Porto Rican beekeeping


Material Information

Porto Rican beekeeping
Series Title:
Bulletin / Porto Rico Agricultural Experiment Station ;
Physical Description:
24 p., ii p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
Phillips, Everett Franklin, 1878-1951
Porto Rico Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication:
Mayagüez, P.R
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Bee culture -- Puerto Rico   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility:
by E.F. Phillips.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029615295
oclc - 21269537
lcc - S181.U5 B6 no.15
ddc - 630.7 P82b, no.15
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Issued May 20, 1914.

D. W. MAY, Special Agent in Charge,
Mayaguez, P. R.

Bulletin No. 15.


pii cii ss: .:.

... BY

In Charge, Bee Culture Investigations, Bureau of Entomology,
U. S. Department of Agriculture.




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0 AlEAR, r., lerk


: Mayaguez, P. R., January 9, 1914.
1 S: I have the honor to transmit herewith a manuscript on Porto
|ican Beekeeping, by E. F. Phillips, Ph. D., in charge of the bee-
i lture investigations of the United States Department of Agriculture,
Bureau of Entomology.
S This station began work on beekeeping under Mr. W. V. Tower, for-
: mer entomologist, in 1908, and has continued its investigations ever
Since. In 1913, at the invitation of the station and the insular
Board of agriculture, Dr. Phillips visited the island and made a
Careful survey of the situation. The accompanying manuscript
gives the results of his observations, together with recommendations
. whereby the industry could be further extended and developed.
On account of the rapid development of this industry, which has
grown from almost nothing to an export trade of $100,000 in five
years, and in view of the unusual opportunities for its further devel-
opment, I recommend that this manuscript be published as Bulletin
15 of this station and that it be issued both in English and in Spanish
Respectfully, D. W. MAY,
Special Agent in Charge.
Dr. A. C. TaR.,
Director Ofice of Experiment Stations,
U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.

Recommended for publication.
A. C. TRUE, Director.
Publication authorized.
Secretary of Agriculture.


Introduce tion ..... .. ... ... .. .. .. .... .. .. .
Outline oftrp -- --
Present extent of the industry
Sources of honey .. .. -- -- -- -- --..
Equipment and methods of manipulation ... ..
bifficulties: encountered ............. ...... .. ........... .. .. ..
Us~e of- bees for pollination... ............. ------- ------
Diseases; of bees............. .. ..... .
Possibility of wax production.. ....
Future outlook, and recommendations.. .......... ....


PLArS T. ig. 1. -Te apiary of the Agricultural Experiment Station-at
Mayaguez. Fig. 2.-Royal palms, also showing character of the,
country i* the center of the. island........:.... e
1I. Fig. 1.-Apiary at Jayuya,'showing character A, the 65Irrtotry.
Yig. 2.-Pack used in, carrying honey in:100-pouad cans downm
the mountains, .Tayuva .... .........


Beekeeping in Porto Rico is increasing in extent and importance
with great rapidity. While honey production on the island can never
a equal in importance the production of sugar, fruits, or coffee, there
si I, however, an opportunity for the further development of this indus-
UiItry which should not be lost, and recent development gives promise
Sof a bright future. The reports of large honey crops obtained on the
island received by the Bureau of Entomology of the United States
Department of Agriculture and the recent progress in the develop-
Sment of the beekeeping industry made it seem desirable that a trip
Sof investigation be taken to the island, and this trip the author made
During the months of May and June, 1913. Since the results of this
Three weeks' visit may be of value to beekeepers on the island or on
: he mainland, a brief r6sum6 is here given of what was observed
personally and learned from others.
The author feels it a pleasure to thank for their many kindnesses
$ the beekeepers whose apiaries were visited. Special thanks are due
- the insular board of commissioners of agriculture for their courtesy,
especially in providing transportation, and to Mr. W. V. Tower, ento-
mologist and secretary of the board, who accompanied the author
over most of the island. Since the present beekeeping industry of
Porto Rico is largely the result of Mr. Tower's efforts, no better oppor-
tunity could be found for studying beekeeping on the island than to
go with him on such a trip and to have the aid of his knowledge of
the subject and of his acquaintance with the beekeepers.
Porto Rico is at the eastern end of the Greater Antilles, the capital,
San Juan, being 1,380 miles from New York and 1,565 miles from
New Orleans. In length it is about equal to Long Island and is about
40 miles wide at the widest point, the island proper having an area
of 3,516 square miles. The wonderful productiveness of the island
is shown by the fact that it supports over a million people and main-
tains a balance of trade in its favor.
Prior to the American occupation (Oct. 18, 1898) beekeeping had
not developed in Porto Rico to the extent that it had on some of
the other islands of the West Indies. Several factors doubtless con-
tributed to this condition, but an important one was the lack of roads
suitable for the transportation of colonies, supplies, and the products

n ], i- Idtay of the f6p aleamaiang
W-iFppi, of Mayaguez; who "intei-e ia
th aciend Jwanit44 finte' I*A,
W"the fhitA. n Tese bees'were degtrye th
' e Of 1899.v The following quotationu from Bae
this connection-
Oe stuiking feature Xn the insect fauna is the abundance of honeybew$4r
at ast1 neither vow nor heard of any, and th6y,a,04ebe a 1pdl-
harvest isqieiPorat although the figures given in thkq
Geeal del. Comercio exterior Of Puerto, Ri~co ($5171,746), of" th*ePo
01em~nust be wrong, unless they possibly include Xnolasses. Very
Ofa variety of Apis mellifiSca were abundant In hollow tre'0- atd
wmtmsa lso in outhouses. These are annually SMokOd out and Bift

