for floral honey. No attempt has been made to list every nectarless plant, as rare species, or cultivated exotics; but only those have been included which it is important that, from a commercial point of view, the apiarist should recognize, or in regard to which frequent inquiries have been received. Many plants which yield nectar freely are also extremely valuable for pollen, as the willows, dandelions, acacias, bananas, goldenrods, and sunflowers, which are listed under Honey Plants. But most nectariferous flowers produce a relatively small amount of pollen — much less than is found in the nectarless flowers. Very little pollen is gathered from basswood, tupelo, and many species of Eucalyptus.
PLANTS VALUABLE TO BEE CULTURE FOR POLLEN
ALDER (Alnus incana). — Common or hoary alder. A very widely distributed shrub, blooming in early spring before the ice and snow have disappeared. The stamens and pistils are in different catkins on the same plant, and pollination is brought about by the wind. On warm days honeybees may be often seen gathering the pollen. A Pennsylvania beekeeper reports many acres of alder in his locality, and that bees resort to the catkins in large numbers. Newfoundland to Pennsylvania and Nebraska. (Fig. 7.)
ANEMONE (Anemone quinquefolia). — Wind-flower. Large white pollen-flowers, blooming in early spring. The pollen is gathered by bees, which have also been observed probing the flowers in an attempt to find nectar. Common west of the Rocky Mountains. None of the numerous species of Anemone yield nectar.
BEECH (Fagus grandifolja). — A large tree common in woods from New Brunswick to Virginia. The small greenish flowers are wind-pollinated. The stamens and pistils are in separate flowers on the same tree. Honey-dew is found on the foliage.
BLOODROOT (Sanguinaria canadensis). — Low perennial herbs common in open woodlands. The large, handsome, white pollen-flowers bloom in April or May, and are visited by honeybees which remove nearly all the pollen.
CALIFORNIA POPPY (Eschscholtzia californica). — Large orange-yellow pollen-flowers forming “fields of gold” in the valleys and on the foothills of California. “One of the most common, striking, and widely diffused plants of the California flora, abundant in the spring, but in many portions of the state found in flower in other or in all seasons. On account of its gorgeous beauty it has been favored with an exceptional number of poetic names.” (Jepson.) It is extremely variable. Nectarless, but valuable for pollen. (Fig. 8.)
CASTOR-OIL PLANT (Ricinus communis). — This plant is a native of India; but it is widely cultivated for ornament, and a large area is planted in Texas for the oil obtained from the seeds. The small flowers are partly staminate and partly pistillate, and the wind is the agency in pollination. Pollen is produced in abundance, and is gathered by a large number of bees. This species has been erroneously reported to be “an excellent honey-producr.” Extra-floral nectaries occur on the stems, leafstalks, base of the leaf-blades, and on the teeth of the leaves, but they are practically functionless.
CHESTNUT (Castanea dentata). — A large tree bearing small, pleasantly scented, pale yellow flowers; the staminate in interrupted catkins, the pistillate or fertile usually in clusters of three. It has been reported in Rhode Island to yield an bundance of a dark strong honey; but careful examination with the microscope has failed to reveal either nectaries or nectar. The European ecologists all agree that the chestnut produces pollen-flowers. The pollen attracts many honeybees; also many flies and beetles. Honey-dew may be found at times on the foliage, the gathering of which has probably given rise to the belief that the bloom is nectariferous. The structure of the inflorescence would indicate that the genus was formerly wind-pollinated. Extends from Maine to Michigan and Ohio, southward to Delaware and along the mountains to Alabama.