In Alabama and Mississippi the best region for beekeeping is the Black Belt, or sweet clover belt, a tract of land extending from Union Springs, Alabama, to Noxubee County, Mississippi, whence it follows the state line northward to Tennessee. Thousands of acres of sweet clover flourish in this fertile soil, and the apiaries range from 50 to 200 colonies. In northern Alabama beekeeping is much neglected, but with better methods would probably be fairly profitable. The most fertile soils in Mississippi are found in the Yazoo Delta, where there is a dense acreage of cotton; but none of the honey plants are of great value except holly, without which, asserts a beekeeper, it would not pay to keep bees. Moderately good opportunities may be found in all parts of the state near swamps and in river valleys.
In Louisiana the alluvial lands along the Red and Mississippi rivers and in the Atchafalaya River Basin are well adapted to honey production. Much of the honey gathered in this state is dark in color and inferior in flavor.
The southeastern half of Arkansas belongs to the Coastal Plain, and in the river valleys there are fertile alluvial soils. The honey flora of the lowlands is dependable and there are good opportunities for engaging in beekeeping on a commercial scale. On the bottom-lands cotton secretes nectar very freely. In the southwestern counties most of the surplus comes from holly and black gum.
In southeastern Texas a score or more of thorny trees and shrubs, as huajilla, catsclaw, agarita, and coma, yield nectar so copiously that in a favorable season it is almost impossible to overstock this region with bees. On the Black Prairie, which extends from San Antonio to the north border line, cotton is a reliable honey plant, and seldom fails to yield a large surplus. West of the Pecos River agriculture is dependent upon irrigation, and alfalfa is the main dependence of several large honey-producers.
The growth of white clover on the Miami soils of northwestern Ohio, eastern Indiana, and central Michigan is unsurpassed in any other portion of the United States, except perhaps in parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota, noted elsewhere. In periods of depression beekeeping will persist here when it disappears elsewhere. In southern Ohio white clover is less dependable. In southwestern Indiana large crops of honey are secured from blue vine, or climbing milkweed, and in the northwestern corner Spanish needles and boneset in the Kankakee swamps are the sources of a large surplus. In Upper Michigan alsike clover is very abundant and hundreds of acres of unoccupied territory invite the beekeeper.
In northwestern Illinois, Stephenson County leads in the production of honey, the surplus coming from white clover, sweet clover, and heartsease. In the central portion of the state the best locations are found along the Illinois River and the smaller streams. A large acreage of sweet clover has been planted in this section. On the Mississippi River, where there is a wide valley, according to Pellett, there is an abundance of Spanish needles, heartsease, and boneset, which assure a fall flow. There is an immense acreage of apple trees in southern Illinois, but beekeepers report only medium crops of honey.
The northern portion of Wisconsin is a most promising section for honey production, and very large crops of honey are secured. Good crops are also produced in the southern and western parts of the state. The center is the poorest area for bee culture. In the southeastern corner of Minnesota white clover is a very reliable honey plant, and very rarely fails to yield a surplus. With the more general cultivation of sweet clover and alsike clover the western prairie section of the state should yield a large amount of honey. In the cut-over region of northern Minnesota the beekeeper will find large crops and little competition.