 8, 1905: 

"I noticed unmistakable evidences of an almost universal bloom, 
and about ten days later it came out in all its glory. It was truly a 
magnificent sight, and although the house was about 500 feet from the 
apiary, the roar of the bees passing to and fro was a sound to make 
glad the heart of any beekeeper. I went down to the apiary one morn- 
ing about 6 o'clock, and if I live to be 100 years old, I never expect to 
see a more stirring scene in any apiary than I looked upon in that 
yard of 250 colonies. * * * They kept up this pace for four days; 
but, alas, it rained that Saturday night, and the next morning the log- 
wood blossoms were as brown as though they had been burnt, and 
the flow was over. Six thousand pounds for the four days was the rec- 
ord." 

The honey does not sell readily in American markets in competition 
with our mild-flavored clover and alfalfa produce. We quote further: 

"Prices we received ran from a fraction below 2 cents per pound 
for dark to a small fraction below 3 cents for the best, which was one 
of the finest samples on the island." 

((See also Brazil.) 

LOMBARD Y STAR THISTLE, see Centaurea. 

LOQUAT (Eriobotrya japonica). 

The loquat (Fig. 89) is a Japanese fruit of evergreen habit and fragrant 
white flowers which has been introduced into parts of California. The 
tree is cultivated for ornament and for its edible fruit, which resembles 
a small yellow pear. It blooms in winter in California and is said to be an 
excellent honey plant. 

LOOSESTRIFE, see Purple Loosestrife. 

LOUISIANA— Honey Sources of. 

Louisiana has a large variety of sources of nectar, with no one plant 
of special importance, in all parts of the State. Fruit bloom and forest 
trees furnish early nectar and pollen. In the northwest part of the State, 
near Shreveport, alfalfa is reported as a source of surplus. Holly, locust, 
tupelo, blackberry, asters and cotton are among the sources commonly 



PROPER" U 

£ C. State C*Ucgt 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



reported. There are many minor plants which yield nectar and some in 
surplus quantity in limited localities. Much remains to be learned con- 
cerning the honey flora of this State. 

Willow yields honey in such abundance that much honey is stored from 
it at times. White clover also yields, but is seldom important. Senna, 
horsemint, goldenrod and Spanish needle yield some honey in the fall. 




Fig. 



The loquat. 



LUCERNE, see Alfalfa. 



LUPINE (Lupinus). 

There are many species of lupines which are common, especially in the 
plains region and west to the Pacific Coast. Some are of no value to the 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 149 

bees, while others are good honey plants. Richter lists Lupinus afnnus 
as a source of nectar in California. 

The blue lupine or bluebonnet (Lupinus subcarnosus) is widely dis- 
tributed over southern and western Texas, fairly covering large areas 
when in bloom. The blooming period comes in March or April and the 
author heard many reports of this plant, as an important source of early 
honey when visiting Texas. Some claim it yields only pollen. Scholl lists 
it as a source of honey. 

In Colorado, beemen regard some lupines as good honey plants, also. 

LYTHRUM, see Loosestrife. 



M 



MADRONA (Arbutus menziesii). THE ARBUTE TREE. 

Jepson describes the madrona tree as evergreen with glossy, leathery 
leaves, widely branching, 20 to 125 feet high ; bark polished, crimson or 
terra cotta, on old trunks dark brown, and fissured into small scales. 
Coast ranges of California, oak hills, etc. Grows on high ridges, moun- 
tain slopes and in gravelly valleys. 

According to Richter it yields both nectar and pollen from the flowers. 

MAGNOLIA or BULL BAY TREE (Magnolia grandiflora). 

The magnolia is native to moist soils from North Carolina to Florida 
and west to Texas. It is the largest leaved tree of the evergreens. It is 
a magnificent tree when uncrowded and is a favorite shade tree in the 
South. The thick, leathery leaves persist over winter until the new ones 
have appeared, The flowers are large and showy and the blooming period 
is from spring till midsummer. 

The sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), known also as laurel magnolia, 
swamp laurel and beaver tree, grows in swamps from Massachusetts to 
southern Florida and west to Arkansas and Texas. In Texas it is re- 
ported as yielding very dark honey of poor flavor. 

Magnolia is not often mentioned as important, though an occasional 
report of surplus in the South is received. One beekeeper reports that in 
Mississippi the honey is so dark and strong as to be unpalatable. 

"We had three days of cool, damp, cloudy weather last year in 
August. During that time I visited my magnolia apiary, and on ap- 
proaching it I heard the heavy roar of bees. I first thought that whole- 
sale robbing was in full force, and I soon saw that they were gathering 
honey, and on looking at the alighting boards I saw particles of mag- 
nolia blooms. This told the tale. I went a few rods into the swamp, 
which was decorated with the large, rich magnolia blooms. I exam- 
ined a bloom and there was the nectar visible, and all the bees had to 
do was to alight, fill themselves and return. The weather soon cleared 



150 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

off and the magnolia honey was no more. Those three days of damp, 
cool and cloudy weather saved many old style gums from being 
turned bottom up, in the spring, in this section."— J. J. Wilder, Cordele, 
Georgia. American Bee Journal, Feb. 15, 1906. 

MAGUEY, see Century Plant. 
MAHOGANY GUM, see Eucalyptus. 

MAINE— The Honey Flora of. 

A large number of plants produce both pollen :md nectar, but in 
Maine comparatively few yield a surplus of honey — the most important 
being white clover, alsike clover, fruit bloom, raspberry, fireweed and 
goldenrod. 

Aster (Aster). The asters are of some value in this State, and in late 
fall bees may be seen frequently on the flowers. Aster paniculatus ap- 
pears to be the most important. In some localities in the Middle States 
the ground is white with the blossoms of field asters. Pure honey, white or 
perhaps sometimes light amber. It is gathered so late that often it may 
not be fully ripened. 

Apple (Pyrus malus). Yields a small surplus occasionally in this State. 
Honey of fine quality, light amber with aromatic flavor. 

Basswood (Tilia americana). So rare in this State as to be of little 
importance. 

Blackberry (Rubus). Yields little nectar in the Northern States ; but 
a surplus is reported in Georgia and California. 

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). Yisited by insects in large num- 
bers, but not common enough to yield a surplus. 

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum). Not extensively grown in Maine, 
but fields of it are cultivated in many localities. A dark, purplish honey. 

Button-bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). Common in swamps, but not 
important. 

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense). Not very important in this State. 
but more common westward. Honey light and well flavored. 

Carrot (Daucus Carota). Naturalized from Europe, common in fields. 

Clover, white (Trifolium repens). A fine white honey of delicious fla- 
vor. Alsike clover (T. hybridum) is an equally good honey plant, honey 
similar. Both are abundant in Maine, especially northward. In dry sea- 
sons bees are able to gather nectar from red clover, a bumblebee flower. 

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus). A good honey plant in the neighborhood 
of pickle factories. Honey with flavor of the fruit, but improves with age. 

Currant (Ribes). The various species of currants and gooseberries, 
both wild and cultivated, are of some importance. 

Dandelion (Taraxicum officinale). More valuable for pollen than 
nectar in this State. Honey golden yellow, thick, strong-flavored, crys- 
tallizing in a few weeks. 

Goldenrod (Solidago). A most valuable honey plant in New England. 
In southern Maine it never fails to give a large surplus, the main de- 
pendence of the beekeeper for winter stores. Honey golden yellow, fine 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 151 

flavored, candying with a coarse grain in a few months. Solidago gramini- 
folia and S. rugosa are the most important species in this State. 

Heartsease (Polygonum persicaria). This plant, so valuable in Illinois 
and Nebraska, is of no importance in Maine; a bee is rarely seen on the 
flowers. 

Horse-chestnut (Aesculus Hippocastanum). Not common, bees gather 
both nectar and pollen. Bumblebee flowers. 

Locust, black (Robinia pseudo-acacia). Yields a surplus of white honey 
further south, but not abundant in Maine. Often cultivated. 

Maple (Acer saccharum). The rock maple blooms in spring before the 
leaves appear and the flowers are visited by bees in great numbers. The 
red maple also yields nectar. 

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Where the milkweed is abundant it is 
a great help to the beekeeper. In Michigan it is increasing, and perhaps 
also in Maine. The honey is excellent, with a fruity flavor. 

Mayweed (Anthemis cotula). Common by the roadside, a bitter honey, 
apparently not important in this State. 

Mustard (Brassica). Very abundant in grain fields, where the flowers 
often present an unbroken sheet of yellow. Probably never yields a sur- 
plus in Maine. 

Pear (Pyrus communis.) Not of much importance, but has been known 
to yield nectar very freely under suitable conditions. 

Plums and cherries (Prunus). All the species secrete nectar. The 
choke-cherry, which is common in thickets, attracts many insects. 

Raspberry (Rubus idaeus, variety aculeatissimus). One of the best 
honey plants, where the forest has been lumbered. A splendid honey of 
finest flavor, suggestive of the berry. 

Sumac (Rhus typhina). This common shrub has the staminate and 
pistillate flowers on different individual plants; not common enough in 
Maine to yield a surplus. Honey bright amber, with a bitter flavor at first, 
which later disappears. 

Sweet clover (Melilotus alba). Does not grow well on the clay soil of 
this State; requires a limestone soil. 

Willow (Salix). Valuable in spring for both pollen and nectar, a great 
help in building up the colonies and bridging over backward springs. 
The pussy willow (Salix discolor) is most important. It could be planted 
to advantage in useless wet land. 

Willow-herb (Epilobium angustifolium). Also called greweed, since it 
springs up abundantly on land which has been burned over. An excellent 
honey plant; honey water-white; flowers red purple. — John H. Lovell, 
Bulletin of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Vol. xvii, No. 4. 

MAIZE, see Indian Corn. 

MALLOW (Malva). 

Several lists of honey plants contain some mention of the mallows. 
The bees visit the flowers for both nectar and pollen, but the author can 
find no record to indicate that they are anywhere important. 



152 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



MANCHINEEL (Hippomane mancinella). 

The manchineel is an evergreen tree common to the beaches and 
marshes of southern Florida and the Keys; also found in the Bahamas 
and Tropical America. It is very poisonous, and Britton credits it with 
being the most poisonous of our American trees. He states that the milky 
juice was used by the Caribs to poison their arrows. 

It yields nectar abundantly some seasons and is the source of surplus 
honey. According to E. G. Baldwin, it blooms with pigeon cherry and 
with dogwood, and the late O. O. Poppleton was the only man to at- 
tempt to harvest a crop from the tree, growing as they do on the Keys, 
where not easily accessible. He credits Poppleton with a yield of 28,000 
pounds from the three together in 1910.— Gleanings, April 1, 1911. 

MANGROVE, see Black Mangrove. 




Fig. 90. Manzanita. 



MANITOBA— Honey Sources of. 

In eastern Manitoba the blueberry yields some surplus. The main 
sources of nectar for the Province are white clover, alsike, fireweed, snow- 
berry, perennial sow thistle, Canada thistle, wolfberry, mustard, golden- 
rod, aster and numerous prairie and weed plants. To these are added 
willows and maples as sources of early nectar. — F. W. L. Sladen. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 153 

MANZANITA or BEARBERRY (Arctostaphylos). 

Figure 90 shows the blossoms and leaves of the manzanita, which is 
seldom heard of as a honey plant east of California. The following infor- 
mation is copied from Richter's "Honey Plants of California": 

"Arctostaphylos, manzanita, bearberry. Throughout coast ranges, 
Sierra Nevada foothills and San Bernardino Mountains (2,000 to 9,000 
feet), November to February. 

"The honey is amber and of excellent flavor, much like manzanita 
itself (Colusa County); pollen. San Diego County reports a white 
honey from the manzanita. One of the most important honey plants 
to induce bees to early breeding. In some parts of Monterey, Colusa 
and Eldorado Counties, a 20 to 40 pound surplus is obtained, and on 
very warm days (Monterey County) nectar can be shaken from the 
bloom. A beekeeper from Applegate reports it to be his best honey 
yielder." 

The Arctostaphylos uva ursi, bearberry or bear grape, according to 
Gray, occurs on the rocks and bare hills from New Jersey and Pennsyl- 
vania to Missouri and far north and westward. It is also said to be com- 
mon in Europe and Asia. It is recorded in the local lists of plants of 
Connecticut and Ontario, although, probably because nowhere abundant, 
it is not known as a source of honey. Although Richter's list does not 
give the species from which their honey is secured, it is probably A. 
manzanita or A. tomentosa, or other species peculiar to the West Coast. 

The leaves of the eastern species are much used in medicine. It is 
said to be an astringent tonic, used in diseases of the liver. 

MAPLE (Acer). 

Almost all of the early pollen and nectar comes from trees, and most 
of the trees bloom early. The maples are mostly large trees confined to 
North America and temperate regions of the old world. Two species are 
commonly planted for shade and ornament — the sugar maple or hard 
maple (Acer saccharinum) and the red maple or soft maple (Acer rubrum). 
The photographs show the blossoms of the soft maple. (Fig. 91.) 

Maple lumber is commonly used in the manufacture of furniture, floor- 
ing and finishings. The blossoms come very early, when especially valuable 
in building up colonies for the main honey flow. If the bees were as 
numerous as later, the nectar stored from maple blossoms would make a 
creditable yield. Mr. C. L. Pinney, of Iowa, reports that one year his 
scale hive showed a gain of from one to two pounds daily from soft maple, 
when the ground was still covered with snow. 

If it were possible to have colonies come through the winter with as 
many bees as they have at the beginning of winter, beekeeping would 
be a bonanza. Instead of having one or two flows, there would be first a 
flow from maple and willow, followed by one from dandelion and fruit 
bloom, ahead of the big clover flow. However, the beekeeper whose apiary 
is situated near plenty of such trees as willow, maple, elm and box-elder 
is fortunate, indeed, for the bees get a splendid stimulation very early, 
and should be in prime condition for business when clover comes on. 

The big-leaf maple of the Pacific Coast (Acer macrophyllum), also 



154 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



known as Oregon maple, California maple, water maple or white maple, 
is reported as of special importance in Oregon and British Columbia, its 
yield is usually cut short by rains. It is found in the Sierra Nevada and 
coast ranges of mountains in California, north to southern Alaska. (See 
also Box-elder). 





At left staminate 



isoms and at righ 
Both yield nectar 



stillate blossoms of red map' 



MARIGOLD (Gaillardia pulchella). 

There are several species of Gaillardia common to a wide scope of 
country. This particular species ranges from Louisiana west to New 
Mexico and Arizona. It is the source of large quantities of yellow honey 
in Texas, where it is highly regarded as a honey plant. It is reported as 
yielding surplus occasionally as far south as Brownsville, though not fre- 
quently. 

Scholl lists it as "a main source of surplus; honey dark amber and of 
good quality. May and June." (See also Spanish needle.) 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 155 

MARJORAM (Origanum vulgare). 

The marjoram is an European plant, cultivated in gardens, which has 
become naturalized along roadsides in the Atlantic Coast States. Ac- 
cording to Lovell, it is a favorite of honeybees; not sufficiently common to 
be of much value. 

MARRUBIUM, see Hoarhound. 

MARYLAND— Honey Sources of. 

Willows, maples, fruit blossoms and dandelion furnish nectar and 
pollen for spring brood rearing. Tulip-poplar is probably the most import- 
ant source of surplus where the bees are prepared to gather it. Coming so 
early, few beekeepers have their colonies ready for this flow. Clover, 
locust, sumac, holly, laurel, clethra, heartsease, Spanish needle, asters and 
goldenrod are valuable. Tupelo and black-gum are also to be found in the 
State. There is a long list of minor sources similar to those listed for New 
Jersey. 

MASSACHUSETTS— Honey Flora of. 

White clover, found in nearly all quarters of the State. 

Alsike clover. Under favorable conditions it yields not only a good 
quality of nectar but large quantities of it. 

Red clover. The second flowering is somewhat accessible to bees. 

Sweet clover. Two species, neither abundant in Massachusetts. 

Goldenrod and asters. Rank close to clovers in nectar production. 

Fruit bloom. Apple, pear, cherry, plum, peach, etc., source of early 
stores, upon which the colonies build up for the clover harvest. The body 
is heavy, the color clear and light and the flow comes with a rush, which 
insures handsome sections; but best of all is the exquisite aroma of the ap- 
ple blossom, which places fruit bloom honey in a class by itself. 

Linden or basswood. Doubtless the most valuable tree honey plant 
in Massachusetts. 

Buckwheat. Reported from all counties in Massachusetts. 

Wild raspberry and blackberry. The nectar flow is of long duration, 
beginning after fruit bloom has ceased. 

Several species of sumac are important honey sources which are 
greatly underestimated. 

Locust. A valuable forage for bees. Reported as sporadic in yield. 

Maple. Probably of less importance as a honey plant than the mints, 
strawberry and milkweed. 

Clethra. Known also as black alder and sweet pepper bush. A valu- 
able honey secreting plant, largely confined to a belt paralleling the east- 
ern coast. 

Milkweed. Where milkweed occurs in large quantities it is a valuable 
honey plant. Reported as important from Berkshire County. 

Wild cherry, knotweed, dandelion, strawberry, chestnut, mints, gill- 
over-the-ground and mustard also reported occasionally as valuable. 

Willow and skunk cabbage valuable for early pollen as well as some 
nectar.— Burton N. Gates. Bulletin 129, Mass. Ag. Ex. Sta. 



156 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS . 

MAT GRASS, see Carpet Grass. 

MATRIMONY VINE (Lycium vulgare). 

Matrimony vine is a low, spiny shrub, with very long, lithe and almost 
climbing branches. It came originally from the Mediterranean region and 
was very generally planted for ornament about American homes a genera- 
tion ago. It is very persistent, and has run wild about many deserted 
home sites. The small flowers clustered in the axils of the leaves are very 
attractive to the bees, and, where sufficiently common, the plant is prob- 
ably of considerable importance. 

MAYWEED (Anthemis Cotula). 

The mayweed or dog fennel is an old-world weed extensively natural- 
ized from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and west to Texas. It is common 
along roadsides, in barn lots and waste places generally. Lovell credits it 
with yielding a honey that is light yellow in color and very bitter. It is 
seldom mentioned as a source of nectar. 

Richter states that because of its blooming between spring and sum- 
mer it is of considerable value to many Sacramento Valley beekeepers. 

MEDICAGO, see Alfalfa. 
MELIA, see China Tree. 
MELILOTUS, see Sweet Clover. 
MELISSA, see Bee Balm. 

MELONS (Cucumis melo). 

Melons are valuable sources of honey. In locations where they are 
grown in large acreage, as in the Rocky Ford district of Colorado, consid- 
erable quantities of honey are stored from them. There are numerous 
varieties of muskmelons, canteloupes, etc., but apparently there is not 
much difference in the value of the various sorts to the beekeeper. 

As with cucumbers and pumpkins, the male and female blossoms are 
on different parts of the stem. Bees and insects carry the pollen from one 
to another, if in close proximity, and often cause hybridization. 

MENTZELIA. 

Mentzeli speciosa is a conspicuous plant along roadsides and waste 
places in Colorado. Its large white blossoms are closed during the heat of 
the day, but beekeepers report that the bees work upon it freely in early 
morning and late evening. It is probably not important. 

In Oregon the stickleaf (Mentzelia albicaulis) grows freely on dry, 
stony land. It has a spreading habit and its pale orange colored flowers 
are very attractive to the bees. 

MESQUITE (Prosopis glandulosa). 

The mesquite, or mezquit, is the most important plant of the arid re- 
gions from central Texas to New Mexico and eastern California. At a 
distance it has much the appearance of an aged peach tree. A northern 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



157 



man riding through the mesquite region on the train, for the first time, 
remarked 'that he had never seen such extensive peach orchards in his 
life. The tree is much branched and spreading in habit and is the source 
of fuel for the inhabitants of the region. Live stock also are fond of the 
leaves and pods and the Indians of the Southwest eat the seeds, first 
grinding them into meal and baking them. 

The same or a closely related species is common in Hawaii, where it 
is known as algaroba. There it is one of the most important sources of 
honey. (See Hawaii). This species is sometimes called honey-pod or 
honey-locust, although the true honey-locust is a very different tree. 




Mesquite is one of the most important sources of honey in the Southwest, 



In the desert regions of California it is an important source of large 
quantities of honey, as it is in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In south- 
west Texas mesquite is the principal source. The honey is light amber 
and of good quality. Beekeepers report that it is lighter in color some 
years than others, even though nothing is blooming at the same season, so 



158 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

the difference cannot be laid to a mixture of honey from different sources. 
The quality of mesquite honey is good. It is reported to yield more regu- 
larly on sandy land than on heavy soil. 

There are two blooming periods, the first in spring, usually in April, 
and the second in July. If 'there has been plenty of moisture previously 
the mesquite blooms profusely, due to the fact that it roots very deeply 
and can reach any moisture that is available in the soil. 

MEXICAN CLOVER (Richardia scabra). 

The name clover is a misnomer, for this plant does not belong to the 
clovers but to an entirely different group. It is a luxuriant annual weed 
growing to a height of two feet or more. The bees are reported as work- 
ing upon it quite late in 'the season. 

The plant was introduced from the tropics and has become natural- 
ized in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. 

MICHIGAN— Honey Sources of. 

While Michigan is within the clover belt, there are a greater variety 
of sources of surplus honey than in most nearby States. In spring, wil- 
lows, maples, fruit bloom and dandelion have the usual importance. Both 
white and alsike clover yield surplus in Michigan. To 'these may be added 
wild raspberry, fireweed or willow herb and milkweeds, all of which are 
important sources of surplus honey in the northern part of the State. Bass- 
wood was formerly important and still produces surplus in some sections, 
though many of the basswood forests have been cut. Buckwheat is also a 
source of surplus in some parts of Michigan, though according to E. D. 
Townsend surplus from buckwheat is only to be expected on "a rather 
poor quality of sandy soil." Townsend says, further, that alsike is worth 
all other sources put together in the southern two-thirds of the lower 
peninsula, and that aster yields surplus in Sanilac County. — Gleanings, 
page 1184, 1908. 

MIGNONETTE (Reseda odorata). COMMON MIGNONETTE. 

The mignonette of our gardens is a native of Egypt which came to 
America by way of Europe. It is frequently mentioned as a honey plant, 
especially in older literature. Some extravagant claims have been made 
for it, but perhaps it has never been given a fair test on a sufficiently 
large scale to demonstrate fully its value. The following extract from an 
article which appeared in the American Bee Journal, Page 47, 1878, is of 
interest in this connection : 

"After being started under diligent cultivation it was astonishing 
to see the rapid progress which they made. The plants soon covered 
the ground, where soil was good, and were out in blossom in a short 
time, and from that time forward the bees were working on them by 
the thousand from morning till late afternoon. I have seen them 
thick on it by 8 o'clock. It yields pollen as well as honey. * * * 

"I have found that on account of the spikes of the blossom being 
so much longer, the bees must work on the larger varieties. I have 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 159 

some sorts which stand two feet high, the spikes being from eight to 
ten inches long. * * * 

"A correspondent from California stated that he thought an acre 
of mignonette would be adequate for a hundred colonies. * * * 

"When you give them this in addition to what they would other- 
wise have, it will certainly secure an immense addition to the honey 
produced. There is no plant within the range of our knowledge as 
valuable for bee forage as mignonette. It will bloom year after year 
if not disturbed by frost and gives a longer period of bloom than any 
other plant. It gives more blossoms in a given space and more forage 
than ain- plant we have ever seen. Honey from this plant has the most 
delicious fragrance of any we have ever tasted." — William Thompson. 
It was later tested at the Michigan Agricultural College, but Professor 
Cook failed to bear out the above claims. He reported as follows : 

"I expected great things of this plant, as the bee papers were very 
high in their praise of its qualities. June 23 it began to blossom, and 
it was not till the 27th that the bees began their work upon it. They 
did not seem to take to it very readily, for on every occasion that I 
made observations, I found very few bees present. With us it proved a 
failure. Others have corroborated this statement. * * * It is rather 
a delicate plant for this climate."— Page 83, A. B. J., 1878. 
It is listed by Richter in Bulletin 217, "Honey Plants of California," 

with the statement that it is "very much visited by bees whenever in 

bloom." 

MILK VETCH (Astragalus). 

The milk vetch is a close relative of the loco (see Loco), and like 
the loco is visited by the bees. Some species are of some value for honey, 
especially in the plains region west of the Missouri River. 

MILKWEED (Asclepias). 

The milkweeds are a large family of plants common to the temperate 
and tropical regions of many parts of the world. North America alone has 
55 recognized species. These plants are also known as butterfly weeds 
and milkweeds. The blossoms are borne in large ball-shaped clusters as 
shown in Figure 92. The seeds are attached to silken parachutes, on 
which they are carried by the wind. It is these silky attachments that 
give rise to the name "silkweed." Remarkable yields of honey are some- 
times secured from milkweeds. An average yield of 100 pounds per colony 
from this source is occasionally reported through the bee magazines. 

Much has been written about the entangling of bees in the pollen 
masses of milkweed. It frequently happens that bees thus entangled are 
unable to free themselves and die as a result. Some species of milkweed 
is included in nearly every list of honey plants which the author has con- 
sulted. Apparently it may be regarded as of some value almost every- 
where. The honey is said to be light in color and of good quality. 

It is of special importance in northern Michigan, where it grows in 
great abundance, as shown by Figure 93. In some locations beekeepers 
report an average per colony production of 50 pounds, year after year, 
from milkweed. 



160 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 




Fig. 92. Blossoms of the milkweed. 
MILKWEED VINE, see Bluevine. 

MINNESOTA— Honey Sources of. 

In early spring the willows and maples, followed by dandelions are im- 
portant for spring brood rearing. Fruit bloom is also valuable in spring. 
White clover and alsike are the most important sources of surplus. Prob- 
ably there is no place in the world where these clovers yield nectar more 
abundantly than in Minnesota. Sweet clover is also important in some 
sections of the State. Willow herb or fireweed, basswood, goldenrod and 
asters may be mentioned. 



MINT (Mentha). 

Richter lists the spearmint, or peppermint, (Mentha spicata), as yield- 
ing a great abundance of amber colored honey in Sacramento County, 
California and southward. Spearmint was introduced from Europe and 
has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized in many places, both 
east and west. 

He also lists the tule mint (Mentha canadensis) as yielding honey from 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



161 



July to October. The mints belong to an important group of honey plants 
and where sufficiently common are valuable. They should not be confused 
with hedge nettle, which is locally called mint in many places. (See Hedge 
Nettle). 




Fig. 



In Northern Michigan milkweeds grow abundantly over large areas and are the 
source of much surplus honey. 



MISSISSIPPI— Honey Sources of. 

Along the eastern border of the State there is a large area where sweet 
clover is widely disseminated. In this section large yields of surplus honey 
from this source are reported. An average yield of 140 pounds per colony 
of surplus from 700 colonies in one yard near Prairie Point has been re- 
ported to the author by a prominent Mississippi apiarist. 

Willow, maple, fruit bloom and elm are reported as important for 
early pollen and nectar. White clover yields some honey in the northern 
part of the State. Persimmon is given as an important source of dark 
honey. Bitterweed yields freely, but the quality is so poor as to be of 
little value. Tupelo and cotton are valuable in some sections of the State. 
There is some fall honey from asters and goldenrod. 

The coast region offers a vast area of gallberry and there is much titi 
along the streams. There are some very good unoccupied locations in 
Mississippi which offer great possibilities for honey production. 



MISSOURI CURRANT, see Buffalo Currant. 



162 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

MISSOURI— Honey Sources of. 

White clover is the one principal source of honey in Missouri. Sweet 
clover yields surplus in some localities. In the low lands along the Missis- 
sippi River, heartsease, Spanish needle and boneset are also important. In 
many places south of the Missouri River, bitterweed yields some nectar, 
which is often mixed with the better honey and spoils the quality. Blue- 
vine (Gonolobus laevis) yields surplus in a few localities. In the vicinity 
of Brunswick as much as 100 pounds of surplus per colony has been re- 
ported. 

Only a small portion of Missouri is well suited to commercial beekeep- 
ing, owing to uncertainty of the honey flows. With the extension of the 
growth of sweet clover as a farm crop conditions are improving. 

MISTLETOE (Phoradendron flavescens). 

The mistletoe is too well known to need description. It occurs as a 
parasite on trees from southern Xew Jersey and Missouri south to Florida 
and Texas. It is a yellowish-green shrub, much branched, which grows on 
the branches of the trees to which it attaches itself. It flowers early, usu- 
ally in February and March, and is frequently mentioned as a honey plant 
in the Southern States. Scholl lists it as the first source of nectar and 
pollen in Texas, blooming there in January and February. Many Texas 
beekeepers regard it as valuable for spring stimulation. 

MONARDA, see Horsemint. 

MONTANA— Honey Sources of. 

The principal sources of nectar in Montana are alfalfa and white sweet 
clover in Yellowstone, Sun River, Missouri, Gallatin and Flat-Head Val- 
leys; yellow sweet clover in Bitterroot Valley, White clover in Bitterroot 
and Gallatin Valleys, and fireweed in northwestern timbered region. 
Minor plants are willow, dandelion, Grindelia (gum-weed), etc. — H. A. 
Scullen. 

MONUMENT PLANT (Frasera). 

The monument plant is variously known as columbo, deer's ears (a 
translation of the Xavaho name), and Frasera. It grows in high altitudes 
from 7,000 to 10,000 feet, from South Dakota westward to Montana and 
Oregon and south to Xew Mexico and California. 

It has large, creamy blossoms, about two inches in diameter, on tall 
flower stalks growing to a height of three feet. (Fig. 94.) It is common 
in the Rocky Mountains and is much sought by the bees. According to 
Wesley Foster it is an important source of honey in May. It is a striking 
plant which once seen is not likely to be forgotten. 

MORNING-GLORY (Convolvulus). 

The morning-glory is a twining perennial vine of wide distribution 
throughout the United States. It has a large bell-shaped corolla and is 
often grown for ornament, Originally it was introduced from Europe 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



163 




Fig. 94. The 



nuiii'.ent plant (J fa) is a striking plant which, once seen, is 

not likely to be forgotten 



164 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



as an ornamental and has escaped and become naturalized in waste places, 
eld fields and along fences everywhere. It is probably not important to the 
beekeeper anywhere, but Richter lists it as a honey plant at Sacramento, 
California, and Scholl lists it as yielding some honey and pollen in Texas. 
At Victoria, Texas, according to M. B. Talley, morning glory yields 
surplus hone}- of fine quality in September. There it is called tievine. 

MOTHERWORT (Leonurus Cardiaca). 

The common motherwort is a weed introduced from Europe and 
Northern Asia. It is now quite generally naturalized from Canada to 
Florida and west to Louisiana. For some reason, it is seldom included in 
lists of honey plants, although it is said to be an excellent source of nec- 
tar. Reports of bees working on this plant very freely, in 1914, when 
most other plants failed to yield anything, were frequent. 

The motherwort grows in clumps in waste places in old barn lots, 
along railroads, in factory grounds, etc. It grows from two to six feet 
high, with small flower clusters in the axils of the leaves. It is a relative 
of the catnip, and apparently equally attractive to the bees. This plant 



k 

i Wis -M^jj'Mts^M 


- 

** 


tm 








J* 


XjjN£$fr 


1 


■■■■BBHHHHR 





Fig. 95. Clump of motherwort in barnyard. 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



165 



was formerly used to some extent in medicine, especially for diseases of 
women. It is also known as lion's tail. 

Figure 96 shows the blossoms and leaves, and Figure 95 a clump of 
the plants. 

MOUNTAIN LAUREL, see Laurel. 

MOUNTAIN LILAC (Ceanothus). 

There are several species of mountain lilac common to California and 
the Western States. They are closely related to the buckthorns. (See 
Buckthorn). New Jersey tea belongs to this group. (See New Jersey 
tea). 

Jepson lists fourteen species of Ceanothus common to California. 
They are shrubs or small trees with small but showy flowers, borne in 
umbels or panicles. The California species are mostly evergreen. 

They are known by various names, as deer-brush, California lilac, 
mountain lilac, etc. One species is called buckbrush. 

Some species are common to the Mountain States from Wyoming and 
Colorado to Arizona and west to Texas. Both honey and pollen are se- 
cured from this source, though there are probably not many places where 
surplus yields may be expected. 

MOUNTAIN MINT, see Basil. 
MOUNTAIN QUEEN, see Yucca. 




Fig. 96. Motherwort in bloom. 



166 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



MUSTARD (Brassica campestris). 

Figure 97 shows the common yellow mustard (Brassica campestris), 
which is common all over North America and in Europe. The black mus- 
tard (B. nigra) also has a very wide distribution in Europe and America. 
There are about 50 species, including the closely related cultivated varie- 




ties of cabbage, turnips, rutabagas and mustard. All produce some nec- 
tar, and in some localities they are an important source of honey. In 
parts of California, notably the Lompoc Valley, mustard is grown com- 
mercially for seed; much honey is stored from this source. The honey 
is said to be light in color and mild in flavor. Apparently there is much 
variation in the amount of nectar, according to climatic conditions. In 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 167 

any locality where it is sufficiently abundant, mustard can be expected to 

add something to the product of the apiary. 

The late J. S. Harbison wrote, in his "Beekeepers' Directory,": 

"Mustard affords a larger amount of valuable pasturage to the acre 
than almost any other plant. It blooms throughout the month of May, 
and part of June. During this time, bees increase in numbers, and 
store from it large quantities of honey of a clear yellowish color, but 
partaking slightly of the taste of the plant." 



N 



NAPA THISTLE, see Star Thistle; aiso Centaurea. 

NEBRASKA, Honey Sources of. 

Most of Nebraska's surplus honey is secured from clover, though 
alfalfa is important in the western part of the State, especially under irri- 
gation. White clover, alsike and sweet clover are all important honey 
plants in Nebraska. Cottonwood furnishes an important source of pollen 
in spring. Willows and maples furnish both nectar and pollen, while fruit 
bloom and dandelions are usually sufficient to enable the bees t > build 
up for the clover flow. There is a great variety of minor sources which 
are not sufficiently abundant to yield much surplus. Among these may be 
mentioned, milkweeds, catalpa, Rocky Mountain bee plant, buffalo bur, 
vervain, Spanish needles, etc. 

Heartsease yields abundant surplus some years and basswood was 
formerly important in some places in eastern Nebraska. 

NECTAR AND NECTAR SECRETION. 

The great Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, nearly two hundred years ago, 
basing his classification of plants on their flowers, found it necessary to 
name and account for all of the parts of a flower. In many cases he found 
structures that were neither sepals, petals, stamens nor pistils, and as 
these contained, or were wet with, a sweet fluid, he gave this the fanciful 
name "nectar"— the drink of the gods, and called the parts of the flower 
that produced or contained it, "nectaries." 

As these nectaries were different from stamens and pistils, which Lin- 
naeus recognized as the sexual organs of flowers, though they are some- 
times connected with them, and as they were different from ordinary 
sepals and petals, though sometimes connected with them, they presented 
something of a question to the men of that day, who were curious to 
know what the parts of a plant really are and what they do. For this 
reason the study of nectaries became something of a popular diversion 
for a generation or two; and a general idea that they are organs for se- 
creting sugar became established; not necessarily an idea of secretion, 



168 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



though, for just as animals excrete various organic substances that are 
by-products, or waste, from some of their functions, so it was thought by 
some students that the sugar or nectar might really be an excreted waste 
or surplus rather than a substance secreted because it is to become useful 
to the plant. 



'.i" -.' 'i ^T ^ ." . '. '; ,;■ Hi m 




Fig. 9S. Sprengel's title page. 



