streams are the Okanogan and Methow rivers, which supply water for the irrigation of 36,000 acres. As the land is reclaimed it is seeded to alfalfa or planted with orchards. At Winthrop the Methow Valley is 30 miles long, and about two thousand acres are watered from Beaver and Frazer creeks. There are a few apiaries in the valley, and good yields are gatherd annually from alfalfa, sweet clover, white clover, and wild flowers. “I realize better profits from my bees,” writes a beekeeper, “than from anything else on my farm.”
In the mountainous counties of Stevens and Pend Oreille, in the northeast corner of the state, mining is the principal industry. Colville Valley is noted for its good farms and fine apples; but there are only a few acres of alfalfa, and beekeeping has received little attention.
Within the Big Bend of the Columbia River is the great, arid, treeless Columbia Plateau, from which the moisture-laden winds of the Pacific Ocean are cut off by the Cascade Range. In the northern part of these sagebrush plains various bunch grasses occur, but it is noteworthy that the buffalo grass so common on the Great Plains is absent. The soil of eastern Douglas, southern Lincoln, and northern Adams counties is strongly alkaline; but there are numerous small lakes and streams, which can be utilized for irrigating small areas by pumping. The chief crops are the cereals, and except for a few scattered colonies there is no opportunity for bee culture.
Spokane and Whitman counties on the east border produce one-third the total wheat crop of the state. Spokane Valley is 34 miles in length. The soil is a rich, black volcanic ash mixed with small gravel. The average annual rainfall is 18 inches. The acreage of alfalfa is small, but there are large orchards. The summers are hot and the winters cold. There are only a few bees.
The southeastern comer of the state, south of the Snake River, is noted for the fertility of its soil; but the Snake River flows in a deep canyon, and can not be used for irrigation except on bars and low benches along its course. In Walla Walla Valley, where there is a large acreage under irrigation, alfalfa is an important crop and is frequently cut four times in a season. Black locust has been planted extensively and yields a surplus of very white honey. This territory is believed to offer exceptional opportunities for beekeeping in the future.
The largest areas under irrigation in Washington are located on the eastern foothills and slopes of the Cascade Range in the counties of Chelan, Kittitas, Yakima, and Benton. In Chelan County there are twenty thousand acres under ditch from the Wenatchee River, a rapid mountain stream. The valley is a great fruitgrowing center, and around Wenatchee there are 10,000 acres in orchards. The small number of colonies of bees in this county is probably due in part to careless methods of spraying the fruit trees.
The Yakima Valley, the best beekeeping territory in the state, extends through Kittitas, Yakima, and Benton counties, joining the valley of the Columbia River near the southern boundary of the state. It is a semi-arid district producing little except sagebrush, as the average annual rainfall is less than ten inches. The summers are clear and warm, and in winter the temperature seldom falls below zero. The Yakima River, fed by the melting snows in the mountains, generally affords an abundant supply of water. The total irrigable area in the basin of the river and its tributaries approximates 600,000 acres. At Ellensburg, Kittitas County, there are 22 commercial apiaries, which contain a total of about 2000 colonies of bees. The small yards exceed one hundred, and average about twenty colonies. About 40 pounds per colony are gathered from alfalfa.
“Alfalfa,” according to H. A. Scullen, “is the leading honey plant in the state from the standpoint of honey production. The irrigated sections of the Yakima