horsemint, heartsease, white clover, bitterweed, boneset, goldenrod, and aster. The counties of Carroll, Madison, Tensas, and Concordia in the Mississippi Valley contain only a few colonies of bees, but southward there are many good locations in Iberville, West Baton Rouge, and Pointe Coupee parishes. In Iberville Parish, in five apiaries of 200 colonies each, an average of 10 gallons per colony is secured. Little attention is at present given to beekeeping among the orange groves; but this may prove to be a most profitable region.
Fair opportunities for beekeeping are reported along the Black River, a tributary of the Red River, and northward on the Boeuf River, Bayou Macon, and Tensas River. “Along the Atchafalaya River from its source at Red River to the Gulf,” writes E. C. Davis, “is a veritable paradise for bees. There are numerous places where as many as 500 colonies could be kept in one yard. One apiarist in this territory having 250 colonies of bees, spring count, produced in one season more than $5000 worth of honey, and at the same time increased his colonies to 329.” The region south of Lake Pontchartrain is also reported good. The alluvial lands of Louisiana belong to the Quarternary Period, and are of recent origin.
The uplands, including the pine barrens in the north-central portion of the state, the southwest prairies, and an area south of the State of Mississippi, are, as a whole, poorly adapted to bee culture. Between the valleys of the Red and Ouachita Rivers the land is largely timbered with short-leaved pine and oak; but farther southward there is a large forest of long-leaved pine growing on a thin sterile soil. While there are many small beeyards throughout this section, little effort is made to produce large yields of honey.
South of Mississippi, in the southeast part of the state, there is another tract of long-leaved pine. Much of the pine has been cut for timber, and the open range has been used for pasturing livestock so that many flowers grow in protected places. Most of the counties contain very few bees, and the surplus often does not exceed 20 pounds, but there have been yields of as high as 100 pounds. In the spring the bees gather nectar from maple, tulip tree, holly, gallberry, rattan-vine, persimmon, willow, tupelos, and palmetto; but after June 1 the active season closes, as there are few fall flowers. Box hives and “gums” are very common. Bees commence work about January 15 and continue until frost. Large quantities of honey-dew are gathered.
The prairies of the southwest are treeless except along the streams, and are well covered with grass, which is grazed by herds of cattle and horses. A large area has in recent years been brought under cultivation, and the land greatly improved. Five parishes in the southwestern comer report four-fifths of the total acreage of rice, of which Calcasieu alone reports more than one-third. Like all the other grasses, the bloom of rice is nectarless. There are no commercial apiaries, and a good crop at Welsh is obtained about one year in five.
The principal honey plants of Louisiana are willow (Salix nigra), maple (Acer rubrum), white tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), black gum (Nyssa biflora), white clover, carpet grass (Lippia nodiflora), cabbage palmetto, water locust (Gleditsia aquatica), orange, snow-vine, (Cissus arborea), persimmon, partridge-pea, rattan-vine (Berchemia scandens), buttonbush, pepper-vine, velvet beans, heartsease, boneset. climbing boneset, goldenrod, and cotton. The honey flow in the central part of the state may be divided into three periods, but they merge one into the other, so the bees always have some flowers to work on. The spring crop is secured from willows, white tupelo, and white clover. Tupelo is more abundant than the other two, and is the main source of honey, but willows cover a large area in the swamps and often yield a large surplus. The honey from tupelo comes in a veritable flood, and the bees work from dawn until long after sunset, but it is of short duration. The