Toward the end of the eighteenth century a German rector, Sprengel, 
who seems to have found in nature a good deal of inspiration that he 
failed to "put over," noticed that the petals of the common German wild 
geranium were fringed with hairs at their bases. That was in the day 
before men believed in evolution, but when they did believe in a purposeful 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 169 

creation. Sprengel was convinced that an all-wise Creator would not 
have made a single hair in vain, and he set about discovering what these 
hairs were for, much as a sensible person, seeing the governor on an en- 
gine today would try to find out what it is for. Below the break between 
•the petals, he found a nectar gland, producing its sugary fluid; and he saw 
the hairs would prevent the nectar from being diluted or washed away by 
rain or dew. This brought him back to the original question — what nec- 
taries and nectar are for. He got his answer to this by watching the 
plant and seeing that bees visited the flowers and removed the nectar as 
what might be called the raw materials of the honey industry. 

In Sprengel's day the general impression was not only that things 
have been created just as we find them, but created for our own ultimate 
good. So Sprengel found an answer in discovering that the hair fringe of 
the geranium petals protects the nectar of the flowers and so preserves 
it for bees to use in manufacturing honey for our breakfast table. 

When you stop to think about it, Sprengel could hardly have had the 
curiosity to study out his geranium question to an answer without being 
spurred to look at other flowers to see if they might not have something 
interesting of the same sort to offer. He yielded to the impulse to look at 
other flowers, and he found his geranium to be a very drab specimen com- 
pared with some of the irregular and painted flowers that he studied out in 
the same way. He must have felt no common pride when, in 1793, he pub- 
lished the results of his studies, with simple but effective illustrations, 
under a title that meant revealing to mankind the newly discovered secret 
of nature in the structure and fertilization of flowers. 

But Sprengel seems not to have been the sort of man to whom such 
an answer really was an answer, and he looked further. It does not seem 
to have taken him long to see that while gathering their own store of 
honey, and obviously without consciousness that they were doing anything 
else, the bees became dusted with pollen from geranium stamens and 
rubbed it off on geranium stigmas while going their rounds of the flowers. 
This conclusion evidently answered two questions — what the hairs are for, 
and what nectar is for. 

It is not necessary to walk down Michigan Boulevard on a windy day 
to realize that we belong to an imitative race. The corner grocery and 
the drug store show it as well as the windows of milliners and dress- 
makers, shoe shops and news stands, or as the sights that issue from a 
barber shop in a college town. 

Fashions run in fads and interests quite as much as in dress. Linnaeus 
was a great botanist; perhaps none has been greater. He not only re- 
duced a chaotic science to order, but interested men in its study to a re- 
markable extent. It is rather unfairly charged against him that because 
his service was somewhat one-sided, those whose interest he awakened 
were extremely one-sided, in that they did not see or care for much in 
botany beyond finding, describing and classifying new plants. This was 
well enough worth doing; it is not finished yet, and will not be finished 
for many years to come; but it had become so fascinating and workable 



170 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



through the genius of the Swedish master that his followers seized on it 
with eagerness, and it was a long time before a mind of original habits 
and impulses broke loose from the train. 

The man who possessed this originality was Darwin, the promulgator 
of the now universally accepted idea of organic evolution. To him has 
been ascribed the introduction of a new teleology into natural science, 
recognizing that structures and functions are because they are or have 
been of use — not of use to man necessarily, though man may turn them to 
account — but to their possessor. 




Fig. 99. 



This was Sprengel's conclusion as to the nectar of geranium flowers, 
which he found led to their fertilization. The essential difference between 
his way of seeing it and Darwin's is that he thought the entire mechan- 
ism has been specially made by the Creator as a means to an end, while 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 171 

Darwin saw in it the gradual modification of earlier structures because 
the new were helpful in the struggle of life and their possessors for this 
reason were likely to survive and pass them on to their offspring. 

There is a German country saying that the honeybee was forbidden 
the red clover because she didn't keep Sunday. Beekeepers know that her 
tongue is a little too short for the honey tube of the red clover flower 
and that she doesn't waste time in trying to get what is out of her reach. 
They know, too, that some races of honeybees really can suck the red 
clover nectar because they have longer tongues, and if beekeepers ever 
want to do it they can probably set an expert plant breeder to work at 
breeding a race of red clover with a tube short enough so that even the 
German honeybee can get at its nectar. Natural evolution hasn't done 
this. Where red clover is at home bumblebees are found, and bumblebees 
have no difficulty in reaching its nectar much as hawk-moths get that of a 
moon flower, which is far beyond the reach of any kind of bee. But in 
the South Seas, where there are no long-tongued bees, red clover finds 
itself as unable to set seed as the German honeybee is to get at its nectar. 
Bee and flower have evolved together, where both are at home, into a 
harmony of structure that is helpful to them both. 

Nothing was more suggestive to Darwin in his search for evidences of 
evolution, or modification through descent, than this sort of harmony of 
structure and habit in flowers and insects; and one of his earliest and most 
effective books in bringing his views to the comprehending notice of others 
was one dealing with the mutual relations between those freaks in flowers, 
the orchids, and their insect visitors. 

For Sprengel's teleology, Sprengel's explanation of nectar as a means 
of securing fertilization was sufficient. For Darwin's teleology, it carried 
another question: Why? The geranium flower has both stamens and 
pistil, standing in its middle. The one might fertilize the other just as well 
as not, apparently; and yet this does not happen, for the pollen-bearing 
anthers of the stamens drop off before the stigmas of the pistils come to 
maturity. The same thing may be seen on any single-flowered geranium in 
;. bay window or a greenhouse or a summer window box or flower bed, 
only this geranium does not belong to the genus Geranium of the botan- 
ists, but to the related African genus Pelargonium. 

Looking for a further reason, Darwin saw a step further into the mys- 
tery when he found that these and many other flowers that ought to get 
(.n without any help are as dependent upon insects through their own fail- 
ure to bring pollen and stigma together as those are in which stamens and 
pistils are borne in separate flowers — often on separate plants. To him, 
nectar and its attendants— flower fragrance, color, variegation, bizarre 
shape, long tubes, nectar guards of hairs or some other structure — meant 
what they had meant to Sprengel, fertilization through insect aid; but 
they meant something more, fertilization of one flower by pollen from 
another flower — crossing. 

And still the questions multiply. Why do not all flowers have sta- 
mens and pistil side by side? Why, when they have this structure, do 



172 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

they not time the maturity of these essential parts so as to secure effective 
functioning without all the nectar machinery? In other words, why is 
crossing so commonly necessitated and provided for? 

Science of every kind has been advanced by three methods — reason- 
ing, observation, experimentation. Sprengel's answer was reached by the 
first two; the new answer sought by Darwin was to be obtained through 
the third. For eleven years he put the question direct to the plants them- 
selves, fertilizing them by their own pollen, crossing them, raising and 
requestioning their offspring. More and stronger progeny from crossing 
was the answer. 

The popularity that Linnaeus had given to characterizing and classi- 
fying living things, was transferred by Darwin to studying 'their structure 
and doings. Sprengel's idea fell upon barren soil; Darwin's was cultivated 
with care and skill. 

Two men — Mueller, a German, and Delpino, an Italian, stand out most 
prominently among a multitude who observed and wrote and pictured the 
marvels of flower and insect harmonies for a generation. All did excellent 
work in furnishing details and corroborations; but Darwin had answered 
the question as to the what and the why of the nectar of flowers. 

But there is nectar that is not produced in flowers. Look at the queer 
spots in the angles between the veins on the under side of a catalpa leaf, 
when it is young; or at the little goblets on the stalk of a cherry or peach 
or snowball leaf, or at the pin-head spots on a trumpet-creeper or paeony 
calyx, and you may see glands there that secrete a sweet fluid. Bees may 
not care for it, but wasps or ants do. The cotton plant has such sweet nec- 
tar glands on the outside of the cluster of bracts about each blossom, and 
on the back of its leaves. 

In a very few cases such "extrafloral" nectar serves the same purpose 
as that within the flowers; but generally it does not lead to fertilization. 
Delpino called the nectar that leads to fertilization "nuptial" nectar, and 
the other "extranuptial." 

In the seventies of the last century an English mining engineer, Belt, 
well known in the ore regions of Colorado, was marooned by his profes- 
sion on a mining property in Nicaragua. Using his eyes took the place 
with him of tennis, or of dissipation, which is the white man's bane in the 
tropics. He saw that a certain kind of ants cut the leaves of trees into 
bits which they take into their nests, and that roses and other introduced 
plants fared hard with these leaf cutters, unless they were protected by 
aromatic oils, as various kinds of citrus leaves are, or in some other way. 

Belt did not fail to notice that ants visited extrafloral nectaries in 
numbers. In the case of those on some acacias he found the ants very 
pugnacious. I confess that in Guatemala I have preferred, myself, to go 
around a bush or a grove of such acacias with their ant guards. As with 
Sprengel's geranium hairs, these nectaries unfolded question after ques- 
tion. 

In Belt's case, the tips of the acacia leaflets ripen also into little fruit- 
like bodies that the ants gather and take into their nests; and they 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 173 

make these nests in the stipules that flank each leaf and sometimes are 
shaped like a pair of small buffalo horns. It is an interesting undertaking 
to get the ant census of an acacia twig of this sort. The danger may not 
be as great, but it is as real and perhaps as painful as in taking the cen- 
sus of a mountain valley noted for moonshine traffic. 

Belt drew the conclusion that extranuptial nectar, sometimes supple- 
mented by solid food and shelter, is of use to the plant that provides it by 
maintaining a bodyguard of ants on plants that otherwise would be de- 
foliated and injured by leaf cutters or grazing animals, much as Sprengel 
and Darwin found an explanation of nuptial nectar in the benefit of insect 
pollinization of the flowers. 

This is the simple story of nectar, simply told, as it has been seen by 
observing and thinking men. But it is not a story free from complications. 
Our blue violets rarely set fruit from their showy nectar-bearing flowers, 
but their main reliance for seed is on flowers produced below the leaves, 
and these do not open, but are self-fertilized. The beautiful Poinsettia, 
with its brilliant red bracts and large cups overflowing with thick nectar, 
does not fruit in West Indian gardens any more than it does in our green- 
houses at Christmas time. And irresistibly pugnacious as the acacia ants 
are, those that visit our paeonies and cassias and other plants do not usu- 
ally more than protest mildly if we molest the plants that they are on. 

Are the explanations of Sprengel and Darwin, and of Belt wrong? No 
other that are at all satisfactory have been offered. 

When one stops to think of it, the secretion of nectar is an ususual phe- 
nomenon. Sugar is made within plants and it does not leak from them un- 
less they have been injured. The sugar beet takes various substances out 
of the soil water, but it does not permit the passage of sugar into the soil 
water. And yet nectar, essentially sugar, is passed out of the plant, within 
which it was manufactured. This is because it is secreted — or excreted — 
through specialized glands. Everyone who grows plants in a bay window 
has seen young clover or grass leaves with a drop of water on their tips at 
some time or other. A few grains of bird seed in a flower pot covered by 
a pane of glass will show this as quickly as the seedlings come up. 

These drops pass out finally through pores; but they are drops of water 
and not of nectar. If we can imagine a gland behind such a water pore, 
secreting sugar — letting it really get out of the cells with or into the water, 
we can picture a nectar gland. Such glands occur in some flowers. Some 
botanists believe that extranuptial nectar glands were originally water 
glands that have acquired the habit of secreting sugar. 

This habit is a very unusual and a very peculiar one. It is not really 
understood except as it may be connected with usefulness to the plant. If 
this usefulness is not indirect, in the ways suggested by Darwin and Belt or 
otherwise, it must be direct. Water glands relieve over-pressure when ab- 
sorption is high and evaporation low; in some of the calla family the 
water even spurts from the tips of the leaves at times. But sugar is not 
like water, taken in in quantity and to spare; it is manufactured, and in 
the case of nectar glands it is manufactured where it is secreted. Nobody 
has yet suggested any physiological function of plants calling for sugar 



174 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

safety valves situated in the queer positions occupied by extranuptial nec- 
tar glands, and no satisfactory direct physiological explanation of the 
nuptial glands has been suggested. 

The actual status of nectar in botanical science is about this : When it 
is produced in flowers, and in some cases when it is outside of them, but 
near them, it demonstrably serves to secure cross-pollinization through the 
aid of insects, or humming birds and their like, when the flowers are long, 
tubular and red, as in the trumpet creeper, the trumpet honeysuckle and the 
scarlet salvia. It is then "nuptial nectar." When it does not serve the 
plant in this way and so is "extranuptial," it occurs in the neighborhood 
of the flowers, as in cotton, sweet potato, trumpet creeper and paeony, 
where it attracts numbers of ants, which are often very pugnacious, and to 
the extent of their activities it prevents injury to the flower buds and flow- 
ers, especially in their early stages ; or it occurs on developing leaves dur- 
ing the period of their greatest need. More rarely, as in the acacias, the 
leaves continue to secrete it through the season, so that those that are 
mature add to the protection of the younger leaves and the flowers and the 
young fruit. 

That neither of these functions is served in exceptional cases, and that 
some flowers rely on the wind for effective pollination, or have lapsed into 
self-fertilization; or that really pugnacious ants do not commonly frequent 
the extranuptial glands of most plants in temperate regions, and that some 
plants get along very well without such help, mark questions that will con- 
tinue to stimulate observation and experiment. But nothing now known 
of the physiology of plants offers an alternative explanation for that which 
connects nectar with either pollination or defense; and until such an ex- 
planation can be found nectar will continue to be regarded as connected 
indirectly with these services through insect or bird relations. — William 
Trelease, Botanist, University of Illinois. American Bee Journal, Dec, 1919. 
(See also Physiology of Nectar Secretion). 

NEGUNDO, see Box Elder. 

NEVADA— Honey Sources of. 

Much of Nevada is mountain and desert country. Alfalfa is the prin- 
cipal source of surplus honey, though sweet clover also yields. There are 
numerous minor sources, as willows along the streams and many of the 
desert plants. 

NEW BRUNSWICK— Honey Sources of. 

In New Brunswick the principal sources of nectar are alsike and white 
clover, fireweed, goldenrod and aster. Willows and maples stimulate early 
brood rearing. — F. W. L. Sladen. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE— Honey Sources of. 

The honey flora of New Hampshire is very similar to that of other New 
England States. In spring, willows, maples, fruit blossoms and dandelions 
keep the bees busy in preparation for the main flow, which comes from the 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 175 

clovers. Goldenrod is also important. Sumac, laurel, blueberries and asters 
are worthy of mention, also. 

NEW JERSEY— Honey Sources of. 

Plants from which nectar is gathered in less than surplus quantities: 

Maples, mid-March-early April. 

Peach early April. 

Pear, mid-April. 

Apple, late April early May. 

Willows, late April. 

Dandelion, early May. 

Wild strawberry, May. 

Lupine, May. 

Raspberry, May. 

Grape, late May-early June. 

Huckleberry, blueberry, late May-late June. 

Persimmon, mid-June-late June. 

Vervain, late June-early September. 

Virginia creeper, late June-late July. 

Milkweed, silkweed, July. 

False indigo, July. 

Button bush, July. 

Burdock, July-October. 

Tree of Heaven, pride of China, July. 

Catnip, July 

Motherwort, August. 

Smartweed, heartsease, late August-mid- September. 

Horsemint, August-September. 

Boneset, mid- August-Sept ember. 

Surplus honey plants : 

Crimson clover, mid-May. 
Locust, May 20-June 1. 
Tulip-poplar, May 26-June 10. 
Poison ivy, mid-May-mid-June. 
Holly, late May-late June. 
Mountain laurel, late May-late June. 
Sheep laurel, late May-late June. 
Swedish clover, alsike clover, June 1-July 10. 
White clover, early June-mid-July. 
Dogbane, Indian hemp, early June-late August. 
Basswood, linden, late June-early July. 
California privet, mid-July-late July. 
Sumac, mid-June-mid-July. 
White sweet clover, June-November. 
Cranberry, June 15-August 15. 

August flower, soap bush, sweet pepper bush, late July-late August. 
12 



176 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

Rose mallow, swamp mallow, late July-early September. 

Burdock, July-November. 

Spanish needle, mid-August into October. 

Heartsease, smartweed or blackheart, August-September. 

Heath aster, white aster or St. Michaelmas daisy, late August-mid-Oc- 
tober. 

Bushy goldenrod, late August-mid-October. 

Buckwheat, early August. 

Surplus Honey Regions 

We may divide the State of New Jersey into three sections on the 
basis of surplus honey production. 

The first section includes all of the southern and middle counties and 
the southern part of Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon. As a rule, 
the surplus honey in this district comes from clover. There are, of course, 
occasional places, such as low-lying land along large streams where a sec- 
ond flow is harvested in late summer and early autumn. 

The second district includes all north of the first, with the exception 
of Hudson County and a part of Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Union. In this 
district there are generally two distinct, heavy honey flows, the first from 
clover and the last from buckwheat and fall flowers, such as goldenrod, 
aster, etc. 

The third division, which roughly includes the Passaic and Hacken- 
sack Valleys, and the Raritan Valley below New Brunswick, rarely produces 
any surplus honey except in the fall, and that comes from goldenrod, astc. 
and mallows. 

The presence or absence of a single kind of plant will often decide 
whether the fall flow will be worth consideration. This principle applies 
more particularly to the second district. Should the amount of buckwheat 
sown be very small in some parts of this region the fall surplus would be 
missing. In certain parts of this second district white sweet clover is 
found in great abundance and furnishes surplus throughout the late sum- 
mer and early fall. — Elmer G. Carr, Manual of Bee Husbandry. 

NEW JERSEY TEA or RED-ROOT (Ceanothus americanus). 

New Jersey tea grows from one to three feet high from u dark red 
root, hence the name "red-root." It is a shrubby plant with flowers in 
white clusters. The leaves were used for tea during the revolutionary 
war. It is common in woodlands from Ontario to Manitoba and south 
to Arkansas, Texas and Florida. 

It is not often mentioned as a source of honey, but according to H. B. 
Parks, is regarded as valuable in northwestern Missouri. (See Mountain 
lilac.) 

NEW MEXICO— Honey Sources of. 

Alfalfa is the chief source of surplus honey in the irrigated regions 
of New Mexico. There are some districts where the bloom of orchard 
fruits is important, especially for spring stimulation. The desert flora 
offers a wide variety of minor sources, with a few of surplus importance, 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 177 

Among the latter may be mentioned mesquite, catsclaw and cactus. (See 
Arizona and Texas.) Sweet clover is also important. 

NEW YORK— Honey Sources of. 

W. D. Wright, in Bulletin 49 of the New York Department of Agricul- 
ture, only lists a few plants as important in that State. He mentions 
basswood as formerly one of the principal sources now rapidly passing 
away. Alfalfa is mentioned as a source of honey in central New York. 
Alsike is spoken of as abundant and a splendid honey producer. Good 
yields are frequently gathered from buckwheat in sections where it is 
grown extensively and it seldom fails entirely. Fruit blossoms and black 
locust bloom before the colonies are sufficiently strong to store much sur- 
plus, but are valuable for early brood rearing. Sweet clover, sumac, blue 
thistle and goldenrod are the other sources mentioned. The failure to 
mention white clover is evidently an oversight, since it is one of the 
most important sources of nectar in the State. 

NORTH CAROLINA, Honey Flora of. 

Taking the State as a whole, sourwood, poplar, sometimes called 
tulip tree, and the clovers, are the three leaders. Of these three leaders 
the poplar is the most widely distributed and is prominently mentioned 
in all sections, from east to west. The sourwood is principally confined 
to the Piedmont section, though reported also from the lower mountain 
localities and from the western border of the eastern region. The clovers 
are found in all parts, though more abundant in the mountain and Pied- 
mont sections. Next to these we find the gallberry (Vaccinium sp.) and 
black gum, both taking high rank and both found principally in the east. 
Persimmon ranks sixth and is reported principally from the east, sev- 
eral mentioning it as irregular in yield and lasting but a short time, but 
doing well for a short period. The basswood or linden comes seventh 
and is reported only from the west. Holly and huckleberry (low and 
high) are next in order, both being in the east. Buckwheat follows and is 
confined to the west. 

Twenty-four leading bee pasturage plants: 

Sourwood, Piedmont ; little east and west. 

Poplar (tulip tree), all sections. 

Clovers (all varieties), west and Piedmont; little in east. 

Gallberry, east. 

Black gum, east. 

Persimmon, east and Piedmont. 

Basswood (linden, linn), west. 

Holly, east. 

Huckleberry, east. 

Buckwheat, west. 

Ironweed (aster), Piedmont. 

Locust (black locust), west and Piedmont. 

Aster, all sections. 

Cotton, east and Piedmont. 



178 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

Stickweed (Bidens). 
Fruit trees, all kinds, all sections. 
Peas (cow peas), Piedmont and east. 
Sumac. 

Nut trees (including oak), all sections. 
Goldenrod, all sections. 
Rattan, east. 
Blackberry, all sections. 
Maple .all varieties), all sections. 
Alfalfa, locally grown. 

— Franklin Sherman, Jr., Bui. North Carolina Department of Agricul- 
ture, Vol. 29, No. 1. 

NORTH DAKOTA— Honey Sources of. 

Beekeeping is, as yet, but little developed in North Dakota. Willows 
and cottonwoods furnish early pollen, dandelion and fruit bloom assist 
the bees with both nectar and pollen for early brood rearing. The clovers 
are the principal sources of surplus honey. 

NOVA SCOTIA Honey Sources of. 

Willows and maples are important for spring brood rearing. The 
sources of surplus are alsike and white clover, goldenrod, aster, apple, 
fall dandelion (T. autumnale), wild radish (R. Raphanistrum), blueberry 
and Kalmia angustifolia. — F. W. L. Sladen. 



o 

OAK (Quercus). 

The oaks are frequently reported as sources of nectar. The fac . 
that it is usually honeydew, rather than nectar, which the bees gather 
from oaks. Pollen is produced in abundance by these trees and all species 
may be regarded as valuable for pollen. (Fig. 100.) There are many spe- 
cies of oaks, some of which are common to any part of America where 
trees grow naturally. There are 24 species recorded from Alabama, 24 
from New Mexico and 12 from Connecticut. 

Richter gives 4 species — field oak (Quercus agrifolia), tan bark (Q. 
ciensiflora), mountain white oak (Q. douglassii) and weeping oak (Q. lo- 
bata), as sources of honey in California. Scholl gives 6 species as sources 
of honey in Texas, as follows : Post oak (Q. minor), live oak (Q. virgin- 
iana), red oak (Q. rubra), Spanish oak (Q. palustris), water oak (Q. aqua- 
tica), and jack or barren oak (Q. nigra). 

H. B. Parks, of the Texas Agricultural College, has found that post 
cak yields some nectar from extra floral nectaries. This may be true of 
some other species. 

The live oak yields honeydew in large quantity in west Texas, from 



:t is 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



179 



the balls made by the live oak gall. George Schmidt, of Crystal City, re- 
ports an average of 25 pounds per colony from live oak balls, on the 
Nueces River, in 1917. The honey was dark and heavy, but of good flavor. 
The flow lasted till frost. There are numerous similar reports, from 
west Texas, of honeydew from this source, from August till late fall. 
During the drought of 1917 and 1918 there was little else for the bees in 
many Texas localities, and the live oak saved the bees from starvation. 

Occasionally the bees work on white oaks in Illinois. In this case 
they are attracted by the presence of a soft scale (Lycanium cockerellii). 



1 

it 














la 





Fig. 100. Pollen bearing blossoms of red oak. 
OGECHE PLUM, see Tupelo. 

OHIO — Honey Sources of. 

The sources of nectar in Ohio are very similar to those of many other 
States in the great central basin, where white and alsike clover furnish 
the principal surplus. There is the usual list of plants furnishing nectar 
and pollen for early spring, such as willows, maples, fruit blossoms, dande- 
lions, etc. The main flow comes from white and alsike clover in June and 
July. In some sections buckwheat yields surplus. Basswood, which was 
once an important source of nectar, has been cut until few beekeepers 



180 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



are able to get crops of much value from it. Goldenrod and asters are 
important in many sections for late fall. 

OKLAHOMA— Honey Sources of. 

Fruit blossoms furnish nectar and pollen for early brood rearing. 
Dandelions and willows are also important at this season. Cottonwood 
yields pollen abundantly, as do other shade trees. Alfalfa horsemint, hore- 
hound, sweet clover and cotton are important sources of surplus. 

Among the many minor sources may be mentioned Indian currant, but- 
ton bush, asters, goldenrod, milkweeds, melons, etc. 

OKRA or GUMBO. 

Cook's Manual lists okra as a honey plant. It is a well-known garden 
vegetable, especially popular in the South, but is seldom grown in quan- 
tity sufficient to be important to the beekeeper. 

OLEASTER, WILD OLIVE, RUSSIAN OLIVE (Elaeagnus hortensis). 

The Russian oleaster, known botanically as Var songorica (Fig. 101) 
was first introduced into this country by Professor J. L. Budd because of 
its hardiness and ornamental qualities. The young trees branch freely 




Fig. 101. Oleaster or Russian Olive. 



and produce an abundance of white, scurfy foliage, which makes it a most 
attractive and striking shrub. * * * It is one of the most fragrant of 
cultivated small trees. The season of blossoming varies somewhat, but 
with us (Iowa) is about the middle or early part of June. 

It is one of the best of our spring honey plants. The bees visit the 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 181 

plant in large numbers when in full bloom from eariy morning until late 
evening. — L. H. Pammel, American Bee Journal, November, 1917. 

Eleaegnus argentea, wolf willow or silverberry. It is said to yield 
honey on the prairies. — W. J. Sheppard, British Columbia. American Bee 
Journal, November, 1917. 

OLIVE (Olea europaea). 

The olive is generally cultivated in orchards throughout California. 
Richter states that his bees, within easy reach of several thousand olive 
trees, do not work on them, but that T. O. Andrews, of Corona, and B. B. 
Hogaboom, of Elk Grove, report bees working well on olive bloom. He 
further states that the olive tree is a well known source of honey in Spain. 

ONION (Allium). 

According to Richter, wild onions sometimes yield surplus honey in 
the vicinity of Sacramento, California. In some parts of that State, where 
cultivated onions (Allium cepa) are grown for seed, they are also im- 
portant. The onion yields freely and the honey is said to be amber in 
color with a characteristic onion flavor which disappears after the honey 
i> fully ripened. There are few localities where onions are sufficiently 
abundant to be important. 

ONTARIO— Honey Sources of. 

The principal honey plants of Ontario, in the order of their import- 
ance, are alsike and white Dutch clover, buckwheat, basswood, fireweed, 
wild raspberry, goldenrod, aster, dandelion, sweet clover, viper's bugloss, 
Canada thistle, milkweed and boneset. 

Buckwheat, basswood, sweet clover, viper's bugloss, milkweed and 
boneset are confined principally to the southern part of the province. 
Willows and maples are important for early spring brood rearing.— F. W. 
L. Sladen. 

OPUNTIA, see Prickly Pear. 

ORANGE (Citrus aurantium). 

The orange tree is a native of Asia, early introduced by the colonists 
into Florida. It thrives in a semi-tropical climate and its culture in 
America is confined to southern Florida, a few small areas along the Gulf 
Coast, the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas and to California. It is 
sensitive to frost and the trees are easily killed by freezing. 

In California, orange is one of the important sources of honey. The 
trees bloom in April, when many colonies are too weak to make the most 
oj the crop. The flow is extremely rapid, as at times the nectar is se- 
creted in such abundance that men and horses working in the orchards 
are saturated with it. The flow lasts about three weeks. In 1919 it con- 
tinued 23 days in Tulare County. Four hundred colonies in one yard aver- 
aged more than 60 pounds per colony from orange. O. F. Darnell, of Por- 
terville, extracted 171 pounds of orange honey from one colony in ten days, 
after having previously extracted 24 frames which were not weighed. A. 



182 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

W. Gambs, of Anderson, reported that some colonies, made extra strong 
by drifting bees, stored four full-depth extracting supers of fresh nectar 
from orange in four days. 

In some of the interior valley locations the bees get fair crops from 
orange about four years in five. Along the coast, the fogs are unfavorable 
and the crop is uncertain. Good orange locations are much in demand, 
and many beekeepers move their bees long distances for the flow. With a 
larger reserve supply of honey, left in the hives for winter to enable the 
bees to build up early in spring, and with more careful attention to winter- 
ing, it would be possible to greatly increase the average returns from 
orange. This statement is based on the results of a few beekeepers who 
take special pains to get their bees into condition for the orange flow. 

The honey from orange is white in color, heavy in body, of the finest 
quality, and is much in demand in the markets. 

OREGON CRAB APPLE, see Crab Apple. 

OREGON— Honey Sources of. 

J. W. Wills, of Marion County, Oregon, lists the principal honey plants 
of that State in the American Bee Journal as follows: 

Willow, chickweed, balm-of-Gilead, salmonberry, dandelion, fruit trees, 
grapes, currants, gooseberries, maples, clover, Juneberry, barberry, huckle- 
berries, laurel, milkweed, lobelia, catnip, snowberry, arrowwood, Spanish 
needle and some others. 

P. W. Nicolle, in Gleanings, adds that chittam (Rhamnus purshiana) 
is one of the principal sources. He mentions, also, salal (Gaultheria shal- 
lon) as a source of nectar. Salal is frequently mentioned as valuable in 
Oregon. 

OREGON GRAPE (Berberis nervosa). 

Oregon grape is common in the woodlands near the Coast from Marin 
County, California, northward. It is abundant in the forest regions of 
Washington. It is a shrub with prickly alternate leaves and yellow flowers 
in racemes. Oregon grape is reported as a source of honey of minor im- 
portance in the Northwest. Like the agarites or triple-leaved barberry 
of Texas, it blooms in early spring when it is of special value for stimula- 
tive purposes. Another species of barberry (Berberis Aquifolium) is 
common to this region, and most beekeepers do not differentiate between 
the two species. (See Barberry.) 

OREOCARYA. 

A desert plant growing on high, loose, sandy soils. Blooms in May, 
with a small bur following the bloom. It ranges from Wyoming to Ari- 
zona and west Texas. It yields nectar freely and an average of forty 
pounds per colony has been reported from this source. The honey is light 
amber, of inferior flavor, according to D. W. Spangler, of Longmont, Colo- 
rado, but it is extremely valuable for building up colonies in spring. Ex- 
tended cultivation is rapidly reducing the area where the plant is to be 
found. 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 183 



PALM. 

Royal palms (Roystonea regia) are very abundant in Cuba and Porto 
Rico and are probably the most characteristic trees of those islands. 
They are also to be found to some extent in the southern portions of the 
United States. As sources of honey these trees are important in the 
West Indies, where they yield nectar abundantly. 

The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) has been planted to a limited ex- 
tent in the desert regions of the Southwestern United States. This species 
is reputed to be a splendid source of nectar. 

The cocoanut palm (Cocos nucifera) is the most important of all the 
palm trees, since the nuts furnish large quantities of fond, much used in 
tropical countries. This species is common in the West Indies and in 
southern Florida. Although the source of considerable honey it is not 
equal to the foregoing species as a source of nectar. (See also Palmetto). 

PALMETTO (Sabal). 

The palmettos are the most conspicuous feature of the flora of the 
south half of Florida. (Fig. 104.) The cabbage palmetto is a tree, while 
the saw or scrub palmetto grows more like the underbrush in northern 
forests. To the man accustomed to dense forests, the open, park-like 
growth of the palmettos hardly seems like woodland. The illustration 
gives a good idea of the typical Florida landscape. 

This group of plants is not important in America, outside of the State 
of Florida. A small area in lower Texas, about the mouth of the Rio 
Grande River, is covered by a species of palmetto closely resembling the 
cabbage palmetto, but it is thought to be a different species. An occa- 
sional tree is also found along the seacoast as far north as Charleston, 
S. C. They are to be found also as street trees in various southern 
cities along the Gulf Coast and in south Texas. The small saw palmetto 
(Serenoa serrulata) also extends its range into Georgia and the Carolinas, 
in open pine woodlands. 

In Florida both forms are sufhcientl}' abundant to furnish nectar in 
quantity worthy the attention of the commercial beekeeper. However, in 
too many localities there is little else available, so that the season between 
flows is too long to make beekeeping worth while. To take advantage of 
the palmetto flows and at the same time get good crops through the rest 
of the year, the late O. O. Poppleton practiced migratory beekeeping. His 
apiaries were moved several times during the year, so as to be near dif- 
ferent sources in the period of bloom. The great drawback to beekeeping 
in Florida is the lack of a sufficient variety of honey plants in one loca- 



184 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



tion to support the bees profitably throughout the year. There are a few 
localities, of course, where this does not apply. 

The cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto) (Fig. 102) gets its name from 
the cabbage-like formation in the bud at the top of the growing trunk. 
The tree grows 25 to 35 feet in height and has large fan-shaped leaves 




Fig. 102. Cabbage palmetto in bloom. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



185 



several feet long. It grows along the Atlantic Coast to the north line of 
Florida, but in the interior is not found in abundance more than about 
two-thirds of the way. 

The tree blooms during July and August, the latter date applying to 
northern parts of the State. The blossoms are very delicate and have 
been likened by Professor Baldwin to a giant ostrich plume. (Fig. 105). 
According to his statement, the flowerlets are sensitive to weather condi- 





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tions. Too much moisture blights them, while the opposite extreme blasts 
the delicate bloom. As a consequence, it does not yield abundantly more 
than about one year in three, although at times it yields very profusely. 

"On the St. Lucie River, Mr. Hill extracted, barreled and shipped 
3,500 pounds of palmetto honey from 55 colonies in two weeks." — Page 
489, American Bee Journal, 1899. 

While palmetto honey is regarded as of very high quality, the honey 
from the cabbage tree is rather thin and requires some care in getting it 
properly ripened, as the following quotations will show: 

"Cabbage palmetto honey, sealed or unsealed, will foam as though 
fermentation was in progress; that taken from the combs unsealed will 
ferment enough to deprive it of all the honey flavor, but the sealed only 
foams. Thin and acid and amber in color, it will flow bubbling from 
the cells behind the knife, and it is not a rare thing to see gas bub- 
bles under the cappings of the sealed cells. Whether the colonies are 
strong or weak, it is always the same, when the bees work on the cab- 
bage trees, as the common palm tree of Florida is called. The name 



186 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

comes from the fact that the bud in the head at the top is eaten in 
lieu of cabbage. 

"The saw palmetto is decidedly different in the nectar it yields. 
Saw palmetto honey, even unsealed, may be called a good honey, and 
it is, too. When ripened it is a hone}' that makes a name for itself 
when enough care is taken by the producer to have it unmixed with 
other nectars. 

"I write from personal experience on the east coast of Florida." — 
L. K. Smith, Gleanings, page 39, 1909. 




Fig. 104. The palmettos are a conspicuous feature of the Florida landscape. 

The saw palmetto (Serenoa serrulata), often called scrub palmetto 
(Fig. 103), is a low growing little palm, found on dry soils in the Gulf 
Coast region. In the southern portion of its range, in peninsular Florida, 
it attains the proportions of a small tree. There it sometimes reaches a 
height of 20 feet, with erect or inclined trunk. Further north the stem is 
almost invariably underground. Large areas of pine lands are covered 
with it. 

The blooming time is April and May. O. O. Poppleton wrote con- 
cerning his calendar of the year: 

"April — Saw palmetto flow commences early in the month and con- 
tinues until last of May. Our apiary work these two months is ex- 
tracting, building up all colonies and replacing poor queens." — Bee- 
keepers' Review, page 11, 1893. 

Concerning the honey flow from saw palmetto we quote E. G. Baldwin 
as follows : 

"The honey from saw palmetto is lemon-yellow in color, thick and 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



L87 





Fig. 105. Bloom of the cabbage palmetto. 



