U.S. honey production totaled 156,544,000 lbs in 2015, down 12% from 178,270,000 lbs a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual Honey report issued March 22.
There were 2.66 million colonies (counting operations with five or more colonies) from which honey was harvested in 2015, down 3% from 2.74 million in 2014, the U.S.D.A. said. Honey yield per harvested colony averaged 58.9 lbs, down 10% from 65.1 lbs in 2014.
Dec. 15, 2015, producer honey stocks were 42,203,000 lbs, up 2% from 41,192,000 lbs a year earlier, the U.S.D.A said.
Honey prices averaged 209c per lb in 2015, down 4% from 217.3c in 2014, the U.S.D.A. said, with prices reflecting portions of honey sold through private and retail channels and cooperatives.
The U.S.D.A. for the first time reported production from operations with less than five colonies. That production totaled 720,000 lbs, harvested from 23,000 colonies with an average yield of 31.3 lbs per colony. Previous year comparisons were not available. The five-or-less colony total was not included in the total for operations with five or more colonies.
This article originally appeared in Food Business News.