Page images
PDF
EPUB

American Bee Journal

Production; Pollination Studies,” will be of interest to those of our readers who are scientifically inclined on this subject.

*

facts which practical beekeepers have comparative studies (if not already
noticed. For instance, when a hive is made) of the largest and strongest
opened in cold weather, the bees are colonies with medium and weak ones,
found to form a compact cluster. But both indoors and outdoors.
those on the outside of the cluster are As this is but the beginning of the
less active than those in the interior of scientific study of the winter problem,
the cluster.

we may expect tangible and very use“When a comb from the center of

ful results in the near future, if the the cluster was shaken, the active bees Department of Agriculture continues in the center of the circle dropped off

the employment of capable and steady readily, and those in the outer shell which were somewhat sluggish were

workers who will persist in accomremoved with more difficulty.

plishing tasks like this. The winterEvidently the bees in the shell, whether ing problem is a constant menace to in the cells or between the combs, are

the beekeepers of the North. It needs
less active than those in the interior of
the cluster."

to be thoroughly studied.
Also it was noticed that “ bees fan to
heat the cluster in winter as well as to

Good Advice for Michigan
cool the hive in summer. Observations Mr. F. E. Millen, State Apiarist and
of this kind were repeated beyond num Inspector from Michigan, has a very
ber, and this theory of the method of good article in the April 25 number of
heat production is entirely supported the Michigan Farmer

"Spring by the repeated observation of a hum Work in the Apiary.” Unlike many ming noise from the cluster during the aricles which appear from time to time cold weather.” Like human beings, in farm papers, this article does not they stir more or less to keep warm. try to emphasize how to keep a pocket

This study is very interesting, but as ful of dollars by big crops of honey. Dr. Phillips states: “Too hasty con Mr. Millen gives some practical adclusions must not be drawn from the vice applicable to such conditions as facts here presented.”

a beekeeper is apt to meet in spring One point is not mentioned which just before the crop is on. we think is of importance, it is the One point made, and one which is comparative strength of colonies ex often misunderstood by the smaller perimented upon. We have often seen beekeeper especially, is that the colonies so powerful that they were clipping of queens' wings does not ready to emerge from the hive at the have anything to do with prevention of least disturbance in the coldest weather. stvarming; it simply keeps the swarms Such colonies must generate greater from absconding after they have isheat than weaker ones, or must sustain sued, owing to the fact that the old it more evenly. We would suggest queen is unable to follow.

Temperature of the Cluster in

Winter Builetin No. 93, of the Department of Agriculture upon the above subject, is a report of special studies made by our well-known and able friend, Dr. E. F. Phillips, in charge of bee-culture investigations, and his assistant, - Mr. Geo. S. Demuth. The wintering problem was their aim, both indoors and outdoors. A number of colonies were studied and kept under close control with thermometers within the cluster, and in different parts of the hive. Electrical thermometers were used, by means of which readings could be made without approaching the hives, thus avoiding disturbing the bees.

The bulletin contains 16 pages, and may be had from the Department of Agriculture in the usual way. We will make a few quotations from it.

It was formerly admitted, without proof, that the temperature of the cluster in the hive, was at all times about that of human blood. But it appears that it may be much lower. The bulletin says:

“When a colony is without brood, if the bees do not fly and are not disturbed, and if the temperature does not go too high, the bees generate practically no heat until the coolest point among the bees reaches a temperature of about 57 degrees F. At temperatures above 57 degrees a compact cluster is not formed, but the bees are widely distributed over the combs. At the lower critical temperature, which is for the present stated as 57 degrees, the bees begin to form a pact cluster, and if the temperature of the air surrounding them continues to drop they begin to generate heat within the cluster.

At the temperature at which other insects become less active (begin hibernation) the honey-bee becomes more active and generates heat; in some cases until the temperature within the cluster is as high as that of the brood-nest in summer.

These conditions do not apply when the colony has brood. The rearing of brood in winter causes a marked increase in heat production."

