More Bees, More Honey, and Higher Prices

The USDA just released their latest honey report, and it was a banner year in 2010. Domestic honey production surged by 20% to 176 million pounds, and the number of producing honeybee colonies rose 7% to 2.68 million. Per colony yield was up 12% to 65.5 pounds (29.7 kg). Inventories grew, for the first time in a long time, to 45.3 million pounds (20.5 million kg) – a 21% increase – and the USDA’s “all honey” price climbed 9% to a record $1.603/lb.

Last regular post on CCD

Here we have another year – the fifth – that honeybees have not been wiped out, that US honey production did not plummet, and that US agriculture did not collapse because of Colony Collapse Disorder. It’s becoming a challenge to find different ways of saying that, and it’s becoming sillier every year to speak of extinction or “spring without honeybees.” So this may be my last regular post about CCD. It was first reported in 2006. I started writing about it the following year, and every year since. But going forward, I expect to write only if there is a significant development.

I’ve summarized production, colony count, and yield since 2005 (the last full year before Colony Collapse Disorder struck) in the table below.

US Honeybee Colonies And Honey Production
Year Production (millions) Producing Colonies Yield
2005 174 lb (79 kg) 2.41 million 72.4 lb (32.8 kg)
2006 155 lb (70 kg) 2.39 million 64.7 lb (29.3 kg)
2007 148 lb (67 kg) 2.44 million 60.8 lb (27.6 kg)
2008 161 lb (73 kg) 2.30 million 69.9 lb (31.7 kg)
2009 144 lb (65 kg) 2.46 million 58.5 lb (26.5 kg)
2010 176 lb (65 kg) 2.68 million 65.5 lb (29.7 kg)

Record honey prices in 2010

I still plan to track and report on honey prices. As mentioned earlier, the USDA reported that their “all honey” price set a record high last year, and that agrees with my own data. I keep track of the price of honey at Costco and honey packers that sell in bulk online. That gives me a good idea of what a mead maker would pay when buying honey in bulk. I’ll go over my spreadsheet and distill that into an article on honey prices.



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One thought on “More Bees, More Honey, and Higher Prices

  1. Juanse Barros

    Honey production in USA for 2011 was 16% lower and total number of colonies 7% lower than in 2010, therefore we went almost down to 2009. Average production per colony down to 27 kg from 31 in 2010.

    what about your price research?

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