sekcolecedspcimens of the hon eybee at Bayamed,
tudo, Aguadila, Fajardo, and Arroyo, Theose re dtepo
Hunted Stateis National:Msem together with one ol et6u
ay22, 19001 by C. W. Richmond. from.: Et Y, mque (
Vto n) .j
The, exports of honey f(in1897:Ci~mmdiately rcdn
Ml) amounted to: 1,350 liters,: valued. at 405peomha
Wp~ed to the United States. -The local co m tisof
i 11l even yet, s o that the ,amount exotdgives- ftrathor
ide of the honey produced or,,obtained, from wild lonktll
fited local con-sumptio-nia probablydue to the uge of hoUAy
asamedicine by the people of Prt RC6. Gior eod t
cared tabanfuco trees. on the Lumquillo Natiooal Forest,
purosely fired by some native to seuehoney or. for' Sol"
Purose." A
It was recognized howvr tathrwsopportuoityI r
deelopment of the industry. The veterans naturalist, Dr. A w
-Stl,ra of.Bayamon, wrote in 189 -as.,follows:
Apiculture is Unknown ,in this country, 'Where the: bee fm~d S materii at
th reparation. of honey and wax. Afmno nesadn bidb ett
cu pople this industry, the gain in the future therefrom would-be copeideoab
olloingtheAmeica ocupation: the building of-good roa&
beg'n and is still being continued, so that the inaccessible it
'big rapidly reduced. Better faci-lities "for transportatibrL1
ited A few men to take up -beekeepig by modern method
pen'ntly, but it did not: become goenrlEA.
Twer, W. V.. Ann..Rpt, Port R11o Hart. Soc. I Q1912,p.68 ot ioPo.
p.69-79 (in English eand 00anjsh).
Buk., A., TL 9. Dept..Agr., Div. Ent. Bal. 22,%2. srp 0 10.
1H, In Report on the L3land of Porto Rim.. [U. 8.) Treasup Dept. Doe,219,p 222.p

I:n July, 1908, the Porto Rico Agricultural Experiment Station at
,IMayaguez imported five nuclei of Italian bees from an American
reeder, and Mr. W. V.-Tower,1 station entomologist, took up the
Problem of developing the industry of beekeeping on the island.
Interest in the work increased rapidly, and interested persons came
from all parts of the island, particularly from the coffee districts, for
ithe purpose of learning the care of bees and honey production.
Mayaguez is on the extreme western end of the island, and it is at
i once noticed that the industry is developed chiefly with Mayaguez
Sas a center, there being still relatively few beekeepers in the eastern
half of the island. In 1911 a circular on beekeeping by W. V.
:Tower2 was published in English and Spanish, and it has been
iicessary to reprint this several times to meet the continued demand.
To Mr. Tower must go the credit of virtually creating the beekeeping
Industry of Porto Rico as it exists to-day. This is one of the impor-
tant pieces of work originating with the Agricultural Experiment
Station at Mayaguez. (P1. I, fig. 1.) After Mr. Tower left the sta-
tion Dr. C. W. Hooker 3 was appointed entomologist. He took an
Active interest in beekeeping and was engaged in a study of the
honey plants previous to his untimely death in February, 1913.
Since there were at first few places where bees could be obtained by
Those desirous of beginning beekeeping, nuclei were raised at the
station apiary and sold. Since bees may be increased in Porto Rico
with amazing rapidity, the offspring of the original five nuclei prob-
ably now comprise colonies numbering into the thousands.


To give some idea of the opportunities for observing the possi-
| abilities for beekeeping which the author was fortunate enough to
!k have, the following brief outline of the principal trips by days is
| 1. From San Juan to Ponce by the Spanish military road, with a
side trip to Cidra.
2. From Ponce to Jayuya and return.
3. From Ponce out on the road toward La Carmelita and return.
4. From Ponce, through Adjuntas, Utuado, Arecibo, and Agua-
'i: dilla, to Lares.
5. From Lares about 15 kilometers on new road to Adjuntas and
Return; from Lares through Aguadilla to Mayaguez.
6. From Mayaguez through Ponce and Guayama, thence across the
island to Rio Piedras.
1 Porto Rico Sta. Rpt. 1908, p. 27. (See also Porto Rico Sta. Rpts. 1909, 1910, 1911.)
Porto Rico Sta. Circ. 13.
SPorto Rico Sta. Rpt. 1912, p. 38.

and up the Moroyis Rive.
'Todays were spent in Myagque* -dist4i aW-Ow
of the_ time in the regio aout San Juan. .The tri*
were made by automobile excpt the. one on the Carmip't
ilbe soon that these tns combine to,..make a circuit of.,tk
and to cross it four times ontree different roada.: The time 0
Was from May 300 tojue J I&
As~~~ pviulstated; bekeping is. carried on chielyo
ind 6f. the isld, wkith afw- beekeepers elsewhere. WI
careful survey it would beuwise to. estimate the number' o
engaged in the business such an estimate would be
almost before it is made. ,Mst of the present beekeepersa,
nicans, only a few Americn: being interested 60 far. 'To ole'
vated in the future developent of the industryoe ofth
important consideration the type of beekeeper encounerd,
the United'States, especial in the East, ther areth
Nekeerso ig but A ew colonies, constituting the ca
only called amateur beekeeers. Where such. beekeep'mgis
on the professional'beekeepe ha's less -opportunit f, or thed
ment: of a good business and, as a -result, beekeeping be6
plaything in m any cases. There are a few beekeepers in Po 0
w ho have only a few' colon e, but,:fortunately for. the futum4
dustry, the apiaries are sally large and almost universal ii'n
planned to increase them- *sze -and number. This- W014,s
the future,
The corporation plan -o ekee-ping has not taken hold t
Rico as it has in Hawaii I n in most ca-ses the beekeeper n
but-one apiary. They are hwever, almost all planning to..
out-apiaries. When it is recalld that most of thebeekees,
but two or three years exprince, it is a matter of wonder ta
have done as well. as they hae. The beekeepers of: Porto Rio
before them the serious prbem of -long distance for ship.ing W
supplies and their crops, jutas do the beekeepers of Haw'*
not unlikely that in thenr -futurei wilbeouddvn
form companies.
The ,following records 4 shipments of honey and. beeswax,
Porto Rico were compiledb the Bureau of Statistics of th
States Department of Agricuture, with some additions
wished by the collector of usom of the port o a u

