ples, pears, and plums is small; but blackberries, raspberries, and currants are perfectly hardy. Alfalfa is not largely cultivated. The cultivated crops, except sweet clover, which is increasing very rapidly, offer a poor pasturage for bees.
North Dakota may be divided into three regions: The Red River Valley, a narrow belt of land in the extreme eastern portion of the state; west of this valley a glaciated region, a wide rolling upland occupying the larger part of the state; and a southwest unglaciated region, west of the Missouri River, where the soils are largely residual, or derived from the decomposition of the underlying rock. The eastern portion of the state and the valley of the Missouri River are the sections most suitable for beekeeping. The Bad Lands, in the southwest, are useful only for grazing, and only partially available for this purpose. In the central part of the state, along the Missouri River, bees are kept chiefly for pollination and for the production of honey for home use.
The Red River Valley, on the eastern border of the state, is a very level plain 25 to 75 miles wide, in which are situated the eastern parts of the counties of Pembina, Walsh, Grand Forks, Trail, Cass, and Richland. The soils, which are predominantly dark highly calcareous clay loams, were deposited by an ancient glacial lake which once filled the valley. The land is very largely occupied by grain fields: but sweet clover has been more widely grown during the past ten years, and is the hope of bee culture in North Dakota. Along the Sheyenne River sweet clover is the main honey plant. White clover is common and yields well. Basswood is abundant along the Red River, but it is a source of nectar only every other year. There is little buckwheat, and alfalfa is visited little by bees since sweet clover became abundant. Minor honey plants are dandelion, fruit bloom, wild mustard, Canada thistle, goldenrod, and aster; but around Fargo, according to R. L. Webster, bees pay little attention to these plants because sweet clover is so much more attractive. High winds often interfere with the flight of the bees if they are obliged to travel far. Success in this section depends largely on an abundance of sweet clover and on out-apiaries.
Rising 300 to 500 feet above the Red River Valley, a broad glaciated plain or plateau, occupying the larger part of the state, extends westward to the valley of the Missouri River, and in the northwest to the west boundary line, where it attains an altitude of 2700 feet. A mantle of drift derived chiefly from the limestones and granites of Manitoba covers its surface to a depth of one foot to several hundred feet. The soils are principally sandy calcareous loams, but glacial lake soils occur in portions of Bottineau, McHenry, Rolette, Pierce, and Ward counties, deposited by a smaller glacial lake south of Turtle Mountains. Bees located on the high prairies would starve unless there were fields of sweet clover and alfalfa planted near by. There is no shelter from the wind, and the chief crops are the cereals. In the western part of the state even solitary bees and bumblebees are rare. In Sargent County, in the southeast, farmers are beginning to plant sweet clover and alfalfa. With the increase of the sweet-clover acreage the outlook is promising.
The section of North Dakota southwest of the Missouri River was not covered by the great ice sheet. The soils are residual, or formed from the decomposition of the underlying rocks of shale and sandstone; but directly west of the Missouri River the soils consist partly of drift. Fertile alluvial soils are found in the flood plain of the river. Along the Little Missouri River the land is so broken by innumerable ridges, buttes, and ravines that it is unfit for agriculture, and is known as the “Bad Lands.” In the valley of the Missouri River alfalfa is grown to a considerable extent, and sweet clover has become established on uncultivated land.
The number of acres in the state which can be irrigated is estimated at 1,540,000: and the number requiring drainage at 3,255,000. While by utilizing water