U.S. Honey Production Down 9 Percent for Operations with Five or More Colonies03/15/2018
United States honey production in 2017 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 148 million pounds, down 9 percent from 2016. There were 2.67 million colonies producing honey in 2017, down 4 percent from 2016. Yield per colony averaged 55.3 pounds, down 5 percent from the 58.3 pounds in 2016. 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 30.6 million pounds on December 15, 2017, down 26 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude those held under the commodity loan program.
United States honey production in 2017 from producers with less than five colonies totaled 599 thousand pounds, down 22 percent from 2016. There were 20 thousand colonies from which honey was harvested in 2017, down 17 percent from 2016. The average yield was 30.0 pounds per colony in 2017, down 6 percent from the previous year.
United States honey prices increased 2 percent during 2017 to 215.6 cents per pound, compared to 211.9 cents per pound in 2016. 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 2016 crop reflect honey sold in 2016 and 2017. Some 2016 crop honey was sold in 2017, which caused some revisions to the 2016 crop prices.
For operations with five or more colonies, the average prices paid in 2017 for honey bee queens, packages, and nucs were $14, $76, and $107 respectively. The average prices paid in 2017 for operations with less than five colonies were $34 per queen, $117 per package, and $138 per nuc. For operations with five or more colonies, pollination income for 2017 was $435 million, up 29 percent from 2016. Other income from honey bees for operations with five or more colonies in 2017 was $163 million, up 10 percent from 2016. These estimates along with expenditure and apiary worker information can be found on pages 4 and 5 of this report.