NATIONAL HONEY MARKET NEWS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DIVISION
21 N. 1st AVENUE, SUITE 224
YAKIMA, WA 98902-2663




HONEY MARKET FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 2000 IN VOLUMES OF 10,000 POUNDS OR GREATER.

PRICES PAID TO BEEKEEPERS FOR EXTRACTED, UNPROCESSED HONEY IN MAJOR PRODUCING STATES BY PACKERS, HANDLERS & OTHER LARGE USERS, CENTS PER POUND, F.O.B. OR DELIVERED NEARBY, CONTAlNERS EXCHANGED OR RETURNED, PROMPT DELIVERY & PAYMENT UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

ARKANSAS
-
SOYBEAN, LIGHT AMBER, 46¢

CALIFORNIA
- ALFALFA, LIGHT AMBER, 42 - 43¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 45¢

FLORIDA
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 42 - 43¢
- MIXED WILDFLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 40 - 50¢
- ORANGE, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 58¢
- ORANGE, MEDIUM AMBER, 69¢ (DELIVERED OUT-OF-STATE)
- ORANGE, LIGHT AMBER, 58¢ (PREVIOUS COMMITMENT)
- SAW PALMETTO, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 55¢
- SAW PALMETTO, DARK AMBER, 42¢
- CAPPINGS, DARK, 35¢
- WAX, LIGHT, $1.40

IDAHO
- ALFALFA, AMBER, 45¢
- MINT, LIGHT AMBER, 45¢ (SMALL LOT)

INDIANA
- CLOVER, LIGHT AMBER, 68¢

LOUISIANA
- CHINESE TALLOW, LIGHT AMBER, 46¢
- UNKNOWN, LIGHT AMBER, 47¢

MICHIGAN
- APPLE BLOSSOM, MEDIUM AMBER, 66¢
- BLUEBERRY, MEDIUM AMBER, 65¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 50¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 66¢
- GOLDENROD, MEDIUM AMBER, 66¢
- KNAPWEED, MEDIUM AMBER, 74¢
- SPRING BLOSSOM, MEDIUM AMBER, 66¢
- UNKNOWN, LIGHT AMBER, 49¢

MINNESOTA
- BASSWOOD/CLOVER, WHITE, 53¢
- CANOLA/CLOVER, WHITE, 57.5¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56¢

MONTANA
- ALFALFA, WHITE, 57¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 59¢

NEBRASKA
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56 - 60¢

NORTH DAKOTA
- ALFALFA, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 45¢ (SMALL LOT)
- ALFALFA, LIGHT AMBER, 45¢
- BUCKWHEAT, WHITE, 51¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 54 - 58¢

PENNSYLVANIA
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 42¢

SOUTH DAKOTA
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56¢

WISCONSIN
- CLOVER, WHITE, 60¢

WYOMING
- CLOVER/ALFALFA, WHITE, 56¢



PRICES PAID TO CANADIAN BEEKEEPERS FOR UNPROCESSED BULK HONEY BY PACKERS AND IMPORTERS IN U.S. CURRENCY, F.O.B. SHIPPING POINT, CONTAINERS INCLUDED UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. DUTY AND CROSSING CHARGES EXTRA. CENTS PER POUND.

ALBERTA
- CLOVER, WATER WHITE, 58¢ (DELIVERED)

MANITOBA
- RAPESEED/CLOVER, WHITE, 50.5¢

WINNIPEG
- CLOVER, WATER WHITE, 54¢



PRICES PAID TO IMPORTERS FOR BULK HONEY, DUTY PAID, CONTAINERS INCLUDED, CENTS PER POUND EX-DOCK OR POINT OF ENTRY UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

EAST COAST. . . ARGENTINA
- CLOVER, WHITE, 54.5¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, EXTRA WHITE, 52¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, WHITE, 50¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 45.5 - 52¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 47¢

CHINA
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 38¢

MEXICO
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 51¢

WEST COAST. . . CHINA
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 47¢



CALIFORNIA BEESWAX MARKET SITUATION --- JANUARY, 2000
(unbleached, raw beeswax, delivered to handlers's warehouse)

Only limited amounts of wax was were brought to handlers during the month. Most that was delivered was traded for beekeeping supplies. Sales of finished products were very light. Beekeepers were also spending a lot of their time getting their bees ready for almonds during the month.

