Partridge-pea is a herbaceous, much branched, spreading annual with pinnate leaves, and showy yellow flowers which often have the petals purple-spotted at base. It extends from Maine to Florida and westward to Indiana and Texas, but it is valuable as a honey plant chiefly in Florida and Georgia. In the north-central part of Florida there are thousands of acres in bloom during July and August, and for miles the ground is covered with a yellow carpet of flowers. It is also common in Georgia; in many dry sandy sections of the South, indeed, it is the main dependence of the beekeeper, making beekeeping possible in otherwise very unfavorable localities (Fig. 98.)

The blooming-period is long, beginning the last of June and closing late in September. The flowers are wholly nectarless, and are pollinated by bumblebees, which visit them for pollen. The nectar is secreted by extra-floral glands located on the upper side of the leafstalk (petiole) near its base. The gland is saucershaped and there is usually only one to each leaf. Unless the summer rains are very heavy, nectar may be gathered continuously for 100 days or more. In rainy weather the nectar is easily washed away. It is very thin and contains a large percentage of water.

From one to three supers, or 100 pounds of honey per colony, have been obtained from partridge-pea. The honey is medium light amber, exceptionally thin, with a poor flavor. At Fort White, Florida, the surplus comes from partridge-pea and chinquapin. Inferior as is the flavor of this honey, its fine appearance has caused it to sell at a high price. The extracted honey is bought by bakers and the large quantity obtained partly atones for the poor quality.

PEACH (Prunus persica). — The acreage of peach trees is restricted chiefly to the southern states and to Fresno County, California; but there are dense areas in Delaware, in New York south of Lake Erie, and on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. In west-central and northwestern Georgia there are miles of peach trees, but they bloom while the weather is yet cold and frosts are frequent. An apiary in a peach orchard failed to gather a pound of surplus. In Fresno County, California, a small surplus is obtained in favorable seasons. The honey is dark-colored and poor-flavored.

PEANUT (Arachis hypogaea). — The small yellow flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves, that is, in the angle formed by the leaf-stem with the stalk of the plant. After pollination the corolla falls off and the flower stem elongates and bends downward, pushing the seed vessel into the ground where it ripens. The peanut belongs to the same family as the pea and bean, and the fruit is a pod or legume, not a nut. Until recent years the peanut has been chiefly cultivated as a commercial crop in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, but to-day it is grown in all the Gulf States and westward to California. In 1919 the acreage in the United States was 1,738,400 acres.

In Florida the peanut begins to bloom the latter part of June, and remains in bloom until the latter part of September, or even until the first of November, thus being in bloom for three or four months. The rainy season in Florida occurs during the months of July, August, and September, and may often for days prevent the harvesting of the crop; but there are frequently dry periods during which the bees gather large quantities of nectar. According to Frank Stirling, the secretion of nectar is not affected to any extent by the weather. The color of the honey is a trifle darker than that of white clover, resembling somewhat the honey of the purple sage of California. It is as thick as orange honey, but not so clear. It has a characteristic flavor which is very mild, and does not resemble the flavor of peanut butter or peanut oil. The honey which took the blue-ribbon prize at the St. Louis Fair in 1918 came from peanut bloom.

PEAR (Pyrus communis). — Nearly one-half of the pear trees of the United States are in the five states of California, New York, Michigan, Oregon, and New Jersey. A surplus of honey is obtained in good seasons. Cross-pollination is essential. The odor of the white flowers is like that of the thornbush. Waite states that at times they secrete nectar so copiously that it falls in drops to the ground.