NATIONAL HONEY MARKET NEWS
ALBERTA & SASKATCHEWAN
EAST COAST. . . ARGENTINA
|COLONY, HONEY PLANT &
MARKET CONDITIONS DURING OCTOBER
APPALACHIAN DISTRICT - (MD, PA, VA, WV)
With preventive treatments behind them, beekeepers are preparing for the winter. Populations are very healthy and with a very good goldenrod flow, colonies were able to build up food stores, which were depleted because of the drought. Temperatures have been about normal for the season and it has been a picturesque fall. There has not been a hard freeze, so there is still some aster and late wildflowers blooming. There have been a few reports of brood rearing activity. Generally, soil moisture levels are at normal or above normal with the moisture received in the last few months. Associations are preparing for annual meetings in November.
Weather conditions were variable the first part of October. On the 6th, a cold front brought light rainshowers to the northern coast. A slight dusting of snow was noted at the very high ridges of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds through the end of the month aided several large brush fires that started around the 17th. Thousands of acres and numerous homes and other buildings were destroyed. Daytime highs were frequently in the upper 80's to low 90's in most regions with parts of the southeast interior going over the 100 degree mark the week ending the 17th. Little to no precipitation was recorded after the first week of the month.
Despite the warm temperatures and lack of rain, the condition of the bees ranges fron excellent to fairly good. Normally the bees would still be getting pollen from bluecurl and tarweed but these two sources have dried up early. The only thing remaining is a little eucalyptus along the coast and various weed that dont require much moisture. Even irrigated crops were basically done by the end of the month as water supplies were cut off for the season. This lack of food supply has also caused the bees to do more robbing than usual. Because of a lack of floral sources, most beekeepers were forced to do at least a little supplemental feeding while others decided to add pollen substitutes to keep the queens brooding. Colonies were still being medicated for Varroa Mites with some producers using the new treatment. Mites seem to be especially prevalent in the San Joaquin Valley. Larger colonies were being divided and queens were introduced. Most hives are now setting in holding yards until just before the almond bloom.
Packers continue to receive a large amount of calls from producers wanting to sell their honey even at the current low prices. Many packers find their warehouses are full at a time when honey sales are still sluggish. They also noted it seems to take an extra amount of time and effort to sell their finished products right now.
The month of October was unseasonably warm with temperatures reaching daytime highs in the low to mid 80s. Many records were broken for daytime high temperatures during the month. Night time lows generally were in the mid 30s to low 40s statewide. The state was much drier during the month of October then the past few months. With the moisture received in Denver to this date, 1999 makes the 10th wettest year in the city's history. Most bee colonies in northern Colorado have been inspected by the lone bee inspector left in the state, Tom Theobald from Boulder county. He indicated most hives have produced about 70 to 80 pounds of honey this year. Those colonies kept instate for the winter months are said to be doing good for this time of year as the warm weather allowed the local beekeepers adequate time for supplemental feeding and preparation for the winter months.
Scattered showers to heavy rainfall occurred over almost all areas of Florida. Rainfall totals ranged from about one half inch to almost six inches. Daytime highs were in the 80s. Nighttime lows were in the 60s and 70s.
The southern part of Florida including Ft. Myers and Lee County areas were affected by hurricanes. The bees and different crops suffered a lot of damage. Over 6,000 colonies of bees drowned, Before these hurricanes, the Brazilian pepper wouldd have been a bumper crop. For the rest of the State the bees are in good shape. The bees are gathering nectar from Spanish needle, golden rod and other wild flowers.
Demand for Florida honey is moderate. Price of honey continues to decline.
South-Central and Eastern Idaho reported temperatures in the teens the first week in October. The following three weeks were warmer and drier than normal. Statewide, the lack of moisture continues for the sixth straight week. Many irrigation districts have started turning off the water with only minimal precipitation expected.
The last of the hives from summer locations have been gathered in the yards. Most beekeepers have finished winterizing their hives and will only need to add supplemental feedings to a few weaker colonies.
Temperatures were generally warmer than normal the first of the month. Rainfall continued to be short in most areas of the state. The mid-month temperature reached eighty-two degrees in some southern sections that was above normal for mid-October. The last week of the month most of the state received a killing frost. Rainfall for the month was reported one inch or less over most of the state. Beekeepers removed extra supers they had hoped would have been filled however, that was not the case. Beekeepers took advantage of the warm, mild temperatures the last week of the month to finalize installing reducers and removing treatment strips. Very little floral sources remained except a few wild flowers around outbuildings protected from frost. Honeybee colonies were generally in good condition heading into winter.
Bulk honey movement continued to be slow with prices offered from mid-fifties to high sixty cents per pound range for barrel lots. Retail sales at fall festivals continued brisk as demand for locally collected honey had been stronger than average. Beekeepers noted the consumer interest shift this falI was for local honey opposed to honey that may have been collected in other states or imported. One beekeeper reported receiving calls from beekeepers in neighboring states for honey to cover previous commitments, due to the dry summer conditions and poorer than normal yields.
The highlight of the month's activities was the fall beekeepers meeting. The state meeting was well attended, with informative speakers to aid the beekeepers. Many challenges to the commercial industry as well as hobbyist were addressed. Concern of the hive beetles and their treatment was a major concern at the meeting. There are no reported colonies in the state infested with the hive beetle. In the industry there are concerns with more misinformation on preventive treatment as well as undue health risk to beekeepers that mishandle treatments. A much clearer picture of honey production throughout the state was also gained at the meeting. The best honey crop was reported in the northwestern section due to more frequent rainfall.
Beekeepers in the southern section of the state have been looking for additional honey due to heavier than normal demand for local honey at fall festivals. Bulk barrel sales were reported sluggish with most quoted prices in the fifty to seventy cents range. Beekeepers continued wrapping, placing restrictors, and checking for supplies of honey stores in hives for overwintering.
Main floral source was a few late wild flowers early, however by month's end very few sources were left due to heavy frost the last week of the month.
MICHIGAN & OHIO
Normal to above normal temperatures were prevalent across the state. Soil moisture supplies were mostly adequate during the month, which when combined with warm temperatures and sunny skies made for an excellent fall flow.
Beekeepers in most areas of both states are reporting that bees are going into winter in generally good condition. Beekeepers were busy winterizing their colonies.
Demand for honey was fairly light.
MISSOURI & IOWA
Harvest weather during October continued generally very good. Precipitation was below normal. Temperatures were generally above normal. Beekeepers that had not already brought in the honey crop were busy with harvest and in Iowa were busy finishing in preparing the bee hives for winter. A fair estimate of this years crop will be obtained at the November association meetings.
Unseasonably warm temperatures were recorded across the state the first ten days of October. Daytime highs ranged from the upper 60's to upper 70's. The only precipitation was in the northwest region of the state. Temperatures cooled off through the end of the month in all areas except in the south-central and southeast where daytime highs still hovered around 80 degrees. Very little precipitation was received from the 11th to the 24th. The last week of October, much needed moisture fell on the north-central and northwest parts of the state. West Glacier had the largest amount with a little over 1.5". Topsoil moisture was rated at 47% short at the end of the month.
Beekeepers were busy part of the month getting their bees ready to holding yards in California. Mite treatments were put on and inspections were done to make sure enough honey was left in the hives for food. A few heavy colonies left for California the end of October which is a little earlier than normal because a hard, early winter is predicted for the state.
Other producers sold their colonies to commercial pollinators after their honey crop was extracted. The honey crop in southern and central Montana was poor with some producers only getting 10-15 pounds while some parts of northern Montana had an above average crop. A few beekeepers are holding their honey, hoping the frst of the year, prices will go up.
Warmer and drier conditions than normal continued in October for most of the state. Only a few beekeepers needed to finish up the extracting process. In the Lovelock area, on irrigated fields, yields as high as 100 pounds was the rule this year. In other areas, most yields were between 60 and 100 pounds, still an above average year. Most beekeepers have brought the hives in for the winter and are getting ready to shut down for the season, pulling strips and checking for dead-outs. Almost all colonies are at good strength and needed little feed added for the winter.
Beekeepers all over the New England area are finishing up their fall treatments for Varroa and Tracheal Mites and are preparing to close up the hives for the winter. Some Southern New England beekeepers are reporting more unexpected problems from this summers drought. Queens in some colonies have slowed the laying of eggs to the point where the supply of bees going into the winter is dangerously low. Winter honey stores were also at a dangerously low level with feeding of many colonies still being reported.
Some good news this month is that honey sales are very brisk with many sales made at fall festivals and roadside stands. Demand for honey exceeds supplies with some producers raising their prices.
Conditions during the first half of October were variable with temperatures ranging from above normal in the western valleys and central areas to as much as 8 degrees below normal in the eastern half of the state. The coast and western valleys also recorded over an inch of rain. By the end of October, the entire state was warmer than normal with precipitation very light except when the first storm of the season arrived on the 27th dropping from two to three inches of rain in Western Oregon. By the end of October, precipitation was still below normal statewide for the season.
The bees continued to be in very good condition as the mild temperatures helped sustain many fall floral sources, such as false dandelion, that provided pollen for the bees. Beekeepers did note their bees did consume a lot of their stores the last of the month because the nice weather kept them very active. A little extra feed was added and pollen substitutes were put in to keep the queens brooding. Hives in the Willamette Valley were then covered with waterproof material to keep the rain out.
Beekeepers were busy part of the month getting their bees ready to holding yards in California. Mite treatments were put on and inspections were done to make sure enough honey was left in the hives for food.
Except for some speciality varieties, there is not much demand for honey right now. Those packers that are buying are paying low prices so some producers have started packaging and selling their own honey.
Warm & dry continued to dominate the weather conditions. Record high temperatures were set many times across the state during the entire month of October. This last month was also the 5th driest on record.
Most beekeepers have finished with extraction for the season. Yields seemed to be off this year. If you had close to an average yield, you did good. Unfortunately, not many had a good season. Honey sales have been slow and prices soft, but holiday business is just beginning to pick up. The up-coming pollination contracts for almonds are beginning to look a little shaky with almond prices being down this year.
Temperatures across Western Washington were below normal the first of October which also saw several nights of below freezing temperatures. The first substantial rainfall in several months also occurred early in the month. Beautiful weather returned for two weeks with warm, sunny days and highs in the upper 60's to low 70's. Fall-like conditions returned to finish out the month when a major storm arrived bringing 2-3" of rain to some areas and severe winds.
Central and Eastern Washington remained cool and dry through the first three-fourths of October. Sunshine with daytime highs in the 70's and lows the 20's were ideal for late season harvest of crops such as apples, pears, grapes, alfalfa, sweet corn and carrots. An early, unpredicted, winter storm hit the Yakima VaIIey on the 27th, bringing as much as 9" of snow to some areas near the foothills and much needed rain elsewhere. The ground remains dry though as many irrigation districts shut off water the end of the month. Topsoil moisture across the state continued to be 41% short.
The bees enjoyed another month of nice weather across the state. The frost did not damage blooming plants in protected areas so they continued to be a good source of pollen and nectar. No feeding was necessay as yet because the bees were still bringing in food or working off existing stores.
Commercial pollinators were in the process of taking their bees to California holding yards. Some had been there long enough that beekeepers were headed back down the end of the month to check on them and remove their Varroa Mite strips. Some bees that were in North Dakota for the summer clover crop had treatments put on after the honey was taken off there. Beekeepers reported the weather didn't help to make much of a honey crop in North Dakota but bees in South Dakota did a little better.
Most of the month temperatures were about average for October. Rainfall continued to be scattered from area to area with most areas reporting a need for rainfall. The fall flow was limited due to the continued dry conditions. With seasonal temperatures and dry weather beekeepers were busy wrapping up final activities of moving hives to winter yards, removing treatment strips and storing supers. It was reported that in some areas a smaller than average honey crop is expected with supplemental feeding needed even though no supers had been harvested. No floral sources for the bees to work were reported.
Many beekeepers reported bulk honey sales continued slowly while honey sales and demand for wax at fall festivals were reported stronger than average.
