factors depend in a large degree on locality. White clover secretes nectar better on the limestone soils of southern Minnesota than on those of Alabama because in the former region the temperature is more moderate; but cotton and alfalfa yield well in very hot climates. Few farmers realize that very slight differences in the weather may determine the success or failure of their crops. According to the Year Book of the Department of Agriculture for 1920: “An extra quarter of an inch of rain may add thousands of bushels to the corn-planter’s harvest; a few degrees lower temperature may put a lot of extra money into the potato-grower's pocket. The way the wind blows is sometimes more important than the cost of farm labor.”


The soils of the United States differ greatly in chemical composition. All outcropping rocks, as granite, gneiss, trap, serpentine, lava, felspar, slate, shale, limestone, and sandstone, as the result of weathering, disintegrate and form soils. In many regions they have remained where they were formed, but often they have been carried by streams into bottom-lands and deltas, or blown by the wind, as the loess ot the central states, or transported by ice, as glacial drift. Plants do not all flourish equally well in the same soil, and the distribution of the vegetation of this country has been greatly influenced by the characteristics of the soils. Let us take the State of New York for illustration: The southern portion of the state is poor in lime, but the sandy soil is well adapted to growing buckwheat. North of this section there is a limestone belt which extends from Buffalo nearly to the Hudson River, on which the clovers thrive and secrete nectar abundantly. Other limestone areas are in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Franklin counties in the northern part of the state. It is of great practical importance for beekeepers to know the limits of these areas. An apiary on the margin of one of these limestone tracts might store a large surplus, while another apiary ten miles away on a non-limestone soil might give very poor results. On the sandy soils of the Adirondack region it would be useless to look for clover, and raspberry is the most important honey plant. A beekeeper should be familiar with the soils of his state, and should obtain and study the maps prepared by the Bureau of Soils at Washington.

Plants growing in soils to which they are adapted are more vigorous and produce more nectar than in soils in which they do not flourish. In England, says Sladen, sainfoin yields the largest amount of honey and the best seed in regions where the subsoil is chalk. White clover and sweet clover give the largest surplus on a soil rich in lime, while gallberry and the blueberries grow only in acid soils. Marigold in Texas succeeds best on the black prairies, and is absent from sandy and gravelly ridges. Spikeweed covers thousands of acres of the alkaline plains of the upper San Joaquin, California, where it yields honey by the carload. Buckwheat yields well on a sandy soil, and phacelia on a clay soil. The black mangrove produces a great amount of nectar in soils containing over one per cent, of salt. The chemical composition of soils is closely related to the distribution of honey plants and the surplus of honey.

Soils do not act directly on the nectaries. There is no evidence that any chemical stimulates nectar-secretion directly; but it is well established that vigorous plants will yield more nectar than stunted, poorly developed individuals. Kenoyer found by experiment that vigorous buckwheat plants yielded twice as much nectar as did the weak ones in the same bed. At Medina, Ohio, spider-flower (Cleome spinosa) and figwort yielded nectar profusely when growing in deep, rich soil, but only sparingly on a poor soil. Alfalfa, according to Hunter, raspberry, according to Hutchinson, and willow-herb, according to Sladen, secrete the largest amount of nectar under conditions which give the most vigorous growth. The more vigorous