It is therefore apparent that in low temperatures the bees feel the necessity of heat production.

A diagram given of temperatures taken in cellar wintering shows that in a room kept at temperatures varying between 38 and 44 degrees, the temperature of the cluster varied between 64 and 88 degrees in one hive and between 71 and 91 degrees in another.

A number of interesting remarks were made, some of which confirm

on

com

[blocks in formation]

pure stock.

*

Cyprian Queens.-Unfortunately we also exhibited insects in their changes have misplaced our list of subscribers from eggs to larvæ and thence to desiring to obtain Cyprian queens. winged insects. They also showed the Those interested should write to W. transferring of bees from the common B. Davis, of Aurora, Ill. He has some skep to the movable-frame hive, swarm

harvesting, queen laying, honey extrac

tion, etc. Large Crop for Russia. In the Rus

The picture show, which is so often sian Beekeepers' Review, Mr. Kormi used for sensational exhibits, may thus lcev, of Powelen, reports 688 pounds of

be put to excellent use for the educahoney from one colony in 1913, in tion of the masses. an American hive.

Oldest Living Member of the National Education by Cinematograph.- Edu

Association.—On the first page of the

May issue, Dr. Miller asks if there cating the people concerning bees by isn't some mistake in reckoning conthe moving picture show is one of the cerning who is the oldest member of growing methods. At the French Ag

the National Association. The Editor gricultural Exhibit in Paris, in Janu

had given 81 years as my age, which is

correct. But he should have stated ary, they showed agricultural scenes.

that I was the oldest living member in such as plowing, harvesting, etc.; they attendance at the first National con

American Beg Journal

vention of beekeepers ever held in America, which met in Indianapolis, Ind., during the winter of 1871.

In case Dr. Miller was at that convention and is 83 years old, he will pass, but not otherwise. Mr. M. M. Baldridge, of St. Charles, Ill., was at the convention, and I think is still living, but I do not think that he is as old as myself.

G. BOHRER, M. D., Chase, Kan.

[blocks in formation]

Save Your Beeswax Refuse.-Beeswax is high in price now, some producers have been offered in the neighborhood of 35 cents per pound for their accumulations. It behooves the beekeeper to save every scrap that may be turned into beeswax. While on the rounds of our apiaries one hive was found in which the combs had been completely demolished by the moths last fall, after they were thought to be safe. It seemed plausible that this sediment left by the moths ought to contain at least a small percentage of beeswax. The black looking dirt was gathered up and carried home to be run through a Hershiser wax press as a trial.

From what had been 10 full combs, Dadant size, was extracted 14 ounces of beeswax. This, too, in view of the fact that the lot made so small a batch that not a little proportion of the wax must have been left in the burlap packing when pressing.

Do not let the moths destroy your combs by any means, but if they do destroy them, do not throw away the residue as unfit for any use. Save it together with bits of bur comb, and render it together with your other slumgum, or, if you prefer, send it to some of the supply men who make a business of rendering old combs and slumgum into wax.

A good way to preserve old and crooked combs from moth until you have leisure time to render them is to keep them covered with water in a tub or barrel.

kept apiaries, where the bees were provided with warm hives and sufficient food, they did not suffer much from this delay, but in the ordinary apiaries of the peasants a great number perished of hunger and cold; and those that survived were able to collect later in the season only the necessary winter supply of honey. A great improvement was noted in June in the central, eastern, and southern provinces of Eupean Russia, where white clover, buckwheat, sunflowers, and many other plants furnished a large supply of food.

In the western territories the weather continued cold and wet through June. In the wooded districts, where the production of honey depended upon the flowering of trees and shrubs, the outcome of the season was poor. For instance, the honey obtained from lime trees, which is preferred to other kinds by the consumers, and is produced in large quantities in the province of Nizhni-Novgorod, was very scarce last year. On the other hand, apiaries situated in the open country and the steppes showed a large yield.

