tion; but sweet clover and alfalfa are yearly becoming more abundant, and the valley promises to become a good location in the future. In Musselshell County, at Roundup and Lavina on the Musselshell River, and at Flatwillow Creek, there are several apiaries which range from 10 to 30 colonies, and one which contains about 100. In this region drought may greatly delay the blooming of alfalfa and sweet clover, and injure the prospects of the beekeeper. Winter losses are a serious problem, and often run from 10 to 75 per cent.
The portion of the Great Plains which is best adapted to bee culture is the irrigated land along the Yellowstone River and its southern tributaries. But from Big Timber, Sweet Grass County, to Glendive in the eastern part of the state, the Yellowstone Valley is narrow, and apiaries can be placed to advantage only at special points. In the counties of Custer, Rosebud, Treasure, Big Horn, Yellowstone, Stillwater, and Sweet Grass there are 218,000 acres under irrigation and more than 87,000 acres of alfalfa. At Miles City, Custer County, an apiary containing 200 colonies produced 7000 pounds of honey, a fair average per colony of extracted honey being 75 pounds. At Forsyth, Rosebud County, an apiary of 150 colonies secures a fair crop nearly every year, chiefly from sweet clover, as alfalfa is cut so early that it affords little nectar. Near the center of this county, at Ashland. on the Tongue River, the population is small, and there are only a few yards which average about 20 colonies. The country is covered with a carpet of wild flowers throughout the summer. Wild plum, cherry, thorn-apple, dogwood, and different kinds of cactus are common. A beekeeper writes: “I have traveled the Tongue River Valley from Miles City nearly to Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, and I know that sweet clover is extending over all the valley, and that more alfalfa is sown every year. I have seen 1500 acres of alfalfa and sweet clover under irrigation with only wild bees to gather the nectar.”
Yellowstone County contains more colonies of bees, and produces a larger quantity of honey, than any other county in the state. There are 240,000 acres of irrigated land and 23,000 acres of alfalfa. In 1920 there were at Billings, on the Yellowstone River, three companies which operated 300, 350, and 1700 colonies respectively, divided into apiaries of 100 to 150 colonies, located 5 to 20 miles apart. In a good year a surplus of 100 pounds of extracted honey per colony was obtained from sweet clover and alfalfa; but alfalfa was usually cut as it was beginning to bloom. According to R. A. Cooley, State Entomologist, the number of colonies of bees within 100 miles of Billings is probably about 5000. A beekeeper who moved 450 colonies to Fromberg five years ago has had fair crops every year until 1920, when little surplus was gathered. Another beekeeper reports that for 11 years his colonies stored an average of seven to eight cases of comb honey annually, but that in 1920 only 1 1/2 cases per colony were obtained. Eight years ago this territory was heavily stocked with bees; but the smallest yards have been largely destroyed by American foul brood, and the larger apiaries have suffered severely from this disease. Losses of 10 to 75 per cent, every year from wintering are reported by several of the larger producers.
At Hardin, Big Horn County, there are in the valley 14 apiaries, together containing 1700 colonies, and several smaller apiaries have been started. A crop is obtained every year which has averaged 100 to 150 pounds per colony, and in an exceptional year as high as 300 pounds per colony. The sources of surplus here as elsewhere are sweet clover and alfalfa, of which there are 12,000 acres. At Big Timber, Sweet Grass County, on the Yellowstone River, there are five apiaries which together have a total of 510 colonies. There are also 20 small yards which would average not far from 15 colonies each. The surplus ranges from 60 to 150 pounds. In some seasons 20 pounds of dandelion honey are secured in May. “We