188 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



waxy and of pronounced but delicious flavor. It is not quite so trans- 
parent as pure orange honey, but seldom candies, and makes a choice 
table article. Mr. O. O. Poppleton pronounces it the best honey in 
Florida, with the possible exception of tupelo. It is liked by almost 
everyone at first taste; is a trifle milder, even, than orange." — Glean- 
ings, page 177, 1911. 

Forest fires frequently destroy many square miles of the saw pal- 
metto, thus removing this source of nectar for one year. However, ac- 
cording to Baldwin, the burned-over portions usually produce the most 
honey the following year. 

Concerning the flow from palmetto, E. B. Rood, of Bradentown, writes 
as follows : 

"We have been having the heaviest honey flow from palmetto for 
ten years. One colony on scales brought in 50 pounds in four days, 
and 80 pounds in ten days. I expect 20,000 to 30.000 pounds. I have 
extracted 13,000 pounds now and am just starting on another round." — 
Gleanings, page 703, 1908. 




Fig. 



Partridge pea. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 189 

PARADISE FLOWER, see Acacia. 

PARSNIP (Pastinaca sativa). 

The cultivated parsnip is a valuable honey plant. In the seed belt of 
California, where it is grown largely for seed, it is important as a source of 
surplus. Writing in Gleanings (November, 1919) E. R. Root mentions having 
seen hives five and six stories high, jammed full of honey from parsnip 
and celery. He states that the honey is not of the best, and that honey 
from parsnip is inferior to that gathered from celery. 

PARTRIDGE PEA (Cassia Chamaechrista). 

Partridge pea, known also as sensitive pea, is an important source of 
honey in Georgia and Florida. The flowers, of an attractive yellow color, 
are about the size shown in Figure 106, which displays blossom, seedpod 
and leaf. This plant is common along sandy roadsides in the Middle 
West, and may at times be found for miles at a stretch. It is seldom re- 
ported as an important source of surplus honey, except in the South- 
eastern States. While the bees visit it freely while in bloom in the 
Northern States, the honey stored from this source is seldom noticeable. 

The plant is peculiar in that in addition to the flowers, nectar is se- 
creted by extra floral nectaries at the base of the leaf stalk or petiole. 
The bloom lasts for several weeks in midsummer. As the bloom comes 
for the most part after the close of the clover harvest, its chief value in 
the North is to keep the bees occupied till the later flowers furnish a fall 
flow. The quality stored from this source is reported as poor in the 
North. 

In contrast, the following report indicates that it is valuable in Geor- 
gia and Florida : 

"Bees store from one to three supers, during its flow, of light 

honey. The flow begins in June and lasts until October. "—Wilder in 

American Bee Journal, page 369, 1912. 

PEACH (Prunus persica). 

The cultivated peach is an important source of nectar over a wide scope 
of country. In localities where large peach orchards are found, it is im- 
portant for building up colonies in spring. Like most of the tree fruits, 
the blooming period comes early, before the bees are strong enough to 
profit to the fullest extent from the abundance of nectar. 

PEAR (Pyrus). 

The cultivated pear is old-world origin, but now widely distributed 
in America. Where grown commercially, it is the source of abundant nec- 
tar and pollen in early spring. Most varieties of the pear bloom ahead of 
the apple. Nearly all the tree fruits furnish nectar in abundance and all 
are valued highly by the beekeeper. 

The pear is subject to blight, which destroys thousands of trees every 
year. For a time the honeybee was accused of spreading the blight by her 
visits from tree to tree. There is now serious doubt whether it is possi- 



190 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



ble for the bee to spread this disease. Experiments by Dr. J. H. Merrill, 
at Kansas Agricultural College, indicate that the aphids are the carriers 
of the infection. 

PENNSYLVANIA— Honey sources of. 

Pennsylvania is in what is generally known as the white clover region. 
White and alsike clover are of first importance. Buckwheat, in some sec- 
tions, is also a main source of surplus. In spring, the willows and maples, 
followed by dandelion and fruit bloom, furnish both nectar and pollen for 
early brood rearing. In the mountains, azalea and laurel furnish some 




Fig. 107. Blossoms of Clethra. or sweet pepper bush. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



191 



honey. Black locust, tulip-poplar and sumac are valuable in certain lo- 
calities. Basswood, goldenrod and asters should also be included as of 
local importance. 

PENNYROYAL, see Wild Pennyroyal. 

PEONY. 

The cultivated peonies are introduced from Asia and are commonly 
grown for ornament. Most varieties are double' and produce no pollen. 
The single varieties, however, produce pollen in abundance, and at times 
the bees seek them eagerly. The writer has seen as many as six to eight 
bees gathering pollen on a single blossom. The opening buds also seem 
to exude a nectar-like substance sought by ants and bees. 

PEPPERBUSH or WHITE ALDER (Clethra alnifolia). 

The sweet pepperbush occurs from Maine along the coast to Florida 
and west to Louisiana. It is a small shrub with white flowers, as shown in 
Figure 107, which appear in midsummer. In Alabama, Georgia and north 
Florida, it is common in the coast plain, on swampy banks of streams and 
in low, wet thickets. It is very fragrant when in bloom and is often used 
for ornamental planting on lawns and in parks. The honey is thick, white 
and of fine flavor. In localities where the plant occurs abundantly, in the 
wild state, it seldom fails to bloom, since it grows in wet places and is 
unaffected by drought. 




Fig. 10S. Blossoms and fruits of pepper tree. 



192 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

PEPPERIDGE, see Tupelo. 

PEPPER-TREE (Schinus molle). 

The pepper-tree, a native of western South America, has been widely 
planted in California for ornament and shade. Its bright red berries are a 
substitute for pepper, hence the name. It is a well-known tree on the 
Pacific coast, as far north as Martinez, on the Suisun Bay. It is grown 
in parks, on lawns and along the streets of nearly every Southern Califor- 
nia city. 

While a small amount of bloom may be seen at almost any time of 
the year, its principal period is in late summer when there is a scarcity 
of nectar-secreting blossoms (Fig. 108). The blossoms are rich in nectar 
and the bees gather some surplus from this source. The honey is amber 
in color, strong and rather peppery in flavor. 

The flowers are small and of a greenish or yellowish color, in large 
sprays. The berries ripen in November and December. 

PEPPER-VINE, see Snowvine. 
PERSICARIA, see Heartsease. 

PERSIMMON (Diospyros). 

The persimmon, or possom-wood (Diospyros virginiana), grows from 
southern New England south and west to Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and 
along the gulf to Texas. It is a tree of medium size, reaching a height of 
50 feet and rarely exceeding 12 inches in diameter. (Fig. 109). The fruit 
is composed of a rich and palatable pulp and a few large seeds. When 
green it is very astringent and very disagreeable. The flowers appear 
in May in the southern part of its range, and later northward. Where 
abundant, persimmon is a valuable source of nectar. The Mexican per- 
simmon Diospyros Texana), called also date plum, is a shrub or tree 10 
to 30 feet in height. It thrives best in canyons and ravines, and is com- 
mon over much of south Texas. It is frequently reported as an import- 
ant source of early nectar in many parts of Texas. 

Franklin Sherman, Jr., lists the persimmon as sixth in importance of 
the honey sources of North Carolina. He states that it is irregular in yield 
and lasts but a short time, but does well while it lasts. 

PHACELIA (Phacelia). 

Jepson described thirteen species of phacelia as native to California. 
Of these Richter lists four as of value to the beekeeper. Hill vervenia 
(Phacelia distans) he lists as common in the plains and foothills, yielding 
both nectar and pollen. The caterpillar phacelia (Phacelia hispida) is 
listed as common in the chaparral belt, yielding a water-white honey of 
fine flavor that candies soon after extracting. This is common in Ventura 
County, and M. H. Mendleson reports that he extracted a carload of honey 
from this source before the blooming of the sages. Phacelia ramosissima 
is reported as a fair honey plant, but not equal to the others. The valley 
vervenia, or fiddle neck (Phacelia tanacetifolia) is listed by Jepson 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



m 




persimmon tree. 



("Flora of Western Middle California") as found in the Sacramento Val- 
ley and southward to southern California. It blooms in April and fur- 
nishes bee pasture in about six weeks from seed, and the bloom lasts 
about six weeks. 



194 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

"The nectar flows all day. The honey is amber in color, sometimes 
light green and of a mild aromatic flavor. Cows fed on it show a 
marked increase in flow of milk, but will not eat it alone at first." — 
Harry E. Home, page 342 of above book. 

This species was introduced into Germany and had quite a boom 
there in the early nineties. Much attention was given it in the German 
bee magazines and it was endorsed as valuable both for forage and for bee 
pasturage. 

Scholl lists Phacelia congesta and Phacelia glabra as yielding spar- 
ingly in Texas. Thos. Wm. Cowan writes as follows, in American Bee 
Journal, in regard to the growing of phacelia in Europe: 

"The one grown in Europe, Phacelia tanacetifolia, is literally 
covered with bees from morning till night. The species was intro- 
duced into Europe from California in 1832, and is called tanacetifolia 
(tansy-leaved) from the resemblance of its leaves to those of tansy. 
It is an annual with bluish pink flowers, racemes spike-formed, 
elongated, corymbose; height of plant two feet. It is grown in Europe 
as a bee plant for its nectar, and is the only one which produces an 
appreciable quantity of it." — November 20, 1902, page 751. 
A beekeeper from Indiana reports that Phacelia purshii grows freely 
in the wheat fields in his locality and that the bees work freely on the blue 
flowers. He states that in places it grows so abundantly that the wheat 
takes second place to the phacelia. On the 27th of May, 1919, strong colo- 
nies already had full depth extracting supers almost filled. The honey 
from this source is of good quality. 



PHYSIOLOGY OF NECTAR SECRETION. 

What we call individual plants are complex communities of real mi- 
croscopic individuals, which biologists call cells. These are associated in 
numerous sub-communities differing from one another in structure and 
function. Their specialization results in a division of labor and a corre- 
spondingly large total efficiency, much as specialization and division of 
labor lead to efficiency and productive possibilities in a nation consisting 
of states, and these of smaller communities made up of trades, guilds and 
professions, which in co-operation follow the manifold activities that 
characterize a nation and collectively constitute the national life of its in- 
dividuals, which is far more effective and greater than the individual life 
of any one person or class. 

The active, living part of a cell is its protoplasm — the physical basis 
of life, as Huxley called it in animals and plants alike. Commonly this 
protoplasm encloses itself by a wall of cellulose, an organic substance 
manufactured by the protoplasm. Where two cells are in contact, they 
are usually flattened against one another. When men first began to use 
the microscope, only a little over two centuries ago, it was the walls and 
shapes of cells that attracted attention, and the resemblance to honey- 
comb on a small scale was so striking that the cavities were naturally 
called cells. 

Protoplasm itself is a very complex substance, chemically, and even 
the much simpler cell-wall is far from being always really one identical 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 195 

substance. A considerable part of the thickening of matured cell-walls 
has been laid down on the original partition between two cells, and not 
only differs from this but is not alike in different kinds of cells, and in 
structures like wood and cork it is impregnated with other materials that 
affect the cell-wall very greatly in such respects as hardness and permea- 
bility to water. 

The shells of nuts, for instance, are so impervious that they are com- 
monly "stratified" by planters so that their hard shells may disintegrate 
more or less as a preliminary to germination, a process that not infre- 
quently requires more than a year unless hastened by some expedient like 
that of passing haw fruits through the digestive mill of poultry as a means 
of softening their boney cores, of filing the hard envelope, which is a 
favorite trick of gardeners with nut-like fruits of the lotus or with canna 
seeds. (This is similar to the scarifying of sweet clover seed. — Editor.) 
This is the reason that several times as much clover seed — even good 
seed — must be used on an acre as seems necessary for securing the de- 
sired number of plants. One of these modifications is usual in the outer 
byers of cell-walls on the surface, and it is called cuticularization. Cuti- 
cularized walls are more or less completely water-proofed. When the cells 
that produce nectar are at the surface, their outer walls are cuticularized 
in this way; when they are within the nectary and the nectar passes out 
through stomata, this is scarcely, if at all, the case. 

The greater part of nectar is water, which reaches the surface from 
within the plant cells. To do this it must pass through walls that are 
little, if at all, cuticularized, or it must break through the cuticle. This 
does not mean that it must break through the entire cell-wall; a small 
part if this is modified by the protoplasm into a gum or mucilage, or some 
similar substance, and the water accumulates in this layer and swells it 
until the overlying cuticle is burst. Some form of sugar is a frequent 
result of this disintegration of cellulose. Dissolved sugars pass through 
the ordinary cellulose wall, but they do not pass through the ordinary 
surface layer of protoplasm in the outer cells. 

When water is separated from a solution like that of sugar by a filter 
of tli is sort, which allows water to pass but is not permeable to the dis- 
solved substance, the action is set up that physicists call osmosis, and 
water accumulates on the side of the dissolved substance until it exer- 
cises a very considerable pressure. This action not only bursts the cuticle, 
when it starts beneath it, but results in a flow of water within the plant 
at that point. 

The absorbing roots of plants show another result of this physical 
property, osmosis. They are not waterproofed; water is continuous 
through them, from the thin layer in which it occurs about particles of the 
soil, to the water which composes a great part of the weight of the proto- 
plasm within the cells. This sap of the root cells contains dissolved sugar 
and other osmotic substances. Osmotic absorption by the roots results in 
a. pressure of several atmospheres. This pressure, passed from cell to cell, 
gives the crispness to fresh celery. Its loss, through evaporation from the 
leaves, results in the loss of this crispness, or wilting. 



196 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



When evaporation is slight, as in a saturated atmosphere, water exudes 
at the surface through pores such as occurs at the tip of a young grass or 
clover leaf. Water pores of this sort are common. They are regarded as 
pressure-valves by many botanists. The water that they eliminate is usu- 
ally filtered by the protoplasm that it passes through, which does not allow 
the passage of substances dissolved in the cell sap; but some plants which 
grow where they absorb very "hard" water pass lime salts out through 
their water pores to such an extent that they are encrusted with lime as 
the water evaporates. 




Part of flower of Gl 



in. (u) nectaries; (ct) stamens. Greatly magnified. 
Bonnier's "Les Nectaires." 



The safety-valve elimination of water under strong internal pressure 
and lessened normal evaporation is hardly to be called excretion or ac- 
cretion; the extruded water is neither by-product nor manufactured out- 
put. The elimination of lime appears to be on the border line of excretion. 

Nectar is not merely water; if it were its production would be more 
easily understood. To the taste, it is sweet; to the sense of smell, it is 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



197 



often fragrant; occasionally it is poisonous; often it is somewhat colored. 
Commonly it is very fluid, but in the nectar-cups of poinsettia it becomes 
very gummy. These properties come from substances — sugars, volatile 
oils, poisonous organic compounds — that were made by and in the plant, 
and they differ in different kinds of plants. Whatever bees or ants may do 
in changing nectar into honey, they do not entirely change or remove 
these substances, and the rank brown honey of the drug store is as easily 
run to its source as the popular white clover honey, the daintily flavored 
product of western alfalfa, the aromatic acid honey of the red raspberry, 
or the greenish product of the sweet clover with its delicate vanilla-like 
aroma, the cumarin source of which shows itself in an occasional head- 
ache, much as the minor organic constituents of some honeys derived from 
the heath family now and then prove seriously poisonous. 

A fluid that contains these organic substances necessarily falls into the 
category of excretions or secretions, according as it represents waste or 
usable material. As either excretion or secretion it is the product of spe- 
cialized organs, glands, and its appearance marks these glands as in ac- 
tion or performing their function. Whatever else may be involved, this 
depends upon the activity of their protoplasm, or is controlled by it. 
When this is killed, secretion or excretion stops. 




All parts of plants are composed of individual cells flattened against one another. This figure 
copied from Bonnier's "Les Nectaires," exhibits a longitudinal section of a stamen in 
Colinsia bicolor. Magnified. 

At left (34) cross section of filament. 



One result of the protean character of protoplasm is its different be- 
havior in different plants, different organs of the same plant or different 
phases of the activity of an individual cell. In either case it can perform 
its functions only between certain limits of environment ,ancl it performs 
them best somewhere between these limits. For each function and each 
condition there is what physiologists call a minimum — below which it is 
not carried on, a maximum — above which it has stopped, and an optimum— 
or most favorable. Just as in the efficient working of a human factory, 
power and raw materials are necessary, and workmen must be onto the 
job, however favorable the other conditions of manufacture may be. 



198 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

The secretion of nectar and the storing of honey are consequently 
not quite comparable, for the activities of the honey plant are concerned 
with the first, and the activities of the bee are concerned with the second, 
though these are largely influenced by what the plant is or is not doing. 
This must be remembered always when comparing such records of honey- 
storing as Mr. Strong's careful hive-weighings through a generation, with 
Mr. Kenoyer's quantitative measurements of nectar secretion. 

Nevertheless, the most favoring conditions of nectar secretion and 
honey storing agree in a number of respects. Vigorous early development 
oi the plant puts it in condition to do its share of the work best; what- 
ever conditions may prevail during what for most plants is a very short 
part of the growing season, when it is in bloom. Vigorous early develop- 
ment of the hive bears the same kind of relation to the final result. Early 
honey must be stored before the bees have reached the full strength of 
the season, which may have something to do with the fact that the bulk 
of the harvest is gleaned from plants that flower later or continue to 
flower for a relatively long time. 

Mr. Strong's observations in Iowa show that over half of the net in- 
crease in honey storage in southern Iowa is made in June, and over four- 
fifths in June and July. These are the months when the most productive 
nectar plants flower, and the hives have reached the crest of their specu- 
lative activity and are undergoing division by that time. 

Physiological studies show that the afternoon temperature for nectar 
secretion is high — between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Observation on 
the hive shows that its workers are at their active best in moderately 
hot weather. Mr. Strong's twenty-nine-year average shows that over half 
cf the average honey for the year is stored when the daily maximum is 
between 80 and 90 degrees, and nine-tenths of it is stored when the high 
temperature of the day is between 80 and 90 degrees. Nectar is most 
abundantly secreted, other conditions being equal, in warm days following 
cool nights; bees do not seem usually to work more actively on such days, 
though a record day for heather honey in England began with a frost. 
Damp air increases the quantity of nectar, as of the expulsion of water 
through water pores; but dull, rainy weather lessens or stops the activity 
of the bees. 

Nuptial nectar is secreted chiefly before or during the period of sexual 
maturity of the flowers. Many, like cotton, golden currant and horse- 
chestnut, change color as this period of sexual functioning and maximum 
nectar secretion passes, and bees often are quick to catch the signal. Ex- 
tra-nuptial nectar is secreted in greatest quantity while the near-by flow- 
ers and foliage of the plant are young. 

Nectar differs from time to time in quality as well as in quantity. In 
damp weather the increased quantity commonly causes a greater dilution 
of its content of sugar, and the bees have been shown to store a greater 
weight of honey several days after a rainy day than immediately following 
it. Though the greater part of nectar is 'water, its essential part, for the 
bee-man, is sugar, chiefly a mixture of two kinds of sugar, that possess a 
different molecular arrangement though containing the same number of 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 199 

carbon, hydrogen and starch atoms, which causes them to behave differ- 
ently when examined by polarized light, and materially affects other of 
their physical properties. 

The flow of the water of nectar seems to be like that of water through 
water pores, an infiltration under pressure when root-absorption is least 
active and leaf evaporation checked; but thoroughly and repeatedly wash- 
ing the glands sometimes puts a stop to it. Beating rain does this as 
effectively as experimental washing. Change of position and closing in 
dark, rainy weather characterize some flowers, and keep the rain from 
washing away their accumulated nectar and checking its replenishment. 
This was Sprengel's explanation of the fringe of hair on the petals of the 
wild geranium. In proportion as such nectar guards are effective, they 
preserve the supply and contribute to its continuance, in proportion as 
rain has opportunity to beat upon the nectar glands it wastes and may 
even check the production of nectar. 

This stopping of nectar flow by washing away the secretion of the 
glands, is connected with the affinity for water of sugars. The flow of 
water appears to he started by the osmotic force of the disintegrated part 
of the walls of the secreting cells; it is stopped when the resulting sub- 
stance has been removed from the outer surface of the secreting cells. 




Stomata on nectariferous tissue of Xanthoceras sorbifolio. Greatly magnified. Copied 
from Bonnier's "Les Nectaires." 

If this were all, unless the degenerating cellulose were replenished in 
sufficient quantity there would hardly be such a thing as honey production. 
Indeed, some extra-nuptial glands secrete a nectar containing so little 
sugar that even ants may not be attracted by it — as is said to be the case 
with climbing smartweeds cultivated in England, though it is not usually 
true of such plants growing wild here, where they are at home. Com- 
monly, however, the sugar in nectar is replenished while the secretion of 
Find continues. 

The passage out of sugar from a living cell is very different from the 



200 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

escape of water; the latter may result from pressure on the one hand or 
osmotic draft on the other, because the outer protoplasm is permeable to 
water but not to sugar. When sugar is secreted, this protoplasmic layer 
becomes to a greater or less degree permeable to the escaping sugar. This 
is one phase of the activity of the living protoplasm, for secretion is a vital 
phenomenon. What greater or less permeability of protoplasm actually 
consists in is a matter of theory rather than observation, but the phenom- 
enon is a subject of observation and experiment. Alternating warmth and 
cold, within limits, affect it; it has its optimum, at a rather high tempera- 
ture, as well as its minimum and maximum. Through an adequately per- 
meable membrane, the flow of either water or sugar may be outwards — 
as it is in normal secretion, or inwards — when the secretion is absorbed — 
as experiments show to be true under some conditions. 

Water for nectar secretion is obtained in the first place through the 
roots of the plant and travels from the point of absorption to the point 
of secretion. Sugar for nectar secretion is manufactured within the plant, 
very close to the point where it is secreted. It is primarily a product of 
tne carbon-fixing or photo-synthetic activity that marks green plants as 
the food-makers of the world. Sugars appear to be among the earliest- 
formed of such carbon-containing or organic substances in the plant; but 
usually they are changed into starch for storage, and this is subsequently 
digested or transformed into a soluble sugar when the time of its use 
comes. The cells about some nectar glands are storage repositories of. 
sugar; in other cases they accumulate a reserve of starch, as raw material, 
before their activities begin in. supplying sugar. 

Evidently, back of the nectar-production of a given day or season, very 
closely related to its own optimum conditions of temperature and humid- 
ity, lies the earlier vegetation of the nectar-producing plants. Strength 
and vigor of growth, a good reserve of stored food from the year before, 
or favorable spring season, these would seem logically to affect the activ- 
ity of the plant in performing this as well as others of its functions. 
Renoyer's conclusions, from Strong's honey-gathering statistics, give sup- 
port to this expectation : "There is an evident alteration between good 
and poor years," as in apple production; "a good year has a rainfall 
slightly above the average, preceded by an autumn, winter and spring with 
more than the average precipitation," affording adequate and lasting soil 
moisture; "a rainy May scarcely fails to precede a good honey season," 
for the same reason, "a cold winter has no detrimental effect on the yield 
of the succeeding season, but a cold March reduces it," through preventing 
a fair early growth of the honey plants; "a winter of heavy snowfall, in 
the great majority of cases, is followed by a larger honey yield," because 
of its contribution to the soil moisture and the protection afforded the 
plants during their hibernation. 

Of these conclusions, most bear directly on the conditions favorable 
for nectar secretion by the plants; some bear as directly on those favor- 
able for the wintering in prime condition of the bees. Honey production 
rests upon both, not only in June and July and on individual days in those 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



201 



months of greatest honey storage, but on preceding days and months of 
preparation. Perhaps the suggestion may be made, even that it goes much 
further back, through long centuries of selective evolution, side by side, of 
nectar-yielding plants and honey-storing insects, gradually coming into 
mutually helpful harmony. — William Trelease, University of Illinois. 
American Bee Journal, January, 1920. 




Fig. 110. Filaree or pin clover. 



202 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

PIGEON BERRY, see Buckthorn. 
PIGEON CHERRY, see Wild Cherry. 

PIN CLOVER or FILAREE (Erodium cicutarium). 

The pin clover, or alfilaria, or filaree, is widely distributed in the Old 
World, and in this country has been naturalized from Europe. It is espe- 
cially well known on the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to southern 
California. There it is said to be one of the most valuable wild pasture 
plants. 

It is also called pin grass and heron's bill. It has a long period of 
bloom, beginning in February or March in California, and in some places 
continuing through the summer. It produces an abundance of pollen and 
considerable honey of good quality. In Gray's botany it is listed as 
"storksbill," and is mentioned as scarce in New York and Pennsylvania. 
It is recorded as occurring in Alabama, where it apparently was carrier 
with railroad ballast. June is given as the blooming period in the vicinity 
of Mobile. 

It is also known in several places in Connecticut, where it is said to 
bloom in May and June. Professor Pammel states that it is abundant in 
the dry soils in the Salt Lake basin and from Colorado to Texas. The 
seeds cling to the wool of sheep and this aids in its wide distribution. 

Figure 110 shows the plant with blossom and seed pod. It is from the 
peculiar shape of the latter that it gets the name of "storksbill" and 
"heron's bill." 

PINE (Pinus). 

Occasionally honeydew is reported from the pine trees. The following 
references are typical of those to be found in current literature: 

"We are having a real flow of water-white honeydew from the 
pine here in Polk County. It has been on now for two weeks. Bees 
in general are in bad condition." — Luther Presswood, Reliance, Tenn., 
Jan. 18, 1907. American Bee Journal, page 98, 1907. 

"Large quantities of honey are often secured from pine woods in 
certain parts of Germany. The honey is nearly black in color, still 
it finds many admirers, and must, therefore, be of better quality than 
the honeydew gathered here at times. The Emmendingen Beekeep- 
ers' Society furnishes all the honey for the Grand Duke's table (in 
Karlsruhe), and it is specified that the honey must be this black honey 
of the pine woods." — Bztg. for Schlesw. — Holstein. American Bee Jour- 
nal, page 616, 1906. 

Similar honeydew is harvested in Switzerland and appears to be also 
much prized by the consumers. 

PLUM (Prunus). 

Plums, both wild and cultivated, are important sources of nectar over 
most of the United States. There are twenty or more species which are 
native to North America and which are generally known as wild plums. 
The blooming period comes early and with other tree fruits they are of 
great value as the source of nectar and pollen at a season when the colo- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



203 



nies most need stimulation. The nectar yield is sufficiently abundant for 
the bees to store surplus where colonies are strong and weather condi- 
tions favorable. In Sacramento County, California, surplus is sometimes 
reported from prunes. There are probably few places where bees are kept 
in America where plums of some variety are not present. 




Fig. 111. Plum blossoms. 

POINSETTIA (Euphorbia pulcherrima). _The poinsettia is a well-known 
ornamental plant. It is a shrub, native to tropical America, grown to a 
considerable extent for ornamental purposes in California. The blos- 
soms are small and inconspicuous, but there is a striking cluster of bril- 
liant red leaves, surrounding the flowers, which give an impression of 
flowers. 

The nectaries are very conspicuous cups at the side of the blossoms. 
Nectar is secreted in abundance, and if the plant was sufficiently common 
it would be an important source. The nectar gathers in large drops. 

POISON IVY, see Laurel; also Sumac. 
POISON OAK., see Sumac. 



POISONOUS HONEY. 

Much has been written in regard to poisonous honey. Well authenti 



204 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

cated cases of serious poisoning from honey are rare, so rare, indeed, 
that many persons doubt whether such cases occur. There are persons 
with a peculiar susceptibility to honey from any source. To such, honey 
may seem to be poisonous, which can be eaten by others without any ill 
effect. Prof. A. J. Cook, writing in the American Bee Journal (October 
12, 1905, page 711), mentioned having on several occasions received sam- 
ples of so-called poisonous honey, which he ate without inconvenience. 

In December, 1880, issue of American Bee Journal, page 552, a case is 
mentioned where a native of New Zealand died from eating honey gath- 
ered from the wharangi bush (Melicope ternata), which is said to be 
one of the two poisonous plants to be found in New Zealand. The symp- 
toms are reported similar to strychnine poisoning. A letter from New 
Zealand published in Gleanings, page 435, 1908, reads as follows: 

"Some one, usually a native, gets poisoned every year about here 
through eating bush honey, usually not capped, and puka-puka usually 
gets the blame. Mr. Hopkins had a look at a case of Moaris honey 
poisoning last year, and I think puka-puka got the blame; but the 
fact is significant, nevertheless, that it is the Maoris only, or princi- 
pally they, that get poisoned, and in that case the honey eaten is 
never capped." — Stephen Anthony, Wastete, New Zealand. 

The mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is the plant most frequently 
reported as yielding poisonous honey. This shrub is common to the moun- 
tain regions of the Eastern States, and it would seem that cases of poison- 
ing would be reported much more frequently if there was good reason to 
suspect the honey from this source. It is a well-known fact that dis- 
agreeable odors disappear from honey that is well ripened. In this con- 
nection a writer in American Bee Journal, page 664, 1884, suggests that 
there is no evidence of poisoning from well ripened honey. He further 
states that uncapped honey from the yellow jasmine is actually poisonous 
and has produced death, but that after it is capped there is no honey more 
wholesome. It should be noted that special emphasis was placed on the 
fact that the cases of poisoning in New Zealand were from eating un- 
capped honey. 

Pammel states (Manual of Poisonous Plants) that honey obtained 
from Euphorbia marginata, the well-known snow-on-the-mountain, is 
poisonous and unfit for use. He also states that the Indians of Brazil 
use honey gathered by wasps from flowers of Serjonia lethalis for 
poisoning their arrows, and also as a fish poison. It contains a narcotic 
poison which causes death. 

The following resume of the subject is copied entire from Pammel: 

"Prof. Lyman F. Kebler, who has made a somewhat extended in- 
vestigation with poisonous honey has given an excellent bibliography 
with reference to the early literature on the subject. It has been 
known for centuries that the honey collected from Ericaceae acts as 
a narcotic irritant, producing giddiness, vomiting and purging. Poison- 
ous honey was described by Xenophon. He gives a fairly accurate de- 
scription of how the soldiers of his army acted that ate honey that 
was poisoned. He states that they lost their senses, vomited and were 
affected with purging, and those who had eaten but little were in- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 205 

toxicated, but when they had eaten much they were like mad men. 
Strabo and Pliny spoke of poisonous honey, the latter writer, an 
early naturalist noted for his accurate observations, records poison- 
ous honey, which he called "aegolethron" (goat's death), which bees 
collected at Heraclea. He gives a description of the honey, which is 
said to have had a peculiar smell and produced sneezing. It is gen- 
erally supposed that this honey came from a species of Rhododen- 
dron, the R. pontica. This and allied species are the chief source of 
poisonous honey in Asia and Asia Minor, but it may be said in this 
connection that honey collected from the heather in Scotland is not 
poisonous. 

"Barton, an early American botanist, reported poisonous honey 
in New Jersey as early as 1794. Subsequently Coleman reported a 
large number of cases in 1852, and Gammer, in Gleanings in Bee Cul- 
ture, and several writers in the American Bee Journal, reported 
poisonous honey. Other writers, like Chestnut and Crawford, have 
reported on the occurrence of poisonous honey in the United States, 
and Kebler reports no less than eight cases for New Jersey in 1896, and 
believes that it is much more common than the records seem to indi- 
cate. Kebler was fortunate enough to investigate some of the poison- 
ous honey following a case of poisoning in New Jersey. He exam- 
ined a part of the comb of the dark honey which had a light brown 
color and a nauseating odor, pungent taste, caused a burning sensa- 
tion in the back of the mouth similar to that of aconite. Persons who 
partook of a small amount of this honey began to cough immediately. 
He also made a chemical analysis of the non-suspicious honey, di- 
gesting with alcohol, then evaporated, the residue was again treated 
to alcohol and evaporated and administered to two cats. One received 
a small dose and the other a large one. The results from the cats 
were so interesting that I quote from Professor Kebler : 

"'The small dose produced partial exhaustion, relaxation of the 
Voluntary muscles and general depression. The large dose in a short 
time produced restlessness, vomiting, purging, prostration and almost 
complete loss of the voluntary muscles, showing that the honey con- 
tained a prompt and potent poison. The animal could scarcely be in- 
duced to move, and when motion was attempted, first the fore-limbs 
would fail, and then the back-limbs would give way. First one por- 
tion of the body would sway in one direction, then the other portion in 
another .reminding one of a highly intoxicated person. Had the entire 
dose been retained, death undoubtedly would have followed. As it was, 
the cat had regained her normal condition only at the end of twenty- 
four hours.' " 

Along with this we may append the symptoms as reported by the phy- 
sician who attended the persons who were poisoned: 

"Mr. and Mrs. Chambers took but a small quantity, yet each no- 
ticed a peculiar, pungent, burning taste in the comb as soon as it had 
passed their lips. In fifteen or twenty minutes afterwards Mrs. C 
was taken with nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting, soon followed by 
loss of consciousness, coldness of extremities, feebly acting heart, and 
complete collapse. While ministering to her, Mr. Chambers, who had 
also experienced the initiatory symptoms of pain and nausea, suddenly 
exclaimed, 'I cannot see,' and soon sank in a state of syncope to the 
floor. In each case the symptoms were similar. Retching, vomiting, 
purging, acute gastric and abdominal pain, and continued crumps for 
some hours, with surface coldness, and deadly pallor, and the general 
symptoms of collapse. 

"Kebler was, however, unable to definitely locate the andromedo- 
toxin found by Plugge. This author receded it for a large number of 



206 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

plants as follows Andromeda japonica, A. polifolia, A. Catesbaei, A. 
calyculata, Kalmia lalifolia, Monotropa uniflora, Pieris formosa, P. 
ovalifolia, Rhododendron grande, R. barbatum, and R. fulgens. It has 
been recorded for additional plants by Greshoff, who mentions the fol- 
lowing plants which produce poisonous honey: Nerium Oleander, Cy- 
tisus Laburnum, Pieris ovalifolia, Callotropis procera, Daphne, Pontica, 
Buxus balearica, Clerodendron serratum, C. Bhramaramari, Sapindus 
emarginatus. (It is said that thousands of bees are killed by this 
honey.) Centaurea scabiosa, Carduus natans, Scabiosa succisa, A 
South African species of Euphorbia also produces a poisonous honey 
which was not noted by Greshoff. 

POISONWOOD (Metopium metopium). 

The poisonwood is a tree found in southern Florida, the West Indies 
and Central America. It is known by a variety of names, bum-wood, hog- 
gum, coral sumac or doctor-gum. Its sap is dangerously poisonous, and 
some persons are affected by a near approach to the tree. The tree reaches 
a height of more than forty feet and in south Florida it is the source of 
large quantities of surplus honey of good quality. The honey is usually 
blended with that of other sources blooming during the same period. 

The tree has a thin bark which splits into large scales as it grows older, 
These are of a reddish brown color, brighter on the inside. It is sometimes 
confused with manchineel and is often classified as a Rhus. 

POLLEN. 

Pollen represents the male element of reproduction in seed plants. 
The flowering plants are normally reproduced by seed. Fertilization is 
brought about by the intervention of the grains of pollen which are borne 
by the stamens or male organs. In the corn plant the stamens are pro- 
duced in the tassels where pollen is developed in great abundance. The 
pistils, or female organs, are represented by the silks attached to the ear. 
There is a separate silk attached to each kernel, and each must be sep- 
arately fertilized. In many plants both stamens and pistils occur in the 
same blossom, as is the case with apples, pears, etc. In some cases the 
stamens or male organs are borne on a separate plant or tree, as is the 
case with the persimmon. Cucumbers have the separate organs in separate 
flowers. In order to insure fertilization it is necessary that the pollen 
grains be carried from the stamens to the pistils. In the grasses and sim- 
ilar plants this is usually acomplished by the wind, while in most fruits, 
insects are the principal agents. 