SOURCE: U. S. Dept. Of Commerce, Bureau of the Census - Foreign Trade Division
U.S. EXPORTS OF HONEY BY COUNTRY OF DESTINATION, QUANTITY & VALUE
AUGUST, 1999 & YEAR TO DATE TOTALS FOR 1999
ARGENTINA ... ANNUAL HONEY REPORT ... 1999
Argentina is the third largest honey producer in the world, after China and the United States, and the second ranking honey exporter. The provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, La Pampa, Cordoba & Santa Fe, account for 80% of the country's total honey production, while the remaining 20% is distributed among 10 other provinces. The Argentine Department of Agriculture has recently revised their estimates upward on honey production for the last several years; therefore, post is modifying honey PS&D tables accordingly. Stock figures were revised downward based on industry information.
Argentine honey production in 1998 was reported by the Secretariat of Agriculture at 75,000 metric tons, or 7% higher than the previous year, as weather conditions in some provinces were not as severe as previously reported. Honey output for 1999 (harvested from October 1998 through March 1999) is forecast at a record 85,000 metric tons, up 8% year to year. This increase is attributed to higher yields due to excellent weather conditions and an increase in colony numbers, presently estimated at 2.2 million, distributed among 28,000 producers.
As shown in the table below, honey producers have expanded their colonies to several new provinces in order to increase overall output.
Average estimated honey production by province
(1) = estimates
(2) = new producing provinces
Domestic honey consumption fluctuates according to the size of domestic honey output and/or quantity exported. In 1998, per capita honey consumption was estimated at 161 grams as a result of slightly reduced exports. Per capita household honey consumption in 1999 is forecast at 195 grams, reflecting larger domestic supplies. Retail honey prices vary according to brand and color. First quality (amber color) sells for 3.70 pesos, packed in jars of 500 grams.
Currently the price of paid for honey to producers is US$ 0.75 - 0.80 per kilogram versus an average of US$ 1.29 in 1998. During the January-April 1999 period, average export prices for honey are quoted at US$ 1.15 per kilogram, fob Buenos Aires, against an average 1998 export price of US$ 1.29 per kilogram. The reason for the slight decrease in export price is that other producing honey countries, such as the United States, Mexico and Canada, had very good honey crops, negatively affecting demand for Argentina's output.
Argentina honey is exported during the entire year, with the heaviest export flow taking place from March through May as the harvest becomes available to world markets. Nearly 93% of the honey is exported in bulk in drums of 300 kilograms each. Only a small amount is exported as fractioned, especially to Mercosur countries. The principal importing countries buy the honey In bulk because it is less expensive. The honey is then mixed and packed with production from other sources and re-exported to other countries such as the European Union.
TotaI Argentine honey exports during CY 1998 totaled 69,306 metric tons, down 2% from the previous year. Total export value was US$ 89.3 million. The primary reason for the slight decline in exports is that the United States purchased 35% less than in l997, mainly due to that country's good honey harvest. However, this was in part offset by Germany which continues to be the number one market for Argentina taking in 118% more honey in 1998 than in 1997.
During January-April 1999, Argentina exported 28,107 metric tons of honey, valued at US$ 32.1 million, versus 29,567 metric tons valued at US$ 38.8 during the comparable period a year earlier. This slight decrease in exports in 1999 is due to a reduction in world honey supplies.
Argentine honey exports in CY 1999 are predicted at 75,000 metric tons, primarily due to a record high honey harvest. Reportedly, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Lebanon are interested in purchasing fractioned honey from Argentina during 1999. Saudi Arabia is presently buying honey from Argentina, but in bulk. Imports of honey during CY 1998 totaled 21 tons, 10 tons came from France and 8 from Chile. During the first four months of 1999 only 5 tons were imported from France. Total honey imports in CY 1999 are forecast at 20 metric tons.
Argentina has no import quotas. The import tax for honey into Argentina from extra-Mercosur origins is 19% and zero percent from Mercosur countries. A 0.5% statistical tax is also charged to all origins. By Resolution 967/99, effective August 4,1999, honey exports are granted a 10% export rebate, an increase from 8.1% in force previously. This increase was requested for a long time by honey producers to be able to pay for manual labor and add value to promote the consumption of packed honey prepared for internal consumption.
Beekeeping in Argentina has been growing during the last few years and the outlook for an expansion in production is highly favorable, primarily if foreign markets continue to demand more product.