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 MARCH, 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 - 48¢

CALIFORNIA
- ALFALFA, LIGHT AMBER, 42 - 43¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 45 - 53¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 45 - 50¢
- ORANGE, WHITE, 58¢

FLORIDA
- BRAZILIAN PEPPER, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 42¢
- GALLBERRY, AMBER, 42 - 53¢
- GALLBERRY/SAW PALMETTO, LIGHT AMBER, 41¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 44¢
- - - NEW CROP - - -
- ORANGE, WHITE, 62¢
- ORANGE/WILLOW, WHITE, 58¢

IDAHO
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56 - 58¢

INDIANA
- CLOVER, LIGHT AMBER, 66¢
- WILDFLOWERS, MEDIUM AMBER, 66¢

MICHIGAN
- BLUEBERRY, MEDIUM AMBER, 65¢
- CLOVER, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 51¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 66¢
- KNAPWEED, MEDIUM AMBER, 74¢

MONTANA
- ALFALFA, WHITE, 57¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56¢

NEBRASKA
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56¢

NORTH DAKOTA
- CLOVER, WATER WHITE, 62¢ - - - WHITE, 56 - 57¢

OHIO
- MIXED FLOWERS, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 51¢

PENNSYLVANIA
- GOLDENROD, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 42¢

SOUTH DAKOTA
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56 - 57¢

TEXAS
- WAX, LIGHT, $1.30 - - - DARK, $1.20

WASHINGTON
- BUCKWHEAT, LIGHT AMBER, 35¢ (SMALL LOT)
- CARROT, LIGHT AMBER, 45¢ (SMALL LOT)
- RUSSIAN OLIVE, LIGHT AMBER, 50¢ (SMALL LOT)

WYOMING
- ALFALFA, WHITE, 60¢



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, 61¢

MANITOBA
- CLOVER, WHITE, 53¢

QUEBEC
- CLOVER, WHITE, 58¢

SASKATCHEWAN
- CLOVER, WATER WHITE, 61¢ - - - WHITE, 59¢

WINNIPEG
- CLOVER, WATER WHITE, 52¢ (DELIVERED TO PLANT IN U.S.)

PROVINCE & FLORAL SOURCE UNKNOWN
- WHITE, 55¢



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, EXTRA WHITE, 58¢ - - - WHITE, 50 - 57¢
- CLOVER, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 46¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 46¢
- FLORAL SOURCE & COLOR UNKNOWN, 49¢

CHINA
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 42¢

MEXICO
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 54¢



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

The wax business is seasonally slow as beekeepers were too busy moving bees out of the almonds and into summer locations to bring in their wax. Sales of processed, bulk wax also continues to be slow.

Light colored wax was being traded at $1.30 - 1.60 per pound with some handlers paying the higher price if the producer used it to trade for supplies. There was too little movement of dark wax to quote a price.


COLONY, HONEY PLANT & MARKET CONDITIONS DURING MARCH

APPALACHIAN DISTRICT - (MD, PA, VA, WV)
Temperatures across the District were generally above normal causing the bloom to occur approximately two weeks ahead of normal. This is causing earlier than normal activity in colonies. Queens are laying and populations are beginning to build. Rental beekeepers are busy moving or beginning to move bees to orchards for pollination depending on what part of the District they are in. In the southern District peaches and nectarines are in full bloom and apples are beginning. In Pennsylvania the apricots are in full bloom. Ornamental cherries, Bradford pears and other spring flowering trees as well as spring bulbs are in full bloom in all areas. Beekeepers are still assessing winter losses and there are some reports that several hobbyist beekeepers lost large percentages of bees in their colonies from starvation. This Is resulting in an increased demand for packaged bees. Most commercial beekeepers report very strong colonies with minimal losses.

CALIFORNIA
The first half of March remained fairly cool with daytime highs only reaching the mid to upper 60's in most areas, which is as much as 5 degrees below normal. A series of storms moved across the state bringing light rain the first week of March. Around the 8th, a strong storm system brought significant rainfall to the entire state and snow levels in the mountains dropped to as low as 2,500 feet. Spring blew in the last couple of weeks, raising daytime highs into the upper 70's to low 80's. High winds occurred over much of the state with gusts in the northern valleys reaching 40-50 mph while mountain gusts exceeded 70 mph.

Late varieties of almonds continued to bloom through the first of the month but finished up quickly by the middle of April. Bees were then moved into the prunes, where a good bloom was reported, and into the orange groves in Southern California and onion seed fields. The bees are reported to be in much better condition coming out of the almonds than when they went in, despite the cool, wet weather during much of the bloom time. A few light colonies were fed, but most beekeepers were making divides and the swarming season has started earlier than normal. Mite treatments were still being added to some hives. Only a fair sage crop is predicted this year because, while the rains were appreciated, they came too late to bring on a good nectar flow.

Queen breeders and package producers along with beekeeping supply businesses, reported sales were good during March as they sold a fair amount of spring beekeeping supplies. The heavy winds the end of the month did interfere with queen raising.

Some honey packers reported sales were a little stronger while others still find business slow both on the buying and selling end. Some feel there is still a fairly substantial amount of last years clover honey crop being held back.

COLORADO
The month of March brought some much needed moisture for most of the state in the form of snow for both the mountains and the plains. The mountains received the bulk of the snowfall, but the lower elevations received adequate moisture as well. The months of March and April are generally the wettest of the year with moisture funneled to the southern Rockies from the Gulf of Mexico across over the northern plains. Precipitation during these months is essential for adequate water supplies during the summer months from the state's reservoirs. Temperatures have been about normal during the month, but temperatures the last week of the month reached the low 60's to lower 70's. This has allowed for periodic cleansing flights for bee colonies and working some early blooming bulk flowers.

Most bee colonies kept instate are reported to be In just fair condition at this time, as some beekeepers suspect spotty killing of their bees from mites.

FLORIDA
Warm temperatures and mostly dry weather persisted. Most rainfall amounts ranged from none at most stations to traces. A cold front passing over the State brought light showers to some localities with most amounts totaling traces to over two Inches of rain.

The orange flow is winding down. There are only a few blooms left. Overall the flow has been short & very spotty. The Titi flow in North Florida is the best in the area and has been a very good crop. Prospects for Tupelo are very poor because there is no water on the roots. Palmetto and Gallberry are possible crops. The beekeepers are keeping beatles and mites under control.

Demand for Florida honey is improving. Prices are picking up and improving. Honey buyers are trying to get commitments.

IDAHO
A few warm days allowed the bees some flight time in March. Most of March it was either too cool or windy to work on the hives.

Some commercial beekeepers have returned with their hives to Idaho, before leaving for the apple bloom in Washington and Oregon. Other beekeepers choose to kept their hives in California pollinating in the orange groves. Most beekeepers were dividing colonies and re-queening. Better than expected weather in California helped to strengthen the hives.

ILLINOIS
Temperatures for the month were still slightly above normal. Many parts of the state set a record high the 8th of the month. Chicago's O'Hare reported 78 degrees, which was five degrees above the old record. Rainfall continued to be light in northern sections while the remainder of the state reported spotty rainfall. Mid-month, the central region had a snowstorm that produced snowfall from 6" too as much as a foot. With above average temperatures, many peach orchards were in bloom or beekeepers had calls for bees for pollination. This was ten days earlier than normal. Bees were also working dandelion, tulip trees, red bud, daffodils & various wild flowers.

Some losses of bees was reported due to starvation or Varroa mites. Most estimates were 20% in northern sections and 10 - 15% in the central and southern areas. This figure has been blamed on mites building resistance to mite treatments.

Retail honey sales were good and wax sales were very good according to beekeepers. Bulk honey prices were quoted in the 55-60 cent range. This was lower than previous years.

INDIANA
Beekeeper's spring activities were moving at a fast clip. Some colonies have built up rapidly because of favorable mild temperatures. Floral sources honeybees had been working were saucer magnolia, red bud, Bradford pear and various flowers. Many beekeepers moved hives into peach orchards. Due to mild temperatures, the bloom was heavier than last year. Some orchards wanted more hives per orchard, however due to demand from neighboring states hives were short. Early estimates were overwinter losses in most areas of the state were approximately 10%, figures of 10% is considered a normal overwintering loss. Demand for package bees continued very good.

Beekeepers that had not pre-ordered spring packages have been advised extra packages were in short supply. Beekeepers checking hives or moving hives from overwinterlng yards were being encouraged to check for small hive beetle. If the beekeeper is not sure if the beetle was present, a sample beetle was to be placed in a jar of rubbing alcohol & sent or taken to the Apiary Inspector.

Honey sales at the retail level were good, as was demand. Wholesale movement to processors was slow.

MISSISSIPPI
Colonies around the state were generally in good to excellent condition. The spring buildup and development continued to progress well in March. Bees were able to work pollen on TiTi, willows, yaupon holly, crimson clover, dandelion and fruit trees. The spring honey flow in southern Mississippi on wild flowers started late in the month, with surpluses being noted. Some beekeepers in the southern portions of the state expect to start pulling honey off the wildflower flow the second week in April. Sufficient moisture due to light rains and a warm spring with plenty of floral sources have the bees swarming in the more southern locations. Beekeepers are trying to stay ahead of the swarming activity by making new starter hives. Buyers have been active lately and prices of white honey are up 5 cents over the last three months. Floral sources expected to produce honey in April include wild cherry, privet hedge, swamp hibiscus and wild flowers.

MONTANA
Conditions across the state continued to be unseasonably warm during March. The eastern half of the state is also the area most in need of moisture. A lack of snow in the mountains is also raising concerns about the availability of adequate irrigation water this summer. Daytime highs were in the 60's & most regions recorded nighttime lows in the 20's but occasionally did dip into the teens. By the end of March, topsoil moisture was rated at 45% short & 39% very short across the state.

Migratory beekeepers brought some of their bees back to the state during March with the remainder of the bees going into fruit orchards in Washington State. The bees came out of the almonds in good shape but very hungry. In many areas of Montana, buds were beginning to swell and the bees were seen bringing in pollen from pussywillows.

NEVADA
Still having to add a little syrup to most hives due to cooler weather this last month. Bees have been feeding on willow pollen & nectar and plum flowers. Hive strength is about 80% and gaining strength, mite losses have been higher than normal this year.

NEW ENGLAND
Winter in the New England region was mild this year with snowfall amounts below average. Weather for the month of March was very mild for early spring with temperatures in the low to mid-50's, with some days in the mid-60's and occasional day up over 70 degrees.

Beekeepers in Northern New England reported that their losses over the winter was about 10-15%, while beekeepers in the south region reported silghtly more with about 20-25%. This was mostly due to last years drought and starvation. Bees have been seen out on cleansing flights throughout New England with some southern area beekeepers reporting that their bees are bringing in pollen from various flowers and weeds. Beekeepers in the north reported that there is still a need to feed.

Though some beekeepers reported that they have raised their prices, most report prices at or around last year's range. No significant pest problenis were reported at this time and beekeepers throughout the region are optimistic about the corning season.

NORTH CAROLINA
The weather during much of March was mild, and most areas received some much needed rain during the last half of the month. Colonies across the state appear to be building up nicely on a variety of sources. Maples In the Piedmont are reported to be already past their peak. The outlook for the early nectar flow continues to be promising. Same beekeepers are reporting more winter colony losses than normal. Anyone looking for packaged bees needs to contact state apiary officials for a list of certified dealers.

In the Piedmont and eastern portion of the state, beekeepers need to monitor their hives closely for beetles and also any mites that have become resistant to the strips. Beekeepers in the western part of the state have not experienced a problem with the beetles or mites, but like their eastern counterparts are encouraged to keep a watchful eye out for these problems.

