NATIONAL HONEY MARKET NEWS
EAST COAST. . . ARGENTINA
CALIFORNIA BEESWAX MARKET SITUATION --- MAY, 2000
(unbleached, raw beeswax, delivered to handlers's warehouse)
Handlers are not buying a lot of wax because sales of finished products are slow this time of year. Producers are not offering much either, because they are very busy with their bees. Most handlers are encouraging products to trade for supplies and are paying more for their wax if they do.
There was too little wax purchased or traded during May to quote prices.
|COLONY, HONEY PLANT &
MARKET CONDITIONS DURING MAY
APPALACHIAN DISTRICT - (MD, PA, VA, WV)
Honey production is in full swing and bee activity is very good. Beekeepers reported an increase in swarming this year compared to past years as some of the surviving colonies built up quickly. May temperatures across the District were normal to above normal at the beginning of the month and were below normal for the last half of the month. Also, overcast days and periods of heavy precipitation were experienced near the end of the month in some parts of the District, and generally the locust and poplar were finished blooming by this time. Some areas received above average precipitation accompanied by thunderstorms and hail. Black locust bloom is complete and tulip poplar had a nice long bloom period prior to wet, cold weather settling in.
Currently the bees are foraging on sumac, clover, brambles (blackberry and raspberry), honeysuckle, and other wildflowers.
The first couple of weeks in May were unseasonably cool and wet, especially in Northern California, when a series of low pressure systems dropped down from Alaska. Reddings high of 60 degrees on the 14th was 20 degrees below normal. May rainfall surpassed 2" at a few locations in the Sierra Nevada foothills, east of Sacramento. Snow fell as low as 5,000 feet. Strong gusty winds and thunderstorms often accompanied the cool temperatures. By the 20th, a major shift occurred when a high pressure system created hot and dry conditions. Record highs were set in Southern California when daytime highs jumped over 100 degrees for three consecutive days. The heat shifted north and even San Francisco, usually foggy and cool into early summer, saw record hot weather when 93 degrees was recorded. Sacramento and Fresno also set records when their daytime highs reached 103 degrees.
The bees are in excellent condition for this time of hear. The sage, buckwheat and orange crops turned out to be much better than anticipated. Some beekeepers were beginning to extract sage and orange honey.
Queen breeders were still busy shipping queens and taking orders for fall. They report business is very good this year with lots of new customers, especially from out-of-state. They also noted quite a few beekeepers that tried the new Russian queens were not happy with them.
Sales and purchases of bulk honey are still slow. Some of what packers are being offered is honey under government loan.
The month of May produced some record breaking high temperatures throughout the state. Temperatures ranged from the mid 60's to mid 70's in the mountain areas, to mid 80's to low 90's in the plains for daytime highs during most of the month. Lows for the month ranged from the low 40's to mid 50's. The first two weeks of the month produced scattered showers for most of the state. The southern part of the state continues to be below normal in precipitation for the year, but the rest of the state is about normal for moisture.
Dry conditions and warmer temperatures arrived. A few west central and southwestern coastal localities recorded traces to over an inch of rainfall. Elsewhere, no measurable rain fell. Due to dry weather, the Tupelo flow in the panhandle was spotty and poor. Some beekeepers had 40% of the crop or none at all. The Gallberry production was also spotty. The quality of the honey seemed to be pretty good. There are no reports of Palmetto crop. The Chinese Tallow is beginning to bloom at the panhandle and some other northern localities. The bees are moving up and going out of the State.
Demand for Florida honey is moderate.
Beekeepers have been checking bees and adding suppers trying to get ready for the honey flow starting the early part of June. Most colonies are in good shape and finding plenty of food sources. The dandelion bloom is just about over, but the wild flowers up in the hills are in full bloom. Bees are also feeding on vetch clovers, balsamroot, wild garlic, elderberry and little buckwheat. Alfalfa seed fields will be ready to set hives around the 1st of June. Few bear raids on hives have been reported in the Weiser area of Idaho.
Idaho honey production in 1999 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 5.76 million pounds, down 4% from 1998. The estimate of 120,000 colonies producing honey in 1999, remains unchanged from last years estimate. Yield per colony averaged 48 pounds, down 2 pounds from the 50 pounds in 1998 (Idaho Agricultural Statistics Service March 1, 2000).
Weather during May began with above normal temperatures reported over most of the state. High temperatures in the mid-seventies and overnight lows in the mid-fifties were reported across the state. On the 6th, a high of 86 degrees was reported, which is one degree below the record and nineteen degrees above normal, in the northern part of the state. Most of the state received adequate rainfall throughout the month with the exception of the south-west section where dry conditions were reported.
Honeybees were working a variety of wild flowers, dandelion and late fruit trees. The end of the month, most sections of the state reported their colonies were in good condition and beekeepers were adding supers.
Retail honey sales were reported good but bulk movement was slow.
Most colonies were building up rapidly due to adequate and timely spring rains and warmer than normal temperatures throughout the state. Most beekeepers had added supers due to the heavy forage honeybees were working. State Apiary inspectors began annual hive inspections and reported colonies had overwintered well. Beekeepers finished installing purchased packaged bees and queens to weak and destroyed hives. The last two weeks of the month, some areas received hail damage and high winds that had slowed bee collection. Most bees were working fruit trees and a variety of wild flowers.
Honey sales at retail continued to be good.
MISSOURI & IOWA
Precipitation ranged from slightly above normal to above normal in both States for May. The rainfall was timely for field crops to bring up the freshly planted crops. Much of Missouri and Iowa is still in the abnormally dry to first stage drought condition due to the shortage of rain during the last year. Timely rains will still be needed for late blooming crops and to mature the field corn and soybeans that have been planted. Temperatures averaged above normal in both Iowa & Missouri.
Beekeepers were busy putting on suppers, placing hives for pollination in the watermelon growing area of Southeast Missouri and moving bees from apple orchards in Missouri and Iowa to the summer nectar gathering areas.
Brood rearing was still active early in the month. By mid-May, apple pollination was complete. Bees were active in pollination of melon crops and pickling cucumbers.
Pollination charges for watermelon production ranged from $0 to $10 per hive depending on if the bees could be left at a location to gather a honey crop from soybean and cotton fields
Winter was not quite finished in part of the state as 4" of snow fell in Great Falls on the 12th and several areas had low temperatures in the teens. Rain followed as the north-central district recorded over 1-1/2" and daytime highs were only in the upper 60's to low 70's. For the next couple of weeks, most areas were dry again and daytime highs were about ten degrees warmer than the previous week. The last of May, much-needed rains came again, with the biggest gains in the northern half of the state. Despite the rain and snow, many areas are still as much as 60% of the 30 year average precipitation. By the end of the month, topsoil moisture has gone from 41% short the end of April to 50% adequate the end of May.
The bees are reported to be in very good condition as they were able to gather nectar and pollen from mostly dandelions. A good alfalfa crop is expected, especially in irrigated fields.
A hard frost hit northern Nevada the third week of May, which really set back the floral sources. Fruit trees were just reaching their peak and the locus bloom was killed in the bud. Due to the cooler weather the irrigation water has not yet been turned on to the alfalfa fields. A few commercial beekeepers are still returning from southern California, which is a bit later than normal. Bees are in excellent shape due to a mild winter and are feeding on wild flowers, mustard and milkweed.
Nevada honey production, number of producing colonies, and price all down in 1999. Honey production was down nearly 17% to 383,000 pounds down from the 460,000 in 1998. Producing colonies were also down 10% to 9,000 colonies from the 10,000 colonies the previous year. The average yield per colony held consistent at 45 pounds per colony. The price plunged from an average of $1.65 per pound in 1998 to $1.54 per pound in 1999, still well above the U.S. average price (Nevada Agricultural Statistics Service March 6, 2000).
Weather across New England was mild for the month of May. Temperatures ranged from the mid 60's to the low 70's. Colonies in general were reported in good condition, though some beekeepers report slower than normal activity in their hives. Some swarming has been reported mostly in the southern part of the region.
Pollinating beekeepers were very busy at the beginning of the month since most varieties of apples and pears were blooming at the same time. There was a slight shortage of bees but in the end beekeepers found enough to fill the orchards. Pollinators up in the northern part of the region are now starting to move hives into strawberry fields, while southern beekeepers are preparing for the cranberry and blueberry blooms.
Honey trading was reported as active with prices slightly higher.
Temperatures varied across the state the first half of May with the average two degrees below normal along the coast to 5 degrees above in several other regions. Temperatures began to rise with daytime highs in the 70's and low 80's. Rainfall ranged from almost nothing to nearly 2" along the coast. Despite the occasional precipitation, state rainfall is still mostly below normal in most areas.
The bees are reported to be in good condition. Late fruit trees were still blooming the beginning of May and by the middle of the month, bees were moved out of the blueberries, which were done blooming, into the blackberries and cranberries. There were also good crops of vetch, red clover and the first cutting of alfalfa. They will be moved into some vegetable seed crops later. It was cool during the crimson clover bloom so the bees only made enough honey for their own food. Winter losses are reported to be down from previous years.
The bees were real busy, with plenty of yellow clover and wild flowers to feed on. Colony strength is excellent and well ahead of normal. A few showers recently have helped with moisture, but still down in precipitation totals.
Utah honey production in 1999 for producers with five or more colonies was 1.17 million pounds. This was 33% below the total production for 1998. The total number of colonies, at 26,000, was down 4,000, from the previous year. The average yield per colony was 45 pounds, 13 pounds below the level of 1998. The average price of 68 cents per pound was up 3 cents from the 1998 price. The 1999 honey crop is valued at 796,000 down 30% from the previous year (Utah Agricultural Statistics Service Feb 28, 2000).
Heavy rains throughout the first half of May, along with cold temperatures kept bees in their hives a lot of time in Western Washington. Blueberries bloomed the entire month along with strawberries and apples. By the end of May, raspberries and blackberries were also beginning to bloom but the nectar flow was patchy. Blueberry growers reported blossom injury from a freeze on April 24th. Daytime highs were in the 60's. By the end of May, temperatures had risen into the 70's but some growers reported their crops were a little behind schedule.
The bees are reported to in good condition but would be better if they had been able to get out of their hives more often. Beekeepers have renewed their concerns over foul brood and its resistance to the regular treatments.
The weather in central and eastern Washington was mostly sunny and mild the first part of May. Scattered rain showers sometimes slowed fieldwork along with occasional high winds and even a snowstorm hit some counties along the eastern border. Temperatures were 10 degrees below normal. Conditions began to improve the last half of May with only an occasional rain shower. Daytime highs reached into the upper 70's to low 80's. Irrigation water supplies are 99% adequate. The bees in this half of the state are in excellent condition. A lot of re-queening was done earlier and a small honey flow was starting.
Migratory beekeepers were busy hauling their hives to North and South Dakota. Cool temperatures and heavy rains have slowed the clover bloom.
The month of May, temperatures remained a few degrees above normal over most of the state. Soil moisture has been adequate in southern sections while northern sections continued to be short. Cool temperatures in the mid-thirties the second week of the month caused some queens to interrupt egg laying. Overall, colonies were building up rapidly after a statewide overwinter loss of approximately 21 percent. By mid-month temperatures had warmed to seasonal levels and State apiary had resumed colony inspections. Beekeepers reported bees were working wild flowers and dandelion bloom.
Beekeepers discontinued mite treatment as they were adding supers.
Honey sales at retail continued to be good while bulk movement was slow.
NHB REFERENDUM THIS SUMMER POSSIBLE
The referendum to determine the fate of
the amendments to the National Honey Board program could be held
this summer. The American Beekeeping Federation has joined the
National Honey Packers and Dealers Association and the National
Honey Board itself in requesting that the referendum be held
no later than September.
U.S. EXPORTS OF HONEY BY COUNTRY OF DESTINATION, QUANTITY & VALUE
MARCH, 2000 & YEAR TO DATE TOTALS FOR 2000
SOURCE: U. S. Dept. Of Commerce, Bureau of the Census - Foreign Trade Division