Good results were obtained from the following provinces of central Russia : Kostroma, Vladimir, Moscow, Ryazan, Tamboff, Penza, and part of Tula; and in the following northern and eastern provinces: Vyatka, Perm, Ufa, NizhniNovgorod, Simbirsk, and Kazan.

Detailed statistical data have been obtained from the instructor appointed by the Department of Agriculture in the province of Kostroma. In this province there are 100,000 hives, and the yield of honey has been good, averaging 41 pounds per hive; the yield of wax averaged 0.7 pound per hive. In several rare instances as much as 433 pounds of honey were obtained from one hive. The average prices were 15 cents per pound of honey and 37 cents per pound of wax. The total revenue from apiculture in Kostroma for 1913 amounted to more than $500,000.

A satisfactory yield was obtained in the provinces of Kovno, Grodno, Smolensk, St. Petersburg, and Pskov, and an average yield in Volhynia, Podolia, Samara, Saratof, and Tver; but in both regions the production was inferior to that of the previous year. These territories show a great variety of prices, depending upon the facilities for marks eting the product. Results were unsatisfactory in Poland, Vitebsk, Vilna, and Orel, where in many apiaries the honey produced hardly sufficed for keeping the bees through the winter.

Last year again demonstrated the lack of organization in the marketing of honey, and the dependence of the beekeepers on the wholesale purchasers who often make a profit of 200 to 300 percent.

Serious drawbacks to apiculture were the prevalence of sickness among the bees brought on by the unfavorable weather and the beekeepers' ignorance of modern methods. Apiculture is developing every year, and the need of instruction in scientific beekeeping is recognized by most of the producers. The Government has been asked to provide such instruction.

Meeting of Iowa Beekeepers at Delmar. -The meeting at Delmar, July 7, will be held at the Coverdale farm. Mr. Coverdale has become famous as a grower of sweet clover, and is considered authority on the subject. He has experimental plots showing what sweet clover will do when handled scientifically. Mr. Coverdale will deliver an address explaining what sweet clover will do for the farmer and stock raiser. Any one contemplating sowing sweet clover can well afford to make a trip across the State to hear Mr. Coverdale, and see his experimental plots as well as his large acreage.

Mr. C. P. Dadant will probably attend and deliver an address. He has been asked to choose his own subject.

Mr. Frank C. Pellett, Iowa's State bee-inspector, will also speak on foulbrood conditions in Iowa, foulbrood laws, etc. Mr. Pellett is a lecturer of note, and is president of our State Association and a live wire. He isn't very large, but you will know he is at the meeting all right. Other subjects will be discussed informally, but the three addresses will be well worth your time.

Don't forget the basket dinner.

Let everybody come whether a beekeeper or not. Let us all boost for the Delmar meeting. W. S. PANGBURN.

Cool, Cloudy Weather.—The following note from California is self-explanatory as to conditions there:

Orange bloom passed with a very small amount stored compared to former years. Black sage is yielding, but the flow is very slow. Cool, cloudy weather is the rule, and only occasionally a day when bees will not rob when extract Expect one-third to onehalf of a crop. White sage is beginning to bloom.

L. L. ANDREWS. Corona, Calif., May 15.

Development of Ap'culture.—Russian apiculture progressed last year, the production of honey being above the average. The year was an unusual one in many respects; the spring was early, warm weather setting in as early as March, and many beekeepers brought out the hives from their winter abodes. At the end of March the first honey appeared. However, the warm weather was not of long duration; after the middle of April a wave of cold spread over Russia. In the southern regions this happened during the flowering period of the fruit and destroyed buds and blossoms. The cold weather lasted for some time, and May, which is usually the chief month of the bees' activity, proved unsatisfactory, the bees not resuming work until June. In well

Beekeeping in Germany. At the end of 1912 there were counted 2,619,891 bee-hives in Germany, over half of these being in Prussia. Silesia leads the Prussian provinces with 187,264, and all of the non-Prussian States, only Bavaria has more (over 400,000). The province of Posen counted 122,705.

