FURZE (Ulex europaeus). — Gorse. Whin. Introduced from Europe, it is found both in the eastern states and in California. The large, explosive yellow flowers are nectarless, and appear to be adapted to bumblebees. Honeybees collect the pollen, and at times search for nectar. In Australia large areas are “golden'' with its bloom in early spring. It belongs to the pulse family.
GRAPE (Vitis). — While the flowers of the grape possess five nectaries they do not secrete nectar in Central Europe; and in this country, even where grapevines cover hundreds of acres in western New York, along the southern shore of Lake Erie, a surplus of grape honey has never been obtained. The bloom has been reported to yield nectar in Louisiana, Texas, and California, but on evidence far from satisfactory. In Italy, Delpino states that nectar is secreted abundantly. It has been reported that the flowers are wind-pollinated, but this is certainly not the fact. They are small, green, and inconspicuous, but very fragrant, and are at times visited by many honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, and beetles. Further investigation is desirable.
GRASS (Gramineae). — This is an immense family comprising some 3000 species, and including the edible cereals, corn, wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, and millet. The grasses form the garment of the earth and clothe vast areas of its surface. The small greenish flowers are produced in countless numbers, and crosspollination is effected only through the agency of the wind. An immense quantity of pollen is set free; but, except in the case of Indian corn, it is seldom gathered by bees. There are about 429 species in North America.
HAZELNUT (Corylus americana). — A shrub common in thickets and along fences from Maine to Kansas. It is wind-pollinated and blooms in April and May, before the leaves appear, and is of some value for pollen. The sterile flowers arc yellowish and in catkins. The fertile flowers are crimson and in clusters. Honey-dew is found on the foliage.
HEPATICA (Hepatica triloba). — A small herb common in open woodlands, and blooming in early spring. The white or blue flowers are nectarless, but bees visit them frequently for pollen.
HICKORY (Carya). — The hickories are confined to eastern North America, with the exception of one species found in Mexico. The staminate flowers are in catkins, and the fertile are solitary or in small clusters; but both are on the same tree. They are wind-pollinated. Honey-dew is often gathered by bees from the foliage.
LUPINE (Lupinus). — The flowers are nectarless, but are frequently visited by honeybees and bumblebees for pollen. On the prairies of Texas in spring the blue lupine, or blue bonnet (L. subcarnosus), covers the ground for miles with a solid blue carpet. It yields a large quantity of bright yellow pollen, which is a great help in building up colonies rapidly.
In the pulse family, or Leguminosae, pollen-flowers may be distinguished from those which secrete nectar in the following way: In nectariferous flowers, nine of the ten stamens are united to form a tube, but the tenth stamen remains free and a bee may insert its longue through the crevice on either side of it. But in pollen-flowers all of the ten stamens are united into a tube or cylinder, and no opening is left for the tongue of the bee.
MEADOW RUE (Thalictrum polygamum) . — A tall perennial with white or purplish flowers in compound panicles. Conspicuousness is due to the stamens, which are very numerous. The flowers of all the species of Thalictrum are nectarless, and are pollinated partly by the wind and partly by insects. Honeybees have been observed gathering the pollen.
MULLEIN (Verbascum). — Some of the species have nectarless flowers, and a part yield a little nectar. They are adapted to pollen-collecting bees. Tall perennial herbs with bright yellow flowers in spikes, and large densely woolly leaves. Throughout eastern North America.