acid; 210 were very slightly acid, and 390 were not acid. Peat bogs, swamps, the majority of river bottoms, the sandy soils of the great pine barrens of the eastern and southern states, and of many mountainous regions, as in the Adirondacks, all have acid soils. The soils of the southern states are more generally acid than those of the northern section, owing to more rapid decomposition of the mineral compounds and the heavy rainfall. Wherry found that “the greatest number of species, as well as individuals, occur in soils lying just on the acid side of the neutral point.” Practically all (he members of the heath family (Ericaceae), according to Wherry, are acid-soil species. It will be remembered that this family includes many well-known honey plants, as the sweet pepperbush, Labrador tea, Andromeda, fetterbush, sourwood, bearberry, and the heathers, as well as the blueberries, cranberries, and huckleberries. In Europe heather (Calluna vulgaris) covers immense areas of acid soils, but on lime soils it makes a weak growth and soon perishes.

The knowledge that many plants will succeed only in acid soil is of the greatest value to florists, horticulturists, beekeepers, and to all who cultivate plants. Un doubtedly scores of attempts to grow our native herbs and shrubs have failed because the soil used was not suitable. But it is not sufficient that a soil be acid or alkaline: there must be the right degree of acidity or alkalinity, for determining which with great accuracy there are now provided two well-established methods. Both in Europe and America investigators are giving much attention to the reaction of plants to acid soils.


The effect of rain on the production of honey is threefold, according as it influences the growth of the plants, the development of the flowers, and the secretion of nectar. In the eastern states, with their heavy rainfall, there is a varied and abundant flora and a great number of colonies of bees. In the semi-arid regions of the West bee culture is largely dependent on plants grown under irrigation. The wild honey plants are very erratic yielders in this section, varying with the amount of rainfall. Unless there are twenty inches of rain during the winter the mountain sages of southern California will fail to yield a good crop of honey. In 1884, one of the wettest years in the county of San Diego, there was a rainfall of over 27 inches, and in various parts of the county 60 inches fell; and a surplus of 500 to TOO pounds of honey per colony was quite common. In southern Texas, in the Rio Grande Plain, in 1917 and 1918, the honey plants suffered so severely from drought that not far from 50 per cent, of the colonies of bees perished. In this region plant growth responds very quickly to rainfall; thus the palo verde, or green-barked acacia, a desert tree, puts forth leaves in early spring but drops them in the dry weather following; but if there are late rains it puts forth foliage a second time. Stunted plants yield much less nectar than those which are well developed. The time of the rainfall may also be as important as the amount.

The development of the flowers of many plants is very closely connected with a preceding rain. This is well illustrated by the thorny chaparral of southern Texas, which consists of 70 to 80 species of small shrubs and trees. In this semi-arid region a rain at any time during the summer will cause a number of honey plants to bloom in a few days. The yellow rain-lily is the first to respond, blooming in about 60 hours after rain (not valuable for nectar). White brush (Aloysia ligustrina) follows in about five days, and it is of interest to note that the flowers are reported to yield more nectar during the rain-induced period of bloom than during the regular blooming time in spring. Besides white brush, soapbush (Guaiacum angustifolium), coma (Bumelia lyciodies), Brazilwood (Condalia obovata), and mesquite, bloom twice or more times in a single season if there are