the stems; but there must have been sufficient rain during the preceding fall and winter to enable the plants to store up the required food material. The time of blooming is also greatly influenced by the occurrence of rain. If there is sufficient wet weather, mesquite, soapbush, and Brazilwood may bloom twice in the same season. In Uvalde County white brush blooms after every heavy rain; but the flowers last only five or six days. In Bee County mesquite blooms about April 1, and again about June 20, but it may fail to bloom entirely, or it may bloom continuously from April to July. Catsclaw may also bloom twice in a single season.
When there is sufficient moisture and an abundance of bloom this is the most important section of Texas for beekeeping; but in 1917 and 1918 there was a long drought, and in many localities fifty per cent, of the bees died of starvation. Even where they were fed with sugar there was not enough pollen obtainable to permit of brood-rearing, and in 1918 thousands of colonies died for want of pollen. The resulting loss and disappointment have caused many specialists in honey production to move away. But in favorable seasons it is almost impossible to overstock this region, and immense crops of honey are obtained. “It is in this region,” says Pellett, “that commercial beekeeping has reached its highest development in Texas. In several counties there are more commercial beekeepers than are found in whole states in other sections of the country.” Over a large part of this section mesquite, huajilla, and catsclaw are the chief honey plants, the average surplus ranging from 25 to 100 pounds, according to the locality.
Cameron County is situated in the extreme southern part of Texas. The surface is a nearly level alluvial prairie, and the soils are deep and fertile. Along the Rio Grande River irrigation is practiced extensively, and more than 50,000 acres are under cultivation. At Brownsville are found the most southern apiaries in the United States, the largest of which contains 60 colonies. The honey plants are mesquite (February to July); Texas ebony (June); anaqua (February to September); tenazza (April to September); Brazilwood (September to November); horsemint (April to October); Gaillardia (March to July); cow-itch (June to September); and yerba dulce (September to October). The blended honey has a fine flavor, is amber-colored, and does not granulate quickly. Nearly all the plants bloom annually, and several of them after each rain. An average of only about 25 pounds per colony is obtained, since a large amount is consumed in brood-rearing, and bees swarm as late as December. This is an excellent location for raising bees, but a rather poor one for honey production.
In Brooks County the gently rolling surface is largely covered with mesquite, and on hundreds of acres there are no bees to gather the nectar. At Falfurrias there is an apiary of 200 colonies. In 1911 and 1919 the crop was a complete failure; but since 1908 there have been three very large crops. In Nueces, Jim Wells, and Sam Patricio counties there are many large ranches on which thousands of cattle graze. Mesquite is the most common tree, but other common honey plants are huajilla, white brush, catsclaw, horehound, horsemint, and broomweed. The average rainfall is about 26 inches. Beekeeping is pursued chiefly in connection with diversified farming, and the yards range from 10 to 50 colonies, with a few larger ones.
In Bee County there is a large area of prairie land; and, as the rainfall is over 30 inches, fruit-growing and truck-farming are developing rapidly. During 19 years at Beeville a beekeeper has averaged 65 pounds of surplus per year, but in 1916 and 1917 the crop was a failure, and 50 per cent, of the bees died from starvation. The sources of honey are wild currant, or agarita, catsclaw, horsemint, mesquite, and Brazilwood. At Oakville, Liveoak County, there are several commercial apiaries. In Goliad County, through which flows the San Antonio River, more