Light colored wax was being traded at $1.00 - 1.10 per pound. There was too little movement of dark wax to quote a price.


COLONY, HONEY PLANT & MARKET CONDITIONS DURING JANUARY

ALABAMA
Weather conditions were cold with some rain and freezing ice the latter part of the month when temperatures sometimes ranged in the low 20's.

The bees are in fair to good condition but beekeepers are trying to access any damage to the hives. The flow of honey is slow for this time of the year.

Prices for honey are generally unchanged.

APPALACHIAN DISTRICT - (MD, PA, VA, WV)
Temperatures across the area were about normal and for the most part the winter has been mild. The exception to this was a winter storm, which hit the area on January 25 producing varying amounts of snow throughout the Region. The Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area received 14-18 inches. On
January 30 the area received a second winter storm producing sleet, rain and 4-8 inches of snow depending on locale.

Generally bee activity is at a minimum. The bees are reported to be in fairly good condition. Some beekeepers are supplemental feeding. Beekeepers are busy repairing equipment and attending workshop and trade events. Demand for local honey was holding about average despite the lower prices.

CALIFORNIA
Several weak storm systems moved across the state during the first three weeks of January. They brought only light, scattered rainshowers to Southern California and moderate amounts to the Sacramento Valley and to the north. One storm resulted in heavy rainfall over the northern coast and a foot of new snow to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Strong winds occasionally accompanied the storms. On the 23rd and 24th, the Sacramento Valley received record precipitation of over 3" and the foothills received 4-6". Several feet of new snow also fell in the mountains. The storm moved south on the 25th bringing significant rains to Southern California. A brief shot of cold air dropped morning readings to record levels in Southern California on the 8th when some areas dipped into the low 20's. Daytime highs were unseasonably warm with many areas 6-10 degrees above normal. Areas along the Mexico border logged daily-record highs when temperatures rose above 85 degrees. Despite the much needed rain, many areas continue to be very dry because the precipitation levels are still as much as 50% below normal and the warm temperatures dried everything out. The water equivalent of the Sierra Nevada snowpack was only 20% of normal the middle of January but heavy precipitation the last half of the month increased the level to 65% of normal.

Beekeepers were beginning to move their hives into the almonds by the end of the month. The bloom is expected to begin the middle of February, which is about normal but the orchards need rain for a good bloom. Bee losses continue to be discovered as beekeepers did a final check before they are moved into the almonds. Some beekeepers are trying to find additional bees to cover their contracts. Some almond growers are looking for bees to pollinate their crop because so many losses have occurred. Overall, the bees are not in as good of condition as last year due to the weather and mites.

Beekeeping supply companies were busy selling syrup to migratory beekeepers as many feed their bees before they are moved into the almonds. Queen breeders and package suppliers were beginning to get orders for spring delivery.

COLORADO
The month of January continued to be very unseasonably dry with about normal temperatures for the southern mountains. The northern mountains of Colorado did receive substantial amounts of moisture the last two weeks of the month. Snowfall amounts in those areas ranged from 24" to as much as 48" during that period. Temperatures during the month were about normal with daytime highs in the mid-30's to mid-40's and lows in the low teens to the 20's.

Migratory beekeepers reported that their colonies were working the winter crops in Southern Texas and will soon be working almond blooms in California. Those colonies in Colorado are currently receiving supplemental feed in their holding yards.

FLORIDA
Scattered showers helped ease dry conditions in some localities. Around the middle of the month temperatures dipped to freezing levels in many areas. Cooler temperatures remained the last part of the month. Daytime highs were in the 60s and 70s while lows were in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Rainfall ranged from three quarters of an inch to about two and a half inches.

Most of the bees are in good condition. The bees have been feeding from a light supply of maple and willows in South Florida. Although the water table is down, the few showers that they got once in a while helped the plants to bloom.

The beekeepers are still trying to control the mites. The mites are getting resistant to the Apistan treatment. The beekeepers are switching to CheckMite treatment.

Demand for Florida honey is moderate. Prices are lower.

GEORGIA
Colonies around the state were in fair to good condition. Beekeepers were beginning to closely inspect colonies for tracheal mite infestation as the mortality rate usually peaks in February. Supplemental feeding continues to take place at several locations to compensate for light stores. During the majority of January, mild temperatures were experienced which has triggered early pollen sources. Bees were bringing in pollen from primarily red maple to stimulate broodrearing. Queens were laying brood in colonies located in the southern half of the state.

Editors Note: Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin announced in late January that beekeepers in Georgia have been temporarily cleared to use the pesticide coumaphos impregnated in plastic strips in their hives to control Varroa mite and small hive beetle.

IDAHO
Beekeepers report little or no activity this last month. Idaho weather has been cold and windy with few days warming into the upper 30's.

Snow water levels in Idaho range from 107% to 110% of normal in Northern Idaho compared to 70% to 80% of normal in the rest of the state. Most reservoirs and controlled lakes are reporting above average storage (NRCS, USDA data).

ILLINOIS
Dryer than normal conditions continued over the state while above normal temperatures had been reported. The 16th of the month, most of the state experienced a Canadian cold wave that produced freezing rain and icy conditions in southern sections. The central and northern section reported varied amounts of snowfall from two inches in some areas while other areas received five or more inches of snow.

Some beekeepers reported colonies were making cleansing flights the first two weeks of the new year and most colonies were overwintering well.

Honey and wax sales were slow for the month as holiday demand fell off.

INDIANA
Warmer than normal temperatures of mid 40's and low fifties were reported throughout the state. Most colonies were reported to be overwintering well due to fall treatment for Varroa mites and mild temperatures providing cleansing flights. The state was still concerned over the lack of precipitation in many areas causing ponds, lakes, and rivers to be tower than normal.

Several beekeepers from the state attended national honey and honeybee conferences during the month.

Package bees and queens demand was reported strong by beekeeper suppliers. It was noted a greater demand due in part to continued growth of hobbyist beekeepers in the state.

Honey sales were reported slow.

KENTUCKY
Weather conditions were cold with some rain, sleet and snow. Most beekeepers reported that their bees are in fair to good condition. Most beekeepers are still trying to access the damage to their bees and hives due to the cotd and inclement weather.

Honey prices are generally unchanged.

MICHIGAN & OHIO
The weather in January was normal to below normal. The bees have clustered well and have appeared to be overwintering well due to the consistent low temperatures. Colonies are in generally good condition. There was very little activity for beekeepers.

Demand for honey was fairly light.

MISSISSIPPI
Colonies around the state were in fair to good condition. Colony loss has been noted following discoveries of tracheal mites at several locations. Some colonies have noted significant losses. Supplemental feeding continues to take place at several locations to compensate for light stores. Towards the end of January, red maple was blooming throughout the southern half of the state. This early pollen source has stimulated broodrearing and queens were actively laying brood at several locations.

MISSOURI & IOWA
The weather during January had warmer than normal temperatures early in the month and near normal the last half of the month. Precipitation ranged from slightly below normal to slightly above normal. Colonies were in generally good condition. The warm, sunny days early in the month allowed cleansing flights and warm, sunny weather is forecast for early February which should allow the bees to clean up after the last January cold weather.

MONTANA
Topsoil moisture continues to be very short, especially in the eastern half of the state. Very little precipitation was reported until the last week of January when a storm pushed into the central and southern region bringing only 4-5" of snow to the valleys. Mild and sometimes above normal temperatures have also dried out many areas.

Higher than normal losses from mites are being reported. The mites appear to have become resistant to the fluvalinate so many beekeepers were trying the new Checkmite strips. Some beekeepers were in California moving bees into the almond orchards. Other migratory beekeepers did not take their bees to California last fall because their bees were not in as good of condition as usual. This will contribute to a shortage of bees to pollinate the almonds.

NEVADA
Weather for January was warmer & wetter than normal. Record highs were set between the 13th & the
16th of the month with temperatures ranging 54-62 degrees. Snowpack levels for February 1st range from 47% to 86% of normal with the western portion of the state at the higher end of the range (NRCS, USDA data). With the warmer temperatures the second week of January, bees were able to get in some flight time in areas with little wind.

NEW YORK
Temperatures across the state for the month of January remained normal for most of the month. The last ten days, temperatures were above normal. Precipitation amounts are not where they should be for this time of year.

Most beekeepers reported that colonies remain in good condition and the bees appear to have wintered well. The colonies appear to have stored enough honey within their chambers for feeding.

Demand for honey was very light. Prices were steady.

