San Pete County is near the center of the state, and a beekeeper who has 225 colonies at Manti writes that he obtains from 90 to 120 pounds of honey per colony every year. Dandelion, although it seldom yields a surplus, is very valuable for building up colonies in the spring. Alfalfa yields the larger part of the surplus. It gives the best results on high, well-drained irrigated land. Sweet clover yields a continuous flow from July 15 to August 31. The Rocky Mountain bee-plant (Cleome serrulata) is very valuable, and is the source of a white, well-flavored honey. It grows on waste areas and barren lands which can not be cultivated for want of irrigation. A railroad passes through the central towns and cities — an advantage which neither the Uintah Basin nor Emery County possesses.
At Deseret, Millard County, a specialist operates 1200 colonies along the Sevier River. The Sevier River formerly terminated in Sevier Lake; but its waters have been so largly used for irrigation that the lake has disappeared. The county has many thousand acres of irrigated alfalfa. West of the Sevier River is the Sevier Desert. In Sevier County the number of colonies of bees, the surplus of honey, and the acreage of alfalfa is about the same as in San Pete County, which adjoins it on the north. Beaver is the next town of importance southwestward. There are several specialists who operate from 100 to 1000 colonies in this locality, and they seldom fail to secure a crop, although it is small in some seasons. There is a large acreage under irrigation. At Parowan, Iron County, there are several beekeepers who average about 50 colonies, but they are rapidly enlarging their yards. They never fail to obtain a surplus; but frosts and an insufficient supply of water diminish it in some seasons. An abundance of snow on the mountains, and a hot dry summer, are ideal conditions for a honey flow. Dandelion yields a surplus three years in four. Sweet clover and alfalfa remain in bloom until the last of September; and, after frost, rabbitbrush maintains brood-rearing until the beginning of freezing weather, about October 25. The farmer beekeepers have been driven out of the business by American foul brood, which has destroyed many colonies of bees. In Washington County, in the southwest comer, there is less alfalfa, but otherwise conditions are very similar to those in the counties northward.
The western portion of the state consists of broad desert valleys between steep mountain ranges running north and south. The valley basins have no outlet for draining, and the streams which rise in the mountains either disappear in the sands or terminate in lakes. The largest of these lakes is Great Salt Lake, which in former geological times had a much greater area than at present. To this ancient lake has been given the name of Lake Bonneville. Southwest of Great Salt Lake is the arid barren area, formerly known as the Great American Desert, which is about 125 miles long from north to south and 50 miles wide. The poet Bryant, 70 years ago, described it as a vast desert-plain which, as far as the eye could penetrate, was of a snowy whiteness and resembled a scene of winter frosts and icy desolation. “Not a shrub or object of any kind rose above the surface for the eye to rest upon. The smooth hard plain was covered in wavy lines with a white incrustation. Beyond this we crossed what appeared to have been the beds of several small lakes, the waters of which have evaporated, thickly incrusted with salt, and separated from each other by small mound-shaped elevations of white sandy or ashy earth, so imponderous that it had been driven by the action of the wind into these heaps which are constantly changing their positions and shapes.” Over thousands of square miles of these arid lands sagebrush is almost the only form of vegetation.
Total area, 113,956 square miles. Arizona is divided into two natural provinces by a line running diagonally from a point ten miles east of the confluence