Plains, a treeless expanse covered with bunch or buffalo grass, where formerly cattle-raising was the chief industry. In south-central Oklahoma there are two small mountain ranges — the Arbuckle Mountains and the Wichita Mountains. The best locations for beekeeping are along the larger streams, as the Canadian and Washita Rivers, where the bottom-lands are a half-mile or more in width. The largest number of colonies of bees is found in Kay, Paine, Lincoln, Oklahoma Pottawatomie, Garvin, Pontotoc, and Johnston counties. The apiaries are usually small, and are maintained mostly by farmers to obtain a home supply of honey.
At Stillwater, Payne County, according to W. R. Wright, the honey plants and their approximate dates of blooming in normal seasons, are as follows: White maple, February 2-b; apricot, peach, plum, and pear, March 25-30; water willow and redbud, April 1-7; black locust, April 19 to 29; raspberry and blackberry, April 12-16; white clover, April 21; alfalfa, May 3; persimmon, May 19; catalpa and yellow sweet clover, May 18; white sweet clover, May 25; sumac, June 10; horsemint, June 19; sunflower, July 2; chittimwood, July 20; cotton, July 26; heartsease, August 1: cowpeas, September 1. Alfalfa, cotton, and sweet clover are the three most abundant honey plants, but the two former are in many localities of very little value.
There are more than 350,000 acres of alfalfa grown in Oklahoma; but the area in the eastern section is relatively small. The largest part of the acreage is confined to the north-central and western counties. Beginning on the north border in Alfalfa, Grant, and Kay counties, the alfalfa belt extends southward to the center of the state, including Oklahoma and Canadian counties, whence it extends to the west border and southwesterly to the Red River. The secretion of nectar by alfalfa in Oklahoma is influenced by the same conditions as in Kansas. The largest yield is obtained near the rivers and in dry hot weather, when there is sufficient moisture in the ground. In Alfalfa County, on the north border, in which there are 17,000 acres of alfalfa, a beekeeper reports that much seed is raised, and four full crops of blooming alfalfa are cut during the season, assuring a continuous flow of nectar. In Cleveland County there are also three or four successive crops of alfalfa, and a more or less continuous honey flow from spring until October.
In 1919, 2,732,900 acres of cotton were cultivated in Oklahoma, cotton outranking corn, both in acreage and value. Temperature and rainfall permit of its cultivation in every part of the state, except along the north border and in the northwest comer. A dense area occurs near the center of the state, and another in the southwest counties. The humid conditions required to stimulate the secretion of nectar occur only occasionally, and it is, in consequence, a very unreliable honey plant. It is, however, frequently reported as furnishing more or less surplus, the honey flow lasting in Love County from July 20 to September 30. The honey is white, of heavy body, and excellent flavor.
At Stillwater, Payne County, there are no strictly commercial apiaries: but in a radius of five miles there are 50 small yards, and a surplus of 60 pounds may be obtained every other year. In Alfalfa County, so called because of its large acreage of alfalfa, there are so few bees that much nectar is reported to be lost. There is a moderate honey flow for many weeks, which does not end until the first frost late in October. At Oklahoma, Oklahoma County, there are several apiaries. A surplus of 40 to 60 pounds is secured nearly every season. A beekeeper of this city states that in his opinion more than half of the surplus honey is secured from alfalfa.
The western section of the state, or the Great Plains area, is a. rolling, treeless expanse, producing chiefly bunch or buffalo grass. In the northwestern counties, cactus, yucca, and sage brush are familiar plants. The land rises in altitude from 2000 feet to 5000 feet in Cimarron County in the Panhandle. The soils are sandy