County, a distance of 110 miles, the Idaho-Oregon Honey Producers’ Association reports 166 members, who, in 1918, produced forty carloads of honey.
At Meridian near Boise City commercial apiaries range from 100 colonies to 150; but several members of the association operate from 1000 to 1500 colonies in yards containing about 100 colonies. Ninety per cent, of the honey comes from alfalfa; but willows, dandelion, fruit bloom, white clover, alsike clover, and black locust all contribute to the crop. There has been only one complete failure in eighteen years. The honey is white or very light amber, and granulates quickly after it is extracted. A beekeeper at Nampa estimates that there are sixty specialists within a radius of twenty miles, while many farmers are starting small yards. In Canyon, Ada, and Elmore counties, in 1919, there were 352,000 acres under irrigation and 92,000 acres of alfalfa. According to the First Annual Report of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture these three counties contained 9000 colonies of bees and produced 475,000 pounds of honey.
The very large county of Owyhee, in the southwestern corner of the state, has an area of 5,048,000 acres, but only a small population. The surface of this section is largely a broken lava plateau, 5000 feet above the sea, covered with sagebrush. In the southwestern valleys the winters are mild, and the days intensely hot in summer. Apples, pears, and other fruits are successfully grown. A beekeeper at Grand View writes: “The valley here is ten miles long and two miles wide. The land has recently been brought under irrigation, and there is not more than one acre in twenty on which alfalfa is not grown. There is as yet very little sweet clover, and only a few trees, mostly willows, which bloom in June. There are three honey flows here, the second of which is the most reliable. The others give some honey nearly every year, but rarely a full crop. My best average per colony during five years was 75 pounds of comb honey, but usually I get about 60 pounds. The disadvantages in this locality are high winds in spring and fall; too hot summers because of the great area of desert land not far away; practically no spring pasturage; and the cutting of all the hay and forage in about ten days. In the Boise Valley the disadvantages are American foul brood and too many colonies of bees; but the honey flow is much longer. A few miles out in the desert, bees would quickly perish.” In Twin Falls County, between the south boundary line and the Snake River on the north, there are many colonies of bees. The apiaries range from 25 to 200 colonies, but very light crops are obtained in some years. It is the reclamation of 261,000 acres of land and the cultivation of a great acreage of alfalfa that renders this locality of interest to beekeepers. The land has been largely taken up by settlers, and the town of Twin Falls has grown rapidly in population and wealth. In 1916 there was in this region a heavy production of honey-dew excreted by the clover aphis, which during the following winter caused an enormous loss of bees. Good locations may also be found in the adjoining county of Cassia. There are comparatively few bees in this county, although there is a large acreage of alfalfa. Many of the smaller beekeepers lost their colonies during severe winters.
In the Idaho Falls region, in the counties of Bingham, Bonneville, Jefferson, and Madison, there are nearly half a million acres under irrigation and a hundred thousand acres of alfalfa. Beekeepers operate from 75 to 1500 colonies of bees, and in a good season produce from 80 to 160 pounds of honey per colony. According to the First Annual Report of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture there were, in 1919, 9258 colonies of bees in Bonneville County. American foul brood has been prevalent, and has greatly reduced the number of pounds of surplus obtained. Bees build up in the spring on willows, dandelion, and fruit bloom for the main flow, which comes from alfalfa and sweet clover. In this locality it is the first