Three Principal Sources Of Honey





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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