The USDA Honey Report for 2017 just came out this past month, and it offers up some really interesting insights about the industry.
Check out this interactive map I made:
The lead honey producer for over a decade, North Dakota continues to outperform the rest of the country in honey production. Producing over 33 million lbs annually, North Dakota bees yield almost 20 million lbs more than the next highest producing state, South Dakota.
As a newbie to the beekeeping industry, this was quite a surprise to me. Bees and extremely cold winters... I didn’t think that was a good mix! But the Dakotas’ summer climate is optimal for nectar secretions for many of the flowers visited by the honeybees. Plus, the area is one of the last habitats that is not being extensively farmed, leaving room for the forage the bees need.
Another surprise was the high price of honey in New Jersey. With an average of $7.86/lb, New Jersey honey is more than 3x more valuable than the national average of $2.15/lb, and more than 1.3x more valuable than the next highest-priced state (Virginia, $5.73/lb).
What’s going on in New Jersey? Could this be due to the strict regulations on beekeeping taking place in the state recently?
Now, if any of us have ever had the opportunity to go to Hawaii, it’s usually to bake in the sun for a relaxing holiday. But our dear friends, the Hawaiian honeybees, aren’t taking much of a break. Hawaiian bees generate the highest yield per hive in the country, more than 2x the U.S. average, in large part because of the year-round available forage for the bees.
What other insights can be derived from this and past years' reports? Stay tuned, as I go for a deeper dive in posts to come!