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 SEPTEMBER, 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, CONTAINERS EXCHANGED OR RETURNED, PROMPT DELIVERY & PAYMENT UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

ARKANSAS
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 46¢
-
SOYBEAN, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 48¢

CALIFORNIA
- ALFALFA/COTTON, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 46 - 47¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 43¢
- BUCKWHEAT, LIGHT AMBER, 43¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 45 - 47¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 45¢
- ORANGE, WHITE, 56¢
- SAGE, WHITE, 58¢

FLORIDA
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 42¢
- ORANGE, LIGHT AMBER, 55¢ - - - MEDIUM AMBER, 71¢

GEORGIA
- GALLBERRY, CUT COMB, $1.40

IDAHO
- ALFALFA, LIGHT AMBER, 40¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 50¢ - - - EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 46¢ (SMALL LOT)
- MINT, LIGHT AMBER, 40¢ - - - AMBER, 36¢ (BOTH SMALL LOTS)

ILLINOIS
- CLOVER, WHITE, 57¢

INDIANA
- CLOVER, LIGHT AMBER, 69¢

MICHIGAN
- CLOVER, WHITE, 52¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 52 - 68¢
- KNAPWEED, MEDIUM AMBER, 65¢

MINNESOTA
- CLOVER, WHITE, 53 - 55¢

MONTANA
- ALFALFA, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 44¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 44¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 56 - 58¢

NORTH DAKOTA
- ALFALFA, WHITE, 50 - 51¢ - - - EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 46¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 50 - 56¢ - - - EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 45¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 46¢

OHIO
- FLORAL N/A, WHITE, 55¢

OREGON
- CLOVER, WHITE, 58¢ - SMALL LOTS 61 - 64¢

SOUTH DAKOTA
- ALFALFA, WHITE, 56¢
- CLOVER, WHITE, 53 - 58¢ (HIGHER PRICE REPRESENTS SMALL LOT)
- CLOVER, LIGHT AMBER, 75¢
- CLOVER, LIGHT AMBER, 75¢ (SMALL LOT)

WASHINGTON
- ALFALFA, WHITE, 51¢ - - - LIGHT AMBER, 42¢ (BOTH SMALL LOTS)
- CARROT, AMBER, 39¢
- MINT, LIGHT AMBER, 40¢
- RASPBERRY, WHITE, 53¢ (SMALL LOT)
- SNOBERRY, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 45¢ (SMALL LOT)

WISCONSIN
- CLOVER, WHITE, 58¢



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.

PROVINCE & FLORAL SOURCE UNKNOWN
- WHITE, 58¢ DELIVERED



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, 50 - 56¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, WHITE, 48 - 52.5¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 52¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 51¢

CHINA
- MIXED FLOWERS, EXTRA LIGHT AMBER, 46¢
- MIXED FLOWERS, LIGHT AMBER, 44¢



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

Trading picked up last month as producers finished extracting their honey crop and began rendering wax. Sales of processed wax is still slow as foundation is not selling and candle companies haven't placed their holiday orders this year.

Light and medium colored wax was being purchased at $1.00-1.30 per pound and traded at $1.15-1.30 per pound with most contracted at $1.30 per pound.

Very little dark wax was purchased.


COLONY, HONEY PLANT & MARKET CONDITIONS DURING SEPTEMBER

APPALACHIAN DISTRICT
- (MD, PA, VA, WV)
September was cooler and wetter than normal. Scattered rain was the dominant weather pattern throughout the month. Honey bees are in good condition and most beekeepers are actively treating hives for the winter. Honey stores are variable and there is concern that many beekeepers will have to begin supplemental feeding earlier than expected. Asters and goldenrod are the predominant source of nectar at this time.

CALIFORNIA
Several weather systems moved across the state the first week of September. Thunderstorms were reported along the northern coast accompanied by occasional high winds. Temperatures began to rise and by the 10th were back into the mid-90's to low 100's in all areas except right along the coast. On the 19th, daily record highs were reported in Red Bluff when they reached 106 degrees and Stockton recorded 102 degrees. A low pressure system brought cooler temperatures the last of September but the only rainfall came from an occasional drizzle along the coast.

The bees are reported to be in good condition but many areas have been too dry and most floral sources have dried up. In other parts of the state, they were still able to work wildflowers, honeydew and in the north, a very good crop of bluecurl. They honey crop ended up slightly below last year but some producers have left a little extra honey in the hives for feed this year. A few beekeepers are already discovering they did not leave adequate stores on and have already had to add supplemental feed.

Businesses selling supplies report sales continue to be very slow except to a few new hobbists. Producers either aren't or can't sell their honey right now & low prices don't give them much money to buy supplies & equipment.

Packers seem to be offered plenty of honey, in some cases because the beekeeper needs the money. A low of the honey being purchased is on a short term contract for the same reason.

COLORADO
Temperatures around the state remained about normal for most of month of September. Daytime highs for the north and eastern part of the state remained in lower to mid 80s. The southern and mountain areas were mostly in the 70-80 degree range for daytime highs. The third weekend of the of the month did bring in a cold Canadian front from the north that did bring some much needed moisture for the northern part of the state in the form of rain and from 4 to 8" of wet snow.

Most of the state beekeepers have been providing supplemental feeding for their colonies as the dry conditions throughout the state have dried most of the late summer blooms. Because of the drought conditions, most of the state's bee colonies are reported to be in only fair condition at this time. Migratory beekeepers are currently preparing their colonies in holding yards for their migration to work the winter crops in California and south Texas.

FLORIDA
Scattered showers brought varying amounts of rain during the month. The passage of Hurricane Gordon through the Florida straits and off the western coast brought significant rains ranging from an inch to eight inches. Daytime highs were in the 80s and 90s, while nighttime lows were in the 60s and 70s.

Most of the migrating bees are coming back to the State every day. The Brazilian pepper is beginning to bloom. The malaluka started to bloom in South Florida. The pursley or (Mexican clover) is blooming in the northern parts of the peninsula. The Spanish needle and goldenrod are also blooming in other parts of the State. Bees are storing honey early this season. The mites and beetles are under control.

Demand for Florida honey is light. Prices are lower.

GEORGIA
Colonies around the state were generally in good condition although it was highly dependent on beekeepers treatment for parasitic mites earlier in the year. There continues to be a dirth of any significant nectar source in south and middle Georgia. Some beekeepers were involved in supplemental feeding to compensate colonies with light stores. In the northern half of the state, fall floral sources such as aster and goldenrod were producing honey in September to increase colony strength and levels of stores.

IDAHO
September weather was ideal until the morning of the 22nd when temperatures plummeted across the state recording lows from 18-27. A slow warming trend helped to bring the temperatures back up into a more normal pattern. Colony strength is reported to be good going into fall. Yields are average at best with a few disappointments being noted. Due to the dry conditions of the last 4 months few floral sources are left. Bees are feeding primarily on rabbit sagebrush and fall yard flowers.

ILLINOIS
The fall honey flow for overwintering of bees was light as had been expected. Some beekeepers started supplemental feeding activities due to the poor honey crop. Goldenrod and white clover were the main fall floral sources bees had been working on.

Comparison temperatures for the month varied from hot and humid conditions the first of the month while the last of the month temperatures were 5-10 degrees below normal. Frequent rainfall continued to cause problems for beekeepers extracting honey and farmers harvesting activities in central and southern sections. Most extraction was finished in northern sections while the bulk of the state reported extraction was slower than normal.

Honey and wax movement was reported very well at farmers markets and many local fall festivals. Quality of honey offered has been excellent adding to demand. Retail and bulk movement has been slow for packers and commercial beekeepers barrel sales. Honey prices were about unchanged with prices quoted in the 55-60 cent range. This continues the trend of lower prices than previous years.

INDIANA
Extraction activities were finishing up ahead of normal. Many beekeepers had treated their colonies and had moved their hives into winter yards. The fall honey crop was not as good as hoped due to extreme heat the first of the month followed by frequent rainfall over various parts of the state the remainder of the month. Many parts of the state have been relatively dry, mainly in the northern and east-central sections, while parts of west-central and southern sections experienced excessive rainfall with local flooding in lowlands.