r ":E "
:. ... :::. ....
':i, .;i/. :


Exports of honey from Porto Rico.

Year ending June 30-

Value of
from Porto
Rico to the


Value of
from Porto
Rico to for-
eign coun-

1=01 ------------------------------------------------------------ 46
19M ................................................................. 46 ............
102 ................................................................ 598 330
190 ...- .....- ..... ................... ...... ......... ... ............ ............ ............
190 4.....-....... -.........- ...... ................ ---................ 266 ............
105...----..........--.....-- ..........--..............-.-.......... 302 .. .....
1 0 ...-------.... ......... ............. ..- ........ ........... ......... 516 ...........
190 .....--- ....-- ... -........ ....... ........... .... .............. ..... 2,897 ...........
..... -...... .. --........... ................ ...................... 5,381 ...........
................................... 9,469 ...........
I 9, 170 1225
11 -.........................................-...................--... 17,904 2,810
19 .......--............. ...-.....- ...................... ............. 42,251 3,350
I113................................................... ......... .... 1 59,721 19,520
1914.............................................. ......... ....... ............

I Furnished by the collector of customs, San Juan.
2 To January 31, 1914.

The importation of honey from foreign countries is small, as shown

by the accompanying table. The importation of honey is now pro-

hibited (see p. 21).

Imports of honey into Porto Rico from foreign countries.

Year ending June 30- Gallons. Value.

1909.......-------........ ............................................................ 155 370
1910......------.---............--..------------------ ....-. ..--.. .......---- ......... 20 15
1911. -....-----............ ..-----------------------. .... 53 22
1912.........- ...-..... ... .......-- --- ............. ...- ----.. ---.....---..---- .... 40 15

The reported shipments of beeswax are relatively high, due possibly

to the marketing of wax taken from colonies in the woods. No

imports from foreign countries are reported.

Exports of beeswax from Porto RicQ.

Year ending June 30-

1901...... ............................. ................
1902................... ............... ................
190---------------------------------..............--------............................... ....
1905--------------........... --------------................---. ................... ----
1906 ................................................-.
1910....-- .............................................
S190 ..................................................---
19 2....................................................

1912 ...----... ....... ............ ............... ...........
1914 ---.... ......................... ......................
19141 ....... ..-...... .~..~... .

Shipments from Porto
Rico to the United



5, 434




Exports from Porto
Rico to foreign coun-





STo January 31, 1914.




-... C

Hooker reports that one colony gaterea o37 pounds ana auno
539 pounds at Mayaguez. These are in continuation of the aiW
mentioned records by Tower. During the latter part of the ::ya
which these records were made Hooker reports conditions as uusat
factory on account of heavy rain. One beekeeper proudly exhib
a colony which produced over a barrel of honey in 1912, while anot
not to be outdone, claimed that one colony had produced for his
barrel and a half in 1912. It is probably a fair estimate to say t
the good beekeeper in Porto Rico in an average locality takes i
pounds of extracted honey per colony. An estimate of. this m
tude will perhaps be accepted with a reservation of doubt byti
beekeeper of the North. Whether crops, of this size will conti
when the island is more thoroughly stocked with bees can noui&
determined, but even with a greatly reduced average beekeeping
still be profitable. ::
As will be discussed later, the trees used as coffee shade are .
ticularly good honey plants, and as a result the district ~
Porto Rico ........ .....pt. 1911 p. 34. Lo.
1 Porto Rico Sta. Rpt. 191, p. 34. 2 LOB. en. .

q.. .

coffee is grown are considered the best bee regions. The fact that
These honey sources are of economic importance in other ways
Sinsures their protection and the future of beekeeping. Coffee is
grown on the mountains more abundantly on the west end of the
Island. There are, however, other honey sources which make bee-
Skeeping profitable almost everywhere except in the arid portions of
the south coast. There are many locations which are obviously
good where practically no bees are to be found as yet and there are
still others which should be tried out. Some of the plants which
are, probably good honey plants are sufficiently abundant in certain
localities to make extensive beekeeping profitable if the plants come
ei p to expectations. The honey resources of the island are developed
to so small an extent that a mere guess as to the future opportuni-
ties would not be valuable.


