mangrove swamps almost before dawn, hurrying across the coves of salt water the entire day; but after two weeks the weather suddenly changed and hardly a bee was seen again on the blossoms, although they still continued to open. At Punta Gorda in 1919 the crop of mangrove honey was very small, but in 1918 it probably exceeded 100 pounds per colony. In this same year a beekeeper below Ft. Myers reported the crop a failure.
MANZANITA (Arctostaphylos manzanita). — An evergreen shrub or low bushy tree, 3 to 18 feet tall, with wide-spreading, very crooked branches. Associated with other spiny shrubs it forms dense thickets called chaparral. The clustered flowers are small, urn-shaped, white or tinged with pink, and are produced in great profusion. Frosty nights stimulate the flow of nectar and do not injure the flowers. Nectar may often be shaken from the flowers like dew. In Mendocino County, California, there are in the foothills hundreds of acres of manzanita forming an almost impenetrable growth. It begins blooming early in January and the honey flow lasts until the middle of March. Colonies in good condition have built the combs and stored two standard ten-frame supers with honey. At Applegate several colonies packed their hives in February with manzanita honey. The honey is light amber, has a good body, a delicious flavor, and the fragrance of the bloom. While this early flow starts brood-rearing it is followed in localities by freezing weather and an absence of other nectar-secreting flowers, so that it may be all consumed by the bees. Special care is required in order to have colonies strong enough to store a surplus from this source. The field force of bees must be raised during the preceding fall, and well protected during the winter. To prevent loss from cold winds the apiary should be placed in the midst of the manzanita. This is the most common species of manzanita. (Fig. 74.)
Other species of manzanita in California, which are common and yield a similar honey, are the hairy manzanita (A. tomentosa) and the big-berried manzanita (A. glauca), both abundant in the Coast Ranges.
MAPLE (Acer). — The maples bloom so early in the season that their value as honey plants is usually greatly underestimated. In early spring the colonies are so weak that a surplus from this source is seldom obtained, and the maples are regarded as important only for brood-rearing. There are about 100 species in the genus Acer, which are confined chiefly to the northern hemisphere. Many of the trees are very common, and the rock maple forms extensive forests. In the states east of the Rocky Mountains a small surplus of maple honey has been reported in Iowa and Alabama. (Fig. 75.)
The red maple (Acer rubrum) is a well-known tree in the eastern United States extending from Canada to Georgia and westward to Missouri. The scarlet flowers appear in early spring before the leaves, and yield large quantities of pollen and considerable nectar; but the weather is often so cold and stormy that it prevents the bees from flying freely. (Fig. 76.) In New England and in the region of the Great Lakes the forest is in many sections almost exclusively made up of the rock or sugar maple (A. saccharum). The trees are completely covered with yellowish-green, pendulous flowers, which are attractive to great numbers of honey bees. Their contented hum is audible at a long distance. Strong colonies in many localities should store a small surplus from this source. The flowers of the silver maple (A. saccharinum) appear in earliest spring in advance of the leaves. As in red maple, the stamens and pistils are in different flowers and usually on different trees. It is widely distributed throughout the eastern states. The box elder, or ashleaved maple (A. Negundo), grows from Manitoba to Texas, but is not found near the coast. The small green flowers appear before the leaves and are a valuable source of nectar. (Fig. 77.)
In Washington and Oregon broadleaf or Oregon maple (A. macrophyllum) is an important spring honey and pollen plant blooming in April and May. It is found mainly west of the Cascades and below an elevation of 3500 feet. Vine maple (A. circinatum) is a much more important honey plant than broadleaf maple. It grows below an altitude of 5000 feet, mainly west of the Cascades, and blooms a little later than the preceding species. The honey has a fine flavor and is white or