Pollen grains are very minute and are produced in small sacs in the 
tip of the stamen, commonly called anther. When ripe, the breaking of the 
sac sets the grains free in great abundance. A single grain is sufficient 
to fertilize an ovule and produce a seed; yet, because of the distance be- 
tween the stamens and pistils, large quantities of the pollen or flower dust 
are necessary to insure pollination. Ragweed and corn produce pollen in 
such abundance that one brushing by the plants is dusted so freely as to 
appear to be covered with flour. 

Pollen is of special importance to the beekeeper, since it serves as food 
for young bees. It is the sole source of nitrogenous food for the growing 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



207 



larvae, and is stored in large quantity in the open cells of the brood combs. 
Without an abundance of pollen available for food for the developing 
brood, the colony cannot prosper. Pollen is second only in importance to 
surplus honey to the beekeeper, and an abundant supply of plants which 
yield pollen during the brood-rearing season is very desirable. 

POLLINATION. 

Pollination is the fertilization of the blossom of a plant, resulting in 
the development of seed. As ordinarily used among the beekeepers, pol- 
lination refers to the transfer of the pollen grains from the stamens of 
one plant to the pistils of another. Since many plants are self-sterile, it 
is necessary that pollen from other plants and sometimes from other va- 
rieties be brought to them to insure fruitage. As already stated under 
"Pollen," the honeybee is the principal agent in the pollination of many 
of the edible fruits. 

So important is the bee regarded by horticulturists that cucumber 
growers contract for colonies of bees to be placed in their greenhouses, 
cherry growers often lease apiaries to be moved to their orchards at the 
beginning of the blooming period, and apple orchardists contract with bee- 
keepers to furnish sufficient bees to insure fertilization of their orchards. 

Darwin was among the first to realize the importance of cross pollina- 
tion. He showed that continued self-fertilization resulted in inferior fruit, 
while cross fertilization increased the vigor of the offspring. Beach has 
shown that many varieties of grapes are self-sterile, and at the California 




Fig. 112. The California poppy is a gorgeous flower. 



14 



208 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

experiment station it was shown that "bees are a necessary aid in pollina- 
tion with the French and Imperial varieties of prunes." It was proven that 
practically no fruit was produced when all pollen-carrying insects were 
kept from visiting the blossoms. (Bulletin 291, California Experiment Sta- 
tion). 

It has been shown by numerous experiments that many varieties of 
fruits, especially of apples and pears, are likely to be unfruitful if deprived 
of the services of the honeybee as pollen carriers. 

POPLAR, see Tulip-Poplar, also Aspen. 

POPPY (Papaver). 

The garden poppy (Papaver somniferum) is a native of Asia, but is widely 
cultivated in many countries, including our own. It is the source of opium 
and morphine, drugs widely used in the practice of medicine. The bright- 
colored flowers are very attractive to the bees, which seek them in larg? 
numbers and fairly revel in the abundant pollen masses. The pollen se- 
cured from poppy blossoms is very dark. It is probable that the plant 
furnishes some nectar, also, and there are numerous reports to the effect 
that the bees show evidence of a narcotic when working on this plant. 

The California poppy (Eschscholtzia californica (Fig. 112) is a common 
and widely diffused plant in California. It is a gorgeous plant of variable 
habit, especially abundant in spring, but in some parts of the State may be 
found in flower at almost any season. Richter lists it as the source of some 
honey and of large amounts of orange-colored pollen. 

The prickly poppy (Argemone), often called poppy thistle, is widely 
distributed, especially in the southwest. It is the source of large quanti- 
ties of pollen. 

POPPY THISTLE, see Poppy. 
POSSUM HAW, see Holly. 
POSSUM-WOOD, see Persimmon. 

PRAIRIE CLOVER (Petalostemon). 

There are several species of prairie clover native to the western 
prairies from Indiana west to the Rocky Mountains and south to Texas. 
There are frequent reports to the effect that they are valuable honey 
plants, though no longer sufficiently plentiful to be important except in a 
few localities. 

PRICKLY ASH (Xanthoxylum Clava-Herculis). TOOTHACHE-TREE. 

The prickly ash or toothache-tree is found from North Carolina to 
Florida and west to Texas. It is a small tree with the bark armed with 
short, warty thorns, while the branches have longer ones. 

In east Texas it is frequently mentioned as a source of honey. The 
honey is reported as pungent in taste, sharp and peppery and light in 
color. The blossoms yield freely, and, where sufficiently abundant, may be 
expected to yield surplus. At Palestine, Texas, surplus is reported from 
prickly ash. (See also Colima). 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



209 



PRICKLY PEAR or INDIAN FIG (Opuntia). 

Plants of the cactus family are widely scattered in the arid regions 
from Dakota to Washington and south to Texas and California. Figs. 
114 and 115.) Of the prickly pears (Opuntia) there are about 150 species, 
mostly found in the warmer sections of North America and southward. A 
few are to be found in sandy soils further east, ranging from Ontario and 
Massachusetts south to Florida. They are also sometimes grown as or- 
namentals. The blossom of the prickly pear is of pale yellow color and 
very attractive. (Fig. 113.) It is reported as a source of nectar in both 




Fig. 113. Blossom of the cactus or prickly pear. 

Texas and California. Opuntia engelmanni is reported by Scholl m 
"Honey Plants of Texas," as "of much importance to the beekeeper, espe- 
cially during a season of partial drought. Both an abundance of pollen 
and honey was obtained, the honey being light amber in color, of heavy 
body but 'stringy,' so much so that it fairly draws out into strings when 
very thick. The flavor is very rank." 

In some parts of the Southwest it is valued more for pollen than for 
nectar. Beginning in July, it blooms for four to six weeks. E. G. Le- 
Stourgeon reports that in the vicinity of San Antonio, Texas, it yields sur- 
plus honey about one year in four, but that the flow is usually short, seldom 
more than four or five days. A peculiarity of this honey is that of granu- 
lating in large crystals in clear liquid. It is often spoken of as "buttermilk 
honey," because of this peculiarity. LeStourgeon secured an average 



210 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



yield of 87 pounds per colony of cactus honey in Atascosta County. Such 
yields from this source are rare. Cactus grows in great abundance over 
large areas of Texas and is probably of more importance to beekeepers in 
that State than in any other. 




Fig. 114. In parts of Texas the land is covered with cactus as far as the eye can see. 
PRICKLY POPPY, see Poppy. 

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND— Honey Sources of. 

Alsike and white clover are the principal honey plants of the Island, 
with Tilia europea also important at Charlottetown. — F. W. L. Sladen. 



PROPOLIS. 

Propolis is a resinous gum gathered by the bees from buds of trees, and 
used to close crevices about the hive. It becomes brittle and hard in cold 
weather, but when warm is sticky and very tenacious. The beekeeper 
finds it quite a problem to keep his hands free from propolis when manipu- 
lating the hives in mid-summer. Some races of bees deposit propolis much 
more freely than others, the Caucasians being especially inclined to gather 
a great surplus of the cement and place it in lumps about the hive. If, per- 
chance, a mouse, beetle or other object enters the hive which the bees are 
unable to remove, they frequently coat it freely with propolis, and there it 
remains. 

Cracks seem obnoxious to the bees, and the small spaces between the 
frames are quite likely to be filled with the cement. In the production of 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



211 



comb honey, the tendency of the bees to fill every crevice with it leads to 
much labor on the part of the beekeeper in cleaning his finished sections 
for market. This is especially true of honey left on the hive till late in 
the season, as propolis is gathered in quantity in late fall in anticipation of 
cold weather. 

Cottonwood is thought to be one of the chief sources of propolis 
wherever that well-known tree is found. 

Bees gather much material from a great variety of sources. In addi- 
tion to the fresh wax gathered from plants and trees, they are often at- 
tracted by fresh varnish or other substances from which they can get 
sticky material to serve as glue. 




Fig. 115. A single plant of prickly pear near Brownsville, Te 
PRUNE, see Plum. 



PUMPKIN (Cucurbita pepo). 

The pumpkin is a well-known gourd-like fruit, usually of deep yelloi 



212 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

color, that is widely cultivated as a food for stock and for pie. There are 
numerous varieties of various sizes and colors. The blossoms are large and 
showy and very attractive to the bees. The plants yield an abundance of 
pollen as well as nectar. The honey is amber and not of high quality, and 
granulates readily. 

Where pumpkins are grown on a large scale for stock feed or for can- 
ning factories, they are a valuable source of bee pasture. 

PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE (Lythrum). 

There are two species of lythrum frequently reported as noney plants. 
The European species, Lythrum Salicaria, the spiked loosestrife, has be- 
come naturalized in wet places from Nova Scotia to Delaware. According 
to H. D. House, State Botanist of New York, it is common in and around 
the inlets and backwaters of the Hudson River all up and down that 
stream. It is also common up the Mohawk Valley, at Oneida Lake and 
along the railroads westward across the State to Lake Erie. It is a tall 
plant of vigorous growth, but as it confines itself largely to wet places, it 
is not likely to be any more of a nuisance than the usual coarse weeds 
growing in such situations. The bees work this plant freely and occasional 
reports of honey from this source are received from New York State. The 
honey is very dark and of strong flavor, having a slight tobacco-like taste 
as it gets older. 

Lythrum alatum, a native species, is found from Ontario and Minnesota 
south to Georgia, Florida and Texas. A report from Oklahoma is to the 
effect that it blooms with sweet clover, lasting till frost. The bees work 
upon it from daylight till dark in either wet or dry weather. Similar re- 
ports come from Texas. It is found on low lands in the southwest. 

It is also reported by beekeepers from New Orleans as attractive to 
bees in Louisiana. 



QUEBEC — Honey Sources of. 

In Quebec alsike and white clover furnish the principal surplus honey. 
In the southern part of the province buckwheat, basswood and sweet 
clover are also important. Fireweed, blueberry, goldenrod and aster are 
the source of surplus honey over much of the province and willows and 
maples are valuable for spring brood rearing. — F. W. L.Sladen. 

QUERCUS, see Oak. 
QUININE Tree, see Hop-Tree. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



213 



R 



RABBIT BRUSH (Chrysothamnus nauseosus hypolluca). 

Richter lists rabbit brush as yielding nectar in the vicinity of Inde- 
pendence, California, from September till November. He states that the 
bees work vigorously on it, but that the honey is dark, of poor flavor and 
disagreeable odor, and that when the bees are evaporating it it can be 
smelled all over the place. 

There are seventeen different varieties of rabbit brush in the south- 
western desert from New Mexico to California and north to Utah and 




Fig. 116. Bit 



of the tall ragweed. 



214 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

Colorado. They are described as coarse plants, usually shrubby and grow- 
ing to a height of as much as six feet. They have small heads of yellow 
flowers. The Navaho Indians use the heads of the various species to dye 
wool yellow. — (Flora of New Mexico.) 

RADISH or JOINTED CHARLOCK (Raphanus Raphanistrum). 

The wild radish or jointed charlock is a troublesome weed in the fields 
of eastern Canada and United States from New England to Pennsylvania. 
Like many other introduced plants, it has been widely scattered with grain 
seeds. It has been introduced into northwestern Iowa with oats, where it 
is spreading in fields and waste places. 

Sladen lists it as one of the important sources of nectar in Nova 
Scotia. 

RAGGED LADY, see Red Gaura. 
RAGGED SAILOR, see Centaurea. 

RAGWEED (Ambrosia trifida). 

Figure 116 shows the blossom and leaf of the great ragweed, often 
called horseweed. This is a very common roadside weed, growing to a 
height of 10 or 12 feet. It is common in Quebec and Ontario, west to Mani- 
toba. In the United States it occurs from New England west to Colorado 
and south to the Gulf. It is also found in Cuba and Mexico. It is espe- 
cially common in the rich lands of the Mississippi Valley from Minnesota 
to Texas. 

The ragweed does not produce nectar, but furnishes large quantities 
of pollen in late summer and fall. 

RAPE (Brassica napus). 

Rape is a foreign plant related to the cabbage, which has been intro- 
duced from Europe. In the United States it is chiefly grown as a catch 
crop or forage for hogs and sheep and sometimes as a cover crop. 

In Europe it is highly regarded as a honey plant, as the following let- 
ter from Baron Von Berlepsch, which appeared in American Bee Journal 
in April, 1874, will show : 

"During the years between 1841 and 1858, that I was a practical 
agriculturist, I cultivated rape, to a large extent, and can in conse- 
quence thereof, and from knowledge otherwise gained, testify most 
assuredly, that in all Germany there is no plant yielding more honey 
than rape. I know of instances, occurring in my own experience, where 
a very populous colony of bees, during time when rape was in blossom, 
gained a weight of 20 pounds and over in one day. 

"On the 10th of May, 1846, there was near me a 65-acre field in blos- 
som. The weather was excellent, and my strongest colony, which I 
placed on a platform scale, gained that day more than 21 pounds in 
weight. I know of only one other plant that can be compared with 
rape as a honey-yielding plant, and that is esparet (Sainfoin). 

A Wisconsin beekeeper, writing in American Bee Journal the same 
year stated that rape in Wisconsin is scarcely second to linden. He de- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



215 



scribed the honey as of golden color and good flavor. He further cited the 
fact that rape blooms about the middle of August, when there is little else, 
as a great advantage in cultivating it for its honey. 

The few references to it in our literature indicate that it may be of 
more value to the beekeeper than is generally recognized. 

RAPHANUS, see Radish. 

RASPBERRY (Rubus). Also called THIMBLEBERRY. 

The wild raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is a very common plant in 
the woods of the Northeastern States. Mohr gives its natural range as 
New England to Quebec and Ontario, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado and 
Oregon, south to Ohio and West Virginia, and along the mountains to 
Georgia. 




Wild raspberry grows in great abundance in Ontario 



other northern regioi 



216 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

There are several species of wild raspberries, and probably all are good 
honey producers. Raspberry honey is produced extensively in northern 
Michigan, where the plant is abundant on cut-over lands, it blooms fol- 
lowing the tree fruits and is usually ahead of the white clover. In locali- 
ties where it is plentiful it is a most valuable honey plant and phenomenal 
yields have sometimes been reported from this source. A good raspberry 
location is very desirable. Beekeepers who chance to be near large planta- 
tions of raspberries cultivated for market are equally fortunate. The 
honey is white and of a superior quality. Figure 117 shows a luxuriant 
growth of wild raspberry as it is found in many localities in Ontario 

RATTAN VINE (Berchemia scandens). 

Rattan vine, or supple-jack, is a common climbing vine in low thickets 
throughout the Southern States from Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, 
south to Florida and eastern Texas. The flowers are greenish yellow, usu- 
ally appearing in June. The plant is slender and of vigorous growth, fre- 
quently climbing high trees. 

In east Texas it is one of the important sources of surplus honey. 
There the plant is abundant along the streams, and is reported as yielding 
honey for a long period. The author has found rattan vine highly re- 
garded in many sections of the South, especially in Alabama. 

Scholl states that the honey is dark amber in color and used mostly for 
manufacturing purposes. 

RATTLE BOX or RATTLE WEED, see Loco Weed. 

RATTLESNAKE-ROOT (Nabalus altissimus). 

Rattlesnake root is listed by the late A. J. Cook as "which swarms 
with bees all the day long," but the author can find so few references to 
it that it is probably of little importance. 

RED BAY (Persea Borbonia). 

Red bay, or Florida mahogany, is also known as tisswood, sweet bay 
and laurel-tree. This tree should not be confused with the magnolia, which 
is also called sweet bay. (See Magnolia). The alligator pear (Persea per- 
sea) is a near relative, which has been introduced from Central America 
and extensively cultivated for its fruit. It has run wild in some parts of 
Florida. 

Red bay is reported as yielding surplus honey in considerable quantity, 
but of poor quality along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The honey is said to be 
very dark, suitable for baking purposes. Beekeepers report that the plant 
is quite dependable, but of limited range. 

RED-BERRY, see Buckthorn. 

RED BOX-TREE, see Eucalyptus. 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



217 




IS. The blossoms of red-bud appear before the leaves. 



RED-BUD (Cercis canadensis). 

The red-bud, or Judas-tree (Fig. 118) is a common shrub or small tree 
iri the Southeastern States. It is found occasionally from western Penn- 
sylvania to southern Michigan, southern Iowa and Nebraska south to 



218 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

western Florida and east to Texas. It grows along streams and in the 
woodlands where the soil is moist and rich. In Alabama it blooms late in 
February, and in southern Iowa in April. The rose-pink blossoms appear- 
ing in early spring, before the leaves are out, make the tree very conspicu- 
ous during the blooming period. Where the tree is abundant it furnishes a 
liberal pasture for the bees for early spring brood rearing. Blooming so 
early, it is rarely the source of surplus. In the northern part of its range it 
often blooms with fruit trees and dandelion, so that it is not as important 
as farther south. 

There is another species in south Texas and Mexico which blooms in 
March, The Texan red-bud (Cercis reniformis), and one, the western red- 
bud (Cercis occidentalis), which occurs in the mountains of California and 
occasionally in Utah. 

The red-bud is also known as salad-tree, or June-bud. 

RED CLOVER (Trifolium praiense). 

There have been so many conflicting statements regarding the ques- 
tion as to whether or not the honeybee is able to secure honey from red 
clover (Trifolium pratense) that it has seemed worth while to investigate 
the subject with some care. There have been so many reports of honey 
from this source, that it is desirable to learn whether the honey did come 
from red clover, or whether the beekeepers have been mistaken, and some 
explanation of the confusion is necessary. There is no question but that 
the plant secretes nectar in abundance, but since the corolla tubes are 
much longer than the tongues of the bees, they are unable to reach it 
under ordinary conditions. It is a well-known fact that plants behave very 
differently under different climatic conditions, so an effort has been made 
to secure evidence from as many localities as possible, and from a great 
variety of conditions. 

In Iowa the writer has sometimes found bees working freely on red 
clover in extremely dry seasons. At such times the bees were apparently 
getting some nectar, although it could not be detected in the hive. How- 
ever, one year, Mr. C. H. True, of Edgewood, Iowa, had on exhibition at 
the State Fair, a generous quantity of honey which he thought was secured 
from red clover. It was slightly tinted with red, and had a flavor different 
from white or alsike clover honey. The explanation often given is that 
in dry seasons the florets are somewhat dwarfed, and because of the 
shorter tube the bee is able to reach the honey. Dr. L. H. Pammel, bot- 
anist at the Iowa College of Agriculture, has made a special study of bees 
and red clover under Iowa conditions. After having many measurements 
made, he has reached the conclusion that the effect on the length of the 
corolla tube, as a result of drought, is so slight that the bee would not be 
able to reach the nectar from this cause. He goes on record as follows : 
"I have for several years closely observed honeybees and red clo- 
ver, and from these observances I am still inclined to the opinion, 
earlier expressed, that honeybees do not get nectar from the flowers 
of the red clover, notwithstanding the opinion of many beekeepers in 
Iowa." — Third report Iowa State Bee Inspector. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



219 



At the 1917 Convention of the Illinois Beekeepers, Mr. Frank Bishop, 
of Virden, reported that one season he secured an average of 100 pounds 
per colony from red clover. According to his statement, there was no 
other bloom within reach at that time. He further stated that he visited 
the red clover fields, investigated the matter carefully, and was fully satis- 
lied that red clover was the source of the honey. 




Fig. 119. Red clover blossoms. 



So many reports from well-known beekeepers are to be luund in our 
literature, that it seems worth while to quote several of them, together 
with the place where the reference is to be found. Mr. Wm. McEvoy, of 
"Woodburn, Ontario, wrote to Gleanings in Bee Culture, page 468, 1907, as 
follows : 

"In September, 1905, I extracted over 3,000 pounds of pure red 
clover honey, after giving the bees plenty to winter on. This honey 
was a light amber color, and good in flavor, and sold for the same price 
as honey gathered from white clover. My bees being Italians, worked 
well on the second crop of red clover, which was not injured by the 
midge in my locality, in 1905, on account of the first crop being cut 
early." 

Adrian Getaz, of Knoxville, Tenn., makes the following contribution to 
the subject in Gleanings, page 660, 1909: 

"In regard to bees gathering nectar from red clover, several opin- 
ions have been advanced. Generally, it is supposed, that, owing to 
dryer weather, the second crop has blossoms with shorter corollas, and 
that the bees can reach the nectar on that account. Another theory is 
that the nectar is more abundant, and fills up the corollas better, and 
thus comes within reach of the bees. A German apiarist a few years 
ago undertook to settle the matter, and spent a part of the summer 
lying down in the clover fields to see how it was. He reported that 
very few insects take the nectar through the corollas; but some kinds 



220 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

cut a hole near the bottom and help themselves through it. The hole 
once made, a number of insects, including bees, take advantage of it; 
and if the bees do not work on the first crop, it is because there are 
few hole-boring insects present." 

Here follows a brief report with nothing to indicate whether the bees 
were seeking nectar or pollen: 

"Last year was very dry and there was scarcely any white clover in 
blossom here; but the bees went fairly wild on the red clover, and it 
was the first crop, too." — J. F. Bradv, Deerfield, Minn. Gleanings, page 
149, 1911. 

That the subject is not new will be found by examining the files of the 
bee magazines of many years ago. Apparently, it has been a controverted 
subject since beekeeping has been followed seriously in America. In the 
first volume of the American Bee Journal, page 228, 1861, we find the fol- 
lowing: 

"I noticed in August and the beginning of September, while the 
bees were gathering honey from buckwheat, that they obtained pollen 
of a brownish color from some source. On investigating the matter, I 
found that they collected it from red clover. This somewhat surprised 
me, as I had never seen them gathering honey from the red clover to 
such an extent, particularly while other forage was plenty. * * * I 
have also noticed that the bees visited only those heads that were im- 
perfect, the tubes being shorter in consequence." 

The principal interest attached to the above is the statement that the 
bees visited only the imperfect blossoms. On page 9 of the same volume 
is a statement somewhat similar, reported in one of the German journals, 
of Italian bees getting honey from red clover, in 1858. It is said that the 
season was very dry and the blossoms somewhat smaller as a result. 

In 1899, page 15, American Bee Journal, we find another report of bees 
working on it in dry weather : 

"My bees work more or less on it almost every year during hot and 
dry weather, but it does not produce as fine honey as white clover; 
when candied it is coarser grained, and has a water-soaked appearance. 
I wish that my bees would let it alone, for we have plenty of white 
clover when the red is in bloom.— Fred Bechle, Poweshiek County, 
Iowa. 

Again, on page 27 of the same issue, Theo. Rehorst, of Fond du Lac 
County, Wisconsin, reports: 

"The mammoth red clover produces good honey and all our honey- 
bees can reach the nectar, although the corolla is far longer and 
deeper than the common red clover. I never saw any honey from com- 
mon red clover; only thin, red stuff, thin as water." 
In 1903, E. E. Hasty, of Ohio, wrote, in the American Bee Journal, that 
while he admitted that bees worked on red clover at times, he was ex- 
tremely doubtful about their ability to get much honey from it. The 
same doubt has been expressed by numerous observers from time to time, 
the usual explanation being that the bees are gathering pollen, rather than 
nectar. 

On page 49 of the 1903 volume of the American Bee Journal is re- 
ported an interesting case of honeydew from red clover. Since it is the 
only case of the kind found in all the literature consulted it is quoted quite 
fully: 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 221 

"For about ten days my bees have been bringing in honey from the 
second crop of red clover. Now this is nothing remarkable, for I have 
seen them doing so for more than twenty years past; but recently, 
passing through a field of red clover in bloom, I stopped to watch them, 
and, to my surprise, found them working, not on the blossoms, but on 
the leaves. This, I confess, I had never seen before. On closer exam- 
ination I found the clover leaves covered with small plant lice, and the 
under leaves covered with honeydew, very similar to that frequently 
found on the leaves of the hickory, oak and other trees, though the 
honey is not so dark-colored as from leaves of trees." 
On page 839 of the American Bee Journal for 1906 is found a rather 
convincing discussion of the subject of honey from red clover. It was at 
a convention of the National Association, and several men of wide reputa- 
tion took part in the discussion, and testified to the fact that they had se- 
cured surplus from red clover. Hutchinson stated that he had secured 500 
pounds from red clover at a time when there was nothing else in bloom, 
and that it was a light amber or dark white color. Messrs. Townsend, 
Stone, Davenport and others agreed that they had secured red clover 
honey, Townsend reporting as much as 2,000 pounds stored in two weeks' 
time. 

The subject is discussed at length in Bulletin No. 46 of the New Zea- 
land Department of Agriculture, by Isaac Hopkins, whose experience in 
this connection is interesting. We quote him in part : 

"In my early days of beekeeping it was a moot point whether Ital- 
ian bees worked on red clover or not. At this time I had a unique op- 
portunity of testing the matter thoroughly, an opportunity which 
would rarely occur; therefore, I feel myself on safe ground when deal- 
ing with Italian bees and red clover. 

"For five years (1882-87), I was located on the late J. C. Firth's 
estate at Matamata, where I started large bee farms. My bees, which 
were chiefly Italians, were near to thousands of acres of red clover. 
* * * Now and again we saw a few here and there gathering pollen 
from the blossoms, and sometimes a good deal of pollen from red clo- 
ver was brought in when, no doubt, it was scarce elsewhere. 

"In order to make a thorough test, I shifted, on one occasion, a 
number of strong two-story colonies to the center of a 700-acre pad- 
dock of red clover. The first crop had been cut for hay, and the sec- 
ond crop flowers were just opening. There was no ordinary bee for- 
age anywhere near. After the fourth day, I examined the hives and 
found from the odor that came from them on removing the covers that 
some nectar had been gathered from the surrounding clover. I also 
observed that some clover pollen had been stored. 

"There were two seasons out of the five when my bees worked 
more freely on the red clover than in others. In these seasons it was 
noticeable that myriads of small-sized moths flitted about the clover, 
while they were rarely seen at other times. I was much interested, and 
in casting about for a reason, I became satisfied, after very many tests, 
that the red clover was secreting at times much more nectar than 
usual, and it may have been that it reached a higher level in the tubes 
on these occasions, and so came within reach of the tongues of the 
bees. Be that as it may, some red clover nectar was gathered from sec- 
ond crop flowers in these seasons." 

While the different observers are by no means agreed as to the reason 
why the bees are able to get nectar from red clover on occasion, the tes- 
timony is very closely agreed upon the fact that it is only from the sec- 



222 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

ond crop, and in hot and dry seasons, that the bees are able to store honey 
from this source. So many widely-known men come forward with the 
positive statement that they have been able to secure surplus honey from 
red clover, that we can hardly question the fact that honey is sometimes 
stored from this plant. Whether the corollas are punctured by other in- 
sects, the tubes are shortened by drought or the nectar rises higher in the 
tube, remains to be proven. 

RED GAURA (Gaura coccinea). 

The red gaura, also called ragged lady, is common from Montana to 
Arizona and Texas. It is much sought by the bees for both nectar and 
pollen. Its nectar secretion is abundant, but it is not sufficiently common 
to be important. A good stimulant. 

RED GUM, see Eucalyptus. 
RED-HAW, see Hawthorne. 
RESEDA ODORATA, see Mignonette. 

RETAMA (Parkinsonia aculeata). 

Retama is a small tree common throughout southern and western 
Texas. It has slender branches, bearing the yellow petaled flowers in ax- 
illary racemes. It is frequently mentioned as a source of nectar by Texas 
beekeepers. Scholl states that the bees work on it more or less all sum- 
mer. Like many Texas shrubs, it has a habit of blooming at irregular 
periods, from spring till September. 

RHODE ISLAND— Honey Sources of. 

The sources of honey in Rhode Island grouped in the order of their 
appearance are willows, maples and other less numerous trees, which 
furnish bees with the early supply of pollen and honey, so useful and so 
needful in building up the bee population preparatory to the harvest in 
which the beekeeper shares. 

Next come the fruit blossoms, plum, peach, cherry, pear, apple, rasp- 
berries, huckleberries and blueberries which, when the spring is favorable, 
yield good crops of honey. In some places, dandelions are an important 
addition to the fruit bloom, though not always opening at the same time. 
In several parts of the State there are large areas of locust. This blooms 
the latter part of May, and when conditions favor, yields for about eight 
days a heavy water-white honey. The clovers usually follow this, but are 
of consequence only under favorable conditions of rainfall, save in a few 
sections where soil conditions afford abundant moisture. 

In many sections sumacs furnish the next crop, and where they are 
sufficiently abundant the beekeeper may rightly look for a good crop of a 
very fair honey. 

In some of the more swampy and less settled sections, button bush, cle- 
thra (sweet pepper bush) and clematis yield a white and highly-flavored 
honey, that from clematis being of the very highest quality. But the yield 
from these plants is irregular, in some years being almost absent. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 223 

In some of the villages and cities the European lindens are numerous 
and yield heavily. The bloom ceases toward the end of the clover flow, 
though the time of flowering of different trees in the same neighborhood 
varies greatly. Native linden, basswood, is now found only in a few places. 
The season closes with the goldenrods and asters, which yield a rich, 
aromatic honey which, though not acceptable to many persons, commands 
a fancy price from others. The crop from these two sources is not always 
to be depended upon, being more affected by the weather than some of 
the others. — Arthur C. Miller, Bulletin, State Board of Agriculture. 

RHODODENDRON, see Azalea. 
RHUS, see Sumac. 
FICHARDIA, see Mexican Clover. 
ROBINIA, see Locust. 

ROCKBRUSH (Eysenhardtia amorphoides). 

Rockbrush is a small shrub common to southern and western Texas, 
and extending into Mexico. It blooms after heavy rains, several times 
during the year, and yields honey in surplus quantity. It is reported fre- 
quently throughout the region south and west of San Antonio to the Rio 
Grande. 

Colubrina Texensis, an entirely different shrub, which is common from 
the Colorado River to the Rio Grande and west to New Mexico, is also 
known by the name of rockbrush. It is reported as yielding both pollen 
and nectar, but not as a source of surplus honey. 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN BEE PLANT (Cleome integrifolia). 

The Rocky Mountain bee plant, also known as stinking clover (Fig. 
120), is principally confined in its distributions to the plains region west 
of tlie Missouri River. It is also reported from north Pacific Coast States. 
While it is a dry land plant, it is occasionally reported from Illinois, Iowa 
and Minnesota. Although it is occasionally seen elsewhere, the author 
has not seen it in Iowa excepting on the Missouri River bluffs, where it is 
plentiful in some localities. This plant is reported as especially valuable 
in Colorado, where it is said to produce considerable quantities of honey. 

It is an annual with large, showy, pink or purple flowers. At one time 
there was much interest in this plant on the part of eastern beekeepers 
who tried to introduce it by sowing seed. At the Michigan Agricultural 
College a small field was planted to ascertain whether it could be grown 
profitably for honey alone. As no plant has as yet proven to be sufficiently 
valuable to justify its cultivation for this purpose exclusively, it is not sur- 
prising that the Rocky Mountain bee plant did not prove to be an excep- 
tion. It is acrid and pungent and said to be distasteful to animals, which 
seldom eat it. If the plant had any value for any purpose besides honey 
production, an effort to extend the area of the distribution might succeed, 
but the introduction of plants that are essentially weeds in their nature 
seldom meets with favor. 

According to Frank Rauchfuss, the cleome is erratic in its yield. If 
15 



224 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



there is a wet spring the seeds germinate early. When this is followed with 
good rains in June the plants are vigorous and spreading in their growth 
and each will have many blossoms. One year he extracted an average of 
116 pounds per colony from a ten-days' flow. The honey is white in color, 
with a greenish tinge. It has a rather sickening flavor when fresh, but im- 
proves with age. When pure it is a first quality honey. It is rare that a 
good crop is secured from his source. 

The plant thrives best on sandy and gravellv soils. 




Fig. 120. Cleome, or Rocky Mountain bee plant. 
ROMAN CANDLE, see Yucca. 



ROSE (Rosa). 

There are many species of roses of wide distribution. They yield 
pollen abundantly and are frequently valuable, in localities where they 
bloom when pollen is scarce. There are numerous reports of rose honey, 
but in most cases the observer has probably mistaken the object of the 
bees when working on the flowers. Several competent observers credit the 
Cherokee rose as a source of nectar. (See Cherokee Rose.) 

"Some time ago quite a discussion was brought about by the as- 
sertion of Gaston Bonnier, that one never saw bees upon roses, no 
matter how colored or how fragrant. Dr. Miller replied that he had 
often seen them upon the crimson ramblers and that they even tore 
the buds open. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 225 

"The magazine 'LAbeille de l'Aube,' in its August number quotes 
the different assertions which were made upon the subject since then 
in Europe. 

"Mr. Bonnier came back with the assertion that the bees were 
only hunting pollen, for, according to him, there is no nectar in roses. 

"Joan Ruppin, of Fountenay-Aux-Roses, saw his bees take pollen 
on the roses, but never any nectar. 

"A. Martinot saw the bees often on the crimson ramblers and on 
other similar roses, never on the double flowers. 

"Mr. Pitrat believes they find both nectar and pollen on the simple 
flowers. 

"Louis Rosseil, Consul of Belgium in Athens, says that in the Island 
of Eubia, the bees work upon fields of roses and produce a whit~ honey 
much esteemed." — American Bee Journal, October, 1912. 
Beekeepers in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and on the Pacific 
Coast report that their bees get honey from roses. 

ROSIN WEED, see Cup Plant, also Gum Weed. 
ROYAL PALM, see Palm. 
RUBUS, see Raspberry. 
RUDBECKIA, see Coneflower. 
RUSSIAN OLIVE, see Oleaster. 



SABAL, see Palmetto. 

SAGE (Salvia). 

When sage is mentioned, we of the east are likely to think of the 
common garden sage (Salvia officinalis), which for at least three centuries 
has been cultivated for its aromatic leaves. Of this there are several 
varieties, some with broad and some with narrow leaves. The garden 
sages are good honey plants, but seldom sufficiently abundant to amount 
to much as honey producers. The honey from the garden sage is said to 
be nice and white like that from catnip or motherwort. 

The name sage is derived from its supposed power to make people 
wise by strengthening the memory, for which it was used in ancient medi- 
cine. 

There are upwards of five hundred species of sages, widely distributed 
in the temperate and warmer regions of both hemispheres. Probably most 
of the species yield honey, although but few are known to be important, 
bayment mentions the wild sage (Salvia verbenacea) as introduced into 
Australia from Europe, but now yielding honey during the dry months 
of the year. (Money in bees in Australasia.) There are more than two 
hundred species known to occur in Mexico and Central America and it is 
very probable that when beekeeping is developed on a commercial scale in 
those countries, the sages will be found to be very important honey plants. 



226 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 




Fig. 121. White sage is uncertain in its yield. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 227 

Since practically all sage honey that goes to market in America is 
from California, the sages from that State are of first importance. Sage 
is known to occur in other Western States and the question is sometimes 
asked whether any honey is secured from this source elsewhere. In 
answer to this question Mr. J. E. Miller, of Caldwell, Idaho, writes, in 
Gleanings in Bee Culture (September 15, 1908, as follows : 

"My neighbor, Mr. Garfield, experimented with one colony of bees 
by taking it eight or nine miles away from alfalfa or other cultivated 
fields, and setting it among the white sage. He went out to look after 
it every week and took fresh water. We do not know the exact 
amount of honey the bees gathered, but they did fully as well as those 
left at home near the alfalfa. The honey was of that water-white 
color peculiar to California sage honey. Mr. Garfield sent samples to 
California and it was pronounced A-l white sage; so we are convinced 
that the white sage of Idaho does yield just as much and just as good 
honey as that of any other State." 