S This subject has been treated by Tower in his various papers to
which reference has been made and by Navarrete,1 and Dr. C. W.
SHooker was engaged on this problem at the time of his death. The
Comparative value and availability of the various plants as sources
Sof nectar has been determined only for the most important ones
where bees are now kept on the island, and one of the problems
most necessary to the beekeepers of the island is a careful study of
this subject. Obviously in a short trip it is impossible to form inde-
pendently an adequate opinion of the merits of honey plants, partic-
-ularly by one who is seeing many of them for the first time. The
Following data were obtained from various sources on the island
Sand are intended merely as a suggestion of the nectar resources.
Anyone interested in the plants of Porto Rico will find Cook and
Collins's 2 "Economic Plants of Porto Rico" of value. Frequent
reference is made to this work.
GuamA (Inga laurina). This plant is regarded by many of the
beekeepers as the best honey plant, especially in the lower coffee
regions. It blooms two, three, or four times a year, depending on
the rainfall. It ranks second only to guava (I. vera) as a shade tree
for coffee, and is therefore abundant. One beekeeper reports that
when guama is in bloom it would be impossible to overstock a coffee
district. The guama blossoms first at the lower levels and gradually
advances up the mountains. This was well seen in going from Ponce
to the north, and also near Mayaguez. The honey from this plant
is light amber in color, as nearly as could be determined by con-
sulting the beekeepers.
I Navarrete, Agustin. Porto Rico Prog., 1 (1911), Nos. 2., p. 25; 26, p. 21.
2 U. S. Nat. Mus., Contrib. Nat. Herbarium, 8 (1903), pt. 2.

isgvn. as the ebobf ] y-oure. 'It, mrsibgtk
w17 while the horney flw are usualy est so-86yd
itpoducels 'an abundac. 'Ile hone.1 is reporteM is"i't

oylpalm. Palms r Rytoe boiq en). "h
pal o 'S.ne of the, mos chracteristic features of th lujA
Pro Rico. :It is premit i all parts of the island, #xcspt AW
alttdes, and: when min om, 'if :accessible. to: bees, theratc
.esat work onc it and h noise they make might lead the
bekeper to think thaa swarm lhad, issued. This spece
iit.o important to the bekeeper as: thoms-e named previouidy, a'"
iprtant honey source n in some localities isdoubtless
audant to support lreapiarites., The author: saw some
hny at Rio Piedras which according to his informants, was.h
roa palm. This honey was. a light amber color and of cpx
Ravr. Tile trees blooma any. time of the, wear. (Pl. I, y.j
Coconut palm (Cocos nifera). This spe~cies. is abundant
the'cast. and is usually classed as one of the best honey p
-Oeapiary of 84 colonel was visited at Mayaguez, where thisk
an ,iportant source. Liethe royal palm, this species cn
bloom throughout th yar without regular periods. Bets
teeconomic importner of this palm, it is extensivelY culi
adthe beekeeper is therefre agisured of any help which may,
frmthis plant.
Jbo (Spondias lutea) C0mmon used extensively for, shade,
lms used for fence post usually take root. Tower ^ reported
besdo not gather from ths plant after about, 10 O'clock i
moring. The same, auhrity also reports, that bees work
c ~~la del p'ais (S. puruer ).
Moca, cabbage tree (Adira jeanicense). 8ometimes used
cofe shade, but is infero for this purpose on. account of its
growh. An excellent hoey plant, blooming -for a :long pe
Fud in Al parts of theisland.
Plo blanco, Var'ital (Dryetes glance). Euphor~iaceous shrub'
trbted generally in, foret and in pastures. Bees. work on itf
evnwhen guamfi is i In blo.
I hsplant should not be conhised wsithPiam guajava, from the fruit of which the well koW,*
Jel made and which the author listda a honey plant from Hawaii (Phillps, loc. cit.. p. 491).
POM which Is more correctly know in orto. Rico as gwayva or puayaba, is also abundant on
an obtless contributes to the honyflw
2 isinct from R.. regla, Cuban roya pal (Cook and Collins, loc. cit., p. -231).
a hi apiary was interesting also ithtit is located in an old abandoned sugar: mill or centrMa
ol ye, the bees flying out through- -widw. The necessary flight through the rather dark rec#I

.. ...13

SCoffee, Caf6 (Cofea arabica). Coffee is grown extensively in the
Interior of the island. It blooms several times during the year, but
-the flowers soon drop. It is of little value to the beekeeper compared
: with the trees used to shade it.' Furnishes pollen.
Guara (Cupania americana). Used as coffee shade and has a long
blossoming period.
Rose apple, Pomarosa (Jambosa jambos). Abundant in thickets
and forests.
S Mango (Mangifera indica). Long blooming period. Bees are also
fond of the dropped overripe fruit, according to Mr. W. E. Hess,
S-ipkant propagator of the Porto Rico Experiment Station. Bees do
S-ot injure the whole fruit.
Aguacate, alligator pear (Persea gratissima).
| Lantana, Cariaquillo (Lantana spp.). This plant, which was listed
b y the author as a weed honey plant in Hawaii, is found in all parts
.of Porto Rico, but is of minor importance to the beekeeper, nor does
Sit constitute a pest on cattle ranges as in Hawaii.
S Botoncillo (Borreria ocimoides). A shrub which produces some
p' nectar throughout the year, sufficient in some localities to keep the
Colonies in good condition. Abundant throughout the island.
Cadillo (probably Corchorus hirsutus). Has floral and extra-floral
S Banana (Musa spp.). Nectar in male flowers. Pollen. (See Pl.
I, fig. 1.)
SOranges, lemon, lime, etc (Citrus spp.). Bees are sometimes used
: in citrus groves to assist in pollination. Citrus trees are found grow-
ing wild over the island and are also cultivated extensively.
Century plant (Agave spp.). Not uncommon. Of doubtful value.
Coj6bana, Cojoba, Saman (Pithecolobium spp.). Several species,
all of which are honey plants.
Algaroba or algarobo. This name is applied to Hymensea cour-
baril and also to Pithecolobium saman (saman). The algaroba of
southern Europe is Ceratonia siliqua. The two trees of Porto Rico
known by this name are reported as honey plants. The name alga-
roba is also applied to the Prosopis juliflora of Hawaii, of the genus
to which the mesquite of the southwestern United States belongs.2
Prosopis juliflora (not the Texas mesquite), which is such an im-
portant economic plant and an excellent honey plant in Hawaii, has
been introduced into Porto Rico and is growing well at hacienda
Santa Rita, where the trees were seen by the author. The seeds of
these plants were obtained in Peru by Guanica Central and the plants
are reported as having bloomed in eight months from planting (re-
ported by D. L. Van Dine). This introduction is worthy of more
SFor a discussion of the shade trees used for coffee and their value to the coffee tree cf. Cook, O. F. U. S.
Dept. Agr., Div. Bot. Bul. 25.
s See Phillips, loc. cit., pp. 47-48.

