GERMANDER (Teucrium canadense). — American germander, or wood sage, is a perennial herb, 2 to 3 feet tall, belonging to the mint family. It extends from New England to Nebraska, and in the central states is common in low ground. The conspicuous purple flowers are in racemes, and bloom from the last of June to the middle of August. They are frequently visited by honeybees. The corolla tube of this species is only 6 nun. long, so that honeybees easily reach the nectar; but a part of the species of this genus have a longer floral tube and are adapted to bumblebees. Wood sage is a bee-flower, but as a honey plant it is only of secondary importance.
GILIA (Gilia floccosa). — This species is listed as a honey plant in southern Arizona, where it is very common. Gilia virgata, according to Alice Merritt, in California secretes nectar freely, and is visited by both honeybees and butterflies. In Bear Valley, California, bees gather both pollen and nectar from Gilia densi-flora. There are many other species of Gilia which are valuable for nectar and pollen on the dry hills and mesas of New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.
GILL-OVER-THE-GROUND (Nepeta hederacea). — Also called ground ivy and field balm. A creeping vine with tubular blue flowers which bloom from May to June. Introduced from Europe, it has become common in waste places. In Illinois both honeybees and bumblebees are abundant on the bloom. A considerable amount of extracted honey has been obtained from this plant, according to A. I. Root. The honey is rather dark and strong flavored, but is valuable for brood-rearing.
GLOBE ARTICHOKE. — See Artichoke.
GLOBE THISTLE (Echninops sphaerocephalus). — Chapman honey plant. Thistlelike herbs, 3 to 6 feet tall, with spinose leaves and globular heads of whitish or bluish flowers. Introduced from Europe, and frequently cultivated for ornament and rarely growing wild in waste places. About 1886, Hiram Chapman of Versailles, N. Y., planted some three acres of globe thistle and described it as a most promising honey plant. It was also cultivated and warmly praised by many other beekeepers; and even as late as 1918 a writer in the British Bee Journal declared: “No bee plant that I have ever grown was so attractive to bees. Whenever the weather was favorable the heads were crowded.” Of this species C. C. Miller writes: “Upon its introduction I planted quite a patch of it and I never saw bees so thick on any other honey 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. I should not take the trouble to. plant it now if land and seed were furnished free.” As a honey plant globe thistle is almost unknown to the present generation of beekeepers; but it has considerable historical interest, as at one period its value as a honey plant was frequently a subject of discussion in the bee journals.
GOLDENROD (Solidago). — Goldenrod honey is very thick and heavy, with the golden-yellow color of the blossoms. The quality is poor when first stored; but, when capped and thoroughly ripened, the flavor is rich and pleasant. It is the general testimony of New England beekeepers that many persons prefer this honey to any other. They regard its color, body, and flavor as the qualities of an ideal honey. When granulated and cut up into cubes for table use, it is hardly less attractive than white clover honey. Its genuineness is never questioned. But the flavor is stronger than that of white clover, which would be given the preference by the great majority as the great universal staple to be used with bread and butter. Extracted goldenrod honey granulates with a coarse grain in about two months.
In a large part of New England goldenrod never fails to yield freely even in cold wet weather, but it does exceptionally well during a warm dry fall. The honey has always proven an excellent winter food for bees, and is the main reliance of many beekeepers for this purpose.
While the bees are bringing in the nectar the whole apiary is filled with a disagreeable sour smell, which on a calm evening can easily be perceived at a distance