It is probable that one or more species of sage occur in nearly every 
State, but they increase in abundance westward. In the arid country west 
of the Missouri River they become sufficiently common so that an appre- 
ciable amount of honey might be expected in many localities. It is quite 
likely that sage honey in small amounts is mixed with honey from other 
sources, and .so not detected, in many many localities outside of California. 
The fact remains, nevertheless, that sage, as an important source of sur- 
plus, is not reported outside of that State. 

The quality of sage honey is of the best, being watervwhite in color, of 
a heavy body and delightful flavor. Since it does not granulate, it is much 
sought for by bottlers in the east, who blend it with clover or alfalfa. There 
are many who regard sage honey as the finest in the market. In this con- 
nection A. I. Root, in an early edition of his A B C of Bee Culture, wrote: 
"I well remember the first taste I had of the mountain sage honey. 
Air. Langstroth was visiting me at the time, and his exclamations were 
much like my own, only that he declared that it was almost identical in 
flavor with the famed honey of Hymettus, of which he had received 
a sample some years ago. Well, this honey of Hymettus. which has 
been celebrated both in prose and poetry for ages past, was gathered 
from the mountain thyme, and the botany tells us that thyme and 
sage are closely related." 

Although there are several species of sage which yield honey in Cali- 
fornia, the quality does not differ materially, as far as can be ascertained 
from printed reports. It is all described as "water-white, unexcelled flavor, 
of heavy body and does not granulate." 

Prof. A. J. Cook wrote to the American Bee Journal (June 21, 1906) 
concerning the sage as follows : 

"Chief among the honey-bearing mints are the incomparable sages 
of California. These are not excelled even by the clovers or linden. 
The honey is white, delicate of flavor, and must ever rank among the 
best in appearance and quality. Not only this, but the quantity is often 
phenomenal. This comes from the fact that flowers are borne in long 
racemes of compact heads, and as the separated flowerets do not bloom 
all at once, but in succession, the plants are in bloom for weeks. The 
sages, then, are marvelous honey producers, first, because of the gen- 



228 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 




erous secretions of each floweret, and second, because of the immense 
number of these flowerets and the long period of bloom." 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 229 

At another time Mr. Cook wrote that the honey from all sages is so 
much alike that it would be indistinguishable. — American Bee Journal, 
August 3, 1905. 

Richter, in his Honey Plants of California, speaks of the white sage 
(Salvia apiana) Jep., as "very common on the dry plains toward the foot- 
hills, and ascending these to about 3,000 feet." (Fig. 121). 

Writing in Gleanings in Bee Culture, P. C. Chadwick describes a jour- 
ney which he made in the San Bernardino Mountains with the intent to 
find out the highest elevation at which bloom could be found in sufficient 
quantities to support bees. Up to an elevation of 7,000 feet he found white 
sage in abundance, and all alive with bees. (Western Honey Bee, Septem- 
ber, 1914.) Richter gives its range as common from Santa Barbara County 
southward, blooming from April to July. 'As abundant as the black sage, 
but not as good a yielder, nor has the honey as fine a flavor." 

Black sage (Salvia mellifera), Greene, also known as ball sage, or but- 
ton sage (Fig. 122), is generally credited as being the principal source of 
sage honey, most of the honey which goes to market under the name of 
white sage being produced from this plant. Quite probably it is the best 
honey plant on the Pacific Coast. Richter says of it : "As a general rule, 
every fifth year an excellent crop is obtained, and every third or fourth 
year a total failure is experienced, the flow being dependent upon winter 
rains, with warm spring quite free from cold winds and fog. When in 
bloom a certain amount of warm weather is required before it produces 
nectar." 

The range of black sage is given as "Mt. Diablo, Los Trampas Ridge, 
near Hayward, San Mateo County, Glenwood and Brieta, southward to 
southern California. April-May." (Jepson). "Coast ranges and ascending 
to 5.IKHJ feet in the San Bernardino Mountains. March to June. San Diego 
County, February to May." 

Mr. J. E. Pleasants, of Orange, California, writing in American Bee 
Journal (June, 1914) describes the peculiarities of the sages as follows: 

"The black sage is king of them all. When climatic conditions are 
favorable I think black sage can be relied upon to produce more 'gilt 
edge' than any other plant in the West, and for body and flavor it is 
hard to excel. It blooms for weeks. The blossom is small and incon- 
spicuous, but what a flow of nectar it can yield. 

"The white sage is a much prettier plant. Its soft, grey leaves and 
tall blossom spikes make it quite showy, while its pleasing aromatic 
odor breathes the very essence of wild perfumes. But this queenly 
plant is much more inconstant than its plainer sister. Some years it 
produces a good harvest, others very light. 

"The silver or purple sage, which has silvery leaves and brilliant 
light purple blossoms, is usually a good producer, but is much restricted 
as to locality." 

The purple sage (Salvia leucophylla) (Fig. 123). also called white-leaved 
sage, or silver sage, is reported as a good yielder, although not as abund- 
ant as either of the foregoing species. The Richter catalog gives the 
range as occasional in the foothills of the Santa Monica and San Fernando 
Mountains, April to July, and from San Luis Obispo to San Diego Counties 
and not extending inland beyond the coast ranges. 



230 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 




The purple sage. 



Salvia amabilis, loving sage, is reported from Santa Barbara, March- 
June, but probably not important. 

Salvia carduacea, thistle or annual sage. "Inner coast range valleys 
and throughout the San Joaquin Valley, southern California, June." (Jep- 
son). "A well-known honey plant." (Richter). 

Salvia columbariae, annual sage. "Throughout the coast ranges, Sierra 
Nevada and southern California, on hill and mountain slopes." (Jepson). 

Salvia sonomensis, Greene, creeping sage. "Montana species at middle 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 231 

altitudes. Ramona Mountains west of Calistoga, Mt. Shasta, Calaveras and 
Mariposa Counties, San Diego County. May." (Jepson). "Also June, Sierra 
foothills from Sierra to Inyo Counties, main source of honey in many dis- 
tricts." (Richter). 

Concerning the regularity of yield from sage, Mr. P. C. Chadwick 
wrote in Gleanings in Bee Culture (January 1, 1911), as follows: 

"South of the Tehachapi Mountains lies practically the entire sage 
of our State, notwithstanding eastern people and many of our west- 
erners term every form of small growth on the vast slopes of the 
Rocky Mountains "sage brush.' There is no denying that the button 
(or black) sage is, of all honey plants, our chief surplus producer. 
Neither does it average a crop more often than every other year, re- 
gardless of rainfall, for it seems necessary, from its semi-arid nature, 
to be dried out or rested before it comes back to its prime yielding con- 
dition. I have seen it return some surplus for three consecutive sea- 
sons; but the middle season was not what could be considered a crop, 
even after a sufficient rainfall." 

Again he writes to the same journal to the effect that the sage ranges 
soon give place to other crops (Dec. 15, 1911) : 

"If I should predict that thirty years hence the sage ranges of 
California would be almost a thing of the past there would doubtless 
be criticism of my views ; but 1 firmly believe that we shall face such a 
condition, for emigration to this part of California is increasing rap- 
idly. Hillsides are yielding to the plow, where twenty years ago it 
would have been thought almost impossible." 

Some writers give two hundred pounds per colony as a fair average 
in a good sage year, so that with even one good year in three it comes well 
up with the yield of many plants more constant in their production. 

SAINFOIN or ESPARCET (Onobrychis sativa). 

Sainfoin is grown to a limited extent in Canada, and although given 
numerous trials in various parts of the United States, has not, till the pres- 
ent, succeeded in establishing itself successfully. It is a splendid forage 
crop, somewhat similar to alfalfa, and is an important source of nectar in 
Italy and other parts of Europe. 

Several years ago it was given an enthusiastic endorsement as a honey 
plant for America by John Fixter, at that time apiarist at the Central 
Experiment Farms at Ottawa, Canada. A test plot at the Farms proved 
so attractive to the bees that it attracted much attention on the part 
cf eastern beekeepers. He reported that it yielded nectar in the morning 
and that the bees began work upon it fully an hour before they did on 
alsike or white clover. A further advantage was stated to be that the first 
bloom came between fruit bloom and white clover and the later bloom at 
a time when there was a dearth from other sources. On plots side by 
side he reported that there would be something like a hundred bees on the 
sainfoin to ten on the white clover. 

In spite of the glowing accounts of its value and a general attempt to 
boom the plant, it failed to succeed. It should be remembered, however, 
that there was a general failure with alfalfa when first attempts were 
made to grow it in America, and it would seem worthy of further trial to 



232 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

see whether there are not sections better adapted to its growth. 

The following article by C. P. Dadant, reprinted from the American 
Bee Journal, page 790, 1904, will give some information about the value of 
the plant in European countries: 

"Sainfoin, otherwise called esparcet, is widely cultivated in Europe, 
especially in France. Its name, "sainfoin," is French, and literally 
means "healthy hay" — sain-foin. It is a perennial, gives a splendid 
hay crop, and in some sections of the European continent it is a first- 
class honey-producer. 

"The small province of France, formerly called "Gatinais," is the 
leading producer of sainfoin honey. According to the best authorities, 
the honey of Gatinais has the reputation of being of the whitest color 
and sweetest taste, and is said to be in no way surpassed by white clo- 
ver honey. 

"Gaston Bonnier, the eminent professor who was President of the 
International congress of beekeepers at Paris in 1900, says in his 
book, the 'Cours Complet d'Apiculture,' that sainfoin honey is one of 
the best appreciated grades. He ranks it next only to the honey of 
the Alpine hills of eastern France and Switzerland. 

"From immemorial times the honey crops of Gatinais have been 
considered as leading in the amount of production, and this was all 
credited to the sainfoin, which is grown there in immense quantities, 
somewhat as alfalfa is grown in the irrigated plains of the West. It 
was in Gatinais that the custom of inverting hives began, in order to 
secure the largest possible quantity of honey from the bees, regardless 
of future consequences. For that reason the beekeepers of Gatinais 
were compelled to replenish apiaries every season with bees brought 
from away, as their only aim was to secure the largest possible quan- 
tity of sainfoin honey during the short period of the bloom, and many 
of their bees perished the following winter. 

"Although sainfoin has already been tried in the United States with 
unfavorable results, I believe it is worth while to try it again, espe- 
cially in the countries where alfalfa succeeds so well. It might prove 
a useful honey plant. 

"We must, however, not close our eyes to the fact that honey 
plants do not yield honey in the same proportion in all localities. White 
clover, which is the source of so large a crop of white honey in this 
country, is absolutely useless as a honey producer in some other coun- 
tries. Edouard Bertrand, the editor of the Revue Internationale, told 
me positively that there never had been any white clover honey har- 
vested in Switzerland by any of his friends, although it is quite com- 
mon in the Swiss meadows." 

SALAD-TREE, see Red-Bud. 

SALAL (Gaultheria shallon). 

Salal is an evergreen shrub, one to five feet high, common from cen- 
tral California north to Washington. It grows abundantly in the redwood 
forests commonly covering the ground. The flowers occur in racemes 
three to six inches long and are pink or pinkish white. 

It blooms with salmon-berry, wild blackberry and chittam, so the honey 
is seldom secured unmixed. 

SALIX, see Willow. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



233 



SALMON BERRY or THIMBLE BERRY (Rubacer parviflorus). 

The salmon berry or Thimble berry, also known as flowering rasp- 
berry, shown at Figure 124, is a well known honey plant on the Pacific 
Coast. It occurs along the coast from Alaska to Mexico. It also occurs 
in the mountains as far south as Colorado and New Mexico. It is a shrub 
with erect stem and red fruit. It is known to some extent in Ontario west 
to Dakota. 

Salmon berry is frequently mentioned as a source of honey in the Pa- 
cific Northwest, especially in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. 




himble berry. 



SALT CEDAR (Tamarix gallica). 

Scholl's Bulletin lists the salt cedar as a source of honey in Texas. 
"Common European shrub which seems to have escaped in many places in 
Texas." (Coulter). "On roadsides, in thickets and waste places in warmer 
parts of southern United States, naturalized from southern Europe." 
(Small.) The author has reports of this plant being common in the vicinity 
of Corpus Christi, Texas. Reported also as a honey plant in places in Cali- 
fornia. 



SANDVINE, see Bluevine. 



234 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

SAPINDUS, see Wild China. 

SASKATCHEWAN— Honey Sources of. 

The sources of nectar, in the order of their importance, are fireweed, 
wolfberry, prairie flowers, alsike and white clover and Siberian pea-tree. 
Willows and maples for early brood rearing are important. — F. W. L. 
Sladen. 

SASSAFRAS (Sassafras officinale). 

Sassafras is an exceedingly well-known tree in the Southwestern 
States. It is known occasionally as far north as Ontario and Massachu- 
setts southward to southeastern Iowa, eastern Kansas and south to the 
Brazos Valley in Texas. It is a conspicuous feature of the old fields of 
the southern plantations. It has spicy aromatic bark and mucilaginous 
buds and leaves which many people enjoy chewing. Oil of sassafras is dis- 
tilled from the roots. 

The flowers are small, yellow and inconspicuous, but are attractive 
to the bees. The writer has found occasional reports of bees working on 
sassafras in the Southern States. At Buffalo, Texas, it is reported as bloom- 
ing about two weeks. H. B. Parks reports that it yields well in Missouri. 
The blooming period is early and short, hence its principal value is for 
spring brood rearing. It was blooming with willow on March 20, 1918, in 
Leon County, Texas, when the author visited that section, and the bees 
were apparently getting considerable nectar from sassafras at that time. 

SATUREJA, see Wild Pennyroyal. 
SAW PALMETTO, see Palmetto. 

SCILLA. 

The Scilla siberica, or Siberian squill, is an early blooming old world 
flower commonly naturalized in the grass of lawns, parks, etc., for orna- 
mental purposes. It has small blue flowers which appear as soon as the 
ground is free from frost in the spring. The bees seek them eagerly and, 
coming at a time when little is to be had, they keep the bees busy on the 
few sunny days of early spring. Flower lovers will find this plant a de- 
sirable addition to their garden list. Aside from planting the bulbs no 
care is necessary. It will thrive in a stiff bluegrass sod, where few other 
plants would grow. It is only necessary to avoid cutting the grass till 
the plants have matured. 

SCROPHULARIA, see Figwort. 
SCRUB PALMETTO, see Palmetto. 
SENSITIVE PEA, see Partridge Pea. 
SHEEP LAUREL, see Laurel. 
SHITTIM-WOOD, see Gum Elastic. 
SHOESTRING VINE, see Bluevine. 
SHRUBBY TREFOIL, see Hop-Tree. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



235 



"% ■■ «p* ' - 


'9H 






| : \ » 


■ / 




rar JmaG w^\ * x I 



Fig. 125. The blossoms of Siberian squill are attractive to the bees in early spring. 

SIBERIAN SQUILL, see Scilla. 
SILKWEED, see Milkweed. 
SILPHIUM, see Cup Plant. 
SILVERBERRY, see Oleaster. 
SIMPSON'S HONEY PLANT, see Figwort. 

SKUNK CABBAGE (Symplocarpus foetidus). 

The skunk cabbage is found in wet places from Nova Scotia to North 
Carolina and west to Iowa. It receives its name from the strong odor 
which it gives off. Skunk cabbage is one of the very first plant to bloom 
as frost is leaving the ground in spring, and its principal value to the bee- 
keeper comes from this early appearance. The late G. M. Doolittle wrote 
(Gleanings, 1909, page 200) that he had seen the bees gathering pollen from 
this plant when the temperature stood at 42 degrees. He stated further 
that lie valued it more highly than any other pollen-yielding plant or tree, 
and that there was nothing with which he was familiar so eagerly sought 
by the bees, nor any source of pollen which so greatly stimulated brood 
rearing. 

SMARTWEED, see Heartsease. 
SNEEZEWEED, see Bitterweed. 



SNOWBERRY (Symphoricarpos racemosus). WAXBERRY. 

The snowberry is a low branching shrub with conspicuous white ber- 
ries which hang on through most of the winter. It is of wide distribution 
in the Northern States from New England and Pennsylvania to the North 



236 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Pacific Coast. It is also common in the hill country of much of California, 
in the White Mountains of New Mexico and in parts of Colorado and other 
mountain States. The blossoms are small and inconspicuous, but they are 
attractive to the bees, nevertheless. The snowberry is a valuable plant 
in many localities in the West, but is of special importance in Washington 
and British Columbia. There it is reported as blooming during the last half 
of June and well into July and as furnishing an important secondary flow. 
According to H. A. Scullen it is very important in northern Idaho and in 
Stevens County, Washington, the bees work upon it in preference to white 
clover. 

Snowberry is a close relative of Indian currant and is illustrated in 
connection with that plant. (See Indian Currant). 

SNOW-ON-THE-MOUNTAIN (Euphorbia marginata). SPURGE. 

Snow-on-the-Mountain is a showy plant easily recognized by the white 
margined leaves. It is native from Minnesota to Montana and south to 
New Mexico and Texas. It is also cultivated for the peculiar foliage. 
It is probably nowhere important as a honey plant, and is of special inter- 
est from the fact that its nectar is so often reported as poisonous. (See 
Poisonous Honey.) 




SNOWVINE or PEPPER-VINE (Cissus arborea). 

The snowvine is a climbing vine with heart-shaped leaves, and berries 
the size of a pea, and which are edible. It is common in the low borders 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 237 

of woods and along streams from Virginia to southern Illinois and south- 
ward to Florida and eastern Texas. It is a relative of the cowitch. (See 
Cowitch). It is common in Alabama and Georgia from the central belt to 
the coast plain, where it begins to bloom in June. It is reported as being 
the source of considerable honey of fair quality. 

SOAPBERRY, see Wild China. 

SOAPBUSH (Guaiacum angustifolium). 

The soapbush is native to the dry lands of south Texas and northern 
Mexico. It blooms after rains in both spring and fall. At Crystal City, 
Texas, it is reported as the source of the first honey in spring, coming in 
March. Beekeepers report that with very little moisture soapbush can be 
depended upon for honey and that it yields nectar every time it blooms. 
The honey is of fine quality, mild flavor and light color. The flow lasts 
from ten to fifteen days. (Fig. 126.) The soapbush has very hard wood, 
crooked and knotty branches and in places becomes a small tree and is 
known as lignum-vitae. 

SOLIDAGO, see Goldenrod. 

SORGHUM. 

The sorghums are widely planted as forage crops. They yield pollen in 
great abundance and at times honeydew is gathered from this source, also. 

SORREL-TREE, see Sourwood. 
SOULARD CRAB APPLE, see Crab Apple. 
SOUR-GUM, see Tupelo. 
SOUR-TOP, see Blueberry. 

SOURWOOD (Oxydendrum arboreum). 

The sourwood tree reaches a height of thirty to forty feet and a di- 
ameter of twelve inches, on high lands, but seldom exceeds twenty feet 
in height on the low lands. It is a common tree from West Virginia to 
north Georgia and west to Arkansas. The white flowers grow in racemes 
and appear in July. It is sometimes called sorrel tree, because of the 
acidity of its leaves. The wood is soft and is not of much value except 
for light fuel. 

Sourwood honey ranks high, both in quality and in quantity of yield. 
Many people regard it as the finest honey produced in America. It is 
light in color, of heavy body, fine flavor and slow to granulate. The bloom 
lasts from two to three weeks and comes in mid-summer, when bees have 
ample time to build up to maximum strength for the flow. Although sour- 
wood honey is produced in limited areas in several States. North Carolina 
and eastern Tennessee probably contain the finest forests and remarkable 
yields are sometimes reported in this region. The crop from this source 
seldom fails and it is regarded as one of the most dependable sources of 
nectar. A lady beekeeper, writing from North Carolina, stated in the 



238 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

American Bee Journal that she had never known it to fail. An average 
of as high as 75 pounds per colony from sourwood has been reported and 
the local demand usually takes it all at prices above the open market. 

SOUTH CAROLINA— Honey Sources of. 

Willows, fruit blossoms, including such wild fruits as hawthorne, huck- 
leberry and blackberry, furnish abundant nectar for early spring. Tulip- 
tree, sourwood and clover, persimmon, black-gum and holly are all good 
sources of nectar. Cotton may be expected to yield also on suitable soils. 
(See also North Carolina and Georgia for a longer list of plants likely to 
be of value in this State.) 

SOUTH DAKOTA— Honey Sources of. 

The best beekeeping territory in South Dakota is in the sweet clover 
districts in the southeastern part of the State. In this region large crops 
of fine honey are secured. 

Maples and willows, dandelions and fruit blossoms start the bees off 
in the spring. White clover and alsike both yield well in the eastern part 
of the State. Sweet clover is important wherever grown and alfalfa is 
valuable in some localities. Heartsease is the principal source of honey in 
late fall. There are also many minor sources, such as are common to 
the Middle West. 

SOUTHERN BUCKTHORN, see Coma. 
SOUTHERN CRAB APPLE, see Crab Apple. 

SOW THISTLE (Sonchus). 

The sow thistles are weeds which are widely distributed from eastern 
Canada to Florida and from British Columbia to California. They are re- 
ported as valuable in east Texas, and Richter lists two species as yielding 
nectar in California. Probably seldom important. 

SPANISH BAYONET, see Yucca. 
SPANISH DAGGER, see Yucca. 

SPANISH NEEDLE (Bidens). 

The Spanish needles, also known as bootjacks, beggar ticks, stick 
tights and marigolds, are very widely distributed plants, and are of in- 
terest to the beekeepers from Nova Scotia to California. Most of the spe- 
cies are weeds growing commonly on low and swampy lands. Not all of 
them produce honey in appreciable quantity, and possibly some of them are 
not sought by the bees at all. Figure 128 shows Bidens aristosa, which has 
an attractive yellow flower and is most frequently mentioned as a source 
of honey. This is particularly valuable on the lowlands along the Mis- 
sissippi and Missouri Rivers. During the seasons of 1915 and 1919 much 
honey was gathered from it. 

Two species are reported among the honey plants of California by 
Richter, B. frondosa and B. pilosa. The former is one of the most widely- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 239 

distributed species and closely resembles the one shown, but has a wider 
leaf. Frondosa is seldom reported as yielding nectar, and it is of doubtful 
value to the beekeeper. 

Figure 127 shows the western bur-marigold (B. involucrata), which oc- 
curs from Illinois and Iowa south to Texas and Louisiana. This is re- 
ported as a good honey plant. This flower has no colored corolla, but is 
surrounded by greenish rays. August is the month of flowering with this 




Fig. 127. Western bur marigold. 
species. The Spanish needles are all late bloomers, and where they occur 
yield nectar, and add something to the fall honey flow. 

SPARKLE-BERRY, see Farkle-Berry. 
SPICEWOOD, see Dogwood. 

SPIDER PLANT (Cleome spinosa). 

The spider plant is a close relative of the Rocky Mountain bee plant 
and very similar in habit. The spider plant had quite a boom among bee- 
keepers of a few years ago. The seed was sold quite generally and planted 
in gardens, but as it is of no value except for honey and as an ornamental, 
its popularity soon declined and it is seldom mentioned of late. It secretes 
nectar abundantly and the bees work upon it freely just at nightfall, and 
again in early morning. It is a native of the tropics and has escaped and 
run wild in many places from North Carolina to Arkansas and Louisiana. 
16 



240 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Much has been written about the remarkable secretion by this plant 
and the excitement it causes among the bees. Under favorable conditions 
i! is one of the very best of honey plants and, if sufficiently common, 
would no doubt be the source of large quantities of surplus honey. There 
are reports to the effect that spider plant grows abundantly in neglected 
fields in some localities in southeastern Missouri and is there important. 
It is said to require a rich soil for best results in nectar secretion. A 
single blossom secretes nectar so freely that a bee often finds a drop larger 
than it can carry at one load. 




Fig. 



Spanish needle (i 



SPIKEWEED (Centromadia pungens). 

Spikeweed is a common plant in California, where its range is given 
by Jepson as follows : 

"Abundant on the plains of the lower San Joaquin southward to 
southern California and westward to Walnut Creek and Alameda. On 
the alkaline plains of the upper San Joaquin this species covers tens 
of thousands of acres and often forms thickets four or five feet high. 
It is abundant in the low, more or less alkaline plains of Solano County 
and forms extensive colonies in summer fields. Extermination is often 
accomplished by means of bands of sheep, which leave the fields per- 
fectly clean and destitute of this spikeweed pest. — Flora of Western 
Middle California. 
According to Richter, carloads of honey from spikeweed are shipped 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



241 



annually from Fresno County, the honey being of amber color, good qual- 
ity and quick to granulate. He states that other plants are replacing spike- 
weed to such an extent that it is no longer of the importance which it 
was in the past. 

SPOON-WOOD, see Laurel. 




SPRING BEAUTY (Claytonia Virginica). 

The spring beauty is one of the early spring flowers common in open 
woodlands from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Ontario, Saskatche- 
wan and Alaska and from New England west to Minnesota and Nebraska 
and south to Georgia and Arkansas. Appearing so early in spring it is 
much sought by the bees at a time when there is little of either nectar or 
pollen available. At a later season it would be of such slight value as to 
be hardly worthy of notice on the part of the beekeeper. Figure 129 shows 
a bee on the blossom of a spring beauty. 



SPRUCE (Picea abies). 

For years past there has been an occasional mention in our beekeep- 
ing literature of spruce honey, or of bees working on spruce. As far as the 
writer has been able to ascertain this is true only of the Norway spruce. 
Since the Norway spruce is not a native of this country, it is seldom found 



242 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



in considerable numbers except in the vicinity of cities, where it is planted 
freely for ornament. (Fig. 130.) 

It was at the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph that the writer 
first saw the bees working on spruce to any extent. It was about June 12, 
and the bees were humming through these trees in large numbers. There 




The Norway spruce is the source of honeydew. 



are hundreds of these trees about the college grounds, and considerable 
honeydew seemed to be coming to the college apiary from this source. 
Honeydew is seldom desirable, as it is usually of poor quality and only 
serves to spoil the quality of good honey. However, this spruce honey- 
dew seemed to be of rather better quality than is generally the case with 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



243 



honeydew, and, as it came ahead of the clover flow, was probably nearly all 
consumed for brood rearing. 

For a time the writer was puzzled to know whether the bees were 
getting an exudation of sap from the tree, or were in fact getting honey- 
dew. They were working on what appeared at first sight to be buds at the 
base of the new growth, but which under the microscope proved to be in- 
sects identified as Physokermes picea. 

SPURGE, see Snow-on-the-Mountain. 




Fig. 



Yellow star thistle. 



SQUASH (Curcurbita maxim), also (C. moschata). 

Squashes are widely cultivated for food. There are numerous varie- 
ties, but all are valuable sources of pollen and nectar. They secrete nectar 
treely, and where sufficiently abundant, a considerable quantity of honey 
is stored. 

STAR THISTLE or KNAPWEED (Centaurea). BARNABY'S THISTLE. 

There are several species of star thistles or knapweeds widely dis- 
tributed. The yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) (Fig. 131) is an 
introduced species from Europe that occurs from Massachusetts and On- 
tario, west to Iowa. It is also common in parts of California. It is only 
from the latter State that it is reported as an important honey plant. 
According to C. D. Stuart (American Bee Journal, page 340, October, 1918), 



244 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

it furnishes from one-third to one-half of Butte County, California's honey 
crop, an average of about sixty tons. Concerning the plant he writes as 
follows : 

"Star thistle begins to bloom about the first of July and continues 
till frost, which usually comes between October 1 and November 1. 
The yield of nectar is slow but continuous. If it is stopped by drought 
it will start yielding nectar again after a rain. The plant has the fac- 
ulty of existing in arid soils for long periods of drought, and when 
apparently dried up, it will start to grow and blossom after a rain. 
Some cattle growers find that thistle hay can be fed profitably when 
cut and dried like other hay, if it is moistened before feeding. The 
dampening of the fodder takes the sting out of the leaves and blos- 
soms. 

"Star-thistle honey is heavy-bodied, white, almost cloying in its 
sweetness as orange, and has a greenish yellow tinge, like olive oil. 
It is considered by large buyers equal in quality to any white honey in 
the State, and with the price at two cents a pound more than light 
amber of the alfalfa type, and still rising, beemen in northern Cali- 
fornia should worry." 

Richter lists Napa-thistle or tocalote (Centaurea melitensis) as yield- 
ing light amber honey of good flavor and fair body in Sacramento County, 
from May 15 to June 15. It is regarded as a bad weed and is abundant 
everywhere in fields and pastures. Like the foregoing, it has been dissem- 
inated with seed grain and grass seed. According to Richter, it does not 
yield nectar in southern California. Scholl lists American knapweed (Cen- 
taurea Americana) as not important in Texas. 

STICKLEAF, see Mentzelia. 

STICK-TIGHT, see Spanish Needle. 

STINKING CLOVER, see Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. 

STINKWEED, see Jackass Clover. 

STONECROP (Sedum pulchellum). 

Stonecrop is common from Virginia to Arkansas and south to Georgia. 
It is abundant in many localities and is reported to be a valuable honey 
plant in the South. 

STORK'S BILL, see Pin Clover. 

STRAWBERRY (Fragaria). 

The wild strawberries are seldom sufficiently abundant to be of much 
value to the bees, but the cultivated varieties are grown in large planta- 
tions and are the source of both pollen and nectar. They bloom in early 
spring, for the most part, although some of the everbearing varieties con- 
tinue to blossom through the summer. Strawberries, like most other 
fruits are of principal value to stimulate early brood rearing. 

The bees are very important to the strawberry growers, as many va- 
rieties of strawberries are not self-pollinating or are deficient in stamens. 
The bees carry the pollen from the staminate blossoms to the pistils of the 
incomplete flowers. 

STRINGY BARK, see Eucalyptus. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 245 

SUGAR GUM, see Eucalyptus. 

SWEET CLOVER (Melilotus). 

There are probably twenty species of melilotus native to the temper- 
ate regions of Europe and western Asia. Several have been introduced 




Fig. 132. Blossoms of white sweet clover {Melilotus alba.) 



into America. Of these, two species, the white sweet clover (Melilotus 
alba) and the yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis) are valuable 
plants and are widely distributed. The yellow variety blooms about two 
weeks earlier than the white and where both are present a long honey 
flow may be expected. 

Sweet clover reaches the highest development in the secretion of nec- 
tar in the hot, dry summer climate of the plains region between the Missis- 



246 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

sippi River and the Rocky Mountains. In the East, the surplus secured 
from this plant has been disappointing, and eastern men insist that sweet 
clover is overrated as a honey plant. However, those who have seen the 
big flows that are frequent along the Missouri River and westward are 
enthusiastic in its praise. In the region about Sioux City, Iowa, it is 
grown extensively as a farm crop. In this section an average of 200 pounds 
surplus per colony from sweet clover is not uncommon. On the limestone 
soils of Alabama and Mississippi it also yields freely and large yields are 
reported. In the irrigated regions of the West it is of great importance 
and beekeepers who ship sweet clover honey in carlots are not uncommon. 
The quality of the honey is excellent. It is light in color and mild in 
flavor, although slightly peppery to the taste. It granulates more readily 
than white clover, but is regarded as of number one quality in the prin- 
cipal markets. 

Sweet Clover as a Farm Crop 

When our older readers were beginners in the beekeeping business it 
was a popular thing for the beekeepers to buy sweet clover seed and 
stealthily sow it along the roadsides. So general was this practiced that 
whenever the plant appeared in a new locality it was generally charged up 
to the beekeepers living nearby. So great was the prejudice against the 
plant that much ill-feeling developed in some places because of it. It even 
went so far that in some States it was placed on the list of noxious weeds 
and its eradication required by law. When Frank Coverdale, well-known 
Iowa farmer who did so much to popularize sweet clover, first sowed it in 
his own fields, neighbors called on the county attorney to enquire whether 
he could not be prosecuted for sowing weed seed. For a generation the 
beekeepers kept up the fight, and constantly preached that sweet clover 
was not a weed, but a valuable forage plant. It remained for men like 
Coverdale, who were both beekeepers and farmers, to prove the assertion 
and convince the unwilling public, by making as much profit from sweet 
clover pasture for forage as the neighbors could make from other farm 
crops. 

It was on poor lands which had been worn out by bad tillage, that 
the plant made the best showing. When lands which had been lying idle, 
because no other crop could be raised profitably, were made to produce 
good yields of milk, butter and beef from sweet clover, the neighbors were 
inclined to give it a trial on their own poor lands. The change in senti- 
ment has been very marked during the past few years and now the de- 
mand for sweet clover seed is greater than the supply, and will continue so 
for several years, since the area where it is being grown is constantly be- 
ing enlarged. There are large areas where sweet clover is grown generally 
as a farm crop, in Kentucky, Nebraska and Kansas. The increased acreage 
of this plant will double the possibilities of honey production in most any 
locality, and in numerous instances will treble and quadruple it. In the 
early years of his experience, Coverdale kept bees in several outapiaries, 
so that much travel back and forth was necessary. Since sweet clover has 
become so generally grown in his locality, he is able to keep three hundred 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 247 

colonies in one yard in his orchard, where they are under his immediate 
care at all times. After traveling over much of the Central West, it has 
become apparent to the author that within a few years the beekeeping 
possibilities of parts of Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota will be almost 
inexhaustible because of the increase of this plant. On visiting Falmouth, 
Ky., I was amazed at the stories they told of what sweet clover had done 
for that region. One of the pioneer growers was E. E. Barton, and his 
experience with it sounded like a fairy tale. Mr. Barton said that follow- 
ing the civil war, most of Pendleton County was given over to tobacco 
growing, with little live stock, and not much rotation of crops. It was a 
hill country, and although it had a fertile soil over a clay subsoil, the 
heavy rains soon washed away the shallow surface soil, and one farm after 
another was abandoned. Hundreds of farms were abandoned, and many 
of them were sold for taxes, because no buyers could be found. More than 
a third of the population left the county, and the farmers who remained 
had hard lines to make ends meet. Sweet clover was stealthily sowed, 
probably by beekeepers intent on increasing the bee pasturage. At first 
it was regarded with disfavor and fought as a dangerous weed. 

Mr. Barton came into possession of a farm, somewhat against his will, 
because the owner could not pay the mortgage. He tried renting it, and 
the tenant was unable to make a living, much less pay the rent. After it 
had been abandoned, he went to great trouble to keep down the weeds, es- 
pecially sweet clover. Then came a year of drought, when there was very 
little feed for the cattle, and they were turned into the roads to graze. 
Even there there was but little except the sweet clover, which was by this 
time rather common along the roadsides. It was soon noticed that the 
cows were eating the sweet clover with relish and doing well. Then some- 
body tried an experiment by sowing it in a field. It thrived, the cows liked 
it, and the milk flow was increased. Mr. Barton by this time was quite 
ready to profit by the experience, and within five years the farm which 
would not grow grass was producing good crops. He bought more aban- 
doned farms and sowed them to sweet clover, and his neighbors began to 
do likewise. One by one the farmers came back to their abandoned farms, 
new settlers came in, and everybody began to grow sweet clover. Now 
there are fifty thousand acres of it in that county. Ask any farmer you 
meet on the streets of Falmouth what he thinks of sweet clover and he 
will tell you such tales of rebuilt fortunes from a combination of dairy 
cows and sweet clover as you never expect to hear. There are now shipped 
from the county about half a million pounds of seed yearly, besides thou- 
sands of dollars' worth of dairy products every week. They find that an 
average of 300 to 600 pounds of hulled seed per acre can be secured from 
the white variety and 500 to 700 pounds of the yellow. An average yield of 
from $40 to $100 per acre is the return from the sweet clover, according to 
local reports picked up on the streets. Now one finds evidences of pros- 
perity on every hand. The farmers have fine homes, automobiles, and 
money in the bank. 

Soil Requirements. 

