alfalfa, and 109,000 acres under irrigation. In the vicinity of Basin, the county seat, more than twenty thousand acres have been reclaimed by the Big Horn Canal, which is about 35 miles long. Sweet clover grows wild along the canal ditches, and yields the larger part of the surplus honey. Every 8 or 10 miles there is an apiary, ranging from 50 to 150 colonies, which secures from sweet clover and alfalfa an average surplus per colony of 125 pounds of extracted honey and 60 pounds of comb honey. A beekeeper at Basin writes: “Four or five years ago, before this locality was overstocked, my average surplus was 400 pounds of extracted honey per colony, fall count; now it is 90 pounds per colony, spring count. Besides the hives of bees there are a large number of swarms in the cottonwood trees which form a narrow fringe along the river — 34 were counted in a distance of one mile. Many acres are planted with sugar beets, which yield no nectar, and every acre of beets supplants an acre of alfalfa. There are four commercial apiaries which average about 150 colonies each.”
At Hyattville, Big Horn County, there are 10 apiaries which are estimated to contain over 2000 colonies. In a good year a surplus of 200 to 300 pounds of honey is obtained, but the flow may be closed by an early frost, or delayed by a wet spring. The valley here is less than a mile in width, and north and south there are “bad lands” for 20 miles. Three apiaries number 200, 400, and 500 colonies respectively. At Worland and Powell equally large apiaries are reported. In Park County seventy-seven thousand acres of irrigable land have been reclaimed with water diverted from the Shoshone River.
Another important center for beekeeping is at Landers, Fremont County, in the west-central portion of the state, which has produced as high as 1,000,000 pounds of extracted honey in a season, and where there are 31,000 acres of alfalfa and 115,000 acres under irrigation. In the Landers Valley dandelion is so abundant that it affords a valuable early crop. White sweet clover is the most important honey plant. Alfalfa is of much less value. The production of honey in this locality is largely confined to three companies which operate from 500 to 1000 colonies each. The bee-man here is forced to encounter serious difficulties. The winters are long and cold, and nearly all bees in Fremont County are wintered in cellars. The summers are limited to June, July, and August. Bad spring weather is often disastrous to whole apiaries, and at times there are killing frosts in June. Sweet clover grows almost wholly on the hanks of the irrigating-ditches and in low wet places. Alfalfa is usually cut twice, and is in bloom from 10 days to three weeks. Ultimately 300,000 acres in one area will be reclaimed in this county in the ceded portion of the Shoshone Indian Reservation. The soil and climate are very favorable to agricultural purposes, but in the northern part of the county there is an area of “bad lands.”
There are no bees in Sweetwater County in the southwest; no fruit trees, and only a small acreage of alfalfa. The soil in the southwestern portion of the county is strongly alkaline, and covered with greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus). The great Continental Divide passes through eastern Sweetwater County, west of which there is a belt of land where water is so scarce, and there is so little rain, that it is used as a winter range for sheep. In the northern part of the county there is an alkali and greasewood flat. But in the northwestern portion the Big Sandy River project provides for the irrigation of more than 10,000 acres.
The western section of Wyoming is occupied by the Rocky Mountains, and has an elevation of 6000 or more feet. So severe are the winters, so heavy are the snows, and frosts are so liable to occur in May and September, that much of Lincoln and Uinta counties, on the west border, are unsuitable for beekeeping. The crops consist chiefly of cereals, hay, and forage. At present there are no commercial apiaries. The streams flow westward, and are tributaries of either the Columbia