Nebraska and Kansas, two of the most important centers being southern New Jersey and Delaware. Bees are required for the proper pollination of the strawberry, as a part of the flowers are perfect or hermaphrodite, and part pistillate. As the latter are more productive they are given the preference under cultivation. More failures have occurred among strawberry-growers from ignorance of the sex of strawberries than from any other cause. The blossoms yield nectar sparingly, and there is no record of a surplus of strawberry honey. Honeybees do not visit the bloom as frequently as is desirable, but it attracts many other insects. The perfect flowers are of value for pollen.
SULLA (Hedysarum coronarium). — A perennial plant closely related to sainfoin, and, like the latter, it is adapted to a deep limestone soil. The pink flowers appear in May and June and are reported to yield an excellent honey. It is not hardy and does not succeed above North Carolina and Arkansas. In southern Europe sulla clover is cultivated for bay and as a soil-improving crop. It requires the same treatment as alfalfa.
SUMAC (Rhus). — This genus is represented in the United States by about 15 species. Most of them are shrubs, but a few are small trees and one is a shrubby vine. The large handsome leaves are trifoliate, or odd-pinnate presenting a fernlike appearance. The pinnate-leaved species are highly ornamental as foliage plants, and in autumn display the most brilliant red and scarlet colors. The small flowers are borne in dense clusters, or panicles, at the ends of the branches or in the axils of the leaves. The stamens and pistils are usually in different flowers, one tree or shrub bearing only staminate flowers and another only pistillate. In the common staghorn sumac the staminate flowers are in large white clusters, while the pistillate are in dense green clusters, which stand well above the foliage. The white flowers yield both nectar and pollen and attract many more insects than do the green, which offer only nectar; but honeybees visit both kinds. The sumacs may be divided into two groups: the non-poisonous sumacs and the poisonous sumacs.
THE NON-POISONOUS SUMACS
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina). This species reaches a height of 10 to 25 feet, and has orange-colored wood and crooked branches, covered with soft velvety hairs. The clusters of fruit are clothed with acid crimson hairs. The staghorn sumac grows in dry soil from Nova Scotia westward to Missouri. The flowers are visited by honeybees in large numbers, and, as the nectar is unprotected, by a great company of other insects. The flowers appear in June and July. (Fig. 108 and Fig. 109.)
Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra). Upland sumac. Scarlet sumac. This species is an irregularly branched shrub, seldom more than 10 feet tall. It has a very wide distribution, extending from Nova Scotia to Florida and westward to Mississippi and Minnesota. In Connecticut, where much of the surface is covered with glacial moraines, it is very common in hillside pastures and along stone walls. The blooming period lasts for about three weeks, from July 8 to the beginning of August. The flowers secrete nectar very freely on hot clear days, but in cloudy, foggy, or cool weather the flow ceases almost entirely. If there are “hot waves” in July strong colonies will bring in 20 pounds of honey during an ideal day, and will store from 40 to 100 pounds each. But if there is much cool or rainy weather there may not be an average of 20 pounds to the colony. At its height the flow is very rapid and heavy. While the bees are busy on the bloom there is a very strong odor in the apiary, and the new honey is more or less bitter to the taste. Fortunately, the bitterness is only transient, and by winter the honey is edible. When pure the honey has a golden color. If properly ripened it has no noticeable odor, but is very heavy, and, like apple-blossom honey, waxes instead of candying. It is safe to say that much of Connecticut would be worthless to the beekeeper but for this plant.
The bloom also yields a large amount of pollen, great loads of which the bees bring in during a slow flow. Even during the height of the honey flow the bees