There is no forage plant that will succeed on such a wide range of soil 



248 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

conditions as will sweet clover. It will succeed under unfavorable condi- 
tions on the heaviest clays and on light sand. It will grow on hardpan 
and on gravelly and stony land unsuited for general cultivation. It does 
well on soils too wet for either alfalfa or red clover and on soils so dry 
that neither of these will succeed. It will grow on land so poor and devoid 
of humus that no other clover or grass will grow. It is the greatest soil 
builder known, and now that the public has finally accepted the fact that 
it is not a noxious weed, it will shortly be used to redeem untold thou- 
sands of acres of otherwise waste land. It grows all the way from sea 
level to the mountain sides, and is spreading in the semi-arid sections of 
Colorado and other Western States, where the annual rainfall is very light. 

In the October, 1917, number of the American Bee Journal has been 
told the story of the sweet clover region of Alabama and Mississippi. In 
those States sweet clover has spread over thousands of acres of land which 
had been abandoned for agricultural purposes; and it is not only furnish- 
ing abundant pasturage to the bees, but is restoring the fertility of these 
worn-out plantations. 

The growth of the plant, however, is no longer confined to the road- 
sides and worn-out fields, but farmers are growing it successfully and 
profitably on lands worth $300 per acre in Iowa and Illinois, because it 
pays them to do so. In some cases the railroad companies have discov- 
ered that sweet clover growing along the right of way is the best possi- 
ble insurance against erosion of the roadbed. A heavy growth of sweet 
clover protects the banks from the washing of heavy rains, as no other 
plant will do. In places, one can see a continuous strip of sweet clover 
for miles and miles along the railroads. It would seem the part of wis- 
dom for the beekeepers' associations to bring this fact to the attention of 
the men in charge of keeping the lines in repair wherever possible. Once 
established along the railroads, it is bound to spread more or less along 
the byroads and into the fields, thus increasing the supply of forage within 
reach of the bees. 

One of the most useful purposes which sweet clover serves is to 
smother out obnoxious weeds. So persistent is the plant where sowed in 
waste places that there are few weeds which can compete with it. Where 
bad weeds are present in old lots, along roadsides, etc., the easiest way to 
eradicate them is by sowing sweet clover freely. Within a few years the 
sweet clover will generally crowd them out. In spite of this fact, sweet 
clover itself is one of the easiest plants to destroy. Since it only lives two 
years and must come again from the seed after that time, all that is neces- 
sary to clear the ground of sweet clover is to cut it low when in blossom 
and before the seeds are formed. 

Where there is difficulty in establishing alfalfa, sweet clover is often 
grown in advance to establish the nitrogen-gathering bacteria, which are 
peculiar to the leguminous plants. Following sweet clover, there is usually 
little difficulty in getting the alfalfa to grow, if the seed bed is carefully 
prepared. However, many farmers who have been growing both plants, are 
of the opinion that sweet clover is the more profitable of the two, and that 
it can be handled successfully with less difficulty. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 249 

There is no pasture crop which will support as many cattle or other 
live stock as will sweet clover during the second season of its growth. A 
small experimental plot of little more than an acre yielded two big loads 
of hay. The plants were permitted to get a good start after the hay was 
cut before pasturing, then two cows and a horse were turned in for the 
rest of the season. In addition to furnishing an abundant pasture for 
three, more than twenty bags of seed were secured. Allowing $15 per ton 
for hay, $1 a month per head for pasture, and $3 a bag for the seed, all 
very conservative figures, the crop returned about $96 per acre. While this 
small- plot was experimental, there are numerous farmers who have re- 
ceived more than $100 an acre for seed alone. 

Cultural Requirements. 

It frequently happens that, having seen sweet clover growing along 
the roadsides, on gravelly banks and other unpromising situations, we are 
surprised to fail in getting a stand in a well prepared field. Sweet clover 
requires a firm seed bed, and will not succeed on land where the soil has 
been deeply stirred and left in a loose condition. It is well to scratch 
the surface with a tool that does not penetrate deeply, leaving the surface 
loose for an inch or so, and compact below. While it will succeed on a 
great variety of soils, it requires that they be in a well settled condition 
and not freshly plowed to a depth of several inches, such as best suits 
many forage plants. This condition probably accounts for more failures 
in getting a stand of sweet clover than any other cause. 

Sowing the seed on top of the ground or on the snow in winter, will 
often secure a good stand with no cultivation at all. Good results often 
come from sowing it with small grain in spring, on land that has been cul- 
tivated the previous season. Some succeed by sowing after the last cul- 
tivation of corn, the seed germinating to some extent the same season, 
while some does not sprout until the following spring. The ideal condition 
is to cover the seed from half an inch to an inch with finely pulverized soil, 
with a firm soil underneath. 

Time of Sowing. 

Sweet clover may be sowed in the winter or early spring, as above 
stated, or at any time from March until August. It should not be seeded 
when it is likely to start so late that it will not have time to establish it- 
self firmly before winter. Under the different conditions of soil and climate 
of this great country, it is difficult to give general directions that will ap- 
ply everywhere. 

The time of sowing will depend much upon the manner in which the 
crop is to be handled. Where it is desired to sow the seed on old mead- 
ows or pastures without plowing, it will probably be best to scatter it in 
winter or early spring. The freezing and thawing have a tendency to 
soften the hard coat of the seed, as well as to cover it with earth. As a 
field crop, the writer's limited experience would indicate that spring 
sowing, with a nurse crop that can be cut early, will be best, though win- 
ter seeding on stubble should bring good results. 



250 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

There is a great diversity of opinion as to the proper amount of seed 
to sow. Where it is used to thicken up meadows or pastures a smaller 
amount is needed than where sown as a field crop on newly prepared land. 
Some growers say that 4 pounds of good unhulled seed per acre is suffi- 
cient to sow on grass lands. As high as 20 pounds of hulled seed per acre 
is advocated by some for a field crop. The seed covering is very hard, and, 
unless treated, only about half of it will grow the first year. If the seed 
is scarified, the hard coat is scratched until it germinates readily, and 
much less seed is necessary to secure a stand than otherwise. Ten pounds 
of hulled and scarified seed per acre should be sufficient on good land. 

It is often difficult to get a stand on old land which is deficient in 
lime, for lack of the nitrogen-gathering bacteria that thrive on the roots 
of clovers. It is sometimes necessary to treat a small area with a good 
coat of manure, and sometimes with crushed lime. After the sweet clover 
is growing well on this land the area can be gradually extended. 

Utilizing the Crop. 

Probably there is no forage crop which will furnish as much pasture 
per acre as will sweet clover in its second year of growth. It should be al- 
lowed to get a good start in spring before stock is turned in, and the area 
should be sufficiently large for the animals thus kept. Cattle, hogs and 
horses all eat it with relish after they become familiar with it, and thrive 
equally on it. It is a common practice to pasture the crop during the first 
part of the second season and then to turn the stock off and harvest a 
seed crop. The writer has harvested a very good crop of seed from a lim- 
ited area, which was pastured lightly through the entire summer until the 
crop was cut. Of course, it is not possible to pasture heavily after mid- 
summer, and still secure a good crop of seed. 

Sweet clover makes a good quality of hay if cut at the proper time and 
well cured. If a seed crop is to be cut, the first crop of the second season 
may be cured for hay by cuttting high enough to leave some of the small 
branches on the lower part of the stem. If cut too low at this time the 
plants will die. Sweet clover hay requires more time to cure properly 
than the clovers with small stems, but if piled in small cocks it is little 
damaged, even though some rain falls on is. If properly cured it makes a 
very good winter feed. When cut for hay it should be mown before it be- 
gins to bloom to any extent. When it is about two feet high is the right 
time. The first year it may be cut at almost any time the grower finds 
convenient. 

Some practice sowing sweet clover with early oats, cutting the oats 
with a high stubble and later getting a crop of hay. 
Saving the Seed. 

The seed crop sometimes fails because the plants are too thick on the 
ground. They spread or branch widely as they grow, and where they are 
too thick the blossoms may drop off without setting a full crop of seed. 
Usually best results are obtained where a first crop is cut for hay or is 
pastured until mid-summer. The second crop does not grow as high as 
the first would do if permitted to seed, thus making it easier to handle. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 251 

Seed is obtained only the second year, and if the first growth of that year 
is permitted to seed, the plants will die when cut, so that only the one crop 
can be obtained. 

The seed ripens so iregularly that it is not always easy to tell just 
when it should be cut in order to save the largest amount of seed. At 
best, much of it will shatter off and be lost, since the first to ripen will 
be ready while there is still a large amount of bloom. The most seed will 
be secured by cutting when about three-fourths of the seed pods have 
turned brown. If cut sooner there will be too many blossoms and imma- 
ture seeds; if cut later too much of the ripe seed will shatter in the har- 
vesting. Usually enough seeds shatter off to reseed the land. Some grow- 
ers have been able to continue the same land in sweet clover for fifteen or 
twenty years by sowing two years in succession to begin with. After the 
first year a crop of seed will ripen every year. 

It is something of a problem to harvest the seed without losing a 
large portion of it. The writer has cut a small field with an ordinary 
mower when the plants were wet with dew, and immediately raked it 
into windrows. This method is hardly to be advised where the seed is to 
be hauled to a threshing machine, since more of the seed will be wasted 
than where it is bound into bundles. This small field was threshed by 
hand with forks. A large sheet of canvas was laid on the ground and the 
sweet clover carefully lifted on it, after it was fully dried. By beating 
with the forks the seed was readily separated from the stalks. 

The ordinary grain binder is generally used for this purpose. Where 
much seed is to be harvested, it is necessary to provide some special pans 
to catch the seed that shatter off. Corn binders have been used in some 
cases. 

When threshed with a grain separator, the straw is broken up so 
much that it makes a fair forage for wintering cattle or horses. They 
will not eat it readily when threshed by hand, since the straw is not broken 
up to any extent and the dry stalks are too coarse otherwise. 

Those interested in this subject will do well to write to the U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture for Farmer's Bulletins which deal with different 
phases of the culture of sweet clover. They give in much greater detail 
information that space will not permit here. 

SWEET FENNEL (Foeniculum vulgare). 

The cultivated fennel from Europe has become naturalized in some 
places along the Atlantic Coast in Maryland and Virginia and other East- 
ern States. It is often cultivated in gardens in many localities. Lovell lists 
it as the source of a light amber honey. 

SUMAC (RHUS). 

There are about one hundred and twenty species of rhus found in 
Asia, South America and North America. There are fourteen species com- 
mon to North America. The red or scarlet sumac, shown in Figure 133 
(Rhus glabra) is most common, being found from New England west to 
Saskatchewan, Colorado and Arizona, and south to Florida and Louisiana. 



252 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



This species is a well-known source of nectar and is especially important 
in New England. 

In Texas, Scholl lists the dwarf sumac (Rhus copallina) as yielding 
surplus throughout eastern and south Texas. He also lists green sumac 
(Rhus virens) as attracting the bees in west Texas. 

In California, Richter lists poison oak (Rhus diversiloba) as yielding 
a superior grade of white honey which granulates readily. He also reports 
laurel sumac (Rhus laurina) as yielding amber honey of marked odor but 
fine flavor. 




Fig. 



Leaves and berries of red 



The poison ivy (Rhus Toxicodendron), common to the Eastern States 
from Nova Scotia to Wisconsin and south to Arkansas and Florida, is a 
vigorous vine, climbing by means of aerial rootlets. The flowers are in- 
conspicuous, but secrete nectar freely. Where sufficiently abundant, sur 
plus may be expected from this source. 

Some species of sumac may be expected in almost every section of the 
country where woodlands are common. Nearly all species seem to be at- 
tractive to the bees, although it is only in limited localities that honey in 
surplus quantity is reported. The honey is reputed of good quality, with 
mild flavor. In the east the honeyflow from sumac is sometimes very rapid 
and a liberal quantity of surplus secured, at times as high as 100 pounds 
per colony. New honey from this source is somewhat bitter to the taste, 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



253 



but this characteristic soon disappears. The blooming period usually 
comes in July and lasts for two or three weeks. 

The dwarf sumac is a widely distributed species, known is some local- 
ities as mountain sumac. It is common in the Gulf States and is the source 
of honey in favored localities. 

SUNFLOWER (Helianthus). 

There are many species of the sunflowers, some of which may be found 
from the Atlantic Coast to California, and from Canada to the Gulf. 




Fig. 134. Wild sunflowei 



(Fig. 134.) They are tall, coarse weeds, with yellow flowers. Large num- 
bers of insects of many species may be found on the sunflower blossoms 
in search of the nectar. Whenever these plants are sufficiently abundant 
they are the source of large quantities of honey. M. H. Mendleson, of 
Ventura, California, reports that one year, following a wet winter, he se- 
cured a carload of surplus honey from sunflowers, although such yields are 
extremely rare in his locality. 



254 AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 

The cultivated sunflowers are of little if any value for honey, but pro- 
duce seed in large quantity, which is valued as poultry food. The Jerusa- 
lem artichoke is a variety of sunflower grown for the tubers. A variety 
of this plant grows wild in the upper Mississippi Valley States, where it 
is regarded as a bad weed. It is frequently reported as a good honey 
plant. 

Many of the wild sunflowers are perennials, persisting for many years 
when once established. They are commonly to be found along wagon 
roads, railroads and other waste places. The honey is amber in color and 
strong in flavor. 

SUPPLE JACK, see Rattan Vine. 
SWEET BAY, see Magnolia. 
SWAMP LAUREL, see Magnolia. 
SWEET PEPPERBUSH, see Pepperbush. 
SYMPHORICARPOS, see Indian Currant. 



TOCALOTE, see Star Thistle. 
TANGLEFOOT, see Aster, also Wild Alfalfa. 
TARAXACUM, see Dandelion. 

TARWEED (Hemizonia) 

There are about eight species of hemizonia or tarweeds in California. 
(Fig. 135.) Of these Richter lists three as sources of honey and indicates 
that others may also be of importance. The tarweed (Hemizonia fasci- 
culata) is reported as common over a large part of southern California, 
except on the desert, and north to San Francisco. The blooming period 
is given from June to August and the honey is said to be dark amber with 
strong aroma. He states that it is an excellent producer, especially along 
the coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and that the honey is largely 
used in the manufacture of chewing tobacco and shoe blacking. 

The yellow tarweed (Hemizonia virgata) is said to be common in the 
interior valleys and to be a "heavy and consistent yielder, beginning in 
August and lasting for about twenty clays, according to Mr. B. B. Hoga- 
boom of Elk Grove." The honey is stated to be of light yellow color, 
good flavor and heavy body. 

The coast tarweed (Hemizonia corymbosa) is reported as yielding 
some honey, but not nearly as much as the foregoing species. 

In Fresno County tarweed, known as yellow-tops, is stated to bloom 
from April to June and to yield an occasional surplus. The name vinegar 
weed is sometimes applied to tarweed in the San Joaquin Valley. — Honey 
Plants of California. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



255 



TEASEL (Dipsacus fullonum). FULLER'S TEASEL. 

Fuller's teasel is a European plant which was for a time cultivated in 
this country for the heads of stiff chaff with hooked points, used for rais- 
ing the nap upon woolen cloth. Although no longer mentioned as a culti- 
vated plant, it has escaped from cultivation and persists as a weed in 
some places. 







\ 














V '% 




# 


"V 






"*\ 


Pr^H 


1^ * *' {-* 




h, .* . * 


♦ 


**' ' ^^K 














'4 , 




* 


^v\!u* 




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40 




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Fig. 135. Tarweed blossoms. 
During the time when it was generally cultivated in some parts of 
New York, the late G. M. Doolittle secured more than $1,000 per year from 
less than 100 colonies, credited with being largely from teasel. (American 
Bee Journal, July 21, 1886.) The high price of teasel in the market led to 
a great boom for a few years. A beekeeper writing in the American Bee 
Journal in 1878 stated that the honey-yielding qualities of teasel were 
equal to basswood. He described the flavor of the honey as excellent, the 
color white and transparent. Reports of carloads of teasel honey shipped 
to Thurber & Co., are referred to and the statement made that it is one of 
the greatest honey-producing plants in existence. 

In the same Journal (Aug. 18, 1886), G. M. Doolittle writes a long arti- 
cle giving the history and cultivation of the plant. From this article the 
following extracts are taken: 

"Bees work on teasel all hours of the day, and no matter how well 
basswood may yield honey, a few bees will be found at work on teasel. 
A bee that works on teasel is readily distinguished from those that 
work on basswood, by the abdomen being covered with a white dust. 
Black and hybrid bees work on it in larger proportion than the Ital- 
ians." 
17 



256 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



"The honey from teasel is very thin and white, in fact the whitest 
honey I ever saw; but it is not of as good flavor as either clover or 
basswood. This thinness of the nectar, and its coming just when bass 
wood does is the great drawback to it. From careful tests I should 
say that it would take about four bee-loads of it to be equal to one 
bee-load of nectar gathered from basswood. Coming as it does with 
basswood, makes it of no great advantage, except that it usually lasts 
six to ten days after basswood is gone. 

'Again, my bees have to fly two to ten miles to get this nectar, 
as I am on the southern edge of the teasel belt. According to those 
who believe bees fly only \ l / 2 to 2 miles for honey, I should not get any- 
thing from teasel. I have repeatedly seen my bees flying to and from 
the teasel fields from our church door, which is 2 l / 2 miles from my 
apiary in line with the fields. 

"As to what proportion of my honey has come from teasel the 
past fifteen years, I should say about one-tenth; some years more and 
some years not a single pound. In 1877 I got the largest crop, while 
from 1878 to 1884 little if any was obtained." 

TENDRIL-BEARING SMARTWEED, see Brunnichia. 



TENNESSEE— Honey Flora of. 

From a special circular sent to the largest beekeepers of the State, 

asking them to give the names of the chief nectar-producing flowers of 

their section, the following was gained. The list given below is arranged 
in order of importance in the estimation of these practical beekeepers: 

White clover. Huckleberry. 

Poplar. Whortleberry. 

Linden or basswood. Elm. 

Sourwood. Yellow-wood. 

Aster. Daisy fleabane. 

Black locust. Heartsease. 

Chestnut. Cane. 

Goldenrod. Crowfoot moss. 

Stickweed. Willows. 

Red Clover. Bitterweed. 

Persimmon. Turnip. 

Alsike clover. Dandelion. 

Cowpeas Strawberry. 

Tanglefoot (aster). Pea wood. 

Sumac. Cottonwood. 

Maple. Cedar. 

Black gum. Blackberry. 

Alfalfa. Catnip. 

Melilotus. Fruit berries. 

Cotton. Aspen. 

Corn. Raspberry. 

Wireweed. Oak. 

Boneset. Spanish needle. 
Buckbrush. 
— G. M. Bentley, Tennessee Board of Entomology, Bulletin No. 9. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



257 



TEUCRIUM, see Germander. 



TEXAN EBONY (Siderocarpos flexicaulis). 

Texan ebony is a beautiful shrub or small tree common to the Rio 
Grande Valley in Texas and abundant in northern Mexico. In the vicinity 
of Brownsville it is regarded as a valuable source of nectar, blooming two 
or three times during the year. The tree only blooms two or three days, so 
the flow is short, usually not exceeding a week, as the difference in bloom- 
ing time between different trees is not great. The honey is of fine quality 
and light in color. In some localities beekeepers report that the flow only 
lasts about two days, but is heavy for this short period. Rains bring it 
into bloom, and in seasons when rains are frequent, it blooms several 
times. 




rig. 



136. A clump of southwest Texas honey plants: agarita, mesquite, blackberry, brazil- 
wood, anaqua, prickly pear and huisache, all growing together near Goliad. 



TEXAS— Honey Sources of. 

Texas is a very large State, with a great diversity of soil and climatic 
conditions. In order to appreciate its vast extent, one needs to study the 
map and note something of the variety of climate represented within her 
borders. Orange, Texas, is very nearly south of Des Moines, Iowa, while 
El Paso is further west than Denver, Colorado. The northern line is near 
to southern Kansas, while Brownsville is a long distance south of San 
Diego, California. One might describe almost any condition of soil and 
climate with which he is familiar in any part of the United States and say 



258 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

with truth that it is like Texas, for almost every condition of soil or 
climate of the rest of the country is to be found somewhere in Texas. 
The climate ranges from a winter temperature of 20 degrees below zero in 
the Panhandle, to an almost frostless condition in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley. In east Texas there is a heavy rainfall, with a consequent luxuri- 
ant vegetation, while in parts of west Texas one finds a desert flora and 
little rain. At one point which the author once visited he was told there 
had been no rain for eighteen months and the very dry and dead condition 
cf everything, even the cactus, indicated that it was true. 

Texas seems to be divided into about five natural beekeeping divisions. 
Each of these has a flora and conditions peculiar to itself, though, of 
course, there is a gradual merging of these natural divisions. The lower 
Rio Grande Valley is the southernmost section of the United States, ex- 
cept the extreme tip of Florida. Here we find conditions unlike any other 
part of Texas. There is a great variety of honey plants, with a light flow 
almost continuously, but no heavy honey flows. This condition favors the 
continuous breeding of bees and the consumption of the honey gathered in 
brood rearing. It is the most favorable situation in America for the rear- 
ing of queens and bees, but a poor place for honey production, since the 
average surplus per colony seldom exceeds twenty-five pounds. . 

In this section bees swarm as late as December and gather sufficient 
nectar to carry them through the brief period when vegetation is dormant. 
The huisache and catsclaw bloom in February and March. Hackberry also 
begins to yield in February. From February till December there are but 
short periods without some nectar coming from the field. Brazilwood, 
horsemint, Texan ebony, blackbrush, privet, coma, mesquite, whitebrush, 
and many others, yield light flows of nectar. 

The Arid Region 

The escarpment running east and west between San Antonio and New 
Braunfels marks a very definite boundary to the belt where cotton is the 
principal source of surplus honey. South of the escarpment and extending 
to the valley of the Rio Grande, we have the mesquite region. A line 
drawn in a southeasterly direction from San Antonio, through Cuera and 
Victoria to the Gulf, would mark the approximate eastern boundary of 
this region. Figure 136 shows a characteristic group of honey plants of 
southwest Texas. Agarita (barberry), mesquite, hackberry, Mexican per- 
simmon, brazilwood, anaqua, prickly pear and huisache, all valuable plants 
to the beekeeper, are growing together. There are very characteristic 
plants for this region. Most of the honey comes from thorny shrubs, in- 
cluding catsclaw, huajillo (pronounced wa-he-ya), etc. This belt extends 
westward for a long distance and includes the famous Uvalde County, from 
which hundreds of cars of fine honey from catsclaw and huajillo have been 
shipped. 

The Cotton Region. 

North of the escarpment already mentioned we find the cotton belt 
extending north to Oklahoma and including the black, waxy lands and 
other heavy soils. Figure 46, in connection with the article on cotton, 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 259 

shows an outline map roughly indicating the different honey regions of 
the State. Within this particular area, we find the highest development 
of agriculture in Texas. The soil is rich and the climate mild. Cotton, 
corn, alfalfa, small grains and truck crops are all profitably grown. 
Mesquite is an important source of nectar in the cotton belt, as is also 
horsemint, and in the northern portion, sweet clover. Broomweed is also 
important, some seasons. 

East Texas. 

In the timbered regions of east Texas there is some splendid beekeep- 
ing territory unoccupied. There is a variety of flora to be equalled in few 
sections, and remarkable yields of honey are reported. On heavy soils 
cotton yields freely. Basswood, rattan, huckleberry, partridge pea, horse- 
mint, bitterweed and cowpeas are all reported as sources of surplus honey 
in this section. Beekeepers of extensive experience report that one can 
depend upon an average of more than one hundred pounds per colony per 
year for a ten-year period. 

Although the average yield is much higher and the flows are much 
more dependable than in other parts of Texas, the business of beekeeping 
is less highly specialized here than in other parts of the State. This is 
probably due to the fact that general agriculture is profitable and public 
attention has not been called to the possibilities of this section. 

THIMBLEBERRY, see Raspberry; also Salmon Berry. 
THORN APPLE, see Hawthorne. 
THOROUGHWORT, see Boneset. 

THYME (Thymus). 

Thyme is an introduced plant from Europe which is sometimes culti- 
vated in gardens and occurs occasionally as an escape. There are two 
species listed in this country Thymus vulgaris, the source of the famed 
honey from Mt. Hymettus, and Thymus serphyllum, the wild or creeping 
thyme. 

According to J. E. Crane, thyme is found in southwestern Vermont in 
sufficient abundance to make excellent pasture for the bees during August. 
There is an occasional report from some beekeeper who finds the bees 
much attracted to the plant, but as yet no reports of surplus honey worthy 
cf mention have been received. 

TIEVINE, see Morning Glory. 
TISSWOOD, see Red Bay. 

TI-TI. 

The leatherwood or black ti-ti (Cyrilla racemiflora) is a shrub with 
shining leaves and large numbers of small flowers in clusters. It occurs in 
swamps from southern Virginia to Florida and west to Louisiana and 
Texas. In Alabama and Mississippi it occurs from the Central Pine Belt 
to the Coast Plain, in the edges of swamps and along streams. It is also 



260 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

known as white ti-ti, ironwood and red ti-ti. It sometimes reaches the 
height of 20 to 30 feet, becoming a small tree, though usually it is found as 
a shrub. The thin bark breaks up into large scales. 

The bloom opens in June and July and is not regarded as a very de- 
pendable source of nectar. The honey is dark, with a mild flavor. 

The ti-ti (Cliftonia monophylla), sometimes called buckwheat-tree or 
ironwood, also known as black ti-ti, occurs in wet, sandy soil and swamps 
from South Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana. It is an attractive 
tree, often reaching a height of 30 to 40 feet. This shrub or tree, as the 
case may be, often grows in dense thickets called ti-ti swamps. The flow- 
ers are white and fragrant and appear in late February to April. There are 
large areas of ti-ti swamp in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, which 
furnish abundant bee pasture. According to Baldwin, it yields surplus 
honey in the extreme northwest portion of west Florida. He describes the 
honey as red, strong, and suitable mostly for baking purposes. (Gleanings, 
March 15, 1911.) 

Ti-ti is of more or less value as a source of nectar in the swampy dis- 
tricts of all the Southeastern States from South Carolina to Louisiana. 
The honey is not of the best quality, nor is the yield generally heavy. 

TOBACCO (Nicotiana tabacum). 

The tobacco plant is a coarse annual. It is grown as a field crop in 
the South and also in a few northern localities, especially in Wisconsin 
and Connecticut. As a honey plant it is probably seldom important. The 
fact that the plants are usually cut in advance of the time when the bloom 
is at its best, would make it unavailable, for the most part, as a source of 
nectar. 

"We are in a location 'where hundreds of acres of tobacco are 
raised every year. I have taken bees and placed them near the fields 
and they will store some honey from the plant some years. It is very 
dark, much like buckwheat in color, strong and very heavy body. Buck- 
wheat is not my favorite honey, but I can eat it. Tobacco honey I 
cannot. It is very slow to granulate, and I have never seen it harden 
as other honey will, even when well ripened and two years old." — W. 
K. Rockwell, Bloomfield, Conn. American Bee Journal, page 63, 1919. 

"Tobacco yields a heavy flow under certain conditions in Porto 
Rico." — Henry Brenner, in American Bee Journal, page 381. 1916. 

"Tobacco in this section has always been raised in the open field 
and, when about 4 feet high, each plant has been 'topped' and not al- 
lowed to go to seed. * * * It is now being picked in the field in- 
stead of being cut by the old method. The plant is allowed to grow 
from 7 to 10 feet high and goes to seed. The leaves are saved by 
picking, this work commencing at the bottom, one row of leaves being 
gathered at a time, and the top leaves picked last. The plants are thus 
allowed to blossom, each one bearing hundreds of flowers, and they 
continue to bloom from August 1 till frost. Thus we have thrown open 
to our bees hundreds of acres of tobacco, containing myriads of flow- 
ers.. The bees swarm on it, some days more than others, and the honey 
comes in as fast as during the earlier flows." — E. H. Shattuck, Granby, 
Conn. Gleanings, page 268. 1911. 

TOLLON BERRY, see Christmas Berry. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 261 

TOOTHACHE-TREE, see Prickly Ash. 
TOY-ON BERRY, see Christmas Berry. 
TRAILING ARBUTUS, see Arbutus. 
TREE HUCKLEBERRY, see Farkle-Berry. 
TREE OF HEAVEN, see Varnish Tree. 

TREE CLOVER, TREE ALFALFA or TAGASASTE (Cytisus proliferus 
alba). 

The tree alfalfa, or white broom, is grown to some extent in California. 

In Australia it is regarded as important, as the following extract from 

Raynunt (Money in Bees in Australasia), will show: 

"This rapid-growing hedge plant is now widely known as a grand 
honey yielder. As a wind break for the apiary it is unrivaled. The 
white blossoms burst the sheaves early in spring, almost before the 
winter has departed. Bees work upon it during a shower, as the droop- 
ing habit of the flowers prevents the nectar washing out with the rain. 
The pollen is cadmium in color and the honey very pale and clear, 
rather thin and of mild flavor. To make a close hedge it should be se- 
verely cut back. Unfortunately, the sheep and cattle, also the kan- 
garoos are fond of it and keep it eaten back." 
It is native to the Canary Islands and adjacent regions. As it thrives 

in California, it is promising for trial in the warmer parts of America. 

TRILLIUM. 

One of the first spring flowers, the trillium, of which there are several 
species, is attractive to the bees. It is commonly known by the name of. 
wake robin, or birthroot. As it blooms so early, it is seldom that the bees 
find many good days for flying, and such early spring flowers can never be 
regarded as important except for the purpose of stimulating brood rearing. 

TROPICAL LILAC (Duranta plumiere). GOLDEN DEWDROP. 

The tropical lilac is a hedge plant cultivated in Florida and California 
and other southern localities. W. K. Morrison lists it in Gleanings (Aug. 
1, 1905), as extremely attractive to the bees and as blooming for some time. 
Probably not sufficiently abundant in America to be important anywhere. 

TRUMPET WEED, see Boneset. 

TULIP-POPLAR or TULIP TREE (Liriodendron tulipifera). 

The tulip-tree, also known as yellow poplar, is a very large tree, often 
growing to a height of 100 to 140 feet, and a diameter of 6 to 9 feet. It is 
found from southern New England west to southern Michigan and south 
to the Gulf States, east of the Mississippi. It is also found to a limited 
extent in southeastern Missouri and eastern Arkansas. It blooms in April 
and May and produces a light amber honey of good flavor. 

According to Buchanan, the honey yield from this source is heavy and 
the tree is an important addition to the nectar-secreting flora of Tennes- 
see and nearby States. The showy flowers are shown at Figure 137. 

The possibilities of this source of nectar are not properly appreciated. 



262 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Since it blooms so early in spring, few colonies of bees ar e sufficiently 
strong to gather the crop possible from tulip-poplar. The skilled bee- 
keeper, who can bring his colonies through the winter in good condition, 
gets large yields of honey from this source. In the vicinity of Washing- 




Fig. 137. Blossoms of tulip-poplar 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 263 

ton, D. C, it is the principal source of surplus, and strong colonies often 
store an average of 100 pounds. In 'many cases the bees build up on tulip- 
poplar only to become strong after the flow is over. In locations where 
this tree is common, too much care cannot be taken to get strong colonies 
early in spring to take advantage of this flow. 

TUPELO-GUM (Nyssa). 

There are four species of the tupelo-gum trees, which should not be 
confused with the gums of the Pacific Coast, which are eucalyptus (See 
Eucalyptus). The tupelo-gum, or cotton-gum (Nyssa aquatica) (Fig. 138), 
is a very large tree common to the swamps from southeastern Missouri 
and southern Illinois east to Virginia and south to Florida and Texas. It 
grows to a height of more than 100 feet and yields enormous quantities of 
nectar. 

The pepperidge, or highland black-gum (Nyssa sylvatica) sometimes 
called sour-gum, yellow-gum, tupelo, or stinkwood, grows in moist upland 
woods from Ontario and New England to Michigan and south to Florida 
and Texas. It reaches a height of 150 feet and a diameter of four feet, 
under favorable conditions. 

The water-gum, or Southern black-gum (Nyssa biflora), also called 
water tupelo, has a swollen base and, when growing in the water, pro- 
duces erect roots which rise to the surface. It is found from North Caro- 
lina to Florida and west to eastern Texas. It is sometimes regarded as a 
variety of the pepperidge or black-gum. 

The ogeche plum or wild lime-tree (Nyssa Ogeche), called white tupelo, 
is much smaller than the other gum-trees, growing to a height of forty to 
sixty feet. It is common to the swamps of Georgia, Florida and South 
Carolina. 

The first named species is very common in the swamps of Alabama 
and Florida, where it often grows with the bald cypress on the banks of 
the Alabama, Tombigbee and Appalachicola Rivers. A. B. Marchant aver- 
aged 82 pounds of surplus honey per colony from tupelo for a seventeen- 
year period on the Appalachicola River in Florida. During part of this time 
he kept as many as 500 colonies to the yard. In 1904, he took 250 thirty- 
gallon barrels from 750 colonies, an average of about 120 pounds per colony. 

The tupelos are the source of much honey in Arkansas, east Texas and 
other Southern States, as well as in Alabama and Florida. Beekeepers 
complain that in many of the best tupelo locations there is a shortage of 
summer pollen, so that it becomes necessary to move the bees away when 
the tupelo flow is over. 

The tupelo honey is of good quality, and, when unmixed, will not 
granulate. Bottlers like to use tupelo honey for blending with other grades 
to retard granulation. It is good body and mild flavor, and finds a ready 
sale at better prices than most southern honey brings. 

TURKEY MULLEIN (Eremocarpus setigerus). 

The turkey mullein is also known as coyote weed, wooly white drought 
weed, and yerba del pescado. The latter, according to Jepson, is the Spa- 



264 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



nish-Californian name, derived from the custom of the Indians to use the 
heavy-scented herbage of this plant to stupefy fish in small streams, to 
catch them by hand. He gives the range as dry open areas from the plains 
or the Sacramento and San Toaquin, Sierra Nevada foothills to the low 




Fig. 138. Blossoms of the tupelo gum. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 265 

hills and valley fields of the Coast Ranges. It grows mostly in stubble 
fields following the grain harvests, contesting for survival with the blue 
curls. 

From Western Honeybee we quote as follows: 



rora Western Honeybee we quote as toiiows : 

"Turkey mullein is a different appearing plant (from blue curls), 
at grows under exactly similar conditions. Its insignificant pale 
reen or white flowers yield a thick amber honey, of biting, astringent 
,.avor, often in considerable quantities. 

"I have known a beekeeper in San Diego County to market eight 
tons of this honey. It is fit only for manufacturing purposes. The 
foliage of turkey mullein is white, wooly, and exhales a pungent odor." 
October. 1914. 

TURNIP (Brassica). 

Where turnips are grown for seed in large acreage, surplus honey may 
be expected from this source. The late J. S. Harbison said of them: 

"Turnip blossoms are eagerly sought by the bees, and afford so rich 
pasturage during March and April as to make it a profitable crop, if 
but for this purpose alone." — Beekeeper's Directory. 

TURPENTINE WEED, see Blue Curls. 



U 

ULEX, see Gorse. 

UMBRELLA TREE, see Wild China. 

UTAH — Honey Sources of. 

Most of the surplus honey which goes to market from Utah is from 
sweet clover and alfalfa. Salmon-berry, clover, dandelion, willows and the 
desert flowers add something to the output of the apiary. 



VACCINIUM, see Blueberry. 

VARNISH TREE or TREE OF HEAVEN (Ailanthus glandulosa). 