than ordinary notce, far if.- this plant, thriv",
be a great honey. sourcol4upyn, territory1X0
-the beekeeper, aad .the pOdswill also be 'of vahu'
tree0 will furnish firewood, 1t will grow oa salyar 1x
notablee far agriculture. It is, further _reportedtkt .4treds
at Rio Piedras on the north side of the Wsand on red-cl4y soil
different, climatic conditions. Hdid not thrive.. In. Hawlanith
from algaro .ba is water white," and this will be. of marked, adva
to the Porto Rican beekeepers mice Ins of tihnY, is,
This leguminou species is reported by .Grise~bach as ,Abud
situations in Jamaic, .where the name "cashaw"' is. applidt
Miss Perkins 'in her paper on the Leguminoste of the islandA*
67 genera and 141 species. Most of thev- plants. probably e, n"
their share to the beekeeper and many of them.are-sufficiently -
dant to be, of marked value.
Cook and Collins and other authorities report th~e following
which possibly contribute to the honey resources of the ilad
of them are know-n as honey plants elsewhere.
Black mangrove (Avicennia nitida). Common fin a tist
The swampy nature of much of the coast of the island offers ab
room for mangroves. The salt -marshes are frequently'traverse
inlets connecting lagoons and the mangroves bound these onay-l1
The author can not. state from personal. knowledge.,whether
mangrove swamps -will prove to'be good location's for apiar'iesA
if the black mangrove is sufficiently abundant it will p~ay well-it
out these situations. The black man-grove of Florida' is not sur
as an excessive producer of nectar 4ven by *the guami.
Cassia spp. Valuable chiefly for pollen, except partridge pe'A
chamwcriita) of Florida, which is not recorded by Cook and Collies
Perkins for Porto Rico. Species of the closely related. genus.,1
mwecrista are also reported.
Cotton (Gossypium spp.). Not important.
'Eucalyptus spp. Introduced by the Porto-Rico Agricultuira(---l 1
periment Station. Honey from some species is not of.. agreed
Manchineel, Manzanillo (Hippomane mancisela).: Importont
Florida. Reported, but apparently not common.
Swee t 'Clover (Melilotus spp.). A~n attempted introduction at
Porto ,Rico Agricultural Experiment Station was -reported a~s
Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Reported as an important ho.
plant: in -Connecticut. Cultivated extensively in, Porto. .Rico,
frequently under cloth where it would be inaccessible to bees*

Eiyth rina spp. E. monosperma (Hawaiian, wiliwili) is a honey
i.:1ant in Hawaii. E. micropteryx is used for coffee shade.
: Sida spp. The Ilima of Hawaii belongs to this genus.
SEmajugua or majugua (Paritium tiliaceum or Hibiscus- tiliaceus.
This plant, which was discussed by the author as the source of extra
floral plant honeydew in Hawaii (as hau),1 is present in abundance
in Porto Rico. The fiber of this plant is used in making a durable
rope. No reports of bees working on the leaves of this plant were
Received. The extra floral nectaries are present on the leaves and
. the outside of the calyx leaves. Ants were observed working on these
in Porto Rico by the author.
Campeachy wood, logwood (Hematoxylon campechianum). Im-
portant in Jamaica. -Honey nearly water-white and of excellent
flavor. Gifford reports not having found it in Porto Rico, but accord-
ing to Mr. J. R. Johnston it occurs near Ponce, Cabo Rajo, Mayaguez,
Sand Isabela.
Beans, habas, or habichuela. Various spp.
Flame tree, Flamboyan (Poinciana regia). Planted widely along
Roads, in plazas, and elsewhere.
SSugar cane, caiaM de azucar (Saccharam officinarum). Bees are
reported as working on cut stalks.
Blackheart or water smartweed (Polygonum acre). Valuable in
*wet lands of Illinois and southward.
Opuntia spp. Valuable in Texas. Possibly of little value in
iPorto Rico on account of location.
Lippia spp. L. nodiflora (Cidron) carpet grass. Recommended
for lawns:
Bidens spp.
Various species of acacia.
Corozo palm (Acrocomia media).
Fortunately for the growers of sugar cane, the sugar-cane leaf-
Shopper (Perkinsiella saccharicida) which produces so much honey-
dew in Hawaii is absent from Porto Rico. This source of honey-
dew is therefore not available to the beekeeper. The West Indian
leaf-hopper of the cane (Delphax saccharivora) is present, but it is
Snot reported as of interest to the beekeeper as it is never abundant
except on young cane. Doubtless there are many insects on the
Island which exude honeydew, but the nearly constant supply of
: nectar makes this of no importance to the honey producer. Bees
are not kept near cane fields in Porto Rico as they are in Hawaii.
l; In the apiaries visited a rather marked similarity was observed in
the arrangement of hives, apparatus, and management. This was
SPhillips, loc. cit., pp. 53, 54. 2 Phillips, loc. cit., pp. 49-53.

