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The Best Bee Pasture

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After perusing Prof. Cook's valuable essay upon bee pasturage, as read before the National Convention, I am incited to give my experience. At tlie close of the season when the bee-keeper has time to sit down and eount up his pounds of honey, he fmds that his surplus lias been gathered in the spaee ot a few days of spasmodic yield. As he jots down his last figures he heaves an audible sigh. Oh ! for a continuous honey yield, and thinks that if he had such and such plants growing by the acre what piles of honey he would have. If he has the land upon which to sow honey producing plants the questi on is: will it pay to sow exclusively for bees? Ñearly all plants can be kept in blossom through the entire soason bv sowing at different periods. And a few plants continue to blossom naturally through the entire season, but do they secrete honey at all times? Our experience is somewhat limited in this matter, but we think nearly all plants have their season of growth, flowering, secreting honey and maturing the seed. It is the nature of buckwheat to mature its seed during the cool nights of August and September, and if sown at an earlier date than about the first of July, it fails to produce a cíop, or to secrete honey. We nsually have a fine yield of basswood honev of beaut .ifnl quality, but a few years eince we saw a near neighbor sowing several acres ofbuckwheat about the first of June, to be plowed under for green man ure. We knew, as a natural consequence, that the buckwheat would blossom it the same time of our basswood yield. and we got somewhat excited about it, thinking our beautiful honey would all be spoiled. We were going to hire our neighbor to plow his buckwheat under before it blossomed but he would not, and soon the field was white as snow. We visited it anxiously several mornings and were happy to flnd not a bee at work upon it; not an ounce of honey was gathered from it, and our basswood honey was as beautiful as ever. Since then we have had little faith in sowing continuous crops for honey. If you have buckwheat in continuous bloom from early spring until fall you will get honey only in the fall months ; it is probably so with many other flowers. Our clover removed one month earlier or later would be a failure ; even in the height of its season how much depends upon the elements for its successf ui yield It may be different with a flower that blossoms continuously, for instance the blue thistle (Ichium wilgare) blossoms from June until frost and bees work upon it at all times, but its main yield is in July. The subject of pasturage will reeeive more attention at no distant day, and those plants most useful to the bee-keeper will find their place upon every honey farm. We hope to havean acre of mignonette next season and will report its


Old News
Michigan Argus