main dependence for honey. “In an average season,” according to Scholl, “a good yield may be expected from cotton in the black-land districts and the river valleys. Under favorable conditions it is not excelled by any other nectar-yielder in the cotton-growing belt. On poor soil and on sandy land it does not secrete nectar plentifully, and in some sections or under certain weather conditions, not at all.” Nectar is secreted most freely when the air is warm and damp. On the bottomlands of the Brazos River there are cotton plantations which are several thousand acres in extent. It is the only source of nectar, and averages about 75 pounds of bulk comb honey annually. One season the surplus exceeded 100 pounds per colony. The honey is very light in color, with a very white comb, and has an excellent flavor when well ripened. With the beginning of September many fall plants begin to bloom, as broomweed, which is very abundant, boneset, and rosinweed. Throughout the Trinity and Brazos valleys heartsease, or smartweed, has become thoroughly established, and the bees work on it steadily.
In Caldwell County, at Lockhart, there is an apiary of 500 colonies, which during six years has never experienced a total failure. The best crop was over 100 pounds per colony, the poorest 23 pounds per colony. Near Austin, in Travis County, there are five apiaries which average about 100 colonies and obtain a good crop three years out of five. There are also more than 60 small yards. A beekeeper at Marlin, Falls County, who operates 200 colonies, reports that he has had only one failure in 20 years, which was in 1917, the dryest year ever known in this county. There are three apiaries containing 25, 300, and 450 colonies respectively at Heidenheimer, Bell County, which have obtained a crop every year except during the dry seasons of 1917 and 1918. At Belton the honey plants are horehound, mesquite, milkweed, prickly ash, China-tree, horsemint, cotton, broomweed, and goldenrod. During droughts bees often obtain sufficient honey-dew from live oak for winter stores. A crop has been obtained every, year, except one, during 31 years.
At Waco, McLennan County, near the center of the cotton belt, about 2000 acres of the Brazos bottom-lands have been reclaimed from overflow. The soils vary from black alluvial loams in the river valleys to black waxy and sandy loams on the uplands. Attention is given chiefly to agricultural pursuits, and 239,000 acres of cotton are grown. Farther northward around Waxahachie there are reported to be 2000 colonies of bees. There are 274,000 acres of cotton. A beekeeper writes: “I began with one colony in 1903 and have increased to 700. I average 60 to 70 pounds per colony annually. There is a good market for all the honey I can produce within a radius of 25 miles. I ship many pounds of bees in packages, am making money, and like the business.” There is ample room for many more bees in this part of the cotton belt. Around Dallas, Dallas County, there are 700 colonies in commercial apiaries. During six years the smallest average was 30 pounds and the largest 140 pounds. The county is estimated to contain 6000 colonies of bees.
On the north border of the state south of the Red River are Grayson, Fannin, Lamar, and Red River counties. Grayson County is reported to be a poor bee country and to contain no yards with more than 50 colonies. Feeding is necessary in order to obtain a surplus of honey. In Fannin County the apiaries are also small. Cotton and sweet clover are usually reliable, but horsemint yields only about every other year. At Paris, Lamar County, there are 600 colonies in two apiaries, and a failure of the crop has not been known for many years. Rattan, cotton, and horsemint are the sources of honey; but, as in Fannin County, bees must he fed in spring, which is rainy and backward. The farmers are sowing fields of 10 to 30 acres of sweet clover, and at Roxton within a radius of one mile there are 100 acres. In Red River County the valley has a heavy red soil suitable for general farming and for growing cotton and corn. A beekeeper from Manchester writes: