million acres only a small percentage is devoted to agriculture, and there will long remain an almost unlimited territory for beekeeping.


The rocks of the Southern Peninsula consist of a series of limestone, shale, and sandstone beds, all of which lie in nearly horizontal strata with a gentle dip toward the center of the Peninsula. The glacial drift, which covers so deeply most of the rock surface, was brought from the highlands of Canada by a glacier which moved southwesterly across the state. The average thickness is about 300 feet, but in the interior of the northern part of the Peninsula it may exceed 1000 feet. The average altitude of the Peninsula above the lakes is about 255 feet. The highest elevation is in Osceola County, where there is an area of perhaps two square miles which is 1000 feet above Lake Michigan, or approximately 1600 feet above sea level.

The northern and central portions of the Southern Peninsula are occupied by narrow concentric belts, or oblong broader areas, of drift known as moraines, between which there are narrower belts of boulder clay formed under the ice sheet. The moraines have a rolling or hummocky surface and are composed of soils ranging from stony material to a heavy clay. Northward they consist largely of sand. As farming lands they are fair to very good. In the southwestern and western portions of the Peninsula there are extensive sand plains which are of very little value to beekeeping. In the north-central portion comprising parts of Antrim, Otsego, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Roscommon, and Iosco counties, there is a great sandy plain, which was formerly covered with, pine.

About one-third of the Peninsula is embraced in sand and gravel areas. Lakes and swamps occupy about one-ninth of it. “The swamp lands become more and more valuable as sources of nectar,” says Kindig, “as we approach the southern boundary of the state. The yield from the swamp flowers during the months of August and September often constitutes as good a crop as may be secured from the clovers and other summer flowers. In the four southern tiers of counties, Spanish needles, goldenrod, boneset, verbena, and asters are very valuable sources of fall honey.”

The lake clay area is a highly productive belt of land extending around Saginaw Bay, the “Thumb,” and southward along Lake Huron to the Ohio line. It is an old lake bed, in which occasional tracts of sand occur. The clovers grow in great abundance and luxuriance on the lake clay soils, which constitute the best beekeeping territory in the state. “While lake clay soils,” says Kindig, “are distinctly clover soils, there are yet many other plants growing there which are of great value to the beekeeper. Goldenrod, Canada thistle, basswood, sweet clover, raspberry, dandelion, and many trees grow on the clay soils or on their borders. There are few beekeepers in the heavy clay areas that do not secure surplus honey from one or more plants in addition to the clovers.” Good limestone soils occur in Alpena, Presque Isle, and in parts of Cheboygan, Emmet, and Charlevoix counties. The dunes form a narrow strip of desolate land about a mile in width along Lake Michigan.

The Lower Peninsula is divided into two sections by the channel of an old glacial river, the most interesting physical feature of this part of the state, which extends from Saginaw Bay on the east through the valley of Maple River to Grand River on the west. Saginaw Bay was once a large glacial lake extending westward to Gladwin and eastward to Cass City. Its former limits are approximately shown by the lake clay soils surrounding the Bay and covering the “Thumb.” The section south of this channel has been largely cleared of forest, and nine-tenths of the land converted into prosperous farms. The wealth and population of Michigan are largely in the southern part of the state, where there are numerous growing towns and cities. Detroit alone has a population of over one million, and affords a market