Floral sources bees have been working were various fall wildflowers and goldenrod bloom. Some of the bees with moderate winter buildup of stores had been located near CRP land with a good white clover yield.

Demand for honey was very good, as many farmers markets and fall festivals throughout the state featured locally collected honey. Bulk honey sales were slow and prices remained about unchanged. The retail level sales were generally unchanged.

MISSISSIPPI
Colonies around the state were generally in good condition although it was highly dependent on beekeepers treatment for parasitic mites earlier in the year. In the southern portions of the state, during September, there was a dirth of any significant nectar sources. Colonies were primarily feeding off reserves built up earlier in the summer. In the central and northern portions of the state fall floral sources such as boneset, goldenrod, and Spanish needle were producing honey in September to increase colony strength and levels of stores.

MISSOURI & IOWA
September was generally dryer and warmer than normal except for a cold front which move through September 23rd and caused some rain and cooler than normal temperature which continued throughout the week. This made harvesting conditions generally very good. Precipitation amounts ranged from 0.86 inches below normal in Dubuque, Iowa to 1.94 inches below normal in Des Moines. Missouri precipitation deficit for the month range from 0.21 inches in St. Louis to 2.27 inches in Joplin. Bee populations were still fairly high. Nectar flow from aster and goldenrod ranged from fair to very good in both Iowa and Missouri which allowed the bees to fill the main chamber and in some places even store an extractable surplus in the supers. Pollen collection was active from goldenrod and aster. Honey storage varied widely over the two states from very good to poor. Beekeepers in some locations will have heavy feeding to get the bees ready for winter. In areas where beekeepers do not plan to extract the fall flow, they treated bee hives for mites, mostly in Iowa.

MONTANA
Most areas across the state reported some moisture the first ten days of September but not the significant rainfall that is needed to relieve the drought. Temperatures continued to be in the 90's in the southeast corner of the state. Unseasonably warm weather moved in again and continued through the 24th. The southern half was the warmest when daytime highs hit the upper 90's. The remainder of the month was cooler with moisture reported in most locations. Parts of Central Montana reported nighttime lows in the teens and daytime highs in the 60's.

Most of the 2000 honey crop had been extracted by the end of September and while this years crop is down at least 30-40%, most producers are fairly pleased with the honey they got considering the hot, dry summer. Most floral sources were wiped out towards the end of the month when temperatures dropped well below freezing. Beekeepers that don't sell off their bees after the honey is extracted were busy going through their colonies and making sure they were ready for the trip to California the end of October.

NEVADA
Fall weather this September has been very nice with little or no drastic weather changes. The last week has been a bit cooler, but still mild over all. Bees are reported to be in excellent shape. As in years past production in the irrigated areas of alfalfa & clover were better than normal. In a normal year most beekeeper's in Nevada can expect to average 60 lbs. of honey per hive. In some rural areas pollen and nectar are still available primarily from rabbit sagebrush.

NEW ENGLAND
Weather for the New England area for the month of September was mild. Temperatures varied from the mid 70s to high 80s. Beekeepers report that September was the best month of the season. Bees were reported working Goldenrod, asters and late clover with most areas reporting good activity.

Though the month was good for beekeeping it did not make up for the bad weather and cold summer the region received. Production varied greatly from one part of an area to another. At this time harvest for the New England area is expected to be down by 50-60% over last year, more final numbers are expect in the next month. Most hives are going into the winter fairly strong but do not have anywhere near the honey stores to make it through the season. Some beekeepers in southern New England have already been feeding their bees for the last few weeks, others will start within the next few weeks

NORTH CAROLINA
Overall it has been a fairly good fall for most honey producers. There was a fairly good sourwood flow and with an outstanding "leaf season" expected in the mountains, retailers are optimistic about the retail honey sales. Beekeepers have been busy preparing for the winter, especially in the western part of the state where heavy frosts are possible at any time. Moisture levels had been fairly good, but very little rain was reported in some areas during September and it is starting to get dry again.

OREGON
The first ten days of September, temperatures in the Willamette Valley and along the coast, temperatures were below normal. Occasional heavy rains were reported. Temperatures rose the middle if the month with some areas as much as 9 - 14 degrees above normal and little to only small amounts of rain. