Alder Yields The First





The first material gathered from flowers is pollen. Candle-alder

(_Alnus Rubra_)[9] yields the first supply. The time of flowering

varies from the 10th of March to the 20th of April. The amount afforded

is also variable. Cold, freezing weather frequently destroys a great

portion of these flowers after they are out. These staminate flowers

are nearly perfected the season previous, and a few warm days in spring

will bring them out, even before any leaves appear. When the weather

continues fine, great quantities of farina are secured.



[9] The botanical names are from Wood's Class-Book.



The time that bees commence their labors does not govern the time of

swarming by any means; this matter depends on the weather through April

and May. These remarks apply particularly to this section, Green

County, New York, in latitude about 42 degrees. In other places many

different trees, shrubs, and herbs, may be found yielding honey and

pollen that scarcely exist here, producing far different results.



Our swamps produce several varieties of willow, (salix,) that put out

their blossoms very irregularly. Some of these bushes are a month

earlier than others, and some of the buds on the same bush are a week

or two later than the rest. These also afford only pollen, but are much

more dependence than alder, as a turn of cold weather cannot at any

time destroy more than a small part. Next comes the aspen, (_Populus

Tremuloides_); of this we have more than is necessary for any purpose.

It is not a particular favorite with the bees, as but few,

comparatively, visit it. It is followed very soon by an abundance of

the red maple (_Acer Rubrum_), that suits them better, but this, like

the others, is often lost by freezing. The first honey obtained of any

account is from the golden willow (_Salix Vitellina_); it yields no

pollen, and is seldom injured by frost. Gooseberries, currants,

cherries, pear and peach trees, add a share of both honey and pollen.

Sugar maple (_Acer Saccharinum_) now throws out its ten thousand silken

tassels, beautiful as gold. Strawberries modestly open their petals in

invitation, but, like "obscure virtues," are often neglected for the

more conspicuous Dandelion, and the showy appearance and flagrant

blossoms of the apple-trees, which now open their stores, offering to

their acceptance a real harvest.





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