ford on Buzzard’s Bay (see Clethra). Near North Rochester there is a swamp of 35 or 40 acres of this shrub with other large expanses of it elsewhere. It yields nectar abundantly, but only in periodic years. Three colonies are reported to have stored 900 pounds of this honey; but as a rule there is about one poor year in every three or four. On Cape Cod the huckleberry grows everywhere, and the cranberry covers 7000 acres but does not secrete nectar freely. The cranberry-growers use many bees for pollinating the cranberry blossoms. Without plenty of bees the crops are short. The salt-marsh goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) thrives in beach sand, and is the source of a large amount of honey in the fall.
According to Gates, the honey production of Massachusetts is only one-tenth of what it might be. Allowing an average of 100 to 126 acres to support a colony of bees, based on the experience of large beekeepers who maintain a series of out-yards, and eliminating 500 square miles as probably unavailable for bee pasturage, there remain about five million acres for forage in Massachusetts, which would support approximately forty to fifty thousand colonies of bees. In two (or perhaps three) years out of five, honey-dew is to some extent injurious east of the Connecticut River.
Total area, 1248 square miles. The surface is a rolling plain with a mean elevation of only 200 feet above the sea. It is strewn with glacial drift, which furnishes a poor soil for vegetation; but, owing to the proximity of the Gulf Stream, the climate is milder and more equable than that of any other New England state. The mean annual temperature is 50 degrees F., and the mean annual rainfall 50 inches.
Rhode Island offers little opportunity for commercial beekeeping; but many small apiaries can be maintained to advantage for honey and the pollination of fruit trees, berry bushes, buckwheat, cucumbers, squashes, and many other plants. But it is generally agreed by all beekeepers that there is little inducement for any one in Rhode Island to engage in this industry for the purpose of making a living. Most of the northern part of the state, and nearly all the western half, except a narrow strip along the shore of the Bay, is covered largely with birch and oak. Around Chepachet in the north there are not more than 15 or 20 colonies in a radius of 20 miles. Bristol County is a little better region, and some 40 colonies are located around Warren. The islands in Narragansett Bay, Prudence Island and Conanicut Island, offer fair opportunity for a few apiaries. But the southwestern section along the bay and coast, where sumac abounds, and in the vicinity of the Great Swamp, north of Wordens Pond, is best adapted to beekeeping. Here there are several apiaries of 30 to 50 colonies.
The honey flora is varied, but none of the species are sufficiently abundant to afford large yields. Willows, maples, fruit trees, raspberries, blueberries, huckleberries, and choke cherry are the earliest sources of honey. There are large areas of locust, which grows 50 to 60 feet tall, and this tree is yearly becoming more abundant. The sumacs (Rhus glabra and R. copallina) and Viburnum dentatum are common in the southern section. Clematis is widely distributed, and yields an excellent honey, but it is not reliable every year. Clethra is abundant in all lowlands, but is very erratic and uncertain. Buttonbush is also common in swamps. In many villages and cities the European basswood has been extensively planted. Sweet clover thrives at Lime Rock, and white clover and alsike clover add to the surplus in favorable seasons. Vast areas of wind-swept dunes in the coast region