2012 Honey Production down, prices and colonies up…and per capita consumption way up!

 (The following is brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.) 

Honey production in 2012 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 147 million pounds, down 1 percent from 2011. There were 2.62 million colonies producing honey in 2012, up 5 percent from 2011. Yield per colony averaged 56.1 pounds, down 6 percent from the 59.6 pounds in 2011. 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 32.9 million pounds on December 15, 2012, down 10 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude those held under the commodity loan program.

Record High Honey Prices

Honey prices increased to a record high during 2012 to 195.1 cents per pound, up 11 percent from 176.5 cents per pound in 2011. 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 2011 crop reflect honey sold in 2011 and 2012. Some 2011 crop honey was sold in 2012, which caused some revisions to the 2011 crop prices.

Total honey income…that is the honey produced this year, remaining from last year, imported, or under loan last year but bought back this year totaled 499,751,966 lbs. Honey out go, that is honey exported, stocks remaining from this year, and honey put under loan totaled 48,881,000 lbs. Figuring a US population of 313.9 million people, annual per capita consumption for 2012 was 1.44 pounds per person or 23 ounces, up a full 3 ounces from 2011, or 58,858,882.5 pounds, and a record high per capita consumption for the 20 plus years Bee Culture has been calculating this figure.

The top 10 producing states changed this year, in order: ND, SD, FL, CA, MN, MT, TX, WI, MI, LA producing 109.2 million pounds or 74.2% of the US total. Combined, they had 1.858 million colonies for 70.8% of US colonies, down a fraction from last year.

For a full analysis of colony counts, honey production and more for the US for 2012, see Bee Culture’s May edition. For the raw data, go to http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/Hone/Hone-03-18-2013.txt

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