Honey Prices: Getting more expensive

Prices up 10%

Last month, and since the beginning of May, my local Costco sold 6 lb (about 2.7 kg) jugs of honey for $7.99. Those 6 lb jugs are now fetching $8.79, a 10% increase. I think Costco’s price for clover honey is a good indicator of honey prices in the US for three reasons: clover is the largest selling variety, Costco turns its inventory rapidly, and their margins are consistent. So changes in the wholesale market show up right away in Costco’s retail price. Here are other prices I keep an eye on:

Costco: $1.47/lb – $8.79 for a 6 lb jug
Sam’s Club: $1.53/lb – $7.64 for a 5 lb jug
Miller’s Honey (clover): $1.45/lb – $87 for a 60 lb pail – unchanged from May
Miller’s Honey (wildflower): $1.08/lb – $65 for a 60 lb pail – unchanged from May

To soon to say if it’s related to Colony Collapse Disorder

I’ve been keeping a close tab on prices ever since I heard about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the mysterious problem that has destroyed whole colonies of honey bees. I wrote here that I didn’t expect a supply squeeze from CCD, and I don’t have any new information about US honey production now. So I can’t say if we’re starting to see CCD affect honey prices or not. That 60 lb pail of wildflower form Miller’s looks tempting though.

Update 3/9/2009: Honeybees hang in there

The 2008 Honey Report indicates that managed colonies in the US fell by only 6%. Honey production and per colony yield rose. It’s looking more and more like Colony Collapse Disorder is not a catastrophe.

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