the clay soils of the north. There is a belt of crimson clover in the central part, and buckwheat is grown in the south. Apples, pears, peaches, and strawberries are generally cultivated throughout the entire state, and in its central section there is a dense acreage of muskmelons and watermelons.
In the north, near Wilmington, the apiaries are small. This is also true around Marshallton. Besides the clovers, dandelion, locust, poison ivy, sweet clover, smartweed, goldenrod, Spanish needles, milkweed, and aster are the best-known honey plants.
In the central part of the state, near Dover, where the soil is sandy, a surplus is obtained from crimson clover, white clover, buckwheat, and goldenrod; but buckwheat is reliable only about once in two or three years. A specialist at Dover has distributed his bees in apiaries which average 65 colonies. At Kenton the yards range from 15 to 25 colonies. In the south, in Sussex County, the apiaries contain from 1 to 20 colonies; but at Milford there is one of 28. Buckwheat, of which there are some 4000 acres, is the chief dependence of the beekeeper; but white clover is also valuable. The tidal marshes are not suitable for beekeeping.
Total area, 12,210 square miles, of which 0860 square miles are land. The eastern three-fifths of the state form a low sandy plain which is divided by Chesapeake Bay into two portions, the East and West Shores. The soils are mostly sandy loams suitable for the cultivation of vegetables, melons, strawberries, tomatoes, and peach and apple trees. This section, also known as Tidewater Maryland, is often reported as not well adapted to beekeeping; but the number of colonies maintained at present is probably less than the honey flora would support.
The East Shore, which is less than 100 feet above sea level, is deeply indented by estuaries and bordered by river swamps and broad tidal marshes which cover about 276,000 acres. The average per colony secured by beekeepers located in different parts of the region is about 40 pounds of honey, and the average size of the yards is 20 colonies, spring count. The honey flora of the East Shore will not support large apiaries.
The West Shore is likewise a sandy plain, but it has an elevation of 100 to 300 feet above sea level. The conditions of beekeeping are very similar to those on the eastern side of the bay. The average per colony is about 50 pounds of honey, and the average size of the apiaries, spring count, 10 colonies. The largest amount of honey is secured in Charles and Prince Georges counties. The honey flora of the Coastal Plain consists of white clover, sweet clover, goldenrod, aster, locust, tulip tree, and fruit bloom. There is a large acreage of tobacco on the West Shore, but it is harvested before it blooms. The western edge of the Coastal Plain is sharply defined by the “fall line,” or the rise to the Piedmont Plateau.
Between the Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains lies a hilly, rolling country, known as the Piedmont Plateau, which has an area of 2500 square miles. It gradually rises from a height of 450 feet in the eastern portion to over 900 feet in Frederick County. The soils range from sandy loams to heavy clays, and are especially well adapted to growing grasses, corn, wheat, and tomatoes. In this region are included the larger parts of the counties of Howard, Baltimore, Harford, Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick. A large percentage of the honey reported in the state is produced in Baltimore County. The beekeepers of Baltimore City and Baltimore County form the largest single group in the state. Outside of this county, Carroll, Frederick, and Montgomery counties show the largest number of beekeepers, with the largest number of colonies present in Montgomery County.