Asters are common throughout the state, and are increasing in abundance. Raspberry is abundant on burnt-over areas, and the huckleberry is common in the mountains. Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) thrives in the valleys everywhere. Some 30,000 acres of buckwheat are grown in the northwestern portions of the state, which yield well in favorable seasons. In the valley of the Ohio there is an immense acreage of apples.
Charles A. Reese, formerly State Apiarist, writes as follows: “The best beekeeping territory in the state is located in the headlands of the Elk, Gauley, and Greenbrier rivers, in Webster, Pocahontas, Randolph, and Nicholas counties. The area is noted and quite famous for the excellent-flavored honey that it produces. It commands a very attractive price in the smaller towns located near by. Unfortunately roughness of the country and the lack of proper transportation facilities prevent any extensive commercial operations.”
Total area, 40,598 square miles. Kentucky is an agricultural rather than a manufacturing state, possessing a mild and wholesome climate, and over 22,000 square miles of fertile soils, derived largely from the decomposition of limestone, on which white clover, alsike clover, and sweet clover thrive in great luxuriance. In the north-central and western portions 420,800 acres are covered with tobacco — a larger acreage than is found in any other state. Apples are grown in great abundance in all sections, and pears and other fruits to a less extent. The eastern and central tracts are covered with a hardwood forest similar to that of Tennessee. Tulip tree was at one time very common; and, while merchantable trees have been largely cut for timber, they still furnish a part of the surplus in the less thickly settled sections of the state. Young trees are also rapidly springing up and beginning to bloom.
The eastern section of the state, comprising 10,000 square miles, is a rugged, or mountainous region belonging to the Appalachian coal-fields, and containing rich deposits of coal and oil. In the narrow fertile valleys there are many small or medium-sized beeyards maintained by the farmers and fruit-growers. The principal honey plants are tulip tree, basswood, white clover, goldenrod, and aster, while sourwood is not uncommon. “The reason,” says Garman, “why little emphasis is placed on the mountainous eastern part of Kentucky as a honey-producing section is because it is relatively thinly peopled, and because of the backward condition of its beekeeping. Though many settlers in the valley have a few hives, the honey produced is so dark and unattractive that it could hardly be sold anywhere else. Much of it does not find its way to market; but there are also some good beekeepers to be found in this section. The steadiness of the honey flow in the mountains is apparently due to the large area of untilled land, on which a variety of native plants flourish throughout the summer. In the central and western portions of the state the land is more closely cultivated.”
The best section of Kentucky for beekeeping is the famous blue-grass region, or Lexington Plain, which occupies about 10,000 square miles in the north-central part of the state. Its eastern limit is Portsmouth, on the Ohio River, and its western the mouth of Salt River beyond Louisville, while its center extends southward half way across the state. It is a limestone area, well drained, and free from swamps, but with its surface broken by many rounded hills and knobs. Fifty years ago tobacco was largely grown in Pendleton, Bracken, and adjacent counties; and gradually the shallow fertile soil was washed away by heavy rains, and the