keeping does not receive much attention. The sweet-clover belt extends into Mississippi, where we shall again meet with it.
The Black Prairie, with its thousands of acres of sweet clover, is undoubtedly the best section of Alabama for beekeeping. All of the sandy land is inferior in fertility, and probably does not afford an average surplus of over 40 pounds per colony. Yet the large number of colonies in the southeast counties, and in many of the northern counties, would indicate that the possibilities in these sections may be much better than would appear from the actual number of pounds of honey produced. Unfortunately, throughout the Black Belt cattle-grazing injures the sweet clover, and prevents it from blooming. The spraying of cotton with poisonous solutions has also been injurious to the beekeeper, and many colonies have perished from this cause.
The northern beekeeper who thinks of moving to the South should not fail, first, to visit the section in which he proposes to settle, and become familiar with its climate, soil, and people. There is a large negro population who live in the country and till the soil, and few northern men care to live among the blacks. The white population is confined chiefly to the towns. There is also in low or swampy areas, and in many river valleys, danger from malaria and fevers. The methods and apparatus of modern bee culture have been much neglected.
In a general way Alabama, particularly the territory around Montgomery, easily ranks first in the production of bees and queens for shipment to the North early in the spring. This is made possible by the heavy growth of sweet clover in the black muck soil and by the ever-present bitterweed that is at its best in this locality, though scattered all over the state. The plant is so bitter that nothing will eat it. While the honey is too bitter for table use, it makes good winter stores. If the honey were of good quality the beekeeper would take it away; but, left in the hives, it makes the colonies strong in the spring, which is so necessary for early shipment of bees.
Total area, 46,856 square miles. The entire surface of the state is; included in the Gulf Coastal Plain, and the soils are formed largely from the rocks of the younger geological formations. There are a great number of soil types, as many as twenty occurring in a single county. The state may be divided into a rolling or hilly upland, comprising five-sixths of its area, and a low flat alluvial bottom-land lying between the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers, known as the Yazoo Delta. Most of the state lies below an elevation of 500 feet; but in Union and Tippah counties there are ridges which rise 1000 feet above sea level. Cotton is the most important crop, and is cultivated throughout the state except in the southeast corner. The densest area is in the Yazoo Delta. The best locations for commercial beekeeping are in the sweet clover belt and the Yazoo Delta; but fair opportunities may be found in isolated areas in all parts of the state near swamps and in the river valleys. No section of Mississippi is overstocked with bees.
The extreme northeastern portion of the state is a somewhat rugged area, lying between 400 and 600 feet above sea level. The soil is chiefly a fine sandy loam, varying in depth from five to fifteen inches. The principal crops are cotton and corn. East of the Northeast Highland is the Northeast Prairie, a narrow belt of land varying in width from ten to twelve miles in the northern part to about double that width in the southern part. The typical soils of this section are derived from the weathering of a soft marly chalk or limestone known as the Rotten Limestone or Selma Chalk. The black soils and large level fields are very attractive