BONESET (Eupatorium perfoliatum).—Thoroughwort. The color of boneset or thoroughwort honey is dark reddish amber. It is very thick and heavy, and has almost the consistency of molasses. The odor and flavor are at first very rank and strong, and after several months it still retains an herby taste and odor. A decoction of the plant is an old-fashioned remedy, reputed to be beneficial as a tonic and a diaphoretic; and it is not improbable that the honey possesses medicinal qualities. (Pig. 28.)
In 1917 at Mt. Pleasant, Alabama, more than 2000 pounds of boneset honey was stored from Sept. 14 to Oct. 3 from E. urticaefolium, rainy weather bringing the flow to a sudden close on the latter date. F. L. Pollock, a well-known author of fiction relating to beekeeping, after tasting a sample wrote, “I don’t think the honey is bad. It has the queerest flavor I ever tasted. It is good and thick, but too dark; but I am sure it will sell as baker’s stock.”
The thorough worts are tall, coarse plants with large, resinous-dotted, aromatic leaves, and white or purple flowers grouped in large flat-topped clusters. The two most widely known species are common thoroughwort (Eupatorium perfoliatum), also called boneset, Indian sage, and ague weed; and purple boneset (E. purpureum), other English names of which are Joe-Pye weed, gravel root, queen of the meadow, and kidney root. These two species will usually be found listed in the honey floras of most of the eastern states; but, owing to the fact that many other flowers bloom at the same time, pure thoroughwort honey is seldom obtained. Thoroughwort is an important component of the dense masses of weeds which cover the great saw-grass flats of Florida; but wild sunflower, goldenrods, asters, Spanish needles, and smartweed bloom contemporaneously with it, so that the honey is a. blend from many flowers. In most of the North, goldenrod and aster greatly exceed thoroughwort in abundance.
In Tennessee several species of Eupatorium are common along the northern edge of the state and yield heavily, especially white thoroughwort. (E. album) and white snakeroot or white sanicle (E. urticaefolium). The former species is confined largely to the southern states, but the latter is a woodland plant from New Brunswick to Louisiana. Farther south, although these plants are abundant, they produce very little honey. Throughout Kentucky thoroughwort is common on damp ground; but the genus is best represented in the southwestern part of the state. In Todd County at least 75 per cent, of the field flow conies from boneset (E. serotinum), which yields a light-amber honey.
BORAGE (Borago officinalis). -— A great favorite with honeybees, which visit the flowers constantly. The honey has apparently an excellent flavor. The plants can be easily grown from seed, and produce a profusion of flowers from midsummer until frost. It would not, however, be profitable to cultivate borage for honey alone. The leaves are sometimes used as a salad and in medicine. (Fig. 29.)
BOSTON IVY (Psedera tricuspidata). — This hardy climber is very extensively trained over the walls of stone and brick buildings; and in the neighborhood of cities there may be acres of it accessible to bees. In Massachusetts it sometimes yields a small surplus. The honey has an offensive odor, but an agreeable flavor. It blooms between the 15th and 20th of July, when the clover flow is about over, and continues in bloom from 4 to 6 weeks. The vines on the north side of a building bloom a week later than those on the south side. As soon as the blossoms begin to appear the clover honey should be removed from the supers in order that it may not be scented or mixed with that from the ivy. Flowers small, greenish; leaves ovate, cordate, or 3-lobed.
BOX ELDER (Acer Negundo). — A small tree with small drooping clusters of flowers which appear before the leaves. Yields nectar, also honey-dew in the fall. New England to Manitoba and westward.
BRAZILWOOD (Condalia obovata). — A small tree, about 30 feet tall, but often only a spiny shrub, forming dense thickets, and growing in dry land in central and southern Texas. It blooms in spring, and the greenish-white flowers yield fairly