Total area, 58,665 square miles. Georgia is divided by the “fall line,” which passes from Augusta on the Savannah River through Milledgeville and Macon to Columbus on the Chattahoochee River, into Southern Georgia, or the Coastal Plain, and Northern Georgia, comprising the Piedmont Plateau and a series of mountain ranges and limestone valleys belonging to the Appalachian Mountain System.
Southern or Low Georgia, which includes more than one-half of the state, has an area of 35,000 square miles, the highest altitude of which is less than 400 feet. The sea coast, which is 128 miles in length, is bordered by a chain of low-lying fertile islands which are separated from the mainland by narrow lagoons. Along the coast there is a strip of marshy alluvial land where a nearly subtropical climate prevails, which is favorable to the growth of the orange, lemon, sweet potato, banana, peanut, sugar cane, magnolia, and palmetto. The great Okefinokee Swamp in Ware and Charlton counties is estimated to have a circumference of 128 miles, but it is without inhabitants. However, the territory surrounding the swamp offers excellent locations for beekeeping. The coast belt is succeeded by the Coastal Plain, a level or gently rolling section with a sandy soil, which was originally densely wooded with long-leaf yellow pine.
The most interesting and promising portion of Georgia to the commercial beekeeper, according to E. R. Root, is the southeastern region, where the gallberry occupies a large area, and the black gum and white tupelo are abundant in the swamps. Here are located the most advanced beekeepers, who operate thousands of colonies of bees. At Waycross, Ware County, is located the most extensive beekeeper in the United States. The principal honey plants are spring titi, gallberry, black gum, white tupelo, holly, clethra, chinquapin, velvet bean, snow-vine, and cotton. The site of an apiary in a swampy region near the headwaters of the Suwannee River is described by C. P. Dadant as a flat country from which all the large trees have been removed, and which to-day is covered with stumps, straight slim pines, and a thick undergrowth of saw palmetto, several kinds of huckleberries, and a great abundance of gallberry. The tupelos also are found in the cypress swamps. The apiaries are in the brush, and at some distance from the settlements, and range from 50 to 75 colonies, and occasionally number 100, the average being about 60. Wayne County, a little farther north, is a good location; and an apiarist at Doctor-town reports 1800 colonies in a few yards. The crop is usually reliable, and in a good year a surplus of 100 pounds per colony is obtained. In January the maples yield well; spring titi blooms in March and April; black gum yields heavily in April, and the willows are also important. In May there is a good flow from white tupelo and gallberry, the latter surpassing all the other honey plants, and in June snow-vine (Cissus arborea) has been known to yield 100 pounds of extracted honey. All the farmers have usually a few bees. Bitterweed yields nectar in a few places in late summer, injuring the quality of the honey with which it is mixed. At Valdosta, in Lowndes County, on the south-central border, apiaries vary from 50 to 80 colonies. In a good season colonies store about 30 pounds from tupelo, 30 to 40 from gallberry, and from cotton 40 to 50 pounds. Sweet bay (Magnolia glauca), which is abundant in the swamps, is also reported to yield from 15 to 20 pounds. The flow from cotton lasts for about 90 days. A beekeeper in Berrien County writes that within a radius of 70 miles there are several large commercial apiaries, which average about 60 pounds per colony, but about one year in three there is a short crop. There are also about 12 small yards in a radius of five miles. In Coffee County the yards are smaller. There are in this locality many box hives. Cotton in Ben Hill County was formerly an excellent source of honey; but since the advent of