m A
0 1 11
s~lthebee' tn I
;'t 4 I ,L I 1" 1 1, ,
Thm oos ftoDga v
4r-th ra
i he;fyge Stt
piigiof iiiiiiio
gi ooiItlin. uens.Th logp'o
4srit I hoghu -nie
moreiii frqetyta i teNr ,Afwt
iiii i ne with iiiin aD a be

anstot "isantd h
andoter'suples remanfatued `n|
soeoih eke~s r ai ter'w
cae h oemd ie'eent|AW, b0
desre. Smi aranemnt holdbe a&'O 'tle
ii .....
--U f tb ueneca.X
an r easdr
frqety a s'eesr it oltl trgsf
cae|h ult ftehnymgtb mrvd~ iy

Bul. 15, Porto Rico Agr. Expt. Station.




Bu. 15, Porto Rico Agr. Expt. Station.

__ W*





..;i ii


iiii i




A.especially are a nuisance. Hive stands are necessary to keep
atom boards from rotting in the moist climate of Porto Rico
o to keep out ants and especially white ants (comejens).
Customary package for shipping is a 50-gallon barrel. The
rei of honey are usually -hauled down the mountains on bull
iL.: Since most of the shipping ports are as yet not provided
docks, the honey must be taken out on lighters to the boat.
.-probably an adequate explanation of the use of barrels,
beekeepers claim that the buyers so prefer the honey. One
reported having tried 5-gallon tin cans, but that they
amaged in transportation. There seems to be no adequate
:for this as the beekeepers of Hawaii use them successfully
auch more difficult transportation, especially in their inter-
:hipping. The 5-gallon tin can is the usual package for
d honey in the United States and when two cans are cased
:it is a desirable package for shipping and handling. Resi-
~.of Porto Rico are certainly familiar enough with the 5-gallon
S:ocani as it is one of the commonest sights on the island. Oils
whippedd in such tins and, after emptying, the cans form a con-
ion. nit of measure for the coffee picker, a vessel for carrying
*-- or any other commodity on the head, and are even used to
Efo roof the huts of the peons.
i undesirable arrangement of the apiary was noticed several
which should and in most cases easily could be remedied.
. apiary and extracting house should be so arranged that the
wi: supers of honey are carried downhill to the house and placed
able for uncapping without the necessity of lifting. The honey
ud .then run from the extractor into a tank (galvanized iron),
e, it should be allowed to settle for a time. The honey should
4y be drawn off from the bottom of the tank to barrels or cans
Ed on a still lower level. Many beekeepers were running their
from the extractor directly into barrels, but the quality of the
Should be improved by settling as here recommended, since
nsrpossible to take out all the wax particles and other materials
Frl-by allowing the honey to pass through cheese cloth or wire
il. In a mountainous country it should be easy to arrange the
U;y so that heavy lifting is avoided and, even with labor as cheap
, is, this arrangement will be profitable. A few of the beekeepers
p realized the desirability of such a system and, in one case in
icular near Lares, a rather elaborate scheme is being worked out
iiat the honey will reach the road below without unnecessary

*V= W ,

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16 on
at adi~dvvitagb -Mnyl~fil
tops f viwttisooti~t ho Mtt--

igppa tht h bkeet wud-t#
th besbF l p-wihu "."A
-Moso h paisaes Aud6,,t
the Avep ths gttig th be to
perfant onsieraton 'nd- eew
regins. t i quie enuno-t6have th
brr~f- othtthy r pitet& ro heIro'
Baaas r otn ue orsao n ih~tiO
lev"(ygas, rasags cn, r dcf
Theg oovrins ar. vlue i eiblig 6
wokwihhsbe winii..;a m, si
afterpon ini ome edtiM.
No i snge ffcint wxOxrwin: pprtAI W 96
auhoan he eeepet r wanl'lgif9 b
w a a g e so a w x x ra t o s o r g o d ft I"
be sedto ener he oapinsj nA:pre~ritc,40* 1
no sd hudbeue o eoo a oA l 0

ilh separation. This results in practically all Porto Rican honeys
*Wh come to the United States markets being blends of rather dark
I Soneys. It must be remembered, however, that the market value of
if 'water-white" honey is usually not sufficiently greater than that
ii;of amber honey to make it profitable to spend much labor in sepa-
rating them.
In regions where the relative humidity is high the percentage of
Water in honeys is greater than in dry regions.1 This is probably
due to the fact that in moist regions evaporation takes place more
Slowly and even if the honey does become thick it may take up
moisture from the moist atmosphere and become thin again. In
many localities in Porto Rico the rainfall is excessive, resulting in a
i gh relative humidity. A considerable number of the samples of
honey examined on the island were thin, although this was by no
means universal. It was further reported by a beekeeper at Maya-
Sguez that honey sometimes ferments in the comb, causing bubbles
to form and the honey to leak from the comb through the capping,
even while still in the hive. No sour taste was noticed in any of the
Shoneys so that it seems probable that the fermentation does not
;I proceed far enough to injure the product for market.
To insure a uniformly ripe product it will probably pay to experi-
ment with some method of artificial ripening. If honey is stored in
tanks out in the hot tropical sun, evaporation will take place rapidly,
and, while the moisture in the atmosphere will to some extent be
Taken up by the exposed honey, probably in a few days of such storage
the honey will become thick. The shape and character of such a
tank must be determined by trials. Of course the tank must be
Screened to keep out bees, and it may be desirable to have it of some
dark color so that more heat will be absorbed. Probably a flat tank
offering a relatively large surface for evaporation will be preferable.
S The beekeeper must, however, not place too much confidence in
artificial ripening, but must leave the honey in the hives until it is
ripened as much as may be by the bees. There is reason to believe
That some of the beekeepers are extracting too soon. This is quite
frequently done by beginners everywhere, for it is somewhat difficult
to resist the temptation to get the product on the market immediately.
It is far more important that Porto Rican honeys become known for
their quality than for their quantity. The loss of a single barrel by
fermentation will mean more than the slight gain which would result
in selling a little too much water in the honey.
Porto Rican beekeepers are handicapped by a lack of practical
books and journals in Spanish. Many of them are now able to read
those published in the United States, at least to some extent, and as
the younger generations come from the schools where English is
I Browne, C. A. U. S. Dept. Agr., Bur. Chem. Bul. 110, p. 51.

