North. The best locations are along the rivers, or in the vicinity of swamps, or near the coast.
The three areas in Middle Florida in which beekeeping is most profitable are: The orange-groves of the highland district; the region along Indian River; and Manatee County. The largest groves of oranges are in the highland district in the counties of Marion, Volusia, Lake, Orange, Hillsborough, and Polk. The apiaries range from 25 to 50 colonies. The average surplus at Deland, in Volusia County, in a good year is about 40 pounds of honey per colony. Orange bloom comes in March and April, and lasts for about two weeks; and to secure a satisfactory harvest it is usually necessary to feed the bees in January. Gallberry and scrub palmetto succeed orange bloom; but the cattle-men bum over once a year a large area of woodland, killing or injuring both plants. On the margins of the hammocks, along the streams and in the flatwoods, or low pine lands, which partially overflow during the rainy season, gallberry yields a pound per hive each day, but it is not reliable every year. Other honey plants growing in Middle Florida are cabbage palmetto, Mexican clover, cowpeas, wild pennyroyal, purple-flowered mint, peanuts, Andromeda or wicker bloom, wild sunflower, and a large number of minor species. But on the high pine lands as a rule little honey is stored after July, and it becomes necessary to feed more or less during the fall and winter. A crop is obtained two years in three, and then the average surplus does not usually exceed 100 pounds; but occasionally 300 pounds or even more have been reported. On the west coast the counties of Lafayette, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco offer few inducements to the beekeeper.
In the counties of Brevard and St. Lucie, along the Indian River, there are thousands of acres of citrus fruits which are the source of a large amount of orange honey. Beekeeping in this locality is young and very profitable. The orange flow is followed in about six weeks by a flow from scrub palmetto, which, three years in five, gives a good surplus. In the fall partridge-pea in the pine woods seldom fails to yield ample winter stores.
The third center in Middle Florida for the production of honey is in Manatee County on the west coast, sixty miles south of Tampa. In the vicinity of Braden-town, Palmetto, and Manatee a large surplus is obtained from orange, gallberry, and palmetto. Near Bradentown there are several apiaries which together number about 1500 colonies, and a surplus of from 65 to 75 pounds is secured nearly every year. There are also many small yards in this vicinity, which report a surplus of 50 or more pounds of honey four years out of five. Other important honey plants in this vicinity are wild pennyroyal and (along the coast) black mangrove and sea grape (Coccolobis uvifera). The saw-grass flats of this region should not be passed over without mention. They cover hundreds of acres, and for a large part of the year are under water; but in late summer they support a luxuriant growth of saw-grass, smartweed, thoroughwort, and wild sunflower. In August a wealth of bloom unfolds sufficient to maintain many colonies for months.
Tropical or Southern Florida, with its vast Everglades or saw-grass swamps, its almost impassable Big Cypress Swamp in which silence and perpetual twilight dwell, its dense mangrove swamps fringing the coast and sea-islands, and its numberless coral keys crowned with spreading palms and extending far into the Gulf of Mexico, is a land of remarkable interest and mystery, but much of it is forbidden territory to the beekeeper. The vegetation is largely tropical and has been derived from the West Indies. The honey plants of chief importance are the black mangrove and several species of palms. The land remains largely in its wild and primitive condition and there are few roads or other means of communication. The