clover. Sweet clover is grown to some extent. A beekeeper writes: “1 do not consider this a bee country, and I do not believe that much honey will ever be produced here.”
But in the valley of the Susquehanna much better conditions prevail. In the vicinity of Harrisburg there are large apiaries which in a good year are very successful. At Liverpool, farther up the river, there are specialists who operate several hundred colonies. But in Montour County, on the west side of the mountains, beekeeping is generally neglected. A few farmers have from 1 to 6 colonies, and usually get only a small crop.
South of the Susquehanna the dominant trees are hardwood species, as the nectar-secreting tulip tree, basswood, sugar maple, and locust, and the nectarless oak, beech, hickory, and walnut. Deep-lying within the mountains, walled in by ridges 1000 feet high, are many fertile valleys with limestone floors, where the clovers and all leguminous plants flourish. But on the tops of the mountains at an elevation of 2000 feet the soil is poor, the winters are cold, and bees must be protected. There are seldom more than 40 colonies in one yard, and the yield is not good. The honey plants are wild red raspberry, white clover, locust, buckwheat, and huckleberries which secrete nectar well when it is warm and not too dry. In Blair, Huntingdon, and Cambria counties there are many bees, chiefly in small yards. A few apiaries contain 75 colonies. The winters are severe, and the bee pasturage is only moderately good. Somerset and Bedford counties on the south border have a large acreage of buckwheat and fruit trees.
It is in the third section, or bituminous-coal region, known as the Alleghany Plateau, which covers the western half of the state, that commercial beekeeping is most successful. Along the north-central border, in the northwest corner, and in in the western part of the state, thousands of acres of buckwheat are grown. Two-thirds of the entire acreage of this cereal in the United States are found in New York and Pennsylvania. The leading industry is dairying, and alsike clover is extensively planted for hay. Commercial apiaries obtain a surplus of 100 pounds per colony. In summer there is a good honey flow from the clovers, and in fall from buckwheat. Many colonies have been destroyed by European foul brood in this section.
Farther westward in McKean, Cameron, Elk, Forest, and Warren counties buckwheat and alsike clover are much less abundant, and there is a marked decrease in the number of bees. Native wild species of value for nectar are maples, dandelion, sumac, prickly ash, wild cherry, raspberry, swamp milkweed, goldenrod, and aster. Honey from prickly ash is extremely bitter and ruins the honey crop in some places. Forty colonies form as large a yard as is considered desirable. In Cameron, Elk, and Forest counties, less than 20 per cent, of the land is in farms.
There are many colonies of bees in the northwest corner of the state, in Erie, Crawford, Mercer, and Venango counties, where there is a large acreage of buckwheat. This section is also a center for dairy farming, and alsike clover is abundant. South of Lake Erie a large area of land is planted with apple, pear, and peach trees, small fruits, and truck crops.
In the central-western portion of the state (Butler, Clarion, Jefferson, Indiana, Armstrong, and Clearfield counties) the acreage of buckwheat exceeds 70,000 acres, and the number of colonies is large. Conditions do not vary greatly in these counties. In Clearfield County, apiaries usually range from 6 to 30 hives, but occasionally contain 80 or more. At Rockton there has not been a complete failure in twenty years; but small yards give best results. The soil is naturally acid, and lime must be applied to obtain a good growth of white clover. The native or in-