This tree is met by a great variety of names, varnish tree, tree of 
heaven and Chinese sumac being common. The tree is a native of China 
and has been extensively cultivated as a shade tree in America. It spreads 
easily and is quite generally naturalized. Scholl lists it as a source of 
honey and pollen in Texas. Richter regards it as a wonderful yielder in 
California, where it produces an abundance of ill-tasting honey. It is re- 
ported as a honey producer in Georgia and is to be found in many States 
from east to west in greater or less abundance. The disagreeable odor 



266 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

of the staminate flowers is a 'well-known characteristic of the tree. In 
appearance it looks much like a very large sumac. 

In the vicinity of Paris, France, the ailanthus, also called ailanthe, 
yields honey which must be removed before other honeys are harvested, 
as it spoils the taste of the honey of other plants. 

VERBENA, see Vervain. 

VERMONT— Honey Sources of. 

The willows furnish first nectar in Vermont. Fruit blossoms, dande- 
lions and maples also furnish nectar in abundance in early spring. White 
and alsike clover, together with goldenrod, furnish the principal surplus 
honey. Sumac, laurel, asters and less important plants also furnish some 
honey. 
VERNONIA, see Ironweed. 




VERVAIN (Verbena). 

There are about 16 species of verbenas in North America, and several 
of them are widely distributed. Figure 139 shows the blue vervain (Ver- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



267 



bena hastata), which is found from Nova Scotia to Quebec and Manitoba, 
south to Arkansas, New Mexico and California, and on the east, south to 
Georgia. This particular species is usually found in low lands, along 
streams, etc. Richter, in his "Honey Plants of California," mentions an- 
other species, Verbena prostrata, as yielding considerable honey in some 
localities in that State. In Iowa the hoary vervain (Verbena stricta), is 
very common in upland pastures, especially over the north half of the 
State, and reports of surplus honey from this source are not uncommon. 

Mr. Scholl reports Verbena xutha as yielding sparingly in Texas. 
While in the main the vervains can hardly be regarded as important honey 
plants, in limited localities some species are very valuable sources of nec- 
tar. Mr. S. W. Snyder, former Secretary of the Iowa Beekeepers' Asso- 
siation, reports the blue vervain as quite valuable in his locality, some 
years furnishing a surplus. 

VERVENIA, see Phacelia. 




Fig. 140. Virginia creeper, or American ivy. 



VETCH (Vicia). 

There are about a dozen species of vetch native to America and two 
or three varieties widely cultivated for forage. They yield some honey, 
and there are reports from beekeepers to the effect that their bees work 
upon vetch freely. However, ther is little to indicate that they are an im- 
portant source of nectar. Richter lists spring vetch as a source of honey, 



268 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



but does not indicate that it yields surplus in California, where it is grown 
as a cover crop. Some species have extra-floral nectaries. 

Some of the group are regarded as good honey plants in Europe. 

VINEGAR-WEED, see Blue Curls, also Tarweed 

VINE MAPLE (Acer circinatum). 

Vine maple is common on the Pacific Coast from Humboldt County, 
California, north to Washington. There are numerous reports of vine 
maple as an abundant source of early nectar in Oregon and Washington. 
The honey is amber and of excellent quality, but it blooms so early (April) 
that the bees are usually not in condition to store much surplus. (See 
Maple). In exceptional seasons as high as SO pounds of surplus have been 
gathered by a single colony from vine maple. 




Fig. 141. Blossoms and leaf of Virginia waterleaf. 

VINE MILKWEED (Enslenia alblda). 

The vine milkweed is a smooth perennial climbing herb, with small 
whitish flowers. It is common along streams from southern Pennsyl- 
vania and the Ohio Valley south to north Georgia and west to Texas. 

It is reported as a good honey plant in the vicinity of Buffalo, Texas. 
H. B. Parks states that it is a valuable bee plant, if sufficiently common. 

VIPER'S BUGLOSS, see Blueweed. 



VIRGINIA— Honey Sources of. 

Willows, fruit blossoms, red-bud and maples furnish early nectar and 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



269 



pollen. These are followed by dandelion, which is abundant. Persimmon, 
clover, locust, chinquapin, tulip-poplar, holly, laurel, basswood, tupelo and 
asters are sources of later nectar. Sourwood is found in some sections 
and produces an abundance of the finest honey. 

VIRGIN'S BOWER, see Clematis. 








42. Masses of Virginia Waterleaf in the authi 



ild garden at Atlantic low; 



VIRGINIA CREEPER (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). 

The Virginia creeper, also known as American ivy or woodbine, is a 
common climbing vine in thickets and woods from New England to Que- 
bec and Manitoba, Dakota and Colorado and south to the Gulf from 
Florida to western Texas. 

While the bees seek it eagerly at times and the vines fairly hum with 
them, it can hardly be regarded as of importance to the beekeeper. 

This plant is often confused with poison ivy, but the two plants can 
easily be distinguished by the difference in habit of growth, and by the 
five leaflets in the creeper, as shown in Figure 140, while the poison ivy 
has only three leaflets to each leaf. 

VIRGINIA WATERLEAF (Hydrophyllum vlrginicum). 

The Virginia waterleaf does not bloom until after the fruit blossoms 
are gone, and so has less competition for attention than some other plants 
that come into bloom during the same period. It blooms abundantly and 



270 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

grows luxuriantly in moist woods. The bees have been so eager for the 
blossoms of this plant in the writer's wild garden and in the surrounding 
woods for several years past, that he has come to regard it is quite a 
valuable honey plant, although nowhere so listed as far as can be learned. 
Figure 141 shows the blossom and leaf of this plant, while Figure 142 
shows masses of the plants in bloom. Apiaries in the vicinity of wood- 
lands should find this plant of considerable value, judging from the writ- 
er's limited observation. 

VITEX NEGUNDO INCISA. 

A plant of recent introduction by the Bureau of Plant Industry. De- 
scribed as follows by Frank N. Meyer, explorer, who found it at Shantung, 
China: 

"A sage which may prove to be a good plant for the arid South- 
western States. It is able to resist alkali remarkably well. The 
Chinese use it for basketry manufacture, taking the annual shoots for 
this purpose. It has pretty blue flowers and is diligently visited by all 
kinds of bees, and as such it might be grown in gardens as a semi- 
ornamental shrub. It grows, when left alone, up to 20 feet tall." 
Specimens tested by the author in Iowa, which were mere whips about 
20 inches tall, began bloooming the same season, the last week in July, 
and had not entirely faded on September 10. The bees sought it eagerly 
and apparently, if abundant, it would be a valuable honey plant. 



w 



WA-HE-YA (Huajillo), see Acacia. 
WAHOO, see Hop-Tree. 
WAKEROBIN, see Trillium. _ 

WALNUT (Juglans). 

The black walnut is a well-known forest tree in the eastern United 
States. Its usual range is from Ontario and New England west to Ne- 
braska, and south to Florida and Texas. The wood is very valuable for 
the manufacture of gunstocks, furniture, etc., and is becoming somewhat 
scarce. The tree leaves out later than most forest trees, not developing 
its foliage until May or June. Figure 143 shows the pollen-bearing blos- 
soms. These blossoms are long catkins borne on the wood of the preced- 
ing year. The blossoms appear before the leaves. Quantities of pollen 
are produced, and, at times, the bees seek the trees in such numbers as to 
make a continuous roar. The walnut blooms after the maples and wil- 
lows, and is not as valuable as earlier blooming trees, because it comes at 
about the same time that the dandelions are in bloom. May is the month 
of blossoming in most northern localities. 

The white walnuts or butternuts of the Eastern States, and the Eng- 
lish walnuts, Japaneses walnuts and California walnuts grown in the 
warmer parts of the country, especially in California, are relatives of the 
black walnut, and probably equally valuable for pollen. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



271 



WASHINGTON— Honey Sources of. 

Alfalfa, sweet clover. Sweet clover is quite generally distributed over 
all irrigated alfalfa districts. The Yakima Valley is the largest of these 
districts and supports at least 25,000 colonies. If it were not for spray 
poison this district could support SO per cent more. Sweet clover is being 
introduced in many other sections of the State, Spokane County, for ex- 
ample. New irrigation projects will increase the beekeeping area con- 
siderably in many sections of the arid portion of this State. 

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium). This plant is second only to the 
above as a honey plant. It is found in great abundance on all burned- 
over land west of the Cascade Mountains. It is also found in more or 
less abundance on burned sections on the east side. Due to the fact that 
there is much less rainfall it is not as reliable as a source of nectar as it 
is on the west side of the State. 

White clover is important on old cleared off land on west side. Also 




important in Stevens, Pend 'Oreille, Klickitat, Spokane and Whitman 
Counties. Of minor importance in most other counties. 

Alsike clover. Important in a few localities on the west side and in 
the northeast part of the State, where conditions are favorable. 

Vine maple (A. circinatum). Very abundant on the west coast from 
about King County south. A good yielder of an excellent amber honey. 
Blooms so early, about April, that few colonies are in a condition to store 
much surplus. 

Oregon maple (A. macrophyllum). An important honey plant on the 
18 



272 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

west side, from about King County south. 

Dwarf maple (A. glabrum)._ In most timbered sections of the State. 
Honey value unknown. 

Willow. Willows are abundant in almost every locality and are of 
great value for spring feeding. 

Chittam (Cascara sagrada). Abundant in most sections of the west 
side and reported to be an important honey plant. It is being killed off in 
many sections, due to the harvesting of the bark for medicinal use. 

Locust. Locust has been planted extensively in many of the irrigated 
sections of the State, where it furnishes an abundance of nectar at a time 
when it is badly needed by the bees. A surplus is gathered in many sec- 
tions of Walla Walla County. A water-white honey of excellent flavor. 

Dandelion. Abundant in all sections where there is sufficient moisture. 
As in most sections of the country, it is of great importance. 

Cat's ear (Hypochaeris radicata). Sometimes called California dande- 
lion. Abundant west of Cascades. Supplies considerable nectar of amber 
color. In many sections it darkens the fireweed honey, and for that rea- 
son beekeepers like to avoid it, if possible. 

Goldenrod. Abundant in all sections of the State where there is suf- 
ficient moisture. There are a number of species, but the writer has never 
seen a bee working on it in this State. This is due, in most cases, doubt- 
less, to the fact that more desirable nectar is available. 

Gum-weeds (Grindelia). Present in most parts of the State. Doubt- 
less of some value. 

Mustard. Important on west side in some localities. 

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos racemosus) and other species. Also 
called buck-brush, wax berry, wolf berry. Abundant on the west side and 
in the northeast part of the State. Common in many parts. Seems to 
yield well where abundant. Quality of honey unknown. 

Milkweed (Asclepias). Two species are found on the east side. Neither 
has been seen on the west side, and is not reported as occurring there by 
Piper and Beattie. 

Dewberry (Rubus macropetalus). Abundant in logged-off sections. Of 
considerable importance as a honey plant. 

Alder (A. oregona and A. sinuata). Common on the west side in par- 
ticular, especially the former. 

Madrona (Arbutus menziesii). Common all over the west side, except 
in heavy timber. Supplies nectar, but importance unknown. 

Helianthus. Two species occur. A small, early species, not deter- 
mined; has been reported as important on the east side, where it grows 
with little moisture. The species is doubtless H. annuus, which is the only 
one listed by Piper and Beattie. The other species is doubtless an intro- 
duced species from the east. 

Indian hemp (Apocynum pemilum). Northeastern Washington. Im- 
portant minor plant. 

Phacelia (P. heterophylla) was found abundant in Kittitas County, 
where it was yielding considerable nectar. Reported that the honey is 
amber. P. tanacetifolia has been introduced into northern Idaho at Coeur 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 273 

d'Alene in a very limited way, where it yields considerable nectar, con- 
sidering its abundance. 

Horehound and catnip. Both plants are found in considerable abund- 
ance in all parts of the State where there is sufficient moisture. Both 
seem to yield considerable nectar. 

Huckleberry. Several species of huckleberries are found in the State 
and are very abundant in many sections, as, for example, Mason County. 
They have been reported as honey plants, but their relative value is un- 
known. — H. A. Scullen. 

WATER-GUM, see Tupelo. 

WATERMELON (Citrullus citrullus). 

Where grown on a commercial scale the watermelon is the source 
of some honey. The bees visit the blossoms eagerly for both pollen and 
nectar. Important only in a few localities. 

WATER PEPPER, see Heartsease. 

WATERWEED (Jussiaea californica). 

The California waterweed is common to wet lands in the lower Sacra- 
mento and San Joaquin Valleys, where, according to Richter, it is the 
source of considerable ill-tasting honey. 

WATTLE, see Acacia. 
WAXBERRY, see Snowberry. 

WEATHER AND HONEY PRODUCTION. 

It is a well-known fact that nectar secretion is very sensitive to 
weather conditions. However, the same conditions are not most favorable 
for all plants. 

J. L. Strong, a beekeeper of Clarinda, Iowa, kept a careful record of 
weather conditions in connection with the daily gain or loss of a colony 
en scales for 29 years, from 1885 to 1914. In his locality, in southwestern 
Iowa, white clover is the principal source of honey. While the bees begin 
the season with the willows, maples, fruit bloom and dandelion, there is 
little surplus stored until the blooming of clover. Leslie A. Kenoyer, of 
the Iowa College of Agriculture, made a careful study of the Strong rec- 
ords and prepared a bulletin outlining his conclusions. While the records 
kept by Mr. Strong for a long period give material for fairly accurate 
conclusions regarding the effect of the weather on nectar secretion in 
white clover, it can hardly be expected that the same conclusions will ap- 
ply to all other plants. (Bulletin 169, Agricultural Experiment Station, 
Ames, Iowa.) From the foregoing the following conclusions are extracted: 

Rain. 

Abundant rain seems essential to stimulate plants to the vigor neces- 
sary to nectar production and to furnish the water contained in the se- 
cretion. 



274 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

Some honey years are poor because of excessive rain. In June, 1902, 
there was 11.64 inches of rainfall. June, 1911 represents the opposite ex- 
treme, with .76 inch, and was also poor. Abundant rain in advance of the 
hcneyflow is of great importance, particularly in the month of May. When 
there is 5 inches or more of rain in May an abundant honey harvest sel- 
dom fails. 

It is also shown that a heavy fall of snow during the previous winter 
tends to favor a good yield of honey. The abundance of snow provides 
both available moisture and protection to the clover plants during the cold 
months. 

A rainy day is, of course, unequal to a clear one for honey production, 
and the fact is shown that best yields are gathered on the days just pre- 
ceding and following the rains. A gradual increase in honey stored is ap- 
parent each day following a rain, until the fourth day, when it begins 
gradually to decline. 

Wind. 

An average of results for 200 days -shows that south winds are slightly 
more favorable, probably due to the warmer and clearer weather. East 
winds are shown to be somewhat unfavorable, probably due to the clouds 
and rains which frequently accompany them. (This does not apply every- 
where.) 

Temperature. 

It is generally recognized among beekeepers that hot weather is most 
favorable for nectar secretion. The above records . show that the hot 
months do yield better than the cooler ones, this being especially notice- 
able in the months of May and September, which are often too cool in 
Iowa for best production. It was found that little honey was stored at a 
temperature below 70 degrees and that 90 per cent of the entire amount 
gathered was at temperatures between 80 and 100 degrees. Days attaining 
a maximum between 80 and 90 degrees are the best yielding days, being 
slightly better than those with higher temperaturees. A variation in the 
temperature seems to favor nectar secretion. Mr. Kenoyer was able to 
show experimentally that low temperatures favor the accumulation of 
nectar. Days, then, with a wide range of temperature favored the bees. 

A cold winter previous to the honeyflow cannot be said to be benefi- 
cial, yet it is shown that it is not detrimental. A warm March, however, 
often favors a good season. This is explained as due to the favorable 
conditions for building up the colonies of bees in spring as well as to the 
increased vigor of the clover plants through lack of severe weather at the 
start of the growing season. 

Kenoyer's Conclusions. 

"Mr. Kenoyer concludes that, 1, June yields 56 per cent of the an- 
nual hive increase in honey, with about half the remainder gathered 
in July. 2. A large June increase indicates a good year. 3. There is 
an evident alternation between good and poor years. 4. A good year 
has a rainfall slightly above the average, the honey season being pre- 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 275 

ceded by an autumn, winter and spring with more than the average 
precipitation. 5. A rainy May scarcely fails to precede a good honey 
season. 6. South wind seems favorable and east wind unfavorable. 7. 
The yield shows a gradual depression preceding and a gradual increase 
until about the fourth day following a rainy day, after which it re- 
mains fairly constant until about the fourteenth day following a rain. 
8. Good honey months average slightly higher in temperature than 
poor, this being especially true of the spring and fall months. 9. Clear 
days are favorable to the production of honey. 10. Yield is best on 
days having a maximum temperature of 80 to 90 degrees. 11. A wide 
daily range of temperature is favorable for a good yield. 12. A low 
barometer is favorable for a good yield. 13. The fluctuations in the 
yield for a producing period seem to be closely correlated to the 
temperature range and the barometric pressure, acting jointly. 14. A 
cold winter has no detrimental effect on the yield of the succeeding 
season, but a cold March reduces it. IS. A winter of heavy snowfall 
is, in the great majority of cases, followed by a larger honey yield. 

WEST VIRGINIA— Honey Sources of. 

Willows, pollen and some nectar. 
Red maple, pollen and some nectar. 
Arbutus, slight value. 
Peach, important for nectar. 
Cherry, important for nectar and pollen. 
Redbud (Judas tree), contributing nectar and pol.en. 
June berry, slight value. 
Hawthorn, or haw, pollen and nectar. 
Apple, occasional surplus. 
Dandelion, valuable pollen and nectar. 
Azalea (pink), some nectar and pollen. 
Huckleberry, nectar and pollen. 

Tupelo, pepperidge, sour or black gum, valuable source of nectar, 
yields surplus. 

Wild raspberry, valuable for surplus. 

Tulip-tree or poplar, extremely valuable as a surplus plant. 

Black locust, important surplus plant. 

Sumac, yields nectar abundantly. 

Strawberry, important in nectar. 

Alsike clover, very valuable to beekeepers, increasing in popularity. 

Holly, important source of pollen. 

White clover, chief surplus in certain sections. 

Chestnut, some nectar and pollen. 

Chinquapin, yields, but of poor flavor. 

Basswood or linn, heavy yielder of excellent surplus. 

Sourwood, very important, yields extra abundant. 

Swamp milkweed, surplus in some localities. 

Sweet clover, dependent for surplus. 

Blue devil, or viper's bugloss, important. 

Buckwheat, excellent yielder in certain years. 

Goldenrod, contributory. 

Asters, yield surplus. 



276 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Willowherb, yields surplus in abundance. 
— Chas. A. Reece, Bulletin No. 33, W. Virginia Department of Agriculture. 

WHITE ALDER, see Pepperbush. 

WHITE BRUSH (Lippia Hgustrina). 

White brush is a very common shrub throughout south Texas. It has 
some resemblance to the Indian currant of the Northern States, except 
that it is larger in size. It has long sprays of fragrant white flowers which 
appear several times during the year, following rains. According to H. B. 
Parks, it yields little honey during the regular blooming period of spring, 
but during the rain-induced bloom, in late fall, it yields heavily. 

In the lower Rio Grande Valley, beekeepers reported to the author 
that the blooming period is short, but that it usually yields well, while the 
bloom lasts. In many localities similar reports are received. Most bee- 
keepers regard the honey as of good quality, but the plant not dependable. 
In seasons when there are frequent heavy rains considerable honey is har- 
vested, as it blooms after every heavy rain. 




l-i. 



Hi. Blossom and leaf of white clover 



WHITE CLOVER (Trifolium repens). 

White clover undoubtedly holds first place as a honey plant in Amer- 
ica. It is important as a source of nectar from Maine to Nebraska and 
south to Kentucky and Missouri. In all the Northeastern States it is one 
of the principal sources of nectar and, in many localities, it stands alone 
as the source of marketable surplus. Remove white clover, and bee- 
beekeeping would be a poor dependence in a large portion of this great 
area. Alsike is similar in yield and quality of its honey, but it is not so 
widely spread. The white clover plant is a perennial and establishes itself 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 277 

in pastures, along roadsides and in waste places everywhere. It is a good 
lawn plant and holds its own with bluegrass in a way that few plants 
will do. 

It yields more heavily in the northern part of its range. One Mi- 
nesota beekeeper reports that a yield of less than 200 pounds per colony 
from white clover is uncommon. The author kept bees in southern Iowa 
for many years, and it was a rare season when the yield in that locality, 
totaled 200 pounds per colony. In northern Iowa the average yield is 
much better than in the southern part of the State. 

Best yields come in seasons following a year of excessive rainfall. In 
wet years the conditions favor the rooting of thousands of new plants, 
which are ready to produce a crop of nectar the following summer. Most 
readers of beekeeping literature are familiar with Dr. C. C. Miller's phe- 
nomenal crop harvested in 1913. From 72 colonies of bees he harvested 
more than 19,000 finished sections of honey, or more than an average of 
266 sections per colony. His best colony produced 402 sections of white 
clover honey. The crop was due to a favorable season, combined with ex- 
pert management. The flow was unusually long, lasting from early June 
to late August. 

White clover yields best when the weather is hot, with plenty of 
moisture in the soil. 

Honey from white clover is of the best quality. It is mild in flavor, 
light in color and commands the highest prices in most markets. It is the 
one honey of high quality produced in sufficient quantity to fill a distinct 
demand for long periods of time. 

Most people prefer white clover honey to the somewhat more spicy 
flavors of alfalfa or sweet clover, though in color they are similar. Alfalfa 
grown in southern California is of a different color and flavor from that 
grown in the Mountain States of Idaho, Utah, Colorado, etc. 

WHITE IRON BARK, see Eucalyptus. 
WHITE SNAKE-ROOT, see Boneset. 
WHITEWOOD, see Basswood, also Tulip-Poplar. 

WILD ALFALFA or DEER CLOVER (Lotus glaber). 

Wild alfalfa is also known as wild broom, deerweed and tanglefoot. 
In California it is regarded as an important source of honey over a large 
part of the State. It is a plant growing two to three feet high, with a 
woody stem at the base. The flowers are yellow, later turning red. Some 
years the plant is very abundant, then it dies out for a time, so that it 
varies greatly from year to year. The blooming season is from June to 
September. 

We quote Richter as follows : 

'"A very erratic honey producer. Some years, in some sections, 
yielding twice as much as the sages; this is true for either the coast 
or the valley side of the coast ranges, yet a good wild alfalfa flow 
on the east coast does not necessarily mean such is the case on the 
west side. Beekeepers report wild alfalfa honey as being white, light 
amber and at times with a characteristic greenish tinge. This is one 



278 



AMERICAN HOXEY PLANTS 



of the main honey plants of the Coalinga district. This plant, accord- 
ing to Mr. Z. Quincy, of Ramona, upon reaching its second year of 
growth, after a mountain fire, is said to give us a great amount of 
nectar." 

WILD BALSAM APPLE, see Wild Cucumber. 

WILD BERGAMOT, see Horsemint. 

WILD BUCKWHEAT, see Erigonum, also Bindweed. 

WILD CHERRY (Prunus serotina). 

The wild cherries are widely distributed over the North American Con- 
tinent, and beekeepers who live in timbered sections may expect to find 
one or more species within reach. The photograph shown herewith, Fig- 




ossoms and leaves of wild cherry. 



ure 145, is of the wild black cherry, which is a large tree with reddish- 
brown branches and oblong taper-pointed leaves. This tree is common in 
the woods of Newfoundland, Ontario and Manitoba, south to Florida 
and Arizona. There is a smaller tree with very similar flowers, the choke 
cherry (P. virginiana) to be found over much the same territory, while 
the western choke cherry, or western wild cherry (P. demissa), ranges 
from Dakota, Kansas and New Mexico west to California and British 
Columbia. 

The larger tree P. serotina, is also said to occur in Mexico, Peru and 
Columbia. There is also a varietal form known as the mountain black 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 279 

cherry, found in southwestern Virginia, Georgia and Alabama. It is 
found on the open rocky summits of the higher altitudes. This form is a 
tree 25 to 35 feet high, with very rough bark and drooping branches. The 
wild red cherry, or pigeon cherry (P. pennsylvanica) is common in the 
Northwestern States, and secretes nectar freely. 

Both leaves and seeds of all these forms are poisonous, although the 
fruit is edible. There seem to be well authenticated, cases of poisoning of 
cattle from eating the leaves, and of children dying from swallowing the 
seeds. Pammel, in his book of poisonous plants, gives an extended de- 
scription of the chemical action in such cases. The poisonous property 
of all species of cherry leaves, according to authorities quoted there, is 
due to prussic acid. The poison does not exist as such in the growing 
plant, but by the action of moisture and a vegetable ferment which exist 
in the plant, a complicated chemical reaction takes place when the leaves 
are separated from the stem. Wild cherry bark is used to some extent 
in medicine. 

Wild cherries are not often reported as valuable sources of nectar. 
Kichter lists the western choke cherry as a source of hone}- in California, 
and Lovell mentions the wild red cherry in the Eastern States. The writer 
has a sample of wild cherry honey sent to him from the apiary of W. S. 
Pangburn, of Jones County, Iowa, having a distinct cherry taste and bright 
yellow color. After two years it shows no trace of granulation, although 
subject to all changes of temperature of Iowa climate, both summer and 
winter. All but few of the samples of honey in the collection have candied 
under similar conditions. 

Since in the Northern States it blooms after the domestic fruits and 
just before the opening of white clover, it should prove of considerable 
value where present in quantity. 

WILD CHINA (Sapindus drummondi). See also CHINA TREE. 

The wild China tree, also known as chinaberry, soapberry, or um- 
brella tree, is a common shade tree in the Southeastern States. It is also 
found in the Southwestern States to some extent. In Alabama it is a con- 
spicuous feature of the grounds about the homes of rich and poor alike, 
quantities of the amber colored berries hanging after the leaves have 
fallen. It is cultivated to a less extent in Texas and California as an orna- 
mental. It also occurs commonly in New Mexico and Arizona. The Span- 
ish name for this tree is "jaboncillo." 

It is frequently mentioned as a honey plant in the Southern States, 
but is probably not sufficiently common in many places to be important. 
It is sometimes confused with the China tree (Melia azedarach), which see. 

WILD CRAB APPLE, see Crab Apple. 

WILD CUCUMBER (Echinocystis lobata). 

The wild cucumber, or wild balsam apple (Fig. 146) is a climbing vine 
common along streams from New England to Texas. It is also commonly 
cultivated as a shade for arbors and porches. The plant is an annual and 



280 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



comes from the seed each year. There are few localities where it is suf- 
ficiently abundant to be of value to the beekeeper, and it is seldom men- 
tioned among honey plants. However, in a few localities along the Mis- 
sissippi River it is reported as quite an important source of nectar in 
mid-summer. On river bottoms it is sometimes to be found in great 
abundance. The honey is reputed to be white and of good flavor. 




Fig. 146. Blossom, fruit and leaf of wild cucumber. 
WILD CURRANT, see Currant, also Barberry. 

WILD HOLLYHOCK (Sidalcea malvaeflora). CHECKER-BLOOM. 

The wild hollyhock is common in the valleys and plains of California, 
where it is of some importance as a honey plant. It is reported as of spe- 
cial importance in the Imperial Valley. Related species occur in New 
Mexico and north to Utah. 



WILD LIME-TREE, see Tupelo. 
WILD OLIVE, see Oleaster. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



281 



WILD PARSNIP (Pastinaca sativa). 

The wild parsnip, introduced from Europe, 



has spread over a wide area 




Wild parsnip 



from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. (Fig. 147). It is common along rail- 
roads and highways everywhere. The small yellow flowers, which are 
borne in clusters like an open umbrella, are attractive to a large variety 
of insects. The nectar, apparently, is never very abundant, hence it is 
not an important source of honey, although the plant is sometimes very 
plentiful. (See Parsnip). 

WILD PENNYROYAL (Satureja rigidi). 

Wild pennyroyal (Fig. 148) is a square-stemmed plant of the mint fam- 
ily that grows abundantly on the sandy pine lands of the south half of 
Florida. It begins blooming in December in the southern part of its range, 
and blooms till early in March. Weather conditions are too uncertain dur- 
ing the winter months to favor storing much surplus honey. However, ac- 
cording to Poppleton (Review, Jan., 1893), it is the source of some surplus, 
and from it the bees are stimulated to begin heavy brood-rearing about 
Christmas. In an occasional season a fair amount of surplus was secured, 
sometimes as much as 50 pounds per colony. The honey is said to be light 
in color, good flavor and heavy body — a first-class article. 



282 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



Blooming as it does in the winter months, it is invaluable to the bee- 
keeper whose bees have access to it. If no surplus is secured, it serves to 
fill the hives with bees and honey at an important season and to prepare 
for the later crops to follow. 




Wild pennyroyal. 



WILD RADISH, see Radish. 

WILD SUNFLOWER, see Sunflower. 

WILD SWEET POTATO VINE, see Bluevine. 

WILD THYME, see Thyme. 



WILLOW (Salix). 

In the Northern States the blooming of the pussy willow (Salix dis- 
color) is among the first signs of spring. It is a small tree, growing along 
streams and on wet lands. Furnishing as it does about the first honey of 
the season, as well as pollen in abundance, it is highly regarded by the 
beekeepers. 

There are about 160 species of willows, mostly confined to the cooler 
and temperate regions of North America. Some species extend their 
ranges into the Arctic regions, where the vegetation is sparse. While 
the number of varieties is not so great in the Southern States, it is re- 
garded as valuable in the Gulf States and in California. As an example of 
the comparative abundance of willows North and South, it may be men- 
tioned that four species are recorded for Alabama and eighteen for Con- 
necticut. The willows bloom too early in the spring in the Northern 
States for the bees to store surplus from this source, but both nectar and 
pollen are supplied for early brood-rearing. 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



283 



In Richter's "Honey Plants of California" I find reference to numer- 
ous localities where surplus has been secured from the willows. It is said 
to be "a dark amber and bitter honey." In a few other southern localities 
surplus yields from willow are reported. The flowers on one tree will 
be staminate and on another pistillate. Unlike most plants, the organs of 
both sexes are not found on the same plant. 




Fig. 149. The 



me ot the 



loom in the Nort'.i. 



WILLOW HERB, see Fireweed. 

WINTER HUCKLEBERRY, see Farkle-Berry. 



WISCONSIN— Honey Flora of. 

The more important honey plants of Wisconsin, named in the order 
they bloom, are: Dandelion, May 1 to June 1; white and alsike clover, 
furnishing most of the surplus honey, June 1 to August 1 ; basswood or 
linden, July 1 to July 20; sweet clover, July 15 to August 15; willow herb, 
cr fireweed, buckwheat, goldenrod, Spanish needle, asters and many fall 
flowers, in late summer and fall.— N. E. and L. V. France, Bulletin 264, 
Agr. Ex. Sta. Wisconsin. 



284 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

WISTERIA. 

The wisteria is a climbing vine widely grown as an ornamental. There 
are several varieties introduced from the Old World. They are attractive 
to the bees, but probably nowhere sufficiently common to be of much 
value. 

WOLF BERRY, see Oleaster. 

WOODBINE, see Virginia Creeper. 

WOOD SAGE, see Germander. 

WOOLY WHITE DROUGHT WEED, see Turkey Mullein. 

WYOMING— Honey Sources of. 

Alfalfa and sweet clover yield large amounts of surplus honey in irri- 
gated valleys. Willows, gum-weed, cleome, dandelion, etc are minor 
sources. 



XYZ 



YAUPON, see Holly. 



YELLOW JASMINE (Gelsemium sempervirens). 

The yellow jasmine is a well-known poisonous climbing vine common 
to the Southern States from Virginia to Florida and west to Mexico. Its 
yellow flowers, in short axillary clusters, appear in early spring (February 
and March) and are very fragrant. The vine climbs over trees to a great 
height, often 30 feet or more. It yields pollen and probably some nectar. 
It is reported as poisonous to the bees. 

"For the past nine years I have observed, commencing with the 
opening of the yellow jasmine flowers, a very fatal disease attacking 
the young bees and continuing until the cessation of the bloom. The 
malady would then cease as quickly as it came. The symptoms of the 
poisoning are: The abdomen becomes very much distended, and the 
bees act as though intoxicated. There is great loss of muscular power. 
The bee, unless too far gone, slowly crawls out of the hive and very 
soon expires. The deaths in twenty-four hours, in strong stocks with 
much hatching brood, may amount to one-half pint, often much more. 
My observations have been verified by dozens of intelligent beekeep- 
ers breeding pure Italians where Gelsemium abounds." — Dr. J. P. H. 
Brown, American Bee Journal, Nov., 1879. 

As to the effect on animals poisoned by the plant we quote Pammel 
as follows : 

"Dr. Winslow gives the toxicological effect on animals as follows : 
Muscular weakness, especially in the forelegs, staggering gait and 
falling. These symptoms are followed by convulsive movements of 
the head, forelegs and sometimes of the hindlegs. The respiration is 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 285 

slow and feeble, temperature reduced, and there is sweating. Death 
occurs because of respiratory failure."— Manual of Poisonous Plants. 
With reference to the condition described by Dr. Brown, the matter 




Fig. 150. Blossoms of the yellow-wood. 



280 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



was referred to T. W. Livingston, of Leslie, Georgia , who writes as 

follows : 

"I have for many years noticed the disease described. I have seen 
the same disease where there was no yellow jasmine, that I knew of, 
but much more of it where that plant was plentiful. It may be caused 
by it. It was told several years ago by the Florida State Chemist, who 
had analyzed a sample of honey reported as poisoning some people, 
that the honey contained pollen grains from yellow jasmine." — March 
13, 1919. 

YELLOW POPLAR, see Tulip Tree. 
YELLOW STAR THISTLE, see Star Thistle. 
YELLOW-TOPS, see Tarweed. 




Fig. 151. Yucca filamentosa on the lawn of the late 
Eugene Secor. 



YELLOW WOOD (Cladrastis lutea). 

The yellow wood is a tree confined to a limited range. It is found 



AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 



287 



principally in Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. While it may 
occur to some extent in the States adjoining the three mentioned, it is 
rare, except in very limited areas. It is recorded as occurring on shaded 
bluffs in the Tennessee Valley in Alabama, and may be looked for in 
similar situations in Mississippi, Georgia or South Carolina. The flowers 
are white, as may be seen from Figure 150, and appear in April and May. 
The panicles are sometimes a foot long. According to the notes furnished 
by J. M. Buchanan, the honey has a strong, distinctive flavor and is light 
amber in color. 




Fig. 152. The Spanish bayonet is a showy plant when 



The wood is heavy and hard and yields a yellow dye. 
as Kentucky yellow wood and gopher wood. 



It is known also 



YERBA BUENA (Micromeria chamissonis). 

Yerba buena is a trailing perennial herb with slender stem and small, 
white, solitary flowers. Jepson gives the range as common in woods near 
the coast: Humboldt County, Marin County, Berkeley, San Francisco, Bel- 
mont, Monterey and southward to southern California. 

Richter states that it is considered a fair honey plant in places. 

YERBA DEL PESCADO, see Turkey Mullein 



YERBA SANTA (Eriodictyon trichocalyx). 

Yerba santa is a low shrub common to some parts of California. Rich- 
19 



288 AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

ter lists it as important in Ventura County, where it frequently yields sur- 
plus, blooming in June and July. 

YUCCA. 

Over vast areas of the arid west there is little for the bees. A few 
plants stand the long continued periods of drought even where there 
is no irrigation, and add to the total production of the apiaries in the irri- 
gated regions. Among the attractive plants may be mentioned the yucca, 
also called Spanish bayonet, Spanish dagger, Adam's needle, mountain 
queen and Roman candle. There are about a dozen species, mostly from 
Dakota west to the Pacific and southward. They are common in Mexico 
and Central America. They are also to be found in the sandy sections 
along the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida and Louisiana. 

