common honey plant, and a great yielder of nectar. It blooms ten days later than in North Carolina. We have never failed, says J. J. Wilder, to get a surplus from it even during the most unfavorable weather conditions. In over half a century there is no record of its ever once disappointing the beekeeper. The largest surplus that has been obtained from a single colony is 147 pounds. During the honey flow the bees disregard all other bloom, working for pollen until about eight o’clock in the morning, when the flow begins and continues for the remainder of the day. The honey is light amber, very heavy, and very mild and pleasant in flavor. When it is pure and well ripened it has never been known to granulate. Although the honey is produced by the hundred tons it is rarely shipped north, as it is impossible to fill the demand for it in the southern markets. Wilder declares that he has never known a gallberry section to be overstocked, and in one location 362 colonies did nearly as well as 100. Good gallberry locations in Georgia are, in his opinion, nearly numberless, and large quantities of this fine honey are annually lost for want of bees to collect it. Beekeepers often regret that fires started by the men engaged in the production of turpentine burn the gallbery thickets, but a much better growth is thus secured the following year. Wilder reports that he makes a practice of burning over one-half of the gallberry lands in his location once in two or three years. On a burned-over section the bushes make a rank growth, while on a section not burned over they are thin and scattering.
But a warning is given by E. R. Root to the northern beekeeper who proposes “to go southeast.” He must not suppose that there are no obstacles to overcome or no failures. A large part of this remarkable bee country is swampland and will always remain a wilderness. There are venomous snakes and hosts of mosquitos and redbugs; the population is sparse; the villages are small and primitive; the country roads are very poor; the winters and springs are damp and chilly and the summers are very hot; and there are few modern conveniences. But there is reported to be very little malaria, and from most of the dangers and difficulties enumerated the adventurous apiarist can protect himself.
In Hamilton County, on the north border of Florida, the larger part of the surplus comes from gallberry; and, on low sandy soil and in the vicinity of swamplands, it ranks as one of the major honey plants of this state. The coast region of Alabama is a nearly level sandy plain, and is covered largely with a forest of longleaved pine. In the spring colonies may average 60 pounds of honey from titi and gallberry; but in many localities there is a scarcity of honey plants later in the season, and colonies are likely to perish from want of stores unless fed. The soil of southern Mississippi is sand with little or no clay subsoil. The trees are almost entirely long-leaved yellow pine, and wherever the forest has been cut gallberry springs up in great profusion. It extends as far north in the state as the thirty-second degree of latitude. Gallberry is found in Louisiana only in the extreme southeastern section of the state.
Pure gallberry honey has nearly the flavor of white clover honey mixed with that from basswood; but it differs from this blend in that it has a slightly tart reaction ten to fifteen seconds after it has been tasted. Its flavor is often injured by an admixture of honey from black titi (Cliftonia monophylla), which is abundant in the swamps and blooms a little earlier.
Swamp gallberry (Ilex lucida). This species is also an evergreen shrub, resembling the common gallberry in leaf, flower, and fruit; but it is a little larger, blooms a little earlier, and grows in swamps. It extends from Virginia to Florida and Louisiana. The honey is very similar to that of I. glabra, but is reported to be a little milder. Other species of Ilex of value to the beekeeper are holly (I. opaca), dahoon (I. Cassine), yaupon (I. vomitoria), possum haw (I. decidua) and black alder (I. verticillata).
GAURA (Gaura biennis). — A herbaceous plant with spikes of white flowers, which in sunshine fade by ten o’clock and turn pink. It is in some seasons visited by bees very eagerly. At Grenola, Kansas, it blooms early in September. Minnesota to Georgia.