River, with their fertile limestone soils, give excellent results. Farther northward beekeeping is pursued successfully on both sides of the Mississippi River, and many commercial apiaries are reported in Sherburne, Benton, and Morrison counties. On the western side of the river the average surplus is smaller and the yards contain fewer colonies. Good locations may also be found along the western banks of the scenic St. Croix River, which forms a part of the eastern boundary of the state.
The prairie region occupies the western portion of the state, extending in the south to half its width, but rapidly narrowing northward. It is an open, level, or gently rolling country on which the eastern hardwood forest has failed to encroach; but the streams have worn many small valleys crossed by belts of hardwood, as basswood, oak, box-elder, and cottonwood. From the high winds which sweep over this unbroken surface apiaries require protection by windbreaks of evergreens or board fences. There is very little land that is not arable, or that does not sell at a high price per acre. The soil over a large part of this area is a dark loam of great fertility and durability, varying into a limestone soil on the western slope of the Mississippi River, and to a clay loam in the valley of Red River, where the land, which is the bed of an ancient glacial lake known as Lake Agassiz, is very level.
The honey plants are buckwheat, aster, clover, alsike clover, and sweet clover, but the surplus comes chiefly from sweet clover which is extensively cultivated for seed and forage. In the southwest comer of Minnesota there is a much smaller number of beekeepers, and a much smaller amount of honey is produced than in the southeast comer. Northward conditions do not improve; Pope, Stevens, and Traverse counties have only a few bees. At Villard 25 colonies have averaged 50 pounds of honey from buckwheat alone. For several years in succession it may be too dry for the clovers. In the Red River Valley grain-farming is the chief agricultural pursuit and beekeeping receives little attention. But the acreage of sweet clover is increasing and the outlook for beekeeping improving.
Total area, 55,475 square miles. Iowa lies in the prairie region, and is a vast rolling plain, 300 miles long by 200 miles wide, bordered on the east by the Mississippi and on the west by the Missouri River. With the exception of a small portion in the northeastern corner, the entire state was glaciated and is covered with a layer of glacial drift 15 to 200 feet deep, which is overlaid along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers by deep fertile loess soils. The larger rivers flow eastward, and have worn in their lower courses narrow valleys 200 to 300 feet in depth. The north-central part of the state is very level, but southern Iowa is hilly. The wooded area does not exceed 7000 square miles, and is confined chiefly to the river bottoms, where the common trees are willows, cottonwood, honey locust, ash, and elm. The land is well drained, and there are few swamps. The soils, which are dark clay loams and silt loams, are unsurpassed in fertility, and an immense area of cereals is planted annually. The severity of the winters renders it difficult to winter bees outdoors.
With scarcely an exception white clover is reported to be the principal source of honey throughout the state. In many localities no other honey plant yields a surplus. It may bloom from the first of June to the beginning of August, and yield an average of 100 pounds per colony; but it is not reliable more than two years in three in the eastern portion. It may winter-kill, or the season may be too dry, or too wet and cool. Occasionally there will be a year when clover