greatob tohe in
availableb. 4<

cos. -:However, if information' were avitil-able
owCnsidered ,unodtitble could, be opened up'
reiabl mif ormtifon would probably eniblie tht ekept
frthe special, harvests by gettiiaglthir clxe'i
tio',Ono, of the prole-m which should be, worked, u, i
-yof the plants whichpouenca, ihaei i
ter'. distributiffon,::relative 'm'eritl and abundAnch. 1- w
iderblevalue if the indivd1a beekeeper -would 4k

bi the moist climate of PortoTtimng hives and bottoms vent
qikly and experiments ini the. e reogote paints sad o0*O(
be'ried to. prevent this. oThe eofcm tfr hie a
whih hast been suggested, vould.:virtuilly prdhibit the 'tr,
of olonies, and should be- tried -only as'&, a lst. resort. 4
Tower calks attention to the, value -of beesa -to, the ogaoe
tss-pollinating -coffftee, CW esecay in: seaonswh thdreJis
iberain- -at -blossomaing.. tim e. i:Coffee P4s _wind polltnatet
wether, but'in damp weather. littleui iJ st if few iee
.aeat hand. )One of the largest c1itrus 1rqit Agrowers ~on A
ispanning to. increase the number bf conies among his tioes;
fo he benefit derived in cross-p0.,l-inLat, ing_
The author hus estimated that. bees, in: the Worth are ofb
vue to, the fruit grower in their, gQod offices. of cross-po
th they are to the beekeeper in -the, honey -with which theyttm
im. 'This is'coming: more and more -to be- recognized. tt t
Itis reported that bees suck the juice of overripo.maingo
imay. not be. ammis to repeat here that bees doolot punctureS
fri, but suck the juice, only from overripe: fruit which, is pune
some other insect or mn some other manner. They are~as
ntthe enemies of the, fruit growcr iinthiq respect.-. The bd
othe beekeeping industry Is therefore. as much to, thio lune
te.fruit grower as to. the. persons, who engag. -in the Aug"
hny production.
fAs as )mown, American foul brod orEurpn rouY
ntoccur i Porto Rico.: Amtricfan foul brood'is reportedua-i
I Poro Rio Sts Cir. 13,p.mS
I hlipR F .S remmA~.Bu.Rt


4oply abundant in certain other islands of the West Indies and it is
Smatter of surprise that Porto Rico has escaped. The fact that
I ekeeping was virtually undeveloped under Spanish rule probably
explainss this piece of good fortune.
The Insular Legislative Assembly enacted a law which contains
following section:
Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Porto Rico:
> See, 5. That no bee comb, larvae, pupse, or bees shall be brought into Porto Ric6
to m any other place: Provided, That queen bees, accompanied by not more than 30
f worker bees and without bee comb containing eggs, larvae, pupse, or bees, may be
Sinitroduced therein in mailing cages or small boxes. (Act No. 60, approved and
~ effective Sept. 3, 1910.)
: By the act of March 9, 1911 (No. 45), creating the board of com-
itissioners of agriculture, the inspection at the ports of entry is
F vested in the board, and this duty is assigned to the entomologist
t;f the board. Mr. W. V. Tower was appointed to this position and
I still holds it. By the authority of the act of September 3, 1910,
several nuclei have been refused entrance.
S'"The wisdom of the action of the legislature at a period when the
g industry was beginning its recent development is beyond question,
Sand it may be considered as most fortunate that this matter was urged
j. ust when it was.
There still remained a possible source of danger, however. A
j? study of the distribution of the brood diseases in the United States
Shas led the author to believe that disease enters a new locality by
means of honey from infected colonies more frequently than through
the shipping of diseased colonies. In view of this belief, the author
Drafted the following recommendation which was presented to the
c chairman of the scientific committee of the board of commissioners of
agriculture just before sailing:
(1) That the regulations designed to prevent the introduction of the brood diseases
of bees be amended to prohibit the importation of honey except such as may come
from an apiary or apiaries certified to be free of disease by an official inspector of
On July 14, 1913, the board passed a regulation covering this
recommendation, in accordance with the authority vested in the
Board in the creating act of March 9, 1911.
S While- but a small amount of honey was being shipped to the
* island (see p. 9), the risk incident to such shipments was unwar-
Sranted and the regulation will to all intents and purposes prohibit the
importation of all honey.