When in bloom the plant is very ornamental. A single tall flower stalk 
contains many large, white or cream-colored flowers. In many localities 
where the plant does not grow wild, it is grown for ornament, as in Figure 
151, which shows the late Eugene Secor admiring a beautiful specimen 
that grew on his grounds. 

In "Honey Plants of California," Richter lists Yucca whipplie as an 
important source of nectar, which, in localities where it is abundant, yields 
surplus. In that State its blooming period is June and July. 



fc 






INDEX 



Acacia, 10, 116. 

amentacea, 13. 

berlandiera, 1, 13. 

constricta, 21. 

decurrens mollis, 11, 58. 

farnesiana, 9, 10, 12. 

greggii, 10, 13, 21. 

lingifolia, 11 

melanoxylon, 11. 

pycnantha, 58. 

roemeriana, 13. 
Acer, 47, 59, 151, 153, 268, 271. 
Achillea, 15. 
Actinomeris, 102. 
Adenostema, 58, 112. 
Aesculus, 49, 56, 151. 
Agastache, 101. 
Agave americana, 57, 64. 

sisalana, 117. 
Ailanthus glandulosa, 56, 265. 
Alabama, Honey Sources of, 13. 
Alaska, Honey Sources of, 13. 
Alberta, Honey Sources of, 15. 
Alder, 15, 98, 272. 
Alder, white, 191. 
Alexander, E. W., 50. 
Alfalfa, 7, 8, 16, 21, 56, 131, 139 147, 
Alfilerilla, 56, 201. 
Algarroba, 115. 
Alligator pear, 216. 
Allium, 181. 
Almond, 18, 20, 58. 
Alnus, 15. 
Alsike, 15, 19, 58, 131, 134, 135, 139, 

271. 
Althaea, 125. 
Ambrosia, 214. 
Amorpha, 93. 
Ampelopsis quinquefolia, 48, 59. 

veitchii, 48. 
Anaqua, 140. 
Andromeda, 20, 96, 206. 
Angelica tree, 123. 
Anthemis cotula, 37, 59, 151, 156. 
Apium graveolens, 64. 
Apple, 20, 96, 139, 150. 
Apocynum, 48, 87, 272. 
Apricot, 21, 96. 
Aralia, 123. 



Arbutus, 21. 

menziesii, 58, 149, 272. 
Arbute tree, 149. 
Arctium Lappa, 52. 
Arctostaphylos, Uva ursi, 48, 49, 153. 
Argemone, 208. 

Arizona, Honey Sources of, 21. 
Arizona buckthorn, 113. 
Arkansas, Honey Sources of, 22. 
Asclepias, 59, 100, 151, 159. 
Ash, 22. 

Asparagus, 22, 57. 
Aspen, 22. 
Aster, 22, 23, 24, 25, 75, 87, 100, 134, 135, 

139, 147, 150, 155. 

acuminatus, 28. 

azureus, 26. 

cordifolius, 27. 

dumosus, 28. 

ericoides, 28. 

lateriflorus, 27, 28. 

macrophyllus, 25, 27. 

multiflorus, 28. 

paniculatus, 28. 

puniceus, 24, 27. 

salicifolius, 27. 
271. tradescanti, 27. 

umbellatus, 27. 

vimineus, 22, 28. 
Astragalus, 58, 145, 159. 
Avicennia nitida, 39. 
Avicennia, 39. 
Avocado, 116. 
150,Azalea, 28. 

Baldwin, E. G., 20, 96, 152. 

Balloon vine, 28. 

Banana, 28, 116. 

Barberry, 31. 

Barnaby's thistle, 243. 

Basil, 32. 

Basswood, 8, 32, 76, 134, 135, 150. 

Bay, 100, 149, 216. 

Bean, 34. 

Bearberry, 48, 153. 

Bee balm, 34. 

Beech, 34. 

Beggar ticks, 59, 135. 

Bentley, G. M., 256. 



290 INDEX 

Berberis, 31. California, Honey Sources of, 9, 56, 70. 

trifoliata, 31. Callotropsis, 206. 

pinnata, 31, 56. Calluna, 121. 

nervosa, 182. Campanilla, 60. 

Berchemia, 216. Canada thistle, 48, 61, 150. 

Betula, 35. Cantaloupe, 59, 74, 156. 

Bidens, 59, 238. Cardiospermum, 28. 

Bindweed, 34, 35. Carduus, 61, 206. 

Birch, 35. Carpet grass, 57, 61, 116. 

Bird cherry, 48. Carr, E. C, 176. 

Bittersweet, 35. Carrot, 61, 150. 

Bitterweed, 13, 35. Cascara sagrada, 50, 56, 272. 

Black haw, 38. Cash, John W., 97. 
Blackberry, 22, 37, 58, 99, 135, 139, 147,Cassia, 189. 

150. Castanea dentata, 67. 
Bloodroot, 40. pumila, 70. 

Blueberry, 15, 41, 48, 87. Castor bean, 62. 

Blue curls, 41, 42, 57. Castor oil plant, 58. 

Blue thistle ,43, 57. Catalpa, 63, 116. 

Bluevine, 43, 162. Catclaw, 11, 13, 21. 

Blueweed, 45. Caterpillar phacelia, 57. 

Boneset, 44, 45, 87, 134, 135, 150. Cat's ear, 63, 272. 

Borage, 46. Catnip, 9, 63, 135. 

Borago officinalis, 46. Ceanothus, 58, 165, 176. 

Boston ivy, 48. Celastrus scandens, 35. 

Box elder, 47, 134. Celery, 9, 64. 

Brassica, 56, 151, 263. Celtis, 115. 

campestris, 58, 166. Centaurea, 57, 60, 206, 243. 

napus, 214. cyanus, 64. 

nigra, 56, 166. militensis, 64. 

oleracea, 56. Centromadia pungens, 57, 240. 

Brazil, 48. Century plant, 57, 64. 
British Columbia, Honey Sources Cephalanthus occidentalis, 55, 57, 100, 

of, 48. 150. 

Broomweed, 49. Cerasus, 58, 59, 99. 

Brown, Dr. J. H. P., 100, 284. Cercis, 217. 

Brunnichia cirrhosa, 54. Chamise, 112. 

Buchanan, J. M., 45, 261. Chapman honey plant, 65. 

Buckbrush, 133. Charlock, 214. 

Buckeye, 49, 56. Chayote, 66. 

Buckthorn, 50. Checker bloom, 280. 
Buckwheat, 8, 50, 75, 87, 135, 139, 150. Cherokee rose, 66. 

Buffalo bean, 145. Cherry, 67, 96. 

Buffalo currant, 54. Chestnut, 67. 

Bull bay, 149. China berry, 100. 

Bumelia angustifolia, 75. China tree, 68, 69. 

lanuginosa, 113. Chinese sumac, 265. 

lycioides, 74. Chinquapin, 69, 70. 

Bum-wood, 206. Chittam, 50, 182, 272. 

Bur clover, 53, 56, 116. Choke cherry, 48, 59, 278. 

Burdock, 52. Christmas berry, 56, 70, 72. 

Burton, S. H., 43. Chrysopsis, 100. 

Bush honeysuckle, 53. Chrysothamnus, 57, 213. 

Butterweed, 55. Cirsium arvense, 48, 150. 

Button bush, 55, 100, 135, 150. Cirsium lanceolatum, 57. 

Button-weed, 55. Cissus, 81, 236. 

Button-willow, 55, 57. Citrullus, 59, 273. 

Buxus, 206. Citrus, 56, 112, 116, 142. 

Claytonia, 15, 241. 

Cabbage, 56. Qadastris lutea, 286, 



INDEX 



291 



Clematis, 59, 71, 74. 

Cleome integrifolia, 56, 223. 

Cleome spinosa, 239. 

Cleomella angustifolia, 71. 

Clerodendron, 206. 

Clethra, 76, 155, 190, 191. 

CHftonia, 260. 

Climbing milkweed, 43. 

Cloud berry, 15. 

Clover, 72, 83, 87, 155, 218. 

Cocklebur, 73. 

Cocoanut palm, 183. 

Cocos, 183. 

Coffee berry, 50, 56. 

Colias eurytheme, 22. 

Colima, 73 

Collier, W. C, 48. 

Colorado, Honey Sources of, 73 

Colubrina, 223. 

Coma, 74. 

Condalia, 48. 

Coneflower, 75. 

Connecticut, Honey Sources of, 75 

Convolvulus, 58, 162. 

Cook, A. J., 101, 159, 180, 227. 

Coral bean, 76. 

Coral berry, 133. 

Coral sumac, 206. 

Cordelia obovata, 48. 

Coreopsis gigantea, 59. 

Corn, 59. 

Cornflower, 60. 

Cornus, 88. 

Corylus, 119. 

Cotton, 8, 13, 58, 77, 147. 

Cotton belt, 8, 258. 

Cottonwood, 22, 211. 

Coulter, J. M., 76, 233. 

Cowan, T. W., 194. 

Cow itch, 81. 

Cowpea, 81. 

Crabapple, 83. 

Crane. J. E., 259. 

Crataegus, 117. 

Cream cups, 59. 

Crimson clover, 83, 139. 

Crocus, 83. 

Croton, 83. 

Crowfoot, 134. 

Crownbeard, 84. 

Cucumber, 59, 84, 135, 150. 

Cucumis, 59, 84, 150, 156. 

Cucurbita, 59, 211, 243. 

Culver's root, 85. 

Cup plant, 84. 

Currant. 31, 54, 58, 74. 85, 135, 150. 

Cuscuta, 59. 

Cynara, 59. 

Cyngium, 57. 

Cynoglossum, 130. 



Cyrilla, 259. 
Cystis, 261. 
Cytisus, 206. 

Dadant, C. P., 25, 232. 

Dadant, Chas., 112. 

Dahoon, 125. 

Dandelion, 48, 74, 86, 87, 131, 134, 135, 

144, 150, 155, 272. 
Daphne, 206. 
Date palm, 183. 
Daucus carota, 61, 150. 
Deer clover, 277. 
Delaware, Honey Sources of, 87. 
Devil's claw, 13. 
Devil's hair, 71. 
Devil's shoestring, 43. 
Diervilla Lonicera, 53. 
Diodia teres, 55. 
Diospyros, 192. 
Dipsacus, 255. 
Doctor-gum, 206. 
Dodder, 59. 
Dogbane, 48, 87, 88. 
Dogwood, 88, 96. 
Doolittle, G. M., 235, 255. 
Duranta, 261. 

Ebony, Texan, 256. 

Echinocystis, 279. 

Echinops sphaerocephalus, 65. 

Ec hium vulgar e, 45. 

Ehretia, 140. 

Elaeagnus hortensis, 180. 

argentea, 181. 
Elder, 15, 60, 89. 
Elm, 90, 134, 139. 
Encelia californica, 60. 
Ensltnia, 268. 
Epigea, 21. 
Epilobium angustifolium, 49, 95, 151, 

271. 
Eremocarpus, 265. 

setigerus, 58. 
Ericaceae, 204. 
Eriobotrya, 116, 147. 
Eriodictyon, 57, 287. 
Eriogonum, 56, 91. 
Eriophyllum, 60. 
Erodium, 56, 116, 202. 
Eryngium articulatum, 43. 
Ervthrina, 116. 
Eschscholtzia, 208. 

californica, 59. 
Esparcet, 231. 

Eucalyptus, 56, 57, 90, 91, 116. 
Eugenia, 116. 
Eupatorium, 45, 46, 150. 
Euphorbia, 59, 203, 204, 206, 236. 
Eysenhardtia, 223. 



292 



INDEX 



Fagopyrum, SO, 150. 

Fagus grandifolia, 34. 

False indigo, 93. 

Farkle-berry, 94. 

Figwort, 58, 93, 94, 135. 

Filaree, 56, 116, 201, 202. 

Fireweed, 8, 15, 49, 94, 95, 131, 27J 

Florida, Honey Sources of, 95. 

Foeniculum vulgare, 58, 251. 

Forbes, R. H., 22. 

Foster, Wesley, 162. 

Fragaria, 244. 

France, N. E. and L. V., 283. 

Frasera, 162, 163. 

Fraxinus, 22. 

Fraxinus oregona, 58. 

Frijolillo, 76. 

Fruit bloom, 96. 

Fuller's teasel, 255. 

Furze, 109. 

Gaillardia, 154. 

Gallberry, 96, 97, 125, 177. 

Gates, B. N., 84, 155. 

Gaultheria, 182, 232. 

Gaura, 74, 97, 222. 

Gaylussacia, 48, 130. 

Gelsemium, 98, 284. 

Georgia, Honey Sources of, 9<. 

Germander, 100. 

Giant Hyssop, 101. 

Gilia, 101. 

Gleditsia, 127. 

Globe artichoke, 59. 

Glycyrrhiza, 143. 

Golden dewdrop, 261. 

Golden honey plant, 102. 

Goldenrod, 8, 25, 49, 57, 75, 100, 101, 

102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 135, 

139, 148, 150, 155, 272. 
Gonolobus laevis, 43. 
Gooseberry, 59, 109, 135. 
Gorse, 58, 109, 110. 
Gossypium herbaceum, 58, 77. 
Grape, 58, 59, 109, 135. 
Grape fruit, 112. 
Grasses, 112. 
Greasewood, 58, 112. 
Greenbriar, 133. 

Grindelia squarrosa, 73, 113, 131. 
Grossularia, 109. 
Groundsel, 55. 
Guaiacum, 237. 
Gum, Black, 13, 22. 
Gum, Eucalyptus, 56, 57, 91, 92. 
Gumbo, 180. 
Gum-elastic, 113. 
Gum-plant, 113. 
Gum-weed, 73, 113, 131, 272. 
Gutierrezia texana, 49. 



Hackberry, 115. 

Haematoxylon, 116, 147. 

Harbison, J. S., 56, 166, 263. 

Hasty, E. E., 67. 

Hau tree, 115. 

Hawaii, Honey Sources of, 11 

Haw, Black, 38. 

Hawthorne, 13, 99, 117. 

Hazelnut, 119. 

Heartsease, 22, 87, 119, 134, 139, 144, 

151, 155. 
Heather, 121. 

Hedge nettle, 58, 122, 123. 
Helenium, 35, 37. 
Helianthus, 57, 59, 253, 272. 
Heliotrope, 58, 59, 123. 
Heliotropium, 58, 59, 123. 
Hemizonia, 57, 254. 
Hercules club, 123. 
Heron's bill, 202. 
Heracleum, 15. 
Hesperoyucca whipplei, 56. 
Heteromeles arbutifolia, 56, 70. 
Heterotheca grandiflora, 60. 
Hickory, 124. 
Himalayan berry, 58. 
Hippomane, 152. 
Hog-gum, 206. 

Holly, 22, 70, 99, 125, 147, 155. 
Hollyhock, 125. 

Honeydew, 22, 117, 126, 139, 202 
Honey locust, 127. 
Honeysuckle, 60, 128. 
Honey plant regions, 8. 
Hops, 128. 
Hop-tree, 128. 
Horsemint, 129, 139, 148. 
Horse-chestnut, 49, 151. 
Horehound, 57, 124, 125, 139, 273. 
Hound's tongue, 130. 
Huajillo, 10, 13. 

Huckleberry, 48, 87, 125, 130, 272. 
Huisache, 9, 10, 12. 
Humulus, 128. 
Hutchinson, W. Z., 95, 220. 
Hydrophyllum, 269. 
Hypochaeris, radicata, 63, 272. 
Hyssop, Giant, 101. 

Idaho, Honey Sources of, 131. 

Ilex, 97, 125. 

Illinois, Honey Sources of, 134. 

Impatiens, 138. 

Indiana, Honey Sources of, 134. 

Indian corn, 132. 

Indian currant, 133, 135. 

Indian fig, 209. 

Indian hemp, 131, 272. 

Indigo, False, 92. 

Iowa, Honey Sources of, 135. 



INDEX 293 

Ipomoea, 60. Madrona, 58, 148, 272. 

Ironbark, 57, 92. Magnolia, 100, 149. 

Ironweed, 135, 136. Maine, Honey Sources of, 150. 

Islay, 58. Maize, 132. 

Malacothris saxatilis, 60. 

Jackass clover, 56, 137. Mallow, 59, 151. 

Jasmine, Yellow, 98. Malus, 20, 83. 
Jepson, W. L., 41, 50, 70, 101, 165, 192, Malva, 59, 151. 

229, 240, 287. Manchineel, 96, 152. 

Jerusalem artichoke, 59. Mangrove, Black 39, 96, 116. 

Jewel-weed, 135, 137. Manzanita, 57, 153. 

Judas-tree, 134. Maple, 15, 59, 76, 87, 134, 135, 139, 151. 
Juglans, 270. 153, 155. 

Jussiaea californica, 58, 273. Marigold, 154. 

Marjoram, 154. 

Kalmia, 141, 204, 206. Marrubium vulgare, 57, 124, 125. 

Kansas, Honey Sources of, 139. Maryland, Honey Sources of, 155. 

Kenoyer, L. A., 198, 273, 274. Matrimony vine, 156. 

Kinnikinnick, 48, 149. Mayweed, 37, 59, 151, 156. 

Knapweed, 243, Medic, Black, 39, 

Knockaway, 139. Medicago denticulata, 53, 56, 116 

Medicago lupulina, 39, 59. 

Lactuca, 142. Medicago sativa, 16, 56. 

Lambkill, 141. Melia azedarach, 69. 

Lathyrus, 59, 117. Melicope ternata, 204. 

Laurel, 59, 141, 155. Melons, 156. 

Laurel tree, 216. Melissa officinalis, 34. 

Lawn plant, 58. Melilotus, 55, 58, 59, 151, 245. 

Lemon, 142. Mendleson, M. H., 192. 

Leonur'us, 164. Mentha, 57, 59, 160. 

Lettuce, 142, 143. Mentzelia, 74, 156. 

Lignum vitae, 237. Mesquite, 21, 116, 156, 157. 

Lilac, 58. Metopium, 206. 

Lilac, Mountain, 165. Metrosideros, 116. 

Lima bean, 56. Merrill, Dr. J. H., 190. 

Lime, 143. Mexican clover, 158. 

Linden, 57, 139. Michigan, Honey Sources of, 158. 

Lippia ligustrina 276. Micromeria chamissonis, 58, 287. 

Lippia nodirlora, 57, 61. Mignonette, 59, 158. 

Lippia repens, 58, 61, 116. Milkweed, 8, 59, 76, 135, 151, 159, 160, 
Liquorice, 143. 161, 262. 

Liriodendron, 261. Milkweed, climbing, 43. 

Livingston, T. W., 286. Miller, A. C, 223. 

Locality, 143. Miller, Dr. C. C. 65, 84, 277. 

Loco, 74, 145. Minnesota, Honey Sources of, 160. 
Locust, 13, 22, ^8, 76, 99, 127, 135, 139. Mint, 32, 160. 

145. 147, 151, 155, 223. 272. Mississippi, Honey Sources of, 161. 
Logwood, 48, 116, 147. Missouri, Honey Sources of, 162. 
Lonicera, 60, 128. Mistletoe, 58, 162. 

Loquat, 116, 147. Mohr, Chas., 36. 

Loosestrife, Purple, 212. Monarda, 129. 

Lotus glaber, 56, 277. Monardella, lanceolata, 59. 

Louisiana, Honey Sources of, 147. Monotropa, 206. 

Lovell, 1. H.. 25, 37, 101, 103, 107, 131, Montana, Honev Sources of, 162. 

146, 151, 155, 279. Monument plant, 162, 163. 
Lupin, 59, 74, 117, 148. Morning glory, 58, 162. 
Lupinus, 59, 117, 148. Motherwort, 164, 165. 
Lycanium, 179. Mountain lilac, 165. 
Lycinum, 156. Musa sapientum, 28, 116. 
Lythrum, 212. Mustard, 56, 58, 135, 151, 166. 



294 INDEX 

Myrtle-leaf dahoon, 125. Papaver, 208. 

Paradise flower, 13. 

Xabalus, 216. Paritium, 115. 

Xahgoon berry, 15. Parkinsonia, 21, 223. 

Napa thistle, 57. Parks, H. B., 15, 54, 66, 69„ 178, 234. 

Nebraska, Honey Sources of, 167. Parsnip, 9, 189, 281. 

Nectar, 167, 194. Parsnip, cow, 15. 

Nectar secretion, 167, 194. Parthenocissus, 269. 

Xtgundo aceroides, 47. Partridge pea, 96, 188, 189. 

Negundo incisa, 270. Pastinaca, 189, 281. 

Xepeta Cataria, 63. Peach, 96, 189. 

Xerium, 206. Pear, 56, 96, 151, 189. 

Nevada, Honey Sources of, 174. Peas, 13. 
New Brunswick, Honey Sources of, Pennsylvania, Honey Sources of, 190 

174. Pennyroyal ,59, 95. 
New Hampshire, Honey Sources of, Peony, 191. 

174. Pepperbush, 191. 

New Jersey, Honey Sources of, 175. Peppermint, 57. 

New Jersey tea, 176. Pepper-tree, 56, 191, 192. 

New Mexico, Honey Sources of, 1/6. Persea, 116, 216. 

New York, Honey Sources of, 177. Persimmon, 99, 177, 192, 193. 

Xicotiana, 260. Petalostemon, 208. 

Nonesuch, 59. Phacelia, 57, 58, 192, 272. 

North Carolina, Honey Sources of, Phaseolus, 34, 56. 

177. Phillips, E. F., 115, 117. 
North Dakota, Honey Sources of, Phoenix, 183. 

178. Phoradendron, 58, 162. 

Nova Scotia, Honey Sources of, 178. Physiology of Nectar Secretion, 194. 

Xyssa, 99, 263. Picea, 241. 

Pieris, 206. 

Oak, 178. Pigeon berry, 50. 

Blue, 58. Pigeon cherry, 96. 

Live, 58 Pin clover, 201, 202. 

Tanbark, 59. Pine, 202. 

Valley, 58. Pin grass, 202. 

Ohio, Honey Sources of, 179. Pinney, C. L., 153. 
Oklahoma, Honey Sources of, 180. Pinus, 202. 

Okra, 180. Plantago major, 60. 

Olea, europaea, 58, 181. Plantain, 60. 

Oleaster, 180. Platystemon californicus, 59. 

Olive, 58, 181. Plum, 96, 99, 135, 151, 202. 

Olive, wild, 180. Poinsettia, 59, 203. 

Onion, 74, 181. Poison oak, 56. 

Onobrychis, 117, 231. Poisonous honey, 203. 

Ontario, Honey Sources of, 181. Poisonwood, 206. 

Opuntia, 56, 209, 210. Pollen, 206. 

Orange, 56, 96, 181. Pollen, Importance of, 8, 144. 

Oregon, Honey Sources of, 182. Pollination, 207. 

Oregon ash, 22, 58. Polygonum, 15, 34, 119, 151. 

Oregon grape, 182. Poppleton, O. O., 152, 183, 186, 281. 

Oregon maple, 271. Poppy, 59, 117, 207, 208. 

Oreocarya, 182. Populus, 22. 

Origanum, 155. Portulaca, 15. 

Oxydendrum, 237. Prairie clover, 74, 208. 

Prickly ash, 139, 209. 

Palm, 116, 183. Prickly pear, 56, 208, 211. 

Palmetto, 96, 183. Prince Edward Island, Honey 

Paloverde, 21. Sources of, 210. 
Pammel, L. H., 103, 129, 181, 202, 203. Privet, 13, 125. 

279, 284. Propolis, 210. 



INDEX 



295 



Prosopis, 21, 115, 156. 
Primus, 21, 151, 202. 

amygdalus, 18, 58. 

armeniaca, 21, 58. 

ceracus, 58, 67. 

demissa, 48, 278. 

domestica, 58. 

pennsylvanica, 48, 279. 

persica, 58, 189. 

serotina, 278. 

virginiana, 278. 
Psidium, 116. 
Ptelea, 128. 
Pumpkin, 59, 211. 
Pycananthemum, 32. 
Pyrus, 15, 56, 150, 151, 189. 
Pysokermes picea, 243. 

Quebec, Honey Sources of, 212. 
Quercus, 58, 59, 178, 179. 

Rabbit brush, 57, 213. 
Radish, wild, 58, 214. 
Ragged lady, 228. 
Ragweed, 213, 214. 
Raphanus, 58, 214. 

sativus, 58. 
Rape, 214. 
Raspberry, 8, 15, 48, 58, 66, 76, 99, 

135, 139, 151, 215, 233. 
Rattan, 13, 216. 
Rattlesnake root, 216. 
Rattleweed, 58, 145. 
Rayment, 45, 261. 
Redberry, 50. 
Red boy, 216. 
Redbud, 13, 22, 139, 217. 
Red clover, 59, 135, 139, 218. 
Red gaura, 223. 
Redroot, 176. 
Reece, Chas. A., 275. 
Reseda odorata, 59, 158. 
Retama, 222. 
Rhamnus, 50, 56, 182. 
Rhode Island, Honey Sources of, 222. 
Rhododendron, 28, 205, 206. 
Rhus, 56, 140, 151, 206, 251. 
Ribes, 54, 85. 
Ribes mentziesii, 59. 
Richardia scabra, 158. 
Richter, M. C, 31, 33, 37, 41, 43, 50, 

62, 64, 70, 71, 83, 91, 104, 109, 125, 

137, 153, 159, 160, 163, 181, 192, 213, 

229, 277, 283, 288. 
Ricinus communis, 58, 62. 
Robinia pseudo-acacia, 58, 146, 151. 
Rocky Mountain bee plant, 56, 223. 
Rockbrush, 223. 
Root, E. R., 189. 



Rosa, 224. 

californica, 59. 

laevigata, 66. 
Rose, 59, 223. 
Rosin weed, 73. 
Royal palm, 183. 
Roystonea, 183. 
Rubacer, 233. 

Rubus, 15, 37, 48, 150, 151, 205. 
Rudbeckia, 75. 
Russian olive, 180. 

Sabal, 183. 

Sage, 57, 59, 225. 

Sainfoin, 117, 231. 

Salal, 182, 232. 

Salix, 15, 48, 56, 151, 282. 

discolor, 48. 

longifolia, 48. 

speciosa, 15. 
Salmon berry, 15, 233. 
Salt cedar, 233. 
Salvia, 57, 59, 225. 
Sambucus, 15, 60, 89. 
Sandvine, 43. 

Sanguinaria canadensis, 40. 
Sapindus, 206, 279. 

Saskatchewan, Honey Sources of, 234. 
Sassafras, 234. 
Satureia montana, 59. 
Satureja, 281. 
Scabiosa, 206. 
Scale insects, 179. 
Schinnus molle, 56, 192. 
Scholl, L. H., 12, 13, 31, 39, 49, 55, 63, 

73, 79, 81, 97, 104, 109, 126, 154, 162, 

163, 193. 
Scilla, 234, 235. 
Screw bean, 21. 
Scrophularia, 58, 94. 
Scullen, H. A.,.63, 162, 216, 233, 236, 273. 
Sechium edule, 66. 
Sedum, 244. 
Senecio, 55. 
Senna, 148. 
Serenoa, 183. 
Serjania lethalis, 204. 
Sheep laurel, 141. 
Sheppard, W. J., 49, 131, 181. 
Sherman, Franklin, Jr., 177, 192. 
Shittim wood, 113. 
Sidulcea malvaeflora, 56, 280. 
Siderocarpos, 257. 
Siebert, J. J., 66. 
Silphium, 84. 

Simpson's honey plant, 58. 
Sisal, 117. 

Skunk cabbage, 134, 155, 235. 
Sladen, F. W. L., 15, 27, 33, 104, 106, 



296 



INDEX 



142, 152, 181 ; 
Smartweed, 15, 135. 
Smilax, 113. 
Snakeroot, 45, 46. 
Snowberry, 48, 131, 133, 236, 272. 
Snow-on-the-mountain, 236. 
Snowvine 236. 
Soapbush, 237. 
Solidago, 49, 57, 101, 102, 103. 104, 105, 

106, 107, 108, 150. 
Sonchus, 60, 238. 
Sophora, 116. 

secundiflora, 76. 
Sorghum, 237. 
Sour clover, 58. 
Sourwood, 100, 139, 177, 237. 
Sow thistle, 60, 238. 
South Carolina, Honey Sources of, 

238. 
South Dakota, Honey Sources of, 

238. 
Spangler, D. W., 182. 
Spanish needle, 59, 134, 135, 148, 155, 

238. 
Sparkle-berry, 94. 
Spider plant, 239. 
Spikeweed, 57, 240. 
Spring beauty, 241. 
Spruce, 241. 
Spurge, 236. 
Squash, 59, 243. 
Stachys, 58, 123. 
Star thistle, 243. 
Stickleaf, 156. 
Stinkweed, 137. 
Stonecrop, 244. 
Stork's bill, 222. 
Strawberry, 244. 
Stringy bark, 56, 251. 
Strong, J. L. 198, 273. 
Stuart, C. D., 70. 
Sumac, 56, 135, 139, 151, 155, 223. 
Sunflower, 57, 74, 135, 253. 
Sweet boy, 216. 
Sweet clover, 8, 9, 13, 22, 56, 58, 131, 

134, 135, 139, 151, 245, 271. 
Sweet fennel 58, 251. 
Sweet pepperbush, 191. 
Symphoricarpos racemosus, 48, 133. 

235, 272. 
Symplocarpos 235. 

occidentalis, 48. 

orbiculatus, 132. 

Tabacum, 260. 
Tagasaste, 261. 
Talley, M. B., 66, 163. 
Tamarind, 116. 
Tamarisk, 57. 
Tamarix, 233. 



Tangier pea, 117. 

Tansy, 15. 

Taraxacum officinale, 48, 86, 150. 

Tarweed, 57, 254. 

Teasel, 135, 255. 

Tennessee, Honey Sources of, 256 

Teucrium, 100. 

Texan ebony, 257. 

Texas, Honey Sources of, 257. 

Thimbleberry, 215, 233. 

Thistle, Bull, 5/. 

Thistle, Canada, 48, 61. 

Thyme, 259. 

Thymus, 259. 

Tilia americana, 32, 57, 150. 

Tilia europea, 33. 

Tisswood, 216. 

Ti-ti, 259. 

Tobacco, 76, 260. 

Toothache-tree, 208. 

Touch-me-not, 137. 

Tournefortia heliotropoides, 59. 

Townsend, E.D., 158. 

Traveler's joy, 71. 

Tree alfalfa, 261. 

Tree clover, 59, 261. 

Tree of heaven, 56, 265. 

Trefoil, shrubby, 128. 

Trelease, Wm., 174, 201. 

Trichostema lanceolatum 41, 57. 

Trifolium, 72, 150, 218. 

fucatum, 58. 

hybridum, 19, 58. 

incarnatum, 83. 

praetense, 59, 218. 

repens, 57, 117, 276. 
Trillium, 261. 
Tropical lilac, 261. 
Tule mint, 59. 

Tupelo, 7, 22, 95, 144, 147, 155, 263. 
Tulip-tree, 13, 22, 87, 99, 135, 139, 155, 

177, 261, 262. 
Turkey mullein, 58, 265. 
Turnip, 265. 

Ulex europaeus, 58, 109. 
Ulmus, 90. 

Umbellularia californica, 59. 
Utah, Honey Sources of, 265. 

Vaccinium, 15, 41. 

arboreum, 94. 

canadense, 41. 

corymbosum, 41. 

ovalifolium, 41, 48. 

pennsylvanicum, 41. 
Varnish tree, 100, 265. 
Verbena, 58, 266. 
Verbesina, 84. 
Vermont, Honey Sources of, 266. 



INDEX 297 

Vernonia, 136. Wild buckwheat 56 91. 

Veronica andersonii. 60. Wild cherry, 99, 278. 

virginica, 85. JJj clllll \ 279 ' 7Q 

Vervain 266 Wild cucumber, 279. 

Vervenia, 57, 58. Wild hollyhock 56, 280. 

Vetch, 59, 267. Wild parsnip, 281 

Vptrh milk \s9 Wild pennyroyal, 9b, 281. 

Viburnum prunifolium. 38. Wilder, J. J., 37 79, 80, 97, 189. 

Viria 59 267 Wiley, W. L., 43. 

Vlgna sinensis, 81. Willow 15 56 76 87, 99, 134, 135, 139, 

Vine maple, 268, 271. 148, 151, 155 282 

Vine milkweed, 268. Willow herb, 49, 151. 

Viper's bugloss, 45. Winter savory, d9 

Virginia, Honey Sources of, 268 Wisconsin, Honey Sources of, 283. 

Virginia creeper, 59, 269. Wislizenia refracta, 56, 137. 

Virginia waterleaf, 269. Wisteria, 284. 

Virgin's bower, 59, 71. Wolfberry, 48. 

Vitex 270. Wood sage, 100. 

Vitis calif ornica, 59. Woundwort, 123 

Vitis vinifera, 58, 109. Wright, W^D., 177. 

Wyoming, Honey Sources ot, Z»4. 

Walnut, 270. , . _, 

Washington, Honey Sources of. 271. Xanthium canadense 73. 

Watermelon, 58, 273. Xanthoxylum Clava-Hercuhs, 208 

Waterweed, 58. Xanthoxylum pterota, 73. 

Waterweed, California, 273. 

Wattle, 11, 58. Yaupon 125. 

Waxberry, 235. Yellow Jasmine, 284. 

Weather and Honey Production, 273. Yellow tops, 57 

West Virginia, Honey Sources of, 273. Yellow wood, 139, 285, 286. 

White alder, 191. Yerba Buena 58, 287. 

White brush, 276. Yerba santa, 57, 287. 

White clover, 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, 57, 117, Yucca, 56, 100, 286, 288. 

131. 134, 135. 144. 148, 150. 276 

Wild alfalfa, 56, 277. Zea mays, 59, 132. 



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Practical Queen Rearing 

BY FRANK C. PELLETT 

In preparation for this book Mr. 
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breeders, both north and south and 
has described their methods fully. 

The methods of the older queen- 
breeders and writers, Alley, Doo- 
little and others, are explained with 
the variations which are the develop- 
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Simple methods of rearing a few queens in a small 
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wholesale quantity, make the book valuable alike to the 
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Cloth binding, 1 05 pages, 40 illustrations, Price $ 1 .00 

AMERICAN HONEY PLANTS 

BY FRANK C. PELLETT 

The first book in the English language on the subject of honey plants 

Acknowledge of sources of nectar 
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a mile or two in distance often 
doubles the returns from the apiary 
on account of better pasturage. 
This book is the result of years of 
study and visits to important honey 
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Langstroth on the Honeybee 



REVISED BY DADANT 




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inventor of the movable frame 
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of the American Bee Journal. 
It is the one book that no bee- 
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out. It contains careful and ac- 
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mysteries of the hive. Full and 
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apiary thruout the year are in- 
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First Lessons in Beekeeping 

BY C. P. DADANT 



FIRST LESSONS 
IN BEEKEEPING 



The senior editor of the American Bee Journal who 
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well known on both sides of the Atlantic. As a 
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with his father in honey production and assisted him 
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Contains just the things you want too know, in a 
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A Thousand Answers to Beekeeping 



Q- 




Questions 

BY DR. C. C. MILLER 

For over 25 years Doctor Miller has answered questions for 
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Alphabetically arranged by subject, this 
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Should be included in every list of bee books. 

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OUTAPIARIES 

BY M. G. DADANT 

A clear and concise explanation of the requirements for proper 
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Special chapters are devoted to apiary sites, basis of placing 
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Scientific Queen Rearing 

BY G. M. DOOLITTLE 

An old work that has a had a big sale. Gives Doo- 
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We advise " Practical Queen Rearing n as preferable, 
but the student or commercial breeder who desires to 
practice cell grafting will find this work interesting. 

Price cloth binding, $ 1 .00. Leatherette, 50c. 



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Questions answered by DR. C C MILLER 

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