The Silesian Chamber of Agriculture is given a fund to promote bee-culture, which it uses according to plans proposed by the General Association of Silesian apiculturists. The association is composed of 163 societies with a total membership of 7300. The provincial exhibition was held last year at Hirschberg. The chief instruction course was given in a Breslau suburb, and auxiliary courses at Trachenberg and Richtersdorf. Seventeen observation stations were in operation during the year. The chamber also advises in legal matters, assists in marketing honey, and maintains a library of books on bee-culture. A trial honey market

Necrology.—Died, at Paris, March 30, at the age of 74, Mr. E. P. Caillas, vice

American Bee Journal

was held in connection with the fruit
market in Breslau from Nov. 12 to 14,
and good sales resulted. Nearly all the
societies used the privilege of tax-free
sugar for winter feeding. While the
highest honey production of a colony
was 24.9 pounds, there was a consider-
able variation in the colonies, the low-
est result being 4.19 pounds. The aver-
age was 12.1 pounds against 15.4 pounds
the year before.

The widespread attention given to
apiculture makes this district a good
market for beekeepers' supplies. A
list of special dealers in various cities
of Silesia and Posen is forwarded (and
may be obtained from the Bureau of
Foreign and Domestic Commerce).

The list also contains the addresses of
the six members of the Silesian Cham-
ber of Agriculture that constitute the
standing committee on apiculture,
poultry breeding, etc., who would prob-
ably be interested in catalogs of
American firms.

Unfortunately it is difficult to get
business from circulating printed mat-
ter in English, and the consulate is un-
able to predict results when this is re-
lied upon. If manufacturers will in-
form the consulate to what extent they
are prepared to go after the trade and
what methods they have hitherto used
in foreign business, more detailed sug-
gestions will be cheerfully furnished. -
Daily Consular and Trade Report.

this, a Pennsylvania correspondent says he has looked it up in the book and does not comprehend it. He seems to think that he must go from page 167 to 168, 184, 186, and 189, and says:. “Now I would be pleased to see this plan set forth in one body of statement from A to Z.” Then he says he is against finding queens, and does not want to have clipped queens, and that when on page 167 the return of queens is mentioned that seems to presuppose clipped queens.

All of which leaves one a bit dazed as to how to meet the case. Our Pennsylvania friend plainly understands the plan to involve the finding of queens and the clipping of queens, but wants the plan to be given in detail. What good to give the plan if he rejects two of the important factors ? Sounds like saying, “I've decided I'll not follow the plan, but I want you to give it all very clearly in detail.”

Let us, however, do what may be done to straighten matters out. In the first place, if Pennsylvania will

[blocks in formation]
[graphic]

Encouraging the Use of Honey in Cooking communication between the two hives

His trouble probably comes from not
I thank you for your prize of the

making the proper distinction between
American Bee Journal I received at

“hive” and “hive-body," and he has the Northern Michigan State conven made the mistake of supposing that a tion. We had a nice time. I also re

hive-body is put up instead of a hive. ceived a prize on my honey candy. In When a hive is mentioned, its bottommy display I had both comb and ex

board is generally supposed to be with tracted honey, honey candy, honey

it, and if the bottom-board be taken cake, a mince pie sweetened with

away the hive-body is left. As here honey, and honey fried cakes. I think

stated, each hive has its own bottomif the beekeepers' wives would go to

board. the conventions and take some of the

The accompanying outline sketch good things that can be made with

shows a hive with its supers, and a
honey with them, and then do as we

“put-up "hive over all.
did, cut them up and pass them to the
visitors, we would have more call for
honey. (MRS.) Jos. BURKHOLDER.

Variation of "Put-Up" Plan
Mancelona, Mich.
Your idea of having beekeepers'

On page 121, something was said in
wives display their honey and the

this department about what we did last toothsome things made with it at con

year in the way of treating colonies

that swarmed or were likely to swarm, ventions is good. Such a display will

saying that we followed the plans laid stir up other beekeepers’ wives and

down in daughters, and then if they in turn can

"Fifty Years Among the
be induced to offer such displays at

Bees,” generally the put-up plan, which
State and county fairs where the mass

is given on page 167. Referring to
of the people can be reached, larger
results may be obtained.

Ventilating Comb-Honey Supers Referring to what is said on page 83, Harry Bell writes that what was said on page 30, was based on actual experience and not on supposition. He says:

“We know our colonies in doublewalled hives and double walls around the comb-honey supers with the 38inch entrance have given us the best results. It may be all right to ventilate in your locality, but it would not work here in the production of comb honey.”

Mrs. BurKHOLDER, OF MICHIGAN. again turn to page 167, and read straight through to the end of the first paragraph on page 170, he will find the plan “set forth in one body of statement from A to Z.” To be sure, the matter is referred to again further on, but does not militate against the fact that the whole plan is given all in one statement in the place mentioned.

On page 167 the statement opens by saying: “When a swarm issues and returns.” Pennsylvania is quite right in thinking that this presupposes that the queen is clipped, for swarms with unclipped queens do not usually return." His queens are not clipped, so

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

American Bee Journal

us.

BEE-KEEPING

IN DIXIE

that knocks out returning swarms. comb. If supers were on A, as most mother, who has had the privilege of That, however, does not knock out en likely there were, they were of course visiting us but one time in 18 years, on tirely. his using the plan, for he may set aside temporarily while making the account of sickness in her family, will anticipate the swarming by dealing changes of comb mentioned. Now set join us and spend the time there with with the colony before swarming; that these supers on B, and over them place We used to spend this time at the is, when he finds queen-cells well ad the cover. Set A on top of all, and seashore, but find that it is more satisvanced. Indeed, that may be better cover it up.

factory in the mountains. This is not than to wait for actual swarming,

There is no communication between done so much on account of my broken But he does not want to search for the two hives, each having its own bot down condition as for the betterment queens. That's a

a more serious affair. tom-board and its own entrance, as of my wife, who has been almost a Yet even then, something like the plan also its own cover. A large part of helpless invalid for years. But I am may be followed. Here is what may the bees are in A, but none of the field usually almost to this point in health at be done, giving details as fully as may bees will remain in it, for upon their the close of the spring work, after the be allowed: When it is found by the return from their first journey afield, heavy strain of mental and physical presence of sealed queen-cells or large they will steer straight for the lower labor. grubs in queen-cells that the bees are enirance and enter B. Of course all It may be a surprise to those who bent on swarming, go to the hive con cells upon the combs were killed at have never visited me, to know taining the colony to be treated, which the time the bees were brushed from that I take a cheap helper and work hive we will call A, and set beside it them. Ten days later all cells again from two to five apiaries daily during an empty hive which we will call B. started are killed, and the brood-comb the spring months. This work conLift A off the stand, and set B in its with its adhering bees is taken from A sists of looking over brood-nests, venplace. One by one lift the frames out and put in B, after which all bees re tilating hives, adding storing room, of A, brushing back into a A every bee maining in A are brushed upon the making increase where it is wanted. from each comb except one, and then ground in front of B, and allowed to and keeping it down where it is not put the beeless combs into B. In this run in at the entrance. A is now taken wanted. I cannot make the trips by way it is made certain that the queen away entirely, and any combs in it dis an automobile, but very often travel by will be left in A. The one comb is left posed of wherever desired.

rail. At this time all of our experiin A so that bees and queen will not This plan with its variation is not by enced helpers have all they can do, and desert. The vacant place left in B any means given as an improvement, are usually under as great physical may be filled by a dummy or by a brood but as fulfilling the desire to operate strain as I am, but the responsibility comb of any kind from elsewhere. Fill without being obliged to hunt for of the entire field is on me. Besides out A with frames of foundation or queens or to have them clipped.

this, from 10 to 30 letters go out every 24 hours to beekeepers in different parts of the country, who are not in any way connected with my own beebusiness, but desire information. This all plays heavy on a small, frail man; and he must get out from under it as soon as he can.

