CATCH THE BUZZ – For 2018 – Honey Production Up a Hair, Prices Down a Couple of Hairs, Other Income Now a Big Player.

United States Honey Production Up 2 Percent for Operations with Five or More Colonies in 2018

United States honey production in 2018 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 152 million pounds, up 2 percent from 2017. There were 2.80 million colonies producing honey in 2018, up 4 percent from 2017. Yield per colony averaged 54.4 pounds, down 2 percent from the 55.5 pounds in 2017.

Colonies which produced honey in more than one State were counted in each State where the honey was produced. Therefore, at the United States level yield per colony may be understated, but total production would not be impacted. Colonies were not included if honey was not harvested.

Producer honey stocks were 29.1 million pounds on December 15, 2018, down 5 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude those held under the commodity loan program.

Honey Prices Down 2 Percent for Operations with Five or More Colonies in 2018

United States honey prices decreased 2 percent during 2018 to 216.6 cents per pound, compared to 219.9 cents per pound in 2017. United States and State level prices reflect the portions of honey sold through cooperatives, private, and retail channels. Prices for each color class are derived by weighting the quantities sold for each marketing channel. Prices for the 2017 crop reflect honey sold in 2017 and 2018. Some 2017 crop honey was sold in 2018, which caused some revisions to the 2017 crop prices.

Price Paid per Queen was 18 Dollars for Operations with Five or More Colonies in 2018

For operations with five or more colonies, the average prices paid in 2018 for honey bee queens, packages, and nucs were $18, $86, and $110 respectively.

For operations with five or more colonies, pollination income for 2018 was $302 million, up 8 percent from 2017.

Other income from honey bees for operations with five or more colonies in 2018 was $94.6 million, up 17 percent from 2017. These estimates along with expenditure and apiary worker information can be found on pages 4 and 5 of this report.

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Tomorrow’s BEETALK, of course weather permitting, will be outside looking at the Root Company’s bees. We’ll look inside, check out the recent packages, and look at the new styrofoam hive just installed. Bees are right next to the Root Homestead, next to the regular meeting room. Bring a veil, questions and more questions. If it rains or is cold, we’ll be inside, with questions about packages, spring honey flows, missing queens, raising nucs, adding supers, feeding, and anything else you can bring to the group. Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 PM, Bee Culture’s Conference Center, 623 W. Liberty St., Medina. Bee There. Questions, email Kim at kim@beeculture.com.