The chinquapins (C. pumila and C. nana) are reported to yield nectar in the South, but the flowers are similar to those of the chestnut. See Chinquapin under Honey Plants.
CLEMATIS. — This large genus, which comprises about 100 species, growing chiefly in the temperate zone, includes many beautiful cultivated varieties. The varieties of the purple clematis (C. Jackmanni) are pollen-flowers, but bees visit them often enough to remove all the pollen. Several species of this genus in Europe are reported to be without nectar. But the common virgin’s bower (C. virginiana) yields nectar. See Clematis under Honey Plants.
COCKLEBUR (Xanthium canadense). — A coarse herb with the staminate and pistillate flowers in different heads on the same plant. Bees obtain pollen from it in summer and fall, when it blooms. Nova Scotia to North Carolina, also Texas and Nevada. It belongs to the Compositae, and, like Roman wormwood, is wind-pollinated.
CORN (Zea Mays). — Three-fourths of the corn produced in the United States is grown in the Mississippi Valley, the “corn belt” comprising the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and western Ohio. Corn is wind-pollinated, the “spindle” or “tassel” being composed of staminate flowers, and the “ear,” of pistillate flowers. It produces no nectar, but is frequently visited by multitudes of bees for pollen. Under special conditions bees may store great quantities of corn pollen, filling whole frames with it. But bees have also been reported as storing honey from corn. Colonies in good condition, according to a Louisiana beekeeper, averaged 100 pounds one season from this source alone, the flow continuing for months. Other reports of a surplus of “pure corn honey” of 10 to 20 pounds per hive have been published. It should be noticed that “corn honey” is obtained only occasionally, sometimes only once in a lifetime; that while it may be light amber and possess a fair flavor, it is often dark-colored, with a poor or peculiar taste. If the weather is favorable, plant-lice (Aphis maidis) may infest the plants in vast numbers and cover the foliage and flowers with honey-dew, which bees gather eagerly. A small leaf hopper (Perigrinus maidis) may also cover the foliage with a sweet excretion. It is honey-dew, not nectar, which the bees gather from corn, and the sweet substance stored has all the qualities of honey-dew honey. If it were nectar, corn would yield more regularly. Corn is a grass, and none of the 3000 grasses secrete nectar. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinated, and offer no allurements to insects.
Like sorghum and sugar cane, corn has a sweet sap; and by grinding the stalks, boiling and refining the liquid, a molasses may be obtained. From an acre of sweet or sugar corn the U. S. Department of Agriculture obtained 900 pounds of sugar. When the stalks are cut, bees may gather the sweet juice which exudes from the cells; for example, two to six bees have been seen sucking the juice from the ends of cobs which had been broken from the stalks. Bees also gather sap from the cut stalks of sugar cane.
CONE TREES (Coniferae). — Vast forests of coniferous trees, covering millions of acres, are found throughout the north temperate zone of both the Old and the New World. Well-known species are spruce, fir, juniper, hemlock, cypress, and many species of pine. There are about 350 kinds of conifers in the world, all of which are wind-pollinated. The cones are always unisexual, either staminate or ovulate (producing seed). Both kinds usually occur on the same tree, but in the juniper and yew they are mostly on different trees. The quantity of pollen produced is enormous, and, rising in clouds above the trees, has been mistaken for smoke, or, falling downward and turning the ground yellow, has given rise to reports of sulphur showers. The pollen is often eaten by beetles, and honeybees have been reported as occasionally gathering the pollen of one or two species.
Great quantities of honey-dew are at times gathered from the foliage of the conifers, especially from the spruce and pine. In 1908, Gates observed thousands