of the state. There is also a variety of wild flowers which are helpful in maintaining the strength of the colonies, as willows, dandelion, wild fruit bloom, goldenrod, and aster. In Big Horn County there is a large area of alfalfa and a greater number of colonies of bees than can be found in any other county in the state. Second in importance is the region around Landers in Fremont County, which has the largest irrigation project in Wyoming. Sheridan County, east of the Big Horn Range, and Goshen and Platte counties in the southeast, also produce a large surplus of honey.
East of the Big Horn and Laramie Ranges the eastern portion of the state, or the Great Plains, slopes gently from an altitude of 6000 feet at the foot of the mountains to 4000 feet along the east border. This area is without trees, but is largely covered with native grasses, sagebrush, and in places with greasewood. It is largely used for grazing purposes.
The counties in the northeast corner have many streams, but the late summer flow of water is so small that it is necessary to rely largely on dry-farming methods. Beekeeping in this section has been almost entirely neglected, as there is only a small acreage under irrigation. Sheridan County, on the north border, east of the Big Horn Mountains, is a much better location. In 1919 it produced over 29,000 pounds of honey, chiefly from 20,000 acres of alfalfa. There were under irrigation 68,000 acres, and 108,000 were included in enterprises. Under a great storage system Sheridan County will ultimately reclaim all irrigable land within its borders. There are seven or eight apiaries in this county which contain from 30 to 150 colonies of bees, but not more than three exceed 100 colonies. A crop of 50 to 100 pounds per colony is obtained every year from sweet clover and alfalfa.”
In the southeast corner of the state Goshen and Platte Counties reported 122,000 acres under irrigation and 48,000 acres of alfalfa. The irrigated areas are located chiefly along the North Platte River and its southern tributary, the Laramie River. Douglas, in the southeastern part of Converse County; Wheatland, in Platte County, and Torrington, in Goshen County, are in the heart of these areas. Near Douglas there are apiaries which contain one hundred colonies. At Wheatland, from which a carload of honey is usually shipped yearly, several apiarists operate from 500 to 800 colonies, hut the average is nearer fifty. There is almost an entire absence of native honey plants, and the surplus is gathered wholly from successive crops of alfalfa from June 20 to September 10, the best How coming in the hottest weather when there are occasional showers. A few years ago from Old Port Laramie to the state line of Nebraska there were great areas of irrigated alfalfa and sweet clover by the roadsides and on the banks of the ditches, with only a few small yards of bees to gather the nectar. The altitude of the valley is 4200 feet, and the climate is nearly similar to that of Colorado. Sweet clover grows well wherever it is permitted to establish itself. The extreme cold, both early in the fall and late in the spring of the winter of 1919 and 1920, proved disastrous to beekeepers in this section. The bee inspector of Goshen County writes: “At the beginning of the winter I had 280 colonies, and lost 110.” At Rock River there are some 10 apiaries which range from 50 to 200 colonies. The average surplus has been 60 pounds of comb honey and 100 extracted, except in 1919.
The Big Horn Basin, which includes the counties of Big Horn, Park, Washakie, and Hot Springs, has a larger number of colonies of bees, and produces more pounds of honey, than any other section of the state. In Big Horn and Shoshone counties the irrigation enterprises are situated chiefly on the Big Horn River and its tributary, the Shoshone River. As the result of agricultural development many new towns have grown up, as Worland, Byron, Cowley, and Lovell. In 1919 Big Horn County reported 4800 colonies of bees, 512,000 pounds of honey, 52,000 acres of