OREGON
Many areas of the state reported some occasional cool temperatures during March. Precipitation is below normal for the majority of the state but moisture conditions show signigicant improvement from last years levels. The January - March precipitation in Pendleton totaled 7.36" (193% or normal), compared with 2.77" during the same period in 1999.

Commercial pollinators were busy moving their bees out of the almond orchards in California into the Asia pears, cherries and blueberries. The bees came back to the state very hungry and there was no nectar flow except on warm days, so a lot of supplemental feed was necessary. Despite the occasional cool temperatures, the bloom on most crops is reported to be fairly close to schedule except blueberries which are running a little late. Other food sources included hazlenuts, dandelions, alder and other ornamental trees. There appears to be an adequate supply of bees for pollination. Some cranberry growers are not renting bees this year because of low cranberry prices and some growers have removed their caneberries. The crimson clover crop is also reported to be down and very little meadowfoam is being grown because they haven't found a market for it.

UTAH
The mild month of March, with plenty of flight time for the bees, ended in a snowstorm in the Salt Lake and Northern Utah area.

Honey prices seemed to have bottomed out this last month and even gained a little strength as a result of speculation over the decreased Argentina honey crop. Almond contracts were up a bit to $37.00, but that was offset by rising fuel cost and continued problems with mites.

WASHINGTON
Conditions in Western Washington continued to be fairly wet during most of March with most daytime highs only in the upper 50's to low 60's. Bees frequently left their hives for cleansing flights and to gather pollen from dandelions, flowering trees and massive fields of daffodils and tulips. The bees are reported to be in good condition.

Commercial pollinators were still bringing bees back from the California almond orchards. They are reported to be in good condition but came out very hungry as they built up rapidly and ate their stores. New queens were added to some colonies before they were brought back. They are now extremely busy trying to cover their pollination contracts as mild temperatures have created an early bloom on fruit trees. Occasional rain and snow in the mountains is keeping irrigation water supplies at 99% adequate.

Cool nighttime temperatures along the eastern border is keeping a lot of spring flowers from blooming. Sunny days did allow the bees to take cleansing flights and they are reported to be in good condition.

WISCONSIN
Beekeepers reported very little activity early in the month. By mid-month, beekeepers had checked their bees and had begun to move hives out into orchards for pollination. Rainfall and snowfall was reported close to normal in many areas of the state. Temperatures were reported slightly above normal for the month.

Due to some heavy colony losses, beekeepers reported more calls than normal for hives to pollinate crops this growing season. Floral sources for the most was mainly daffodils, dandelion, and a few wild flowers in southern section.

Honey sales were slow and prices for bulk drum honey was quoted at 56-57 cents which was lower than beekeepers had hoped for. Demand for bees wax continued strong due to interest in candle making.

TOP 10 HONEY PRODUCING STATES
(PRODUCTION IN MILLIONS LBS.)
Top Ten States 1999 Production '98 Rank - Prod.
1 - California 30.30 1 - 37.35
2 - North Dakota 26.78 2 - 29.44
3 - South Dakota 23.30 4 - 21.38
4 - Florida 23.27 3 - 22.54
5 - Minnesota 11.89 6 - 11.06
6 - Texas 8.75 8 - 7.01
7 - Montana 8.54 5 - 14.03
8 - Michigan 6.21 9 - 6.80
9 - Wisconsin 6.00 7 - 8.10
10 - Idaho 5.76 10 - 6.00
Total 150.80 163.71
1999 Top Ten States = 73.5% of all states
1998 Top Ten States = 74.3% of all states

U.S. HONEY PRODUCTION
10 Years and Average in millions of lbs.
1990 196.04
1991 197.79
1992 220.58
1993 230.37
1994 217.17
1995 210.44
1996 198.10
1997 192.39
1998 220.31
1999 205.23
Average 208.84