By June 1, the spring crop of honey is gathered, and removing, packing

and shipping is under full way. This Conducted by J. J. WILDER, Cordele, Ga.

can all be done by the well-trained

helpers I have without my constant A Good Honey Crop for Dixie long, and bees would naturally build oversight. The sales of the crop of

up rapidly, and probably store enough honey made falls to me, and I am more Up to this date (May 5) the reports surplus to carry them over winter. But centrally located up in the mountains from all sections in Dixie show that I entertain a doubt whether it would to do this work. The summer and fall we have already had an average honey be best to undertake this venture or flows come on slowly, and are not so crop. Mr. S. S. Alderman, a beekeeper make the increase right where they are. heavy, and no danger of swat

varming if down on the Apalachicola river, in the There is always some honey coming in the bees have plenty of ventilation and great tupelo gum belt, reported some on the river from snow vine and other storing room, and our help can easily time ago that the bloom was not as similar vines, and this would make it keep up this work. By the time this great this year as usual, and he feared ideal for increasing where they are task comes on, the surplus spring the Aow would be correspondingly located.

honey has been removed and packed. light, but my apiarist in the tupelo Mr. J. K. Isbell and S. S. Alderman,

At the close of the slow summer flow gum region reports a good crop. of Wewahitchka, Fla., have for a num

I am back, and take up the work of South Florida has again had a great ber of years moved their bees up the

making the last increase, requeening crop. The poplar and other spring river to the cotton fields in order to

and the last general apiary work. My honey plants up in the hills and mounbuild them up in numbers and stores

correspondents will please take notice tains are now giving a great yield. for winter, and at the close of the cot

and address me after June 5 at MounThe market is practically bare of ton flow moved them back down the tain City, Ga. honey, and at present new honey is river for winter and spring, but their bringing a good price, and shipments latest report shows that it does not pay

The Cause of Swarming—Ventilation the are moving rapidly. As we have no

them, and that they expect to disconuniform prices for honey in Dixie, it is tinue this practice. If the flow should

Deciding Factor needless to state a figure, but let.me

not be heavy enough to make the de The Editor commenting (page 152) on suggest that every beekeeper add one

sired increase, a cheap grade of honey Mr. Randolph's article under “Swarmor two cents to his former prices; this could be obtained and a slow feed kept ing Notes," page 164, strikes a "key will mean considerable in the wind up with good results. It is a lot of note” when he says,

While there are up against the higher prices of bee

trouble and expense to move bees, and no doubt cases in which other factors supplies.

this compared to feeding might prove so strongly favor swarming that no

more unfavorable than leaving them amount of ventilation will prevent it, Wants to Move Bees to Make Increase where they are for this job.

the likelihood is that when other fac

tors are almost but not quite strong Mr. Rish, a beekeeper down on the

enough to carry the day, lack of ventiApalachicola river, wants to know if Back to the Blue Ridge Mountains lation is the deciding factor to cause he could move 50 colonies of bees up

swarming." the river 75 or 100 miles to the cotton On June 1, myself and family, consist Bees for several seasons under the fields, and increase them to 100 colo ing of wife, small daughter and an or care of a thoughtful and prudent apinies during the cotton flow?

phan girl we have taken to rear, will arist with good equipment, will swarm Yes, this could be very well done. leave for our summer cottage up in the but very little naturally during a honey The cotton is a good honey plant, also Blue Ridge Mountains, where we flow if weather conditions remain good a great pollen plant, and the flow is peçt to spend the summer months. My during this time, so that the field becs

ex

American Bee Journal

eep at work in the usual manner. If during this time we have adverse weather conditions, and the field-bees are confined more or less to their hives, they may naturally acquire the swarming fever, for they seem to have nothing else to do. Under the former conditions the question of ventilation would have had very little if any importance, but under the latter it is the deciding factor.