SWhile the system of excellent roads being built by the government
o ef Porto Rico offers as good facilities for transportation as could be



phabe 6Cbeekeeping which haahitUortobeen
'In tbo author"s -discu&OMW
Plan for "norewang thewtat'Qu,",
%+meydew honey tpt'oiluction- *Mt,
it better s -local 1h,
"wdioring uited to conditions aot'b4i
tion' and'frora reports- received there is no, C.ftui4 A,,*,
Suggestion. For localities of amore
step way pliove desirable- 'Wore digeqslwg
should be rocalleid (1) that neither Aijaefican foul bionor
foul brood is knowRin Porto Rico, and -,(2) that there'
Wnstant flow of n tax These points axe, viW' to, 0
brought forward.
If a colon of bees: is, located in a large hive *itl
to n L troth frames, or, perhaps btwj in, two
boAles or on "'jumbo" (171 by IJ I inches) frames,
enty of room for brood rearingo If n6w, h
Pi over t la is
of Size to be dete d by the resourees of the-loca4tv,
frames, separate 6d from the brid'o'd chamber by queen oii
-Odith ibly somb, encouragement
th.0 bees pow go,
Oi i ox is ffflea the'bees
-to store their surpl V on he .-b,
mo e e boaiA aad all. ttiq combs'
ved by e4 be -eac.ap..
except possible, o serve
.y one t as 4 ladder for th
work again, and as. a reserve in: Oase of inclement Weat
'be sepaxated from the combby "pressure 0' Y-
honey may r
'of a solar wax extractor and then so. placed as to be availaW,
bees again. It might bdAesimUl 'to dilutb it' omwhat b
ing back. 1f no..other bees are'm range, the fee can
t.heopen, otherwise a large feeder 9f. perhaps 5 gaJlo-w c8,PhCitrq1,k,
brood chamber t be devised. The wax obtained,
eieaned',of honey, and put mp in. 100-pound cakes for maria
such cakes can be carried out on horseback in one
honey flow were always heavy, there t -be
getting thle bees to. take UP all the honey that is obtained,*
thewinter months and in rainy weathorof which thelrois
consid 6rable, the y would handle large quantities-. Since,
be after the initial crop more thanthe normal s'upply bt
not unlikely that: very, large apiariw can be kept. in each
Loo. cit.o ip. 5".

.ertore not practical. however, it -is more than doubtful whether
0 -such amount of honey is so consumed. When conditions are
Sf6r wax secretion the cost in honey is usually small and the
e fy obtained may be fed over and over again until consumed.
Stacking of honey and delivery to New York or other market
ieeeds two or three cents a pound, the author would have faith
i,'h in this plan to try it. Of course if the honey is obtained
:i ..ter than it can be fed back, over and above what the bees will
1i.ipiup^, it might be possible to carry some dbwn by horses to a road
CEr$l for bull carts. Probably in the present undeveloped con-
-4n of the island it will pay the prospective beekeeper to choose a
tion suitable for honey production, but when the easily accessible
eare taken up, it will pay to consider this plan. Possibly an
y manipulated for wax as here suggested may be a rather un-
Simnta place to work, for the feeding of the honey may cause the
a to be cross and to rob. This may be overcome by adequate
~iotection, and if robbing is suggested, the hives should be tight and
ifrances made as small as the temperature will permit.
: As has been stated directly and by inference several times previ-
ly', the future outlook for beekeeping in Porto Rico is bright.
i I::th the further utilization of the nectar resources which are now so
i ag ely wasted there will probably come a reduction in the average
s:ops. If this occurs it will tend to eliminate any beekeepers who
'are not thoroughly informed as to the best methods of practice, but
"thert will still be room for the beekeeper with necessary equipment
Sin information and experience. The development of those parts of
the island where bees are not now kept commercially is a crying need.
: While Porto Rico is growing commercially in a surprising manner it
: ; important that the opportunity for the development of this industry
be embraced and it is worthy of attention by those interested in the
i upbuilding of the island.
As stated in the introduction, honey production will never rank as
One of the chief agricultural industries. However, an industry which
II promises to bring $100,000 to the island in the fiscal year ending
rijUne 30, 1914, after'less than five years' growth, may be expected far
S exceed this amount when the available locations are taken up.
The authorities interested in the development of this industry
biould profit by the experience in beekeeping elsewhere in determining
te class of beekeepers which should be encouraged. When bees are


*0000Wsich odwbegker has little potd
aU ood business. Such a. condition evlkian
UiJted Stateg, but, this.i. rapidly thangig, booan
a"e eliminating the: careless dgiuitoeasted .boekoeip
fsional hekeepers are proffiit
is usually i thhe -hand of dxtensi*%' beekoopors, *."ji
necessary on count of th6 distance ferom the spI
and fr-om market.: Porto Rico~i 4s sittraiod that*4
'be in the hands of professionAal beekeepers- or eovim
ogiv the greateAcmeca eeftt teiln
should be 4-lage and. a, market can, then'boe dvlptd 4
'honey. e
..Porto Rico has, certain. special problems bekephgl
Probability will be :worked out in time by thme beeepr
The ripening of the honey the sawing'r' v tk6spea4e
of wax, :and detailed::informiition coheerning the, honey le
mentioned as three -problems l:which fppetr. now 1 to' bale
pressing., To, wait hoever until the beekee-pers wa
things wi~ll be' to :retar the indutyi t osbe't
Reoniigthis conditid thwwtor recnwend theat 4
keeper frm the States he obaie o work out thesen y
others which will present themselves, as wel is o cndw
menal and demonstration apiary whero prospectivyo beag
come, to learn the business. That: this rcn endation it
favorablyconsidered is. gratifyig
The f future of the beeke~eping industry in Porto Rico is,
Promise .,Te-problems are now two iW number: (1)' Tho
ment ofthe industry as rapidly as is, consistent-with -,'the
of the beiokeepers -and (2) the keeping out oif the brood ie

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