NORTH CAROLINA
Very little bee activity was reported throughout the month. The first half of January was fairly seasonal but the last half was a different story. Record snowfall was recorded in the Raleigh area with amounts reaching above 20" in some areas. Raleigh-Durham Airport's report 18.2" was the most recorded since records began being kept in 1893. The western part of the state had about a week of snow/sleet/freezing rain and also some nighttime temperatures in the single digits during the last couple of weeks.

OREGON
The state was hit with frequent rainshowers during January. A powerful storm moved up the Oregon coast on the 16th, causing widespread wind damage. Gusts were clocked at 115 mph at Cannon Beach, located right on the Pacific Ocean and 59-60 mph further inland in Salem and Portland. Snow fell in the Cascade Mountains and some parts of Eastern Washington but frequent mild days melted much of the snow in the east.

The condition of the bees along the coast varies. The wind storm blew the tops off the hives in some yards and losses were found from exposure to the weather. There are also increased losses from mites. On mild days, the bees would take cleansing flights and were seen bringing in different colored pollen they had found. Commercial pollinators took their bees to the California almond orchards.

TENNESSEE
Weather conditions for the month of January ranged from mild to cold, with some freezing rain and snow towards the end of the month. Most beekeepers report that their bees are in fair to good condition.

Honey prices are generally unchanged.

UTAH
Beekeepers report little or no activity this last month. Honey sales have been few with no promise of better prices. The snow pack in the Utah ranges from 36% to 39% of normal in Southern Utah as compared to 64% to 74% in the rest of the state (NRCS, USDA data).

WASHINGTON
Precipitation returned to the state during January. Two weeks of mostly dry weather the end of December were followed by an 8-week wet spell. A lot of the ground became saturated in Western Washington but no major flooding occurred. Snow varied from 6-18" in the valleys of Central and Eastern Washington. Many times, a snow storm was followed by a warming trend. Mild temperatures were fairly common throughout the state. A non-hurricane windstorm hit Western Washington on the 16th, bringing gusts of over 100 mph along the coast.

The unseasonably warm temperatures gave bees in Western Washington plenty of days for cleansing flights. Conditions also caused filbert, alder and trees to start blooming along with the pussy willows. These plants usually don't bloom until spring but they did provide a good food source for the bees. Some deadouts were reported even though the bees had been treated.

Bees wintered in Eastern Washington are also reported to be in good condition. Migratory beekeepers left for California holding yards the middle of the month and aren't expected to return until after the middle of February after the hives are moved into the almonds.

WISCONSIN
January temperatures remained above normal the first two weeks over the state. Beekeepers continued supplemental feeding of dry sugar. Some beekeepers began placing Varroa control strips in some hives due to favorable weather conditions. Weather patterns that gave the state above normal temperatures changed the 16th of the month. The state returned to seasonal cold temperatures and snow.

Honey and wax movement was reported slow with very little retail or bulk honey interest.


NATIONAL HONEY BOARD NEWS

The Honey Board has hired Nathan Holleman as their new chief executive officer. Mr. Hollerman comes from the California Walnut Commission, where he worked on export market development activities. He begins his official duties on March 2nd.

On February 24-26, the Honey Board will have a panel discussion on three Board membership issues: diversity, ethics and conflict of interest. At the meeting, AMS representatives will provide information on the recommendations of the Secretary of Agriculture's Task Force on Research and Promotion Programs and AMS Fruit & Vegetable Programs' policy on board's requesting government purchases of honey.


U. S. IMPORTS OF HONEY BY COUNTRY, QUANTITY AND VALUE, NOVEMBER, 1999 & YEAR TO DATE TOTALS FOR 1999

November 1999

Year to date 1999
Quantity
kilograms
Customs
Value
dollars
C.I.F.
Value
dollars
Quantity
kilograms
Customs
Value
dollars
C.I.F.
Value
dollars

NATURAL HONEY, NOT PACKAGED FOR RETAIL SALE --- WHITE
Canada 547484 657013 666886 9315364 11347103 11533032
Mexico --- --- --- 311566 372508 387146
Uruguay --- --- --- 36600 35502 36302
Argentina 2160789 1983403 2109075 26978355 26718440 27896802
United Kingdom --- --- --- 2016 22104 23119
Italy

---

---

---

1720

2679

2840

China, Mainland 135430 139110 161543 902610 984940 1083300
Australia --- --- --- 225816 288731 310468
New Zealand --- --- --- 1801 8553 8800

TOTAL:

2,843,703 2,779,534 2,937,504 37,775,848 39,780,560 41,281,809

NATURAL HONEY, NOT PACKAGED FOR RETAIL SALE --- EXTRA LIGHT AMBER
Canada --- --- --- 106341 132132 133799
Mexico --- --- --- 97072 107822 112595
Uruguay --- --- --- 55449 50577 52677
Argentina 439203 408637 431852 5417357 5336351 5564244
Italy

---

---

---

420

2813

3308

Vietnam --- --- --- 37700 28652 31762
China

---

---

---

116000

105756

120700

TOTAL:

453,968 425,563 448,828 5,845,104 5,781,029 6,036,061

November 1999

Year to date 1999
Quantity
kilograms
Customs
Value
dollars
C.I.F.
Value
dollars
Quantity
kilograms
Customs
Value
dollars
C.I.F.
Value
dollars

NATURAL HONEY, NOT PACKAGED FOR RETAIL SALE --- LIGHT AMBER
Canada 21902 29913 30382 266472 328900 333889
Mexico --- --- --- 1801100 1691018 1793336
El Salvador --- --- --- 421 2082 2238
Nicaragua --- --- --- 16335 28934 31359
Argentina 390001 340922 360613 5194228 4686482 4931940
United Kingdom

50

2256

2371

3993

34977

36216

France

1000

3867

3968

15438

121346

129610

Germany

---

---

---

70880

171136

188494

Austria

---

---

---

1200

5802

6094

Hungary

---

---

---

11572

25422

28088

Switzerland

---

---

---

8522

59333

61011

Italy

---

---

---

1593

5312

5630

India

---

---

---

37200

35300

35372

Vietnam

143460

89050

106975

1219995

952060

1096398

China

1818658

1678744

1901657

19452846

17600726

19615709

Taiwan

---

---

---

2925

8775

9439

Australia

---

---

---

69956

112116

116437

New Zealand

---

---

---

450

3024

3025

Rep. of S. Africa 325 2130 2311 325 2130 2311

TOTAL:

2,375,396 2,146,882 2,408,277 28,328,712 25,981,319 28,552,334

November 1999

Year to date 1999
Quantity
kilograms
Customs
Value
dollars
C.I.F.
Value
dollars
Quantity
kilograms
Customs
Value
dollars
C.I.F.
Value
dollars

NATURAL HONEY, NOT PACKAGED FOR RETAIL SALE --- NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED OR INDICATED
Canada 47901 46587 46787 324596 372787 375475
Mexico 60036 91177 97412 845853 1015549 1062849
Dom. Republic --- --- --- 33765 37211 39784
Uruguay --- --- --- 18483 17159 17559
Argentina 19021 15538 16822 1405984 1318156 1398665
France

---

---

---

3139

16223

18944

Austria

---

---

---

26293

71973

75525

Switzerland

408

2864

2976

2041

14321

14797

Italy

179

2373

2563

2529

8947

9301

Greece

---

8100

9172

4593

8100

9172

Lebanon

---

---

---

150

3000

3059

China

78880

81068

92443

499910

471315

533571

Taiwan

750

2200

2369

6585

30985

32385

Australia

---

---

---

31860

56701

58694

TOTAL:

207175 241807 261372 3205781 3649780 3388408


U.S. EXPORTS OF HONEY BY COUNTRY OF DESTINATION, QUANTITY & VALUE
NOVEMBER, 1999 & YEAR TO DATE TOTALS FOR 1999

NOVEMBER 1999
 

YEAR TO DATE 1999

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

 

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

HONEY, NATURAL, PACKAGED FOR RETAIL SALE ---------------------------------------------------- DOMESTIC MERCHANDISE
COSTA RICA

---

---

 

839

3,369

BARBADOS

---

---

 

4,223

9,546

ARUBA

---

---

 

1,630

8,848

ECUADOR

---

---

 

2,42I

6,698

SWEDEN

---

---

 

24,313

76,440

NETHERLANDS

---

---

 

17,724

46,440

GERMANY

---

---

 

27,828

84,422

SLOVAKIA

---

---

 

17,174

33,124

RUSSIA

---

---

 

1,289

4,199

SPAIN

---

---

17,930

26,032

LEBANON

---

---

 

10,463

13,724

JORDAN

---

---

 

I8,076

35,239

KUWAIT

13,400

43,737

 

188,047

484,909

SAUDI ARABIA

11,600

28,029

 

381,764

694,274

QATAR

22,910

29,352

 

48,004

67,974

ARAB EM.