U. S. IMPORTS OF HONEY BY COUNTRY, QUANTITY AND VALUE
JANUARY, 2000 & YEAR TO DATE TOTALS FOR 2000

JANUARY 2000

YEAR TO DATE 2000
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 986434 1133513 1142766 986434 1133513 1142766
Mexico 113400 74107 76563 113400 74107 76563
Argentina 1709722 1525699 1628667 1709722 1525699 1628667
Poland

2880

13500

13987

2880

13500

13987

China, Mainland 177480 163318 180567 177480 163318 180567

TOTAL:

2,989,916 2,910,137 3,042,580 2,989,916 2,910,137 3,042,550

NATURAL HONEY, NOT PACKAGED FOR RETAIL SALE --- EXTRA LIGHT AMBER
Argentina 194404 161203 171767 194606 161203 171767

TOTAL:

194,404 161,203 171,767 194,606 161,203 171,767

JANUARY 2000

YEAR TO DATE 2000
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 21617 22525 22871 21617 22525 22871
Nicaragua 11975 18744 19986 11975 18744 19986
Argentina 290511 247391 264489 290511 247391 264489
United Kingdom

50

2405

2538

50

2405

2538

Switzerland

587

4125

4207

587

4125

4207

Italy

480

2701

3008

480

2701

3008

China

1068357

884555

988428

1068357

884555

988428

Taiwan

1575

4725

5104

1575

4725

5104

Australia

19500

21417

22750

19500

21417

22750

TOTAL:

1,414,652 1,208,588 1,333,381 1,414,652 1,208,588 1,333,381

JANUARY 2000

YEAR TO DATE 2000
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 18377 12682 12732 18377 12682 12732
Mexico 39366 50371 51775 39366 50371 51775
Dom. Republic 26630 17000 18550 26630 17000 18550
Argentina 19313 17709 19536 19313 17709 19536
Austria

3808

16023

16681

3808

16023

16681

Switzerland

1429

10026

10462

1429

10026

10462

Greece

1236

14420

14449

1236

14420

14449

Nepal

5914

10430

11184

5914

10430

11184

Taiwan

1962

9950

10336

1962

9950

10336

TOTAL:

18,025 158,611 165,705 118,025 158,611 165,705


U.S. EXPORTS OF HONEY BY COUNTRY OF DESTINATION, QUANTITY & VALUE
JANUARY, 2000 & YEAR TO DATE TOTALS FOR 2000

JANUARY 2000
 

YEAR TO DATE 2000

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

 

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

HONEY, NATURAL, PACKAGED FOR RETAIL SALE ---------------------------------------------------- DOMESTIC MERCHANDISE
ARUBA

1,532

7,102

 

1,532

7,102

ARAB EM.

18,010

43,716

 

18,010

43,716

YEMEN

35,282

46,280

 

35,282

46,280

HONG KONG

1,270

3,740

 

1,270

3,740

TOTAL:

56,094

100,838

 

56,094

100,838


JANUARY 2000
 

YEAR TO DATE 2000

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

 

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

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

29,639

41,977

 

25,639

41,977

MEXICO

2,722

7,320

 

2,722

7,320

HONDURAS

18,725

20,000

 

18,725

20,000

ARUBA

1,000

2,616

 

1,000

2,616

GUADALUPE

3,000

6,930

 

3,000

6,930

GERMANY

74,099

90,955

 

74,099

90,955

QATAR

10,766

10,469

 

10,766

10,469

INDONESIA

1,497

3,432

 

1,497

3,432

HONG KONG

1,361

3,793

 

1,361

3,793

JAPAN

18,280

25,189

 

18,280

25,189

AUSTRALIA

15,683

26,060

 

15,683

26,000

TOTAL:

172,772

238,761

 

172,772

238,761


JANUARY 2000
 

YEAR TO DATE 2000

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

 

QUANTITY
Kilograms

VALUE
Dollars

HONEY NATURAL, NOT ELSEWHERE INDICATED OR SPECIFIED ---------------------------- FOREIGN MERCHANDISE
CANADA 8,114 17,716   8,114 17,716
AUSTRALIA 19,517 25,600   19,517 25,600
TOTAL 27,631 43,316   27,631 43,316

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