tree, sourwood, persimmon, black locust, chinquapin, sumac, black gum, holly, blackberry, cowpeas, horsemint, bitterweed, goldenrod, and aster. Cotton does not yield a surplus, but furnishes a part of the winter stores. In the north-central portion, except along the streams, where the nectar-yielding trees mentioned above occur, there are few honey plants. The farms are small, and scattered here and there are a few fruit trees.
At Brierfield, Bibb County, there are some small beeyards. About ten per cent, are in modern hives, the remainder in box hives. In this locality no surplus is stored after the middle of June. During a period of five years one yard has paid only expenses.
The east-central portion of the state lies in the Piedmont Plateau. In Chambers County the apiaries range from 1 to 20 colonies, but there are few over 10.
The Coastal Plain includes the southern half of the state and a belt of land along the northwest border about 50 miles wide. It may be divided into two tracts of land: The Black Prairie and the pine barrens. The coast region is nearly level, and its barren sandy soil is covered with a vast forest of southern pine; but in the river valleys are live oak, magnolia, sweet bay, black gum, yellow jessamine, bitterweed, wisteria, yaupon, azalea, gallberry, and velvet bean. Rice, oranges, figs, and other sub-tropical plants flourish in the southeast corner in the rich mucklike soil near the waters of the Gulf. The titi swamps yield well early in the season, and a little later gallberry. Bay trees fringe the streams, and blackberries abound in the swamps. But in many localities, after titi and gallberry have bloomed, the bees must be moved or they will starve, as there are no later sources of honey, and hundreds of colonies have thus perished in the past.
In Houston County the yards are mostly of small size, although near Cottonwood there is one containing 100 colonies. In the spring they sometimes average 60 pounds of honey from titi, gallberry, and cotton. Notwithstanding the large number of colonies of bees found in this area, it is considered much better adapted to queen-rearing than to the production of honey. The hives are mostly box hives, or “log gums,” and the bees receive very little attention except at “robbing time.” The best locations are in the vicinity of swamps. Four-fifths of the present acreage of cotton in Alabama are found in 10 counties in the southeastern portion of the state.
In the southwestern section of Alabama, in Clarke County, which is bounded on the west by the Tombigbee River and on the east by the Alabama River, there are nearly 6000 colonies of bees — a larger number than is found in any other county in the state. The main crop of honey comes from white tupelo, holly, blackberry, and velvet bean. Sometimes a surplus is obtained from boneset. At Mount Pleasant, on the east side of the Alabama River, the honey plants bloom approximately at the following dates: Redbud, Feb. 1.; plum, Feb. 17; huckleberry and yellow jessamine, March 13; crab apple and haw, March 20; blackberry, April 1; holly, April 11; persimmon, April 29; black tupelo, April 24; white tupelo, April 28; gallberry, May 24; velvet bean, Sept. 26. An average surplus of 70 pounds per hive has been obtained for seven years. There is, perhaps, no better location in the pine barrens than this.
North of the pine barrens, and south of the Mineral Belt, is the Black Prairie, the famous sweet-clover country of Alabama. This tract is 50 to 60 miles in breadth, comprising 13,000 square miles, extending into the state of Mississippi and northward along the border nearly as far as Corinth. The underlying rock is largely Cretaceous limestone from which there has been derived a black fertile soil well adapted to growing cotton and sweet clover. The cotton crop of Alabama is produced chiefly in this belt, little being grown on the pine barrens or in the mineral regions