104,111

236,293

 

282,483

557,637

YEMEN

38,144

80,590

 

361,401

780,421

BAHRAIN

16,775

9,443

 

16,775

9,443

PAKISTAN

9,923

6,670

 

31,430

53,982

SINGAPORE

---

---

 

4,436

13,515

INDONESIA

---

---

 

1,516

5,065

PHILIPPINES

---

---

 

441,182

723,069

KOREA

---

---

 

43,798

83,993

HONG KONG

---

---

 

13,773

38,8248

TAIWAN

---

---

 

5,398

7,079

JAPAN

---

---

 

67,241

79,087

NIGERIA

---

---

2,288

7,008

TOTAL:

215,272

439,805

 

2,055,291

3,986,526


NOVEMBER 1999
 

YEAR TO DATE 1999

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

 

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

HONEY NATURAL, NOT ELSEWHERE INDICATED OR SPECIFIED ---------------------------- DOMESTIC MERCHANDISE
CANADA

11,562

18,189

 

307,135

598,943

MEXICO

49,966

82,600

 

160,255

249,372

TRINIDAD

15,707

25,695

 

30,667

53,123

N. ANTLLES

---

---

 

6,227

21,900

ARUBA

---

---

 

2,000

6,072

GUADALUPE

---

---

 

6,018

16,401

VENEZUELA

---

---

 

1,118

3,704

GUYANA

---

---

 

5,638

8,460

SWEDEN

19,718

21,294

 

18,554

31,122

NETHERLANDS

---

---

 

1,899

4,387

BELGIUM

---

---

 

22,410

38,440

FRANCE

---

---

 

306

3,556

GERMANY

---

---

 

402,824

584,246

HUNGARY

---

---

 

528

6,650

SWITZERLAND

---

---

 

20,101

38,059

SPAIN

---

---

 

18,570

25,389

ISRAEL

19,012

25,986

 

19,012

25,986

SAUDI ARABIA

34,328

31,974

 

80,806

104,541

QATAR

---

---

 

17,758

30,998

ARAB EM.

---

---

 

19,051

43,050

YEMEN

---

---

 

59,882

60,000

BANGLADESH

---

---

 

22,680

52,500

SINGAPORE

---

---

 

19,051

43,050

INDONESIA

2,858

7,622

 

47,981

84,514

PHILIPPINES

---

---

 

19,537

21,514

CHINA

---

---

 

246,525

352,636

KOREA

20,423

67,343

 

306,641

592,712

HONG KONG

8,709

32,900

 

343,522

489,563

TAIWAN

---

---

 

17,280

31,523

JAPAN

---

---

 

180,774

373,244

AUSTRALIA

---

---

 

16,971

19,410

TOTAL:

182,283

313,603

 

2,441,439

4,025,559


NOVEMBER 1999
 

YEAR TO DATE 1999

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

 

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

HONEY NATURAL, NOT ELSEWHERE INDICATED OR SPECIFIED ---------------------------- FOREIGN MERCHANDISE
CANADA

9,938

10,057

 

20,387

35,774


SOURCE: U. S. Dept. Of Commerce, Bureau of the Census - Foreign Trade Division


1999 PACIFIC NORTHWEST HONEY BEE POLLINATION SURVEY
By Michael Burgett, Department of Entomology
Oregon State University

Our entry into the new millennium marks the 14th year that the Honey Bee Laboratory at Oregon State University has reviewed the pollination economics of commercial beekeeping in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). This is the 7th year for which combined data are given for the states of Washington & Oregon. With each years information, the strength and importance of our regions beekeeping industry is highlighted. All participants in a regional agricultural industry need to understand the vital role played by beekeeping in overall agricultural production. This is especially true today with the increased costs & problems caused by the presence of honey bee mite parasites & the slowly expanding geographical range of our European honey bee's tropical "cousin" the Africanized honey bee, now recorded in several counties in Southern California, as well as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.

The use of managed honey bee colonies for commercial crop pollination remains the most important function of the PNW beekeeping industry. The vast and diverse agriculture of the PNW relies on a healthy and strong beekeeping industry to maintain optimum production. An enhanced knowledge of pollination economics is critical to every beekeeper who enters into the world of commercial crop pollination. It is also important for those growers who rent colonies to understand current economic conditions of the beekeeping industry.

This year's survey provides data that continue to show a number of trends, one of which is the dependence of PNW commercial beekeepers on the income generated from colony rentals. For 1999 the average commercial beekeeper received nearly 68% of his or her annual operating gross from pollination rental. This is down from the record high figure of 72% reported in 1995. I am aware of no region in the U.S., or the world for that matter, where honey bee pollination is of such importance to the economic survival of a regional beekeeping community and of such benefit to the agricultural base that requires insect pollination for optimizing product yield. Even in California, the state with the largest & most varied beekeeping industry in the U.S., pollination rental income is just slightly over 50% of operating revenues.

For the previous 7 years the average size of an individual commercial operation has increased. This trend of upward growth in the number of colonies maintained by commercial beekeepers increased again in 1999 with the average commercial operation reporting 2,060 colonies.

As in past years, the 1999 survey was sent to all Washington & Oregon beekeepers that registered more than 25 colonies with their respective state agriculture departments. A total of 15 commercial beekeepers returned completed surveys. These individual beekeepers collectively owned 30,881 colonies. A total of 85,586 colony rentals were reported for all respondents, which produced $2,759,156 in rental income.

For 1999 the average pollination rental fee, computed from commercial beekeepers rentals on all crops reported, was $32.25. This is a $2.60 (9%) increase from the average pollination fee charged in 1988 ($29.65). This is the first increase in the average pollination fee for the past 3 years.

Commercial beekeepers were responsible for 99% of all reported pollination rentals & a corresponding 99% of all pollination income. This is very similar to past years and shows how dominant commercial beekeepers are in the arena of large-scale agricultural pollination. The average pollination rental fee for semi-commercial beekeepers was $36.55. Somewhat higher than that charged by commercial beekeepers, but semi-commercial beekeepers account for only 1% of all reported pollination rentals.

The amount of income generated from pollination rentals leveled off in 1997 and 1998, but dramatically increased in 1999. In 1999 the average commercial beekeeper in Washington and Oregon grossed $183,780 from pollination rental, which is a large increase from the average gross of $95,699 in 1998. During the past six years the average rental fee has increased from $28.10 (1994) to $32.25 (1999), which is somewhat misleading because the average pollination fees actually decreased in 1997 and 1998. It needs also to be pointed out that honey bee colony rental has for many decades been an underpaid service. It is really only within the past seven or eight years that rental fees have begun to more accurately reflect the enormous value-added service of managed pollination. This is shown by the 75% increase in the average pollination fee during the last decade; 1990 = $18.40 to 1999 = $32.25.

Within the PNW, tree fruits are the dominant crops for pollination income. In 1999 the combination of pears, sweet cherries and apples accounted for 44% of all reported rentals and 44% of all reported pollination income. Ironically, the single most important crop for PNW beekeepers is grown in California, i.e. almonds. Almonds were responsible for 27% of all rentals and 33% of all rental income in this year's survey with almonds possessing the highest average pollination fee reported for 1999 ($39.90). More than 95% of all commercial colonies in Oregon and Washington are taken to California for almond pollination. In 1999, the combination of almonds and tree fruit accounted for 71% of all rentals and 77% of pollination income from PNW beekeepers.

For 1999 crops pollinated in the PNW, vegetable seed provided the highest average fee at $37.90 per colony rental. In terms of acreage, apples are the largest crop grown in the region and this is reflected by the large number of reported rentals (33% of all reported rentals and 34% of reported rental income).

The crops with the lowest pollination fees are the legumes crimson clover ($7.15/colony) and hairy vetch ($0/colony), both of which are grown as seed crops and are also traditional honey producers, hence historically low fees. However, the 1999 rental fee for crimson clover ($7.15) is up sharply from 1998 ($4.50). Berry crops (blackberries, raspberries and blueberries), which as late spring to early summer bloomers and copious nectar producers (blackberries & raspberries), often produce honey crops as well as pollination fees. The 1999 average pollination fee for all combined berry crops was $28.40 per hive, which is a 15% increase over the average berry rental fee in 1998.

The average PNW commercial honey bee colony was rented 2.77 times in 1999 and this includes California almonds. Wth an average rental fee of $32.25, this results in an average per colony pollination income of $89.30, which is an 8% increase from 1998.

