summer honey flow continues for several months, and is gathered from a great variety of flowers; but a considerable part of it is honey-dew. The summer honey is red in color and very poor in quality, with a rank flavor. Cotton is the staple field crop. It yields no honey in the hill section of the state, but does furnish considerable on the lands along the rivers. Goldenrod, horsemint, boneset, smartweed, and asters are the sources of the fall flow, which begins by September 10 and lasts for about a month. The honey is amber-colored, but has a good flavor.
Total area, 53,335 square miles. A line drawn from Sevier County, on the southwest border, to Clark County, and thence northeasterly to Randolph County on the northeast border, divides the state into a northwestern highland section and a southeast lowland section. The northwestern division belongs to the Ozark Plateau, and is rugged and mountainous The southeastern division is part of the Coastal Plain, and consists of the bottom-lands of the Mississippi River and its tributaries and the rolling inter-stream uplands. In eastern and southern Arkansas the honey crop is dependable annually, and it is also reliable in a few mountain counties where the soil is of limestone origin.
The northern part of the Ozark uplift is occupied by the rugged Boston Mountains, and the west-central portion by the Ouachita Mountains. Much of the soil is sandy and sterile; but there are large areas which are underlaid by limestone, and are suitable for growing the clovers. Northwestern Arkansas, like southwestern Missouri, is well adapted to fruit-growing; and in Benton County, in the northwest corner, there are more apple trees than can be found in an equal area in any other part of the United States except in Oregon. Peaches are abundant along the entire western border, and there is a large acreage of strawberries in Benton County. Several other counties in the northwestern part of the state are also devoted to fruit-growing to an almost equal extent. But apple trees are so frequently sprayed when in bloom that at present they are a doubtful benefit to bee culture. The principal honey plants are white clover, sumac, sweet clover, horsemint, black locust, basswood, raspberry, fruit-bloom, buckbush, redbud, honey locust, persimmon, heartsease, cotton, bitterweed, and goldenrod.
The number of colonies of bees in the highlands is about the same as in the lowlands. The poorest portion of the state for beekeeping is found in the mountains, where the land is too rough for cultivation, and the sour soils are heavily wooded with oak and pine. Where there are limestone valleys the crop of honey is more dependable. Benton County, in the northwest corner, is a great fruit-growing country; but the apiaries seldom exceed 30 colonies, and the surplus is often only 10 or 12 pounds.
The largest number of colonies of bees in the Ozark region is found in the west-central part of the state in the Ouachita Mountains. At Harris, Washington County, a surplus has been obtained every year for 32 years, except once, when, owing to continued wet weather, the season was the poorest for the production of honey ever known in western Arkansas. The middle-west border is a poor location for the production of honey, but is fine for queen-rearing. Persimmon blooms in May; basswood among the hills in June; sweet clover in June and July. White clover does not always produce nectar, and cotton also is not always reliable.
The northeast counties of the upland region, as Randolph, Lawrence, Independence, Sharp, Izard, and Stone, contain relatively few colonies; but in Independence County there are a number of apiaries which contain from 50 to 100 colonies. The surplus comes chiefly from sweet clover, the flow continuing from