six to eight weeks. Blackberry, raspberry, and cotton are less important sources of nectar, and in some years large quantities of honey-dew are gathered.
While the number of colonies of bees in the lowlands does not at present much exceed those in the mountainous northwestern section, the future development of beekeeping will take place chiefly in the eastern and southern portions of Arkansas. It is the opinion of J. V. Ormond, based on extensive travel in this state, that these sections are dependable, and offer opportunities for engaging profitably in beekeeping on a commercial scale. According to H. H. Bennett, the alluvial bottomlands of the Mississippi, Arkansas, and Red Rivers represent one of the richest and most important areas of land in the world. Probably no land used by man exceeds them in fertility and productiveness. The very fertile bottoms of the Arkansas River have produced 1 1/2 bales of cotton per acre without fertilizers in the best years. Cotton secretes nectar very freely on these fertile bottom-lands.
In the northeast portion of Arkansas in the vicinity of the swamps of St. Francis River beekeeping remains in a primitive and undeveloped condition. There are many small apiaries in which very little care and attention are given to the methods of bee culture, and gums and boxes of various sizes are used for hives. The average surplus does not much exceed 20 pounds per colony. But in Poinsett and Mississippi counties conditions are better. Of the honey plants in this locality the buttonbush covers large areas of the marsh, willows are abundant, and heartsease and Spanish needles are common. A little farther westward in Independence County larger yards and crops are reported. On the higher land are found persimmon, white clover, sweet clover, sumac, and goldenrod. The dry upland on which white clover occasionally yields well is a poor location.
The winters in the southeast portion of the state are very mild, and this is an excellent location for raising bees for sale. Along the Ouachita River, in the southern portion of the state, holly is the principal honey plant, blooming in May. Not much honey is stored later in the season, although at times there is a flow from bitterweed in August and September. Other honey plants are maple, rattan-vine, persimmon, basswood, black gum, cotton, goldenrod, Spanish needles, heartsease, and thoroughwort.
“In the southwestern portion of the state,” writes a beekeeper of Columbia County, “I believe that scientific, intelligent bee culture would succeed, although it it not considered a favorable locality.” Holly is the most valuable honey plant. It yields a clear white honey, and the flow is not greatly affected by the weather. In July and August the bees store to a small extent from cotton, and sometimes also from goldenrod. Sumac, sweet clover, and rattan-vine also deserve mention.
Near the center of the state on the Arkansas River are Pulaski and Jefferson counties, in which there are 163,000 acres of cotton under cultivation. On the fertile bottom-lands cotton secretes nectar abundantly and is the source of thousands of pounds of honey. If there is sufficient rain in August a fair crop is obtained chiefly from cotton. Other honey plants are buckeye, redbud, black gum, blackberry, rattan-vine, basswood, white clover, sumac, cow-itch (Cissus incisa), and bitterweed. All are more or less affected by extremes in the weather.
Between the Arkansas and White Rivers are the counties of Lonoke, Prairie, and Arkansas, which consist largely of low marshy land. On this wet soil more than one hundred thousand acres of rice are grown. In the neighborhood of the swamps and on the dry land near them there are many honey plants, as swamp holly (Ilex decidua), white tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), dwarf palmetto (Sabal glabra), sour gum (Nyssa sylvatica), buttonbush, hackberry, snow-vine, redbud, red maple, cow-itch, persimmon, honey locust, white clover, bitterweed, blackberry, and rattan-vine. In Lonoke County farkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) is very abun-