U.S. honey production in 2014 surged 19% from 2013, but the average price still rose for the ninth consecutive year and was record high for the seventh consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual Honey report.
Production of all types of honey totaled 178,270,000 lbs in 2014, up 19% from 149,499,000 lbs in 2013 and the highest since 183,582,000 lbs in 2004. Production was up 25% from 142,296,000 lbs in 2012, which was the lowest in records going back more than 50 years.
The average price for all classes of honey sold through all channels was a record 216.1c a lb, up 2c from 214.1c a lb a year earlier. The average price at retail was 406.6c a lb, up 6% from 382.4c in 2013, and at the cooperative and private level was 206.4c a lb, up slightly from 205.8c the prior year. The total value of honey produced in 2014 was $385,241,000, up 20% from $320,077,000 in 2013.
Stocks of honey held by producers on Dec. 15, 2014, totaled 41,192,000 lbs, up 8% from 38,160,000 lbs in 2013.
The number of producing colonies increased 4% from 2,640,000 in 2013 to 2,740,000 in 2014, which was the highest since 2,783,000 in 1994. Honey yield per colony averaged 65.1 lbs in 2014, up 15% from 56.6 lbs in 2013 and the highest since 65.6 lbs in 2010.
The five states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Florida, Montana and California accounted for 61% of the nation’s honey production in 2014, with top-ranking North Dakota producing 42,140,000 lbs, up 27% from 2013 and accounting for 24% of the national total.