Honey Production 2018
We asked our reporters to sum up the honey crop this year, including Spring, Summer and any Fall crop they were able to harvest. Coupled with that we asked about the weather for those crops in their regions. Take a look and see what went on this year. And better, what do you think the U.S. honey crop will be this season?
Region 1. Average production per colony overall all was 48 lbs., using 72% of the colonies they had available. About 2/3 thought it was better than last year, but some didn’t have that kind of season this year. Spring weather was cool and wet, Summer warm and about right for moisture, and Fall warm and wet.
Region 2. Average production was 43 lbs, using only 63% of their available colonies. The crop this year was better than last season. Spring weather was wet, but temps were avg., Summer weather was warm and wet and Fall weather still warm and wet.
Region 3. Average production was 62 lbs, using 75% of available colonies. The crop this year right about the same as last year. Spring weather was generally warm and wet, Summer weather the same and Fall still warm but not quite as wet.
Region 4. Average production was 56 lbs, using 91% of their available colonies. The crop this year was just a little bit better than last year’s crop. Spring weather was cool and wet, Summer warm and wet, and Fall weather was about the same.
Region 5. Overall average production was only 44 lbs, probably because only 55% of all colonies were used. This is much worse than last year’s crop. Spring weather was cool and wet, Summer’s was about average temp but much wetter than normal, and Fall’s weather about avg temp but still, wetter than normal.
Region 6. Average honey production per colony was 60 lbs, using 74% of all the colonies owned. For almost everybody, this was better than last season, which is refreshing. Spring weather about average for that time of year in this region, with some reporting hot, some cold, and some dry. Summer weather was too warm, and too dry for almost everybody, and Fall weather has been still hot and still mostly dry.
Region 7. Average production out west was 66 pounds per colony, using fully 80% of the colonies available. Three to one this was worse than last year, but some did OK. Spring weather was about average but a bit on the dry side, Summer weather still warm and dry and Fall weather about avg temp but dryer than most would like.
We took this a bit further, making some educated guesses. Overall production per colony, across all regions boils down to about 55 lbs/colony. Last year overall production per colony was, according to ERS, about 55 pounds/colony, for a total of 147.6 million pounds. The top 5 producing states last year were ND, SD, CA, MT and FL. This year those regions overall averaged just under 60 pounds/colony, so the totals this year seem to be similar to last year’s for overall honey crop. Time will tell. Stay tuned.