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Three Principal Sources Of Honey

Category: WAX.

There are three principal sources of honey, viz.:--clover, basswood,
and buckwheat. But clover is the only universal dependance; as that is
almost everywhere, to some extent, in the country. Buckwheat in some
places is the main source; in others, basswood, which is of brief
duration. Where all three are abundant, there is the true El Dorado of
the apiarian! With plenty of clover and buckwheat, it is nearly as
well. Even with clover alone, enormous quantities of honey are
obtained. I have said what was our dependence in this section. I will
further say that within a circle of three or four miles, there are kept
about three hundred stocks. I have had for several years, three
apiaries about two miles apart, averaging in spring a little more than
fifty in each. When a good season for clover occurs, as many more would
probably do equally well, but in some other seasons I have had too
many; on an average nearly right. When clover furnishes too little
honey for the number, buckwheat usually supplies more than is
collected. Of surplus honey, the proportion is about fifteen pounds of
buckwheat to one of clover. I have now been speaking of large apiaries.
There can hardly be a section of country found, that man can procure
his living, but what a few stocks would thrive, even if there were no
dependence on the sources just mentioned. There will be some
honey-yielding flowers in nearly all places. The evil of over-stocking
is of short duration, and will work its own cure speedily. Some
judgment is required here as well as in other matters.

Another question of some interest, is the distance that a bee will
travel in search of honey in flowers--it is evident that it will be
farther than they will go to plunder a stock. I have heard of their
being found seven miles from home. It was said they ascertained, by
sprinkling flour on them as they left the hive in the morning, and then
saw the same bees that distance away. When we consider the chances of
finding a bee even one mile from the hive thus marked, it appears like
a "poor look;" and then pollen the color of flour might deceive us. It
is difficult to prove that bees go even two miles. Let us say we guess
at it, for the present.

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