Not many bees will be seen clustered about the bottom of a well ventilated hive during ideal weather, but when the reverse comes, even the large well opened entrances will be filled with bees, and the spaces between the bottom frames and up between the frames for some distance will be found clogged with bees. They have a job to maintain the heat of the colony and stay about the bottom, and do not crowd the upper part of the hive. As soon as the weather clears these bees clustered about the bottom will return to the field, and there is no more added to this swarming impulse than usual.

There is nothing I dislike more than to find a strong colony of bees with only a small entrance, and with a great

fanning corps all about the entrance roaring as if about to smother. If they are not clustering about the entrance, you will find them in small clusters up through the hives, and those scattered about over the comb running as if panic stricken.

This method is poor policy, poor beekeeping, and the cause of poor honey crops. We have tested it too many times. Bees cannot work properly in a hive under such conditions, neither can they evaporate very much nectar, especially if it contains a great amount of water, as it would naturally make thin honey, if not evaporated well. This makes the comb or capping brown over as fast as the honey is finished, and it is hardly marketable.

So we ventilate a reasonable amount by placing under each side of the hive, on bottom-boards, a square 78-inch strip cut as long as the hive, which gives a good vent from back to front, and allows a good current of air to pass under and up between the frames if the bees need it; if not, they will cluster there and shut it out. This is also the only sure cure for hanging out during a honcy-flow.

of the south where irrigation is universal to the foot-hills, we begin to notice that the distant purple of the mountains is changing to a soft blend of gray and green. We go higher and are in the midst of the great wild bee-pasture of southern California, the home of the sages, the sumac, and countless others which make what the botanists call the “chaparral belt." They form a dense covering over the mountain sides from the foothills up to about 6000 feet elevation, where this dense growth gives way to the pine forests.

Along the canons are live oaks and sycamores, whose decided dark and light greens lend a pleasing contrast to the duller tints of the mountain sides. This is the bee-pasture which furnished our large crops of the '70's and '80's, before orange or bean nectar were commercial assets.

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 inconspicuous, but what a flow of nectar it can yield !

The white sage is a much prettier plant. Its soft gray le ives 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. All the sages produce delicately-flavored white honey.

The “wild alfalfa” is a small legume much resembling alfalfa in habit of growth, but has bright yellow blossoms.

The California sumac is a dull green bush, not so attractive as its eastern relative. It is quite dependable, and produces an amber honey of good flavor. Last year the sumac was badly

[blocks in formation]

Some Native Honey Plants of Southern

California As California ranks well as a honeyproducing State, and as the native flora shows a marked difference from other sections, perhaps a short sketch of our wild honey plants may be of interest. As we go from the cultivated valleys

On April 17, 18, and 19 there was a very hot dry wind, the temperature rising to 90 degrees one day. This, as is always the case when the temperature reaches that point early in the season, did much damage to the plants in bloom at that time. The black sage (our best honey plant), which was well in bloom, suffered most. It looked for a time as though it were wilted, but in two or three days following the hot wave the weather changed, and the two weeks following were damp. During this time 1.35 inches of rain fell. This gave new life to the plants, and bees are still working on black sage. The beauty of the sages is that they remain in bloom so long, especially the black variety.

While the bees were checked some in their work by the rain and cloudy weather, they have built up rapidly, and most apiaries are strong in bees, and ready for the fine working weather which we have been having of latefoggy mornings and warm sunny days. While few have extracted much vet, except from the orange flow which was 'light, the outlook now is more favorable.

There is an excellent growth of white sage, though little of it is in bloom yet. It is too early to tell about sumac, but it has come out well from last year's freeze, and ought to give us sonie yield. There is a report from San Diego County of a lack of early nectar and pollen, causing the bees much Ings A shortage of pollen in

[graphic][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »