United States honey production in 2015 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 157 million pounds, down 12 percent from 2014. There were 2.66 million colonies from which honey was harvested in 2015, down 3 percent from 2014. Yield of honey harvested per colony averaged 58.9 pounds, down 10 percent from the 65.1 pounds in 2014. 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 42.2 million pounds on December 15, 2015, up 2 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude those held under the commodity loan program.
Operations with Less than Five Colonies Produced 720 Thousand Pounds of Honey in 2015 United States honey production in 2015 from producers with less than five colonies totaled 720 thousand pounds. There were 23 thousand colonies from which honey was harvested in 2015, with an average yield of 31.3 pounds harvested per colony. This yield is 27.6 pounds less than what was pulled per colony on operations with five or more colonies. Comparisons to 2014 are unavailable because no data prior to 2015 was collected for operations with less than five colonies.
Honey Prices Down 4 Percent for Operations with Five or More Colonies United States honey prices decreased during 2015 to 209.0 cents per pound, down 4 percent from a record high of 217.3 cents per pound in 2014. 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 2014 crop reflect honey sold in 2014 and 2015. Some 2014 honey was sold in 2015, which caused some revisions to the 2014 honey prices. Price data was not collected for operations with less than five colonies.
Watch for Bee Culture’s full analysis of the impacts of imports, exports, per capita consumption, colony and production history and more in the May 2016 issue, on Newsstands the week of April 18, 2016.