Decline in U.S. honey production contributes to rising imports
U.S. honey production dropped 1.3 million pounds, or 1 percent, to 147.1 million pounds in 2012, continuing a declining trend since 2000. Despite a 5.3-percent increase in honey-producing bee colonies in the United States last year, the national average yield per colony fell by 6 percent, with the major honey-producing States of California and Montana largely responsible for the yield and production declines. Diminished U.S. bee colony populations associated with colony collapse disorder are a key factor in declining U.S. production. With a smaller domestic harvest, the average producer price of honey climbed 10.5 percent to $1.95 per pound in 2012, while the average retail price of natural honey rose 7.8 percent to $5.55 per pound. Lower domestic output and lower prices for imported honey also have led to continued growth in honey imports, with imports growing nearly 8 percent and accounting for nearly 70 percent of domestic use in 2012. This chart appears in Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: April 2013 (SSSM-296).