or light colored, with a delicious, slightly aromatic flavor, and is very slow to granulate. It is, however, often mixed with basswood honey, or with persimmon honey gathered earlier in the season.
Few are acquainted with the merits of sourwood outside of the region where it is an important source of honey, and it is sometimes confused with black gum and sour gum, much to its disparagement. A beekeeper familiar with the honeys from basswood, tulip tree, clover, buckwheat, goldenrod, and aster, declares that it has no superior among the honey-producing trees of the United States either in its beautiful appearance or in the amount of nectar secreted.
SOUR CLOVER (Trifolium fucatum). — The cream-colored flowers, which turn pink with age, yield a moderate amount of nectar. It grows rankly in low-alkaline soil throughout California.
SPANISH NEEDLES (Bidens aristosa). — The honey has a golden color, excellent flavor, and good body, weighing full 12 pounds to the gallon. It is so thick that there is little water to evaporate, and the cells can be sealed soon after they are filled. This plant has showy, large yellow-rayed heads, and yields immense quantities of honey along the bottom-lands of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. It is found in swamps from Illinois to Louisiana, blooming from August to October, and yielding a honey- which is superior to, or is unsurpassed by, that from any other fall flowers.
A typical Spanish-needles swamp is located at the foot of the bluffs of the Illinois River: where there is a broad expanse of low marshy land from 3 to 5 miles wide. This land is subject to an overflow from the river once a year, which usually occurs in early spring. This render’s a large portion of the soil unfit for tilling purposes, and in consequence Spanish needles has secured a permanent foothold to the exclusion of nearly all other plants. Early in September the bright yellow rays begin to appear, and in a short time the whole district is aglow, and its dazzling brilliancy reminds one of a burnished sheet of gold. The bees revel in this great field of flowers, so rich in nectar, and rapidly store a surplus. A single colony stored 63 pounds of honey in six days, and 43 colonies produced 2021 pounds in 10 days, an average of 47 pounds per colony.
There are many other species of Bidens widely distributed throughout America, all of which are of more or less value to bees. The common beggar-ticks (Bidens frondosa) is one of the most abundant. They are all fall flowers, and usually grow in wet places, one species being aquatic.
SPEARMINT. — See Mint.
SPIKEWEED (Centromadia pungens). — A branching annual with spinescent, sweet-scented leaves. The yellow flowers yield an amber-colored honey of good quality, which granulates quickly. Much spikeweed honey has been produced in Fresno County, California. Jepson says that spikeweed is ’‘abundant on the plains of the lower San Joaquin, southward to southern California and westward to Walnut Creek and Alameda. On the alkaline plains of the upper San Joaquin this species covers tens of thousands of acres, and often forms thickets 4 to 5 feet high.” It is also abundant in low, more or less alkaline land on the plains of Solano County, and forms extensive colonies in summer fields. It is a valued bee plant.
SPIDER FLOWER. — See Rocky Mountain Bee Plant.
SQUASH (Cucurbita maxima).—The stamens and pistils are in separate flowers on the same plant. The squash is dependent on bees for pollination. The nectar is abundant.
STINKWEED. — See Jackass Clover.
STRAWBERRY (Fragaria virginiana). — The strawberry grows wild throughout a large part of Europe, Asia, and North America, and in Chile, South America. The commercial cultivation of this berry extends throughout the states east of