The honey flow may last from July until long after the first frosts, yielding in some localities as much surplus as all other sources combined. Even after the first frosts, if there is pleasant weather, the bees may continue for two weeks longer to work upon the plants and make a large increase in the honey crop. The surplus obtained depends largely upon locality, the soil, the season, and atmospheric conditions. There are many factors which influence the nectar flow and cause it to vary in different places and at different times. Cotton yields best when the atmosphere is warm and damp. The yield is most abundant in the early morning, and decreases toward the middle of the day as the atmosphere becomes drier. In the afternoon, unless the season is very dry and hot, the yield begins to increase again. During cloudy days, or when the atmosphere is damp, nectar is secreted abundantly throughout the entire day. The flow has also been observed to increase toward the close of the season.
Cotton honey is very light in color and mild in flavor when thoroughly ripened, and compares favorably with the very best grades of honey. When first gathered cotton honey has a flavor very characteristic of the sap of the cotton plant itself, but this disappears as the honey ripens. During a heavy flow there is a strong odor in the apiary like that produced by bruising cotton leaves. At Trenton, Texas, in 1909, during a very long drought a very fine and pure grade of cotton honey was obtained from cotton growing on rich bottom-land. It was so thick that it was almost impossible to extract it, and entirely out of the question to strain it through even a single thickness of cheese-cloth. It was light in color, mild in flavor, and very heavy, and was considered superior even to the famous huajilla honey. Ordinarily cotton honey granulates quickly, and in the granulated form is almost pure white and very fine-grained.
COTTON IN THE SOUTHWEST
There is evidence that cotton was grown in Arizona by the prehistoric cliff-dwellers before the discovery of America. The Indians and early settlers, likewise, attempted the cultivation on a small scale of short-staple cotton. About 1900 a variety of a long-staple cotton was introduced from Egypt, where in the valley of the Nile it had been grown successfully for many years. At the Government Experiment Station at Sacaton a new variety, known as the Pima, was developed from the Egyptian plant. This cotton has a greater length (1 5/8 inches) and a greater degree of fineness than any other cotton in the world. In 1911 about 400 acres of Pima cotton were planted in the Salt River Valley. This was the beginning of the growing of long-staple cotton as a commercial crop in Arizona. The acreage gradually increased until 1917, when the supply of long-staple cotton used in the manufacture of automobile tires became wholly inadequate, and the price increased to one dollar per pound. One of the large American tire companies in the spring of 1918 bought several thousand acres of land in the Salt River Valley and seeded them with the American variety of Egyptian cotton. The alfalfa growers ploughed up their fields and raised cotton instead. In 1920 about 110,000 acres of long-staple cotton were growing in Maricopa County and it was expected that the crop would be 100,000 bales. The average yield is one-half a bale per acre, but on fertile soil one bale per acre is not unusual.
The high price of cotton also greatly stimulated its production in southern California. Imperial Valley, Palo Verde Valley, and Kern County are recognized as cotton-growing centers. In Imperial Valley and Lower California, it is estimated that, in 1920, there were 120,000 acres of short-staple and 33,000 acres of long-staple cotton. The total acreage in California was about 200,000 acres. It was demonstrated that long-staple cotton can be grown satisfactorily in this state where there is a season of 250 frostless days and high temperatures occur while the crop is maturing. But the recent decline in the price of cotton has checked its cul-