NATIONAL HONEY MARKET NEWS
EAST COAST. . . ARGENTINA
CALIFORNIA BEESWAX MARKET SITUATION --- APRIL, 2000
(unbleached, raw beeswax, delivered to handlers's warehouse)
Offerings ranged from light to moderate as beekeepers were still busy moving their bees from one pollination crop to another. Producers that did sell their wax had done their rendering over the winter months. Some handlers reported wax is hard to find right now and others are only taking in product on trade.
Light colored wax was being traded at $1.30 - 1.40, mostly $1.40 per pound with some handlers paying the higher price if the producer used it to trade for supplies. Dark colored wax was taken in at $1.20 - 1.30 per pound.
HONEY PLANT & MARKET CONDITIONS DURING APRIL
APPALACHIAN DISTRICT - (MD, PA, VA, WV)
Temperatures across the District fluctuated between above average to below average during the month of April resulting in variations in honeybee activity. Fruit tree orchards were in bloom and activity was excellent during the first part of the month. Rainy, windy and cold weather occurred during the final two weeks of the month slowing activity. Bees in the southern part of the District are foraging on tulip poplars at this time and in the north they are still in the orchards which are in full bloom to petal drop stage.
Reports vary in several areas of the District regarding the overwintering of colonies. Many of the colder areas experienced light to moderate colony losses. Some of these scattered losses were a direct result of varying weather patterns/starvation and a few due to Varroa mites. It seems the warm weather initiated early brood rearing which when followed by the cold spell resulted in the bees not clustering near the honey stores. Instead they clustered over the brood which resulted in starvation in selected colonies. The Varroa Mite losses were reported to be in spring only treated colonies.
Colonies in the lower elevation areas of the District did not experience a high rate of loss and were able to continue to rear brood earlier than normal. There are reports of increased swarming in these colonies. Beekeepers who suffered losses are still reporting a demand exceeding supply situation concerning packaged bees. Luckily, due to strong, healthy bees, some local beekeepers were able to regain losses by making splits.
The first part of April, conditions were fairly normal across the state. Daytime highs were in the 80's and except for an occasional thunderstorm near the mountains, fields began to dry out as it became very windy in some areas. Around the middle of the month, record warmth developed, when Simi Valley recorded consecutive daily-record highs of 90 and 91 degrees on the 11th and l2th. Temperatures remained well above normal, especially in Northen Counties, with Fresno hitting a high of 89 degrees and Bakersfield was 90 degrees. During the same time, a strong Pacific storm system brought heavy rains to the entire state. Sacramento recorded a daily-record total of 1.48" on the 17th. On the same day, records were also set in Los Angeles when they received 1.24" and 1.68" in Pasadena. In Northern California, Reddings month-to-date rainfall reached 3.57" or 103% of normal.
Beekeepers were busy during April moving their hives from one pollination crop to another. The first part of the month in Northern California, they were working the apples, plums, cherries and nectarines. They were also moving hives into the citrus groves. The bees were sometimes slowed down by strong winds and heavy rains. Bees were being removed from the oranges by the end of the month as growers began to spray. In some areas, the bees were used to pollinate onion seed, various melons and avocados while others were set in the manzanita, which was blooming in the hills, and the buckwheat and sage. A good crop is expected from the wild floral sources this year because of the rains. The bees are reported to be in good condition as many producers were re-queening or making increases.
Most package producers have finished filling their orders by the end of the month but were still shipping queens. They reported having some problems this year with queen breeding if the new Varroa Mite treatment strips were in the hives. Conditions improved significantly once the strips were removed.
Honey packers reported their sales are only fair and they are not being offered any significant amounts of honey this year. Some indicated they think producers have put their honey under government loan to see if prices will increase.
The month of April has mostly been a mixture of cool, moist weather with warm but windy conditions prevailing. Colorado has received several storms throughout the month that brought snow to the mountains, and rain to the lower elevations. Temperature have ranged from the mid 60s to mid 70s for daytime highs, with lows being in the lower to mid 30s. Moisture content is about normal for most of the state, except for the Rio Grande River basin and the San Juan River basin in Southern Colorado reporting below normal.
Most bee colonies around the state are reported to be in fair shape and are currently working the fruit blooms, dandelion, and early spring flowers. Most migratory colonies have been returned to the state and reported to be in fair condition at this time.
Cold fronts crossing the Peninsula brought cooler weather to most areas and significant rainfall to some localities. Mostly dry conditions continued, reporting none to traces of rain. Daytime highs were in the 70s and 80s while nighttime lows averaged in the 50s and 80s.
The orange flow is over. The Titi flow was good in North Florida. Tupelo and gallberry are starting to bloom. The bees are in generally good condition. The beekeepers that treated beetles and mites in the winter time are keeping them under control.
Demand for Florida honey is picking up. Prices are moving up. Honey buyers are calling beekeepers to get honey.
Colonies around the state are in good condition. This has been a good spring for build-up and development of the colonies. Spring honey flows have been particularly good in the central portion of the state with bees working on blackberries and tulip poplar. The southern part of Georgia has been quite dry and the honey flow has not been as plentiful with bees working off blackgum and other miscellaneous floral sources. Gallberry and saw palmetto honey flows are expected to begin shortly in South Georgia. Little activity has been noted in the mountains of Northern Georgia on a few wildflowers.
Commercial beekeepers are just now returning from Washington, Oregon & California and reported that the bees were in pretty fair condition. After a thorough going through the colonies to re-queen, adding supers & medication, hives will be placed in the fields and foothills.
Despite dry and windy conditions in the month of April, bees have been feeding on balsamroot and yard flowers. In Eastern Idaho, it has been very dry with dandelions being the main floral source. Elderberry in the hills is expected to bloom early in May, along with wild garlic.
Temperatures for the month were still slightly above normal over most of the state. Many parts of the state received varied amounts of rainfall. Rainfall was spotty and no real pattern of areas with short or normal soil moisture could be established. Rainfall, for the most part continued to be light over most of the state. Hives were moved into orchards for a heavy apple, peach and cherry bloom. Bees were also working dandelion, and a large variety of wild flowers.
Overwintering losses were about ten percent overall, which is much less than earlier estimates. Most hives were is good condition and spring buildup was much better than normal.
Retail honey sales were good with retail prices remaining steady. Wax sales were still reported good as demand continued strong. Bulk honey prices continued to be posted in the 55-60 cent range, which was lower than previous years.
Beekeepers were busy with spring activities. Most hives continued spring built up rapidly because of favorable weather. Floral source honeybees had been working were red bud, dandelion, and various wild flowers. Beekeepers moved hives into apple, cherry, and late peach orchards Due to continued mild temperatures, the pollen flow has been good. Some replacement bees and queens were required due to heavy commercial losses. Most losses were still in the ten-percent range even though there were some reports of complete yard losses.
Some swarm calls were received by the State Apiary Inspector that should be noted as earlier than normal.
Honey sales at the retail level were good. Wholesale movement to processors was slow as processor demand continued to be light.
MICHIGAN & OHIO
Colonies around the state were in good condition. The month of April experienced favorable weather conditions with about normal temperatures for most of the month. The last few days, temperatures fell below normal. A few beekeepers reported the bees wintered well with about 10-15% winter loss to colonies. No supplemental feeding was noted due to the temperatures being about normal for the month.
Bees were gathering pollen and nectar from dandelions and willows. The trees are budding and even though there has not been adequate rainfall thus far, the bees are getting enough moisture from the pollen and nectar.
Demand for honey was fairly light.
Colonies around the state were generally in good condition. The spring build-up and development in the southern part of the state slowed in March with honey flow coming to a halt. Privet hedge was providing plenty of blossoms, but the bees were just not filling up the supers. Generally, weather has been favorable with just a little rain needed in the southern portion of the state. Floral sources in Southern Mississippi included gallberry, Chinese tallow and summer titi is expected the end of May. In Northern Mississippi, the honey flow has just started and hive strength continued to build. Floral sources in Northern Mississippi include privet hedge, various clovers and vetches with sumac and sourwood expected in May.
MISSOURI & IOWA
Weather during April averaged slightly above normal on temperatures and dryer than normal. Colonies were generally in very good condition. Beekeepers were busy with the spring work in the yards. Beekeeper were having a very hard time keeping ahead of swarms due to the warm dry weather which enabled the hives to build up populations fast. Inspectors were checking permits of the last re-entry hives from Southern locations. Depending on location pollen was readily available from maple, willow and elm trees and early blooming weeds. Nectar was readily available from dandelion and other early blooming ornamental plants and weeds. Apple and peach trees bloomed early in Southern Missouri. Pollination was generally complete by the end of the month. Bees were set for apple pollination in Iowa around April 15th which is about 2 weeks early. Most fruit trees will finish bloom during early May. The big worry is sub-soil moisture during this summer when the main clover crop matures. Iowa and Missouri are both showing abnormally dry and first stage drought on the U.S. drought monitor. This drought risk is showing for most of the Mississippi River basin. Bees are generally in outstanding condition and if timely rains occur to break this drought a good honey crop could be made this year.
Moisture, in the form of rain and occasional snow, was very spotty during April. Frequent winds were significant enough to diminish the benefits of the occasional showers. There is concern about low reservoir levels and many ponds were already empty due to a lack of snowfall and runoff. Temperatures were also unseasonably warm with daytime highs in the 70's most of the month except the middle week when highs were mostly in the 60's. At the end of April, topsoil moisture was still 41% short and 21% very short.
The bees are reported to be in fairly good condition despite the dry conditions. Many of the hives are setting along rivers where they were bringing in significant amounts of pollen from dandelions, sweet pears, cottonwood and elder trees.
New queens and packages arrived during the month but there were reports of problems with the first queens that were delivered. Another shipment of queens were ordered and introduced with no problems reported.
Commercial beekeepers are just now returning from California and reported the bees were in pretty good condition. After a thorough going through the colonies to re-queen, adding supers and medication, hives will be placed in and around fields. Irrigation water to the alfalfa and clover fields is just getting started.
Very dry and windy conditions during the month didn't slow down the fast build-up of the colonies as swarms of bees were reported. Most beekeepers felt that this was the best spring build-up that they had seen in a few years and expected to see an early honey flow this year. In April, bees were mainly feeding on fruit tree blooms and spring weeds.
New England weather for the month of April was generally cool and wet. Temperatures ran in the low to mid 50s with an occasional day rising into the mid 60s to low 70s. Precipitation fell on and off for most of the days during the month with occasional days with no precipitation at all.
Although various flowers, trees and weeds are blooming beekeepers have reported the need to move frames around and feed colonies on account of the bees being restricted to the hives because of bad weather. Pollinators in Southern New England have started to move their hives into apple and pear orchards as the trees start to bloom. Northern beekeepers will start to move their hives into the orchards within the next week or two.
State inspector's report that of the samples of bees sent to the state labs for analysis none exhibited lethal amounts of tracheal mites. Though Varroa was reported in a good amount of samples, American Foulbrood was minimal with about 2.5% of hives showing effects.
The weather across most of the state during the month of April was windy with a fairly high number of rainy days. This somewhat limited the bees ability to work, but even with this in mind, most colonies are building up nicely. With the moisture on hand, beekeepers are optimistic about the upcoming honey flow.
Recently a beetle was found in a queen cage that had been purchased out-of-state. Thankfully, it was found before the queen was removed. Because of this, state apiary officials are reminding beekeepers to look at all purchases before they are inserted into the hive.
Temperatures were above normal across the state the first three weeks of April. Coastal areas averaged from 2-7 degrees above; the Willamette Valley ranged from 2-9 degrees above while the rest of the state rose as much as 12 degrees above normal. Rainfall ranged from a sprinkle to over 2.5". The last week of April, temperatures dropped to as much as 5 degrees below normal in Eastern Oregon. By the end of the month, topsoil moisture was only 86% adequate.
Along the coast of Western Oregon, the bees are reported to be in such good condition that beekeepers were busy adding supers and had already made splits. Bees were moved out of cherries and directly into the cabbage seed which is blooming early this year. The swarming season has also begun. Conditions during pollination were fairly good but some areas did have a problem with occasional heavy rains and wind. Bees were also getting a good pollen supply from wild blackberries, salmonberries, blueberries and huckleberries. Maples were finished by the end of the month.
In the rest of the state, commercial pollinators were busy removing their bees from fruit orchards around Hood River and The Dalles. Some frost damage was reported the first few days of April when nighttime lows dipped into the 20's. The bees came out hungry and because other crops are not quite ready, had to be given a little feed.
Commercial beekeepers are just now returning to Utah and report that colonies are in good shape.
The month of April was one of the driest on record in many areas of Utah. Bees have been working fruit tree blossoms and dandelions. The dry conditions have the bees limited to various yard flowers as the much-needed rain has delayed the bloom of wild flowers and clovers.
By the middle of April, rainshowers had given way to sunshine but many fields in Western Washington still had standing water. Temperatures rose into the upper 80's to low 70's for the next week and a half but then a cold front moved across the region around the 25th. Temperatures dropped to 22 degrees in some places. Blueberries bloomed throughout the month with some injury to the buds reported during the cold snap. Some vegetable seed crops were also nipped. Fruit and ornamental trees also bloomed along with tulips. The mild winter and excessive moisture created the best daffodil yields in about 10 years.
In Central and Eastern Washington, most hives were still setting in stone fruit orchards the first part of the month and were then moved into the pears and apples which continued to bloom the end of April. Pollination conditions were reported to be excellent except for some windy days. Temperatures were above normal until the very end of the month when nighttime lows dropped into the 20's. Orchard heaters and wind machines were used to protect fruit blooms. Occasional showers helped keep soil moisture at 77% adequate but heavy rains soaked Spokane the 13th & l4th, resulting in their highest 24-hour rainfall on record. When it was over, an inch and a-half fell. The bees are reported to be in excellent condition, loading up on pollen and nectar and building up so rapidly, some producers were already making splits. Their orders for new queens also began to arrive and were being put in. As a few hives were being taken out of the orchards, they were checked and made ready to go into cabbage fields and other seed crops. Some swarming was also noted.
Beekeepers reported some spring activity early in the month as some hives were moved from overwintering yards. By mid-month, beekeepers had checked hives and continued feeding as required. Moisture levels were very short or short over most of the state for the month. Temperatures continued to be slightly above normal for the month. Floral sources were mainly daffodils, dandelion, and wild flowers. Some beekeepers were well pleased with apple bloom.
Due to some heavy colony losses, beekeepers kept busy replacing queens & installing package bees.
Honey sales were slow and prices for bulk drum honey was quoted at 56-57 cents, which was about unchanged from last month. Demand for bees wax continued strong.
|We have been notified by the
Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C. that they will
no longer be compiling "Attache Reports" on honey from
foreign countries. These are annual reports that are included
in the National Honey Market News showing production, trade information,
imports, exports and consumption from various countries. If you
find these reports useful and would like to let the Foreign Ag.
Service know, you can call them at (202) 720-6590.
U.S. EXPORTS OF HONEY BY COUNTRY OF DESTINATION, QUANTITY & VALUE
FEBRUARY, 2000 & YEAR TO DATE TOTALS FOR 2000
SOURCE: U. S. Dept. Of Commerce, Bureau of the Census - Foreign Trade Division
SOURCE: USDA, FARM SERVICES AGENCY