ALSIKE CLOVER, — See Clover.
ANAQUA (Ehretia elliptica). — A honey plant in southeastern Texas, especially along the Rio Grande, and in northern Mexico. A small tree, or often a shrub, on sterile ridges. The small white flowers in panicles are produced in profusion from autumn until spring. It is often planted as an ornamental tree. Knockaway.
ANGLE-POD. — See Blue-vine.
AMERICAN LINDEN. — See Basswood.
ANDROMEDA. — See Fetterbush.
APPLE (Pyrus Malus). — The honey from apple bloom is pale yellow, with an agreeable flavor, and granulates quickly. It is of great value in stimulating early brood-rearing, and there is a proverb in New York, “As goes apple bloom, so goes the season.” More than half a century ago a noted beekeeper, Moses Quinby, of St. Johnsville, N. Y., wrote: “In good weather a gain of 20 pounds is sometimes added to the hive during the period of apple bloom.” But if, instead of continuous fair weather, it is cold and rainy, the stores may show a loss rather than a gain. In most of the apple-growing sections of the country bees get a little more than a living from apple bloom four years out of five. Occasionally a large surplus is reported.
APRICOT (Prunus armeniaca).—The pinkish-white flowers appear very early in spring, and yield both nectar and pollen. Cultivated in southern California.
ARTICHOKE (Cynara). — Globe artichoke (C. Scolymus) is freely visited by bees, but the honey is unknown. Cultivated; blooms June-July. Cardoon (C. cardunculus) is very common in Argentina. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), cultivated in New York for its tubers, is also a good honey plant,
ASPARAGUS (Asparagus officinalis). — Yields an amber-colored honey in the Sacramento Valley, California. The pendulous yellowish-green flowers secrete nectar freely, and are very attractive to bees. On the Russian steppes it grows wild in such abundance that the cattle feed on it like grass.
ASTER (Aster). — Pure aster honey is light — as light, according to beekeepers familiar with it, as white clover honey; but it is seldom obtained pure. Usually it is colored amber or yellow by honey from goldenrod or other late-blooming autumn flowers. The asters remain in bloom later than the goldenrods. When newly gathered it has a rank odor, but this disappears when it has ripened. The flavor is aromatic, and is quite strong when mixed with honey from other fall flowers. It is so thick that at times it is extracted with difficulty, and it granulates quickly with a finer grain than goldenrod. It has been stated to be unfit for table use; but many beekeepers describe the flavor as agreeable.
Aster honey is gathered chiefly from the very common species, Aster multiflorus, A. vimineus, A. lateriflorus, A. Tradescanti, and A. paniculatus, all of which produce dense clusters of small white or nearly white-rayed heads, except A. multiflorus, which has the rays white or purplish. Over large areas in Kentucky, Indiana, and other central states, the bloom is so abundant that the fields in autumn look as though covered with snow. The plants are often very bushy, growing from six inches to three feet tall. When the weather is favorable colonies will pack their combs with aster honey, or, if the combs have already been filled from an earlier source, a surplus is often stored. (Figs. 16, 17, 18.)
Many beekeepers have complained that their colonies suffered more or less loss when wintered on aster honey. So strong has been the opposition to it for this purpose that its removal, with the replacing of the stores by feeding sugar syrup, has been repeatedly advised. It is not improbable that aster honey, gathered so late that it only partially ripens and remains unsealed, is liable to deteriorate and become injurious before spring; but any other honey under similar conditions would be open to the same objection. Its tendency to granulate quickly and solidly has also added to its poor reputation as a winter food, But if this honey possessed