On the Republican River, where it crosses the south border, there are several apiaries. A full crop of 60 to 100 pounds per colony is usually obtained every other year, and a fair crop every year. Alfalfa is the best honey plant. For hay it is cut four times in a season in this locality. Sweet clover is also largely sown here, and is reliable. There is also an abundance of heartsease. Bees can be wintered on the summer stands in winter cases packed with leaves or chaff. Beekeeping is still in its infancy, but this region promises to make a good bee country.
The foot-hill region of Nebraska has an average width of 75 miles, and differs in surface features from the other portions of the state. It is characterized by steep ridges, deep ravines and canyons, and numerous isolated buttes. The buttes are conical hills with flat tops and an elevation of 60 to 1000 feet. A large area in the northwest corner of the state is occupied by “Bad Lands,” where the streams have cut the clayey soil into deep canyons, forming pinnacles, bluffs, and chimneys. There is almost no vegetation, as there is great heat in summer and little rain. Sagebrush and greasewood are common; but in one tract, Rydberg says, “Not a green spot was to be found.” The rolling or prairie land of the foothills is covered with grasses amid which many flowers bloom profusely, as lupines, ground plum, psora-leas, and asters. There are very few bees in this section, Scott’s Bluff County, which has 100,000 acres of land under irrigation and 35,000 acres of alfalfa, containing the largest number. There are many thousand acres of irrigated alfalfa also in Dawes County.
A beekeeper at Oshkosh, on the Platte River, writes that, although sweet clover and alfalfa are abundant, at an altitude of almost 4000 feet the air is so dry that little nectar is secreted, and his experience with bees has been a failure. The honey consumed is shipped from Colorado. A much more favorable report comes from Lakeside, in the southern part of Sheridan County, where wild flowers build up the bees in spring, and over 400 acres of sweet clover and some alfalfa furnish the surplus.
J Howard Wagner, of Central City, Nebraska, after reviewing the foregoing, adds: “A great coming bee section of Nebraska is the territory lying between a line running from North Platte through Burwell, O’Neill, and northeastward to the Platte River and the Missouri River. There are hundreds of good bee locations as yet unoccupied. The South Platte offers opportunities, but is more subject to drouth. For years I did not think Nebraska was a good bee state, but I have changed my mind. As we beekeepers advance with the world the results will be greater. With the control of foul brood in sight, I believe Nebraska will take its place in the Union as one of the best honey-producing states.”
Kansas is 410 miles long and 210 miles wide, and has a total area of 82,158 square miles. The eastern third of the state belongs to the Central Lowlands, and the western two-thirds to the Great Plains. Its surface is a vast undulating plain consisting of an endless succession of shallow valleys and broad level uplands, which, from an altitude of 4000 feet in the west, slopes gradually downward to 900 feet in the east. The Missouri River forms the northeast boundary. The north-central portion is crossed by the great valley of the Kansas River; and in the south-central part there is another broad valley formed by the Arkansas River. The northeastern counties, north of the Kansas River, are covered with glacial till, which is overlaid in turn by fertile loess soils. Southeastern Kansas has clay soils derived from shale, and the central portions of the state sandy loams derived from the underlying limestones and sandstones. Loess soils occur again in the northwestern, and limestone soils in the southwestern portion. The rainfall decreases