pleted soils can be reclaimed and built up by its use. It is often abundant by the roadsides, on canal banks, and in waste places. It is destined to be the most valuable and most extensively cultivated leguminous crop in North America.
SWEET CLOVER HONEY
White sweet clover honey is white or nearly white; but, like alfalfa honey, under certain conditions of the soil it is light amber, or the darker color may be due to a honey from another plant. In portions of the East it is reported to have a greenish tint. The flavor is suggestive of vanilla, and by many it is regarded as a little too strong. When the nectar is secreted very freely the characteristic flavor is less pronounced. The body is medium. Sweet clover honey is now marketed by the carload, and the quality is generally admitted to be excellent, whether extracted or in the comb. It is an excellent honey for mixing with other honeys, and is often blended with that of alfalfa. The period of nectar secretion is long and the yield is heavy.
Occasionally there have occurred seasons when in certain localities it yielded little or no nectar. During a very dry year at Kenney, Illinois, bees were starving with 160 acres of sweet clover in full bloom. In 1914 sweet clover was reported to be a failure in Pendleton County, Kentucky. But usually the yield is very reliable, as is shown by numberless reports from many states. Hot, sultry weather, with sufficient moisture in the ground, is required to obtain the best results. It is to-day the most important honey plant in the United States, and the area under cultivation is yearly increasing. It will undoubtedly render beekeeping profitable in many sections where it is now only moderately successful.
The most important sweet clover areas, where it reaches its maximum development and its greatest value to bee culture, are in the north central states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin; among the limestone hills of Kentucky; in the limestone belt of Alabama and Mississippi; on the Great Plains in Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas; and in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
IN THE NORTH CENTRAL STATES
In Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan, although sweet clover must compete with alsike, red clover, and alfalfa, its cultivation is steadily increasing. It grows spontaneously along tramped roadsides, abandoned roads, and in compact land everywhere. At one time an Ohio statute compelled its cutting as a noxious weed, like thistle and burdock, but it is now grown by hundreds of farmers under proper tillage. A few years ago the average farmer in Illinois ridiculed the claims of both alfalfa and sweet clover, but to-day on the banks of the Chicago Drainage Canal there are hundreds of acres of sweet clover. At Milledgeville it begins blooming early in July, and is in full flower at the time white clover and alfalfa have ceased to blossom. Where very abundant it has been known to yield nectar for two months. When pastured or mowed, it will bloom a second time and continue to bloom until after hard frosts. Bees have been seen on it in October when nearly all other plants were out of bloom. While it stands a drought well, it yields better when there are frequent rains. It is not unusual for the bees to store 50 pounds of honey per colony.
In Iowa the acreage of sweet clover has steadily increased until it is now found in every county in the state. There are two areas in which this valuable forage and honey plant is most abundant; one is in the extreme east, especially in Jackson County; the other is in the western part of the state along the Missouri River, from Sioux City for more than sixty miles southward. In Jackson County sweet clover is extensively cultivated and yields a surplus of honey every year, the average at Delmar for 37 years being 25 pounds of extracted honey. In northwestern Iowa, bordering the Missouri River, there are numerous hills of fertile loess