Concerns about the U.S. honey bee population were put to rest by the latest report from the USDA showing that Hoosier and National honey production continue to increase. According to the National Ag Statistics Service, Indiana honey production for 2016 totaled 434 thousand pounds, up 36 percent from 2015. This estimate included honey from producers with 5 or more colonies. Yields from Indiana’s 7,000 honey producing colonies averaged 62 pounds in 2016, compared with 53 pounds the previous year. Indiana honey price averaged $3.36 per pound, up 13 cents per pound from last year. Value of production totaled $1.46 million, up 42 percent from 2015. Honey stocks were 208 thousand pounds, up 26 percent from 2015.
Nationally, honey production in 2016 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 162 million pounds, up 3 percent from 2015. There were 2.78 million colonies from which honey was harvested in 2016, up 4 percent from 2015. Yield of honey harvested per colony averaged 58.3 pounds, down 1 percent from the 58.9 pounds in 2015. 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 41.3 million pounds on December 15, 2016, down 2 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude those held under the commodity loan program.
Honey prices decreased during 2016 to 207.5 cents per pound, down slightly from 208.3 cents per pound in 2015. 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 2015 crop reflect honey sold in 2015 and 2016. Some 2015 honey was sold in 2016, which caused some revisions to the 2015 honey prices. Price data was not collected for operations with less than five colonies.