in the valleys, but at best the season is short. So far this spring I have not seen one honeybee.”
Wyoming is 355 miles in length and 276 miles in width, and has a total area of 97,890 square miles. The eastern section, east of the Big Horn Range in the north and the Laramie Range in the south, forms a part of the Great Plains. The western fourth of the state is covered by the Northern Rocky Mountains, and the southwestern region is indented by three fingerlike projections of the Southern Rocky Montains. The southern and central regions, intervening between the two mountain systems, is a gently rolling country, barren of trees, known as the Wyoming Basin. It extends 250 miles north and south and an equal distance east and west. In the northwest corner of the state is the Yellowstone National Park.
The forests, in which the prevailing trees are pine and spruce, are confined chiefly to the Rocky Mountains and the Big Horn Mountains. While large areas of the treeless plains produce nutritious grasses, westward there are many sections in which the vegetation consists chiefly of sagebrush and saltbush. The presence of sagebrush is always a reliable indication of a good sandy loam; but greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) indicates a poor alkaline soil. Big Horn County and Carbon County are sagebrush counties; but on the low flat alkaline land of southwestern Sweetwater County greasewood is abundant. The eastern counties of Crook, Campbell, Weston, Niobrara, Converse, Goshen, Platte, Laramie, Albany, Natrona, Johnson, and Sheridan are largely covered with native grasses; but there are areas in which sagebrush and even greasewood predominate. The mean elevation of the state is 6000 feet; but in the Rocky Mountains, where the winters are severe and the snowfall is heavy, an altitude of 14,000 feet is reached. Of 62,645,120 acres of land in Wyoming, about one-sixth is included in the forest reserves; 6,000,000 acres are estimated to be irrigable, and 4,000,000 are suitable for dry farming. The remaining acres are classified as grazing lands.
Wyoming is a semi-arid state with an annual rainfall ranging from 10 to 20 inches. In 1920 the area irrigated was 1,207,982 acres, and the area included in enterprises was 2,564,688 acres. The whole eastern portion of the state is drained by the tributaries of the Missouri River; the southwestern region drains into the Colorado River, and the area along the central and western border into the Columbia River. Practically the entire summer flow of the streams is now utilized, and the future of irrigation in Wyoming will depend on the construction of large reservoirs for the storing of the winter flow and for its gradual distribution.
Commercial beekeeping is entirely dependent on sweet clover and alfalfa, which grow only on irrigated land. These areas are mere garden spots compared to the great region of dry desert land which produces little besides sagebrush, saltbush, and cactus. “A colony of bees would starve on a million acres of such a range.” No one has attempted to keep bees in the mountains, as the snowfall is heavier, the winters colder, and the seasons shorter than at lower altitudes. While there are many wild flowers it is doubtful if they would yield a surplus. American foul brood is prevalent in many localities. The loss of bees during the winter from extreme cold weather is often serious, and may run as high as 50 per cent.
There is usually an excellent honey flow from mid-June to September 10 from sweet clover and alfalfa. According to T. S. Parsons, Specialist in Crops, sweet clover is the principal honey plant in the state, producing more honey than all other sources combined. It is very common along the canals and lateral ditches, and in 1919 there were 330,000 acres. White clover is rather common in the northern part