The combined colony numbers from those commercial beekeepers who responded to the survey, (30,881 hives), represent a conservative one-forth of the commercial hives in Oregon and Washington. Therefore, if we multiplythe pollination income ($2,759,156) by a factor of 4, we have a ball park estimate of the pollination income generated by commercial beekeeping in the PNW, i.e. slightiy greater than $11,000,000. This is less than 1.5% of the estimated farm-gate value of PNW crops that require or benefit from managed pollination.

Pollination income in the PNW far exceeds the value of honey and wax sales for our regional beekeeping industry. Pollination rental income is frequently 4 to 5 times greater than honey and wax sales in any given year, a situation that is largely ignored by federal and state agricultural economists, who continue to rely almost solely on the sale of honey and wax as the yardstick for beekeeping economic activity.

It needs to be remembered that much of the data presented here represents the pollination rental situation of the "average" commercial beekeepers. For individual beekeepers the survey results are most useful as benchmarks against which they should compare their individual operations.

While colony income from pollination rental is a critical statistic, so therefore is the annual cost to maintain a colony of honey bees. Responses to this question on the survey have varied widely, often from a misunderstanding of what was being asked. However, numerous commercial beekeepers who have over the years maintained excellent cost accounting records, did respond with numbers that are very reasonably relative to today's economic pressures. The average annual per colony maintenance cost was $104 for 1999. It is very important to note that the average colony maintenance cost is higher than the average per colony pollination income by $14.70. This illustrates that the operation profits are generated by other sources of income, most importantly, honey production.

During the past 15 years many thousands of colonies of honey bees have been lost due to the presence of parasitic mites, and those losses continue, but fortunately at a lessened rate. The colony losses have been most severe for the wild honey bee population and from within the hobbyist ranks. Commercial beekeepers, while experiencing heavy colony losses, have, by and large, responded by increasing their colony numbers in order to meet future pollination contractual agreements. Due to increased colony losses, an economic situation has been created whereby every living colony of honey bees now possesses a greater potential economic value. Commercial beekeepers have taken advantage of this opportunity.

I wish to again thank all those beekeepers in Oregon and Washington who took the time to participate in the survey, which has over the past 14 years, generated the most accurate assessment of commercial pollination known in the U.S.

AVERAGE POLLINATION FEES 1990 - 1999
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
$18.40 $19.45 $19.25 $22.50 $28.10 $29.60 $31.55 $31.05 $29.65 $32.25

1999 Average Commercial Pollination Fees
Crop No. Rentals Average Fee Income
Pears 3,377 $31.60 $106,789
Cherries 5,526 $31.60 $174,760
Apples 28,336 $32.80 $929,842
Berries *1 3,038 $23.65 $71,774
Blueberries 2,371 $26.15 $61,968
Cranberries 1,866 $30.00 $72,780
Vegetable seed 1,994 $37.60 $74,964
Clover seed *2 6,788 $21.60 $146,532
Crimson clover seed 2,232 $7.15 $15,940
Vetch seed 557 -0- -0-
Radish seed 714 $28.45 $20,300
Sq. & Pump. seed 314 $23.00 $7,222
Meadowfoam seed 3,830 $34.30 $131,455
Misc. *3 183 $20.90 $3,823
Almonds 23,083 $39.90 $897,603
TOTAL: 85,586 Average Fee - $32.25 $2,759,156
*1 Includes blackberries, raspberries, niarionberries, & loganberries.
*2 lncludes red & white clover as grown for seed.
*3 lncludes arrow-leaf clover seed, birds-foot trefoil seed, kiwi, & holly.

AVERAGE COLONY NUMBERS, AVERAGE RENTAL FEE PER HIVE AND AVERAGE ANNUAL RENTAL INCOME PER HIVE FOR A COMMERCIAL BEEKEEPING OPERATION IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST 1992-1999.
Year Average No. Colonies Average Rental Fee Average Annual Rental Income per Colony
1992 765 $19.25 $49.70
1993 990 $22.50 $62.25
1994 1,225 $28.10 $78.70
1995 1,348 $29.60 $78.15
1996 1,350 $31.55 $97.50
1997 1,504 $31.05 $92.20
1998 1,153 $29.65 $83.00
1999 2,058 $32.25 $89.30