to agricultural operations and so remain practically permanent for the beekeeper unless such land is drained or otherwise re-claimed. These facts are not always borne in mind by the beekeeper seeking a location for an apiary.
In Northern Wisconsin many such opportunities exist. There are countless areas of such lands in that section of the state practically unoccupied by the beekeeper. From August until the middle of October these lands present a gaudy appearance, being dressed up in countless colors by asters, goldenrod, fireweed, and the like. It is only a question of time until the beekeeper will take advantage of these honey sources that now exist with no bees to gather the nectar from the flowers.
Value of minor sources. There are many plants that secrete nectar which, because of scarcity or limited secretion of nectar, are not always deemed of much importance by the beekeeper. Many of them, however, are worthy of more attention and consideration than they usually receive. For example, in Southern Wisconsin many beekeepers speak only in terms of white-clover and basswood, not realizing that many minor sources of nectar exist in their locality and which they give little credit to. The amount of honey consumed by an average colony of bees in a year has been variously estimated as from 200 to 600 pounds*. The amount of honey consumed by a colony of bees will vary between large extremes. This variation will largely depend upon the strength of the colony, locality, method of wintering the bees, and the management of the beekeeper.
*A recent estimate is one made by Hommell (1913, ((Consumption of a hive of bees during the year)) La Vieagricole et rurale, II, No. 22, pp. 653-655) in which it is concluded that an average of 480 pounds is needed, divided as follows: maintenance of bees, 400 pounds; feeding of brood 70 pounds; wax production, 10 pounds.