COLONY, HONEY PLANT &
MARKET CONDITIONS DURING JUNE
APPALACHIAN DISTRICT -
(MD, PA, VA, WV)
Honey production continues and bee activity has been generally
good. June temperatures fluctuated between above normal hot days
to below normal cool, damp days. The NASS reports soil moisture
levels are above last year. Last year at this time the District
soil moisture levels were short or very short. There were a few
reports of limited supplies of nectar coming in caused by the
numerous rain showers and thunderstorms, which have kept bee
activity at a minimum in some areas. Bees are foraging on the
heavy clover bloom, in addition to melons, cucurbits, wildflowers,
and pasture crops. Sourwood bloom in the Southern Appalachian
District has just begun and beekeepers are hoping for a good
honey flow from this locally popular nectar source.
were fairly normal the first half of June. The only exception
was on the 8th when a low pressure trough led to much cooler
than normal temperatures. Around the middle of the month, a heat
wave resulted in more than three dozen daily-record highs. In
addition, several all-time-record highs were set or tied from
the 12-14th in the Bay area when San Francisco hit 103 degrees.
They had topped 100 degrees only twelve times in the past 100
years. Elsewhere, Paso Robles recorded 115 degrees and Death
Valley noted 126 degrees. Three days later, the heat began to
edge eastward and temperatures began to dip slightly, but the
northern half of the sate still had daily highs as much as 6
degrees above normal. By the end of June, temperatures had returned
to near normal levels across the state.
The bees are reported to be
in good condition but some areas could use a little rain. Beekeepers
were busy moving their colonies into the alfalfa seed, melons,
cotton and sunflowers. Some melon fields were treated for weeds
and sprayed for aphids which kept beekeepers busy moving hives
in and out.
An average crop is expected
from most honey producing plants. The clover and misc. wildflowers
did not have a good bloom because it became hot and dry in some
areas. The buckwheat also dried up in a few places. In contrast,
the rains came just at the right time to get an abundance of
thistles. Some beekeepers were just getting ready to start extracting.
A good set occurred in the almonds as growers were supporting
the heavy tree limbs.
Packers reported being offered
new crop orange honey but demand is still fairly slow. Others
noted that producers are holding their honey because of low prices.
June continued with
some record breaking temperatures for most of the month. Most
areas across the state ranged from the the mid-80s to the mid-90s
for daytime highs until the last week of the month. Some areas
of southeastern Colorado reported highs in the mid-90s to low-100s.
Nighttime lows ranged from the mid-40s for the mountains to low-50s
in the plains. The southern part of the state continues to be
below normal in precipitation for the year, but the last week
of June did produce some thunderstorms for most parts of the
state with .25 to 1" accumulations.
Lyle Johnston, a beekeeper
from Rocky Ford, Colorado and vice president of the American
Honey Producers Association, is helping spearhead a campaign
to challenge cheap honey imports from Argentina and China that
threaten domestic honey farmers. The industry group plans to
file an anti-dumping petition with the U.S. International Trade
Commission. At 50 to 55 cents per pound, most Colorado beekeepers
can't turn a profit. Colorado-produced honey has fallen by nearly
50 percent since 1988, as have the number of producers, according
to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Honey production for
last year was about 2 million pounds.
Hot and mostly dry conditions continued the first part of
the month. Abundant rain fell over the Peninsula with scattered
storms also bringing relief to some dry areas. Most highs were
in the 80s and 90s, while most lows were in the 60s and 70s.
The activity is very slow.
Most of the bees that go out of the State have already been moved.
There are no reports of a mangrove crop. The cabbage palm is
the only crop available. Due to the rains, the thin flow that
the bees get from the cabbage palm will not make a honey surplus.
The citrus canker is beginning to impact the beekeepers. Bees
are in good shape.
Demand for Florida honey is
slow with lower prices.
Colonies around the
state were generally in good condition. During the month of June,
weather conditions were not considered favorable enough to produce
a surplus from floral sources for honey producers. Dry weather
conditions were prevalent which affected overall honey production.
Honey producers in the southern portions of the state worked
off summer titi during early to mid June. There is currently
a dirth of any significant pollen or nectar sources until the
fall. During June, in the central and northern portions of the
state, bees worked off sumac in the mid to late part of the month.
Sourwood was being worked at the end of June in the northern
mountain area and was expected to peak during July.
A windy, generally
warm June, hasn't slowed the bees down to much. The honey flow
started pretty much on schedule with some beekeepers expecting
to start extraction after the 4th of July. Floral sources include
alfalfa, sweet clover and various weeds.
The month of June,
weather conditions varied throughout the state and temperatures
were above normal. Rainfall was adequate in northern and southern
parts of the state while dryer than normal conditions prevailed
in the central region. Bees were working sweet clover, strawberries,
white Dutch clover, sweet peas, and potato bloom, which was a
notable early bloom.
Some colonies throughout the
state had not built up stores due to high winds experienced over
the month. Some beekeepers had swarming calls and were adding
Apiary inspections were in
full swing with very little mite problems found due to continued
fall treatment and beekeeper inspection of colonies over the
Local beekeeper association
meetings have had growing interest in organic honey production.
Many beekeepers have stressed the new opportunities being presented
to produce and sell organic honey. The associations have encouraged
with new interest in beekeeping at spring meetings.
Honey sales continued good
at the retail level & packer interest in bulk honey was good.
The State Apiary office
reported inspectors were busy with spring colony inspections
due to the warm temperatures. Northern and southern sections
experienced a good spring flow of early white Dutch and wild
flowers. Beekeepers were busy adding supers because of the adequate
rainfall and warm temperatures that were 5-10 degrees above normal.
Inspections revealed queen
problems along with major problems including honey in queen cells,
foul, chalk and chill brood. Some Varroa mite infestation was
discovered, however the Tracheal mite infestations were not as
much of a problem as previous years. The small hive beetle was
not discovered in spring inspections.
Some spring nectar & pollen
loss was reported in the northern & southern sections due
to the June rains. The central section reported spotty areas
of continued dry conditions with very little spring flow. Honey
sales at retail continued to be good. Bulk honey movement was
MICHIGAN & OHIO
Colonies around the
state are in good condition. The month of June experienced about
normal temperatures. The weather in June was dominated by rain,
so soil moisture supplies became excessive in most areas. The
bees have fed on a number of sources including clover, legumes
and locust. No supplemental feeding was noted in many areas during
the month due to the temperatures being about normal for the
month. Brood build-up has improved and swarming occurred during
the month. Demand for honey was light.
Colonies around the
state were in generally good condition. During the month of June,
dry weather was prevalent. Despite the dry weather conditions,
honey producers received favorable yields and made surplus honey
at many locations. In the southern portions of the state, honey
flows off summer titi and Chinese tallow produced good yields.
There is currently a dirth of any significant pollen or nectar
sources until the fall. In the northern portions of the state
bees worked off sumac and sourwood with below favorable results.
The Delta and Prairie Belt honey flow off cotton and soybeans
is expected in July.
MISSOURI & IOWA
Precipitation was generally well above normal in both states
with many areas excessive. This has broken the drought &
now only a few isolated areas are below normal on precipitation
for the year. Temperatures averaged slightly above normal in
both Iowa & Missouri. Beekeepers were busy putting on supers,
finishing moving hives from tree pollination to summer locations,
and controlling swarms. Bees for melon pollination in Southeast
Missouri & Northeast Arkansas were still in the fields.
Honey flow from white Dutch
clover & sweet clover was good except in a few bottom locations
that had major thunder storms and flash flooding during some
of the storms. Some extra nectar should have been gathered from
alfalfa as timely harvest of the second cutting was delayed by
rain in some locations. Some honey was extracted and some comb
honey was put up for retail and to show at the upcoming county
fairs. Beekeepers are watching scouting reports on cotton to
be ready to take preventive measures to prevent worker bee loss
when the cotton needs treatment for insects. Bees were working
white Dutch and yellow or white sweet clover depending on how
far north they go for nectar.
The first half of June,
weather conditions were variable across the state. Record-breaking
heat, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90's, was followed
by several cool days. The weather returned to seasonable levels
the last two weeks of June. Daytime highs were in the 80's and
nighttime lows were mostly in the 40's but occasionally dropped
below freezing around Yellowstone.
Precipitation was frequently
widespread across the state, but amounts were not sufficient
to bring many areas up to the normal levels for this time of
year. Central counties are especially suffering as spring crops
are showing extreme water stress. Lack of irrigation water has
caused some growers to accelerate their first cutting of alfalfa.
By the end of June, topsoil moisture was still 33% short.
Despite the dry conditions,
especially in the south and central sections, the bees are reported
to be in good condition. Packages were added and bees were set
in canola and sweet clover. Even though some of these crops are
irrigated, wells are beginning to go dry. Some beekeepers were
moving their bees to the northern part of the state where temperatures
are usually cooler.
A really hot June has
brought on the honey flow in Nevada. Most colonies are strong
and at their seasonal peak. Few beekeepers have been pulling
supers already. Floral sources in June have been alfalfa, sweet
clover, thistle, milkweed and various annual flowers. Continued
real hot weather may affect the overall length of the honey flow.
Weather for the first couple of weeks of June continued to be
unsettled with cool and wet conditions prevailing and temperatures
averaging around 65 degrees. During the last couple of weeks
of the month, the weather turned more seasonable with temperatures
in the 80s with some humid days ranging into the 90s.
Migratory beekeepers are now
returning to the area to work the cranberry bogs of Southern
New England through mid-July. Native beekeepers reported the
blueberry pollination went well, and that there bees are now
working various plants including white clover and wild flowers.
Honey flow this year has been good with most beekeepers adding
Colonies around the
state are in generally good condition. The month of June experienced
frequent rainfall, which has become a concern for the beekeepers
because it has kept the bees confined and overcrowded. No supplemental
feeding was needed. The bees are gathering pollen and nectar
from raspberries, wild apples and pears, dandelion and fruit
nectar. The bees have been doing a lot of swarming. There was
above normal precipitation and normal to below normal temperatures
during the month. Demand for honey was light.
A good portion of the
state received much needed rainfall during the last couple of
weeks of June. Even with this in mind, moisture levels are still
only fair across much of the state. This moisture has raised
optimism about the upcoming Sourwood flow. Colonies are generally
in good condition. Movement at the retail level has been fairly
varied across the state the first ten days of June. Coastal areas
were as much as 4 degrees above normal while the Willamette Valley
and Eastern Oregon reported temperatures 4-7 degrees below normal.
Rainfall ranged from over 2" along the coast to just over
an inch in the east. From the 25-27th, hot weather produced several
daily-record highs when Tillamook noted temperatures of 79, 80
& 85 degrees. On the 27th, the Dalles soared to 100 degrees.
For the year, about 2/3 of the state is still below normal rainfall.
The bees are looking very good
right now as they were busy pollinating blackberries, which were
about done by the end of the month. They were also working vetch,
crimson and red clover and cranberries along the coast where
they had good conditions for pollination and berry set. The last
half of June, some bees were moved into the radish, onion and
carrot seed fields for pollination.
Pollination fees are reported
to be up this year. Extracting is expected to begin after the
4th of July with the crop expected to be about average to slightly
Strong winds and a lack of rain has brought hive development
to a halt in Utah. Hives in irrigated areas report the start
of a honey flow, but due to the strong winds not nearly the volume
that was expected. Floral sources are mainly from the irrigated
fields of clover and alfalfa.
started the month with warm, sunny days while Central and Eastern
Washington received as much as 3" of badly needed rain.
The rains continued, this time hitting Western Washington as
well, for the next two weeks. Temperatures were also cool with
daytime highs as much as 7 degrees below normal. Drier conditions
finished the month and temperatures rose into the 80's in Western
Washington and into the low 90's in parts of Eastern Washington.
Vancouver set a record high on the 27th when their daily high
hit 98 degrees.
On the west side of the state,
the bees are reported to be in very good condition. They are
bringing in lots of nectar from blackberries and raspberries
earlier in the month. Some vegetable seed growers are concerned
they did not get a good set because the weather was so cool and
rainy during pollination. Beekeepers were also busy moving their
hives into the foothills of the Cascades where fireweed was just
beginning to bloom. Warm temperatures should bring on a good
nectar flow. Swarming was a big problem if beekeepers didn't
check their colonies often.
Bees in Central and Eastem
Washington are also in very good shape. Warm temperatures and
higher than normal humidity has been very good for the blooming
plants. Bees are able to bring in lots of nectar from alfalfa,
clover and miscellaneous wildflowers. Irrigation water is still
more than adequate to get growers through the summer.
Bees setting in the clover
fields of North and South Dakota are doing well but rain is needed.
The month of June,
temperatures were 5-15 degrees below normal. Northern sections
received some frost that slowed plant growth. The southern section
by contrast experienced some above normal temperatures and high
humidity followed by cool temperatures. Rainfall was short in
the northern part of the state while southern sections had a
surplus of rainfall causing minor flooding in some areas.
Honeybees continued a rapid
buildup of honey and pollen over most of the southern section.
Beekeepers added supers, however some swarming was reported.
In some areas the early flow of light honey was short due to
the rapid warm-up followed by a sudden cold snap that damaged
A reported case of hives infested
by the Small Hive Beetle had been identified by University of
Wisconsin Entomology department. The beetle discovered was a
look alike, Sap Beetle. The Sap Beetle is 3/16" long and
has a uniformly black elongated body. The Small Hive Beetle is
a bigger 5/16" long with a more rounded shape. The reported
mistaken Small Hive Beetle has pointed out Beekeeper's concern
over the pest.
Honey and wax movement demand
was moderate with very little price change from last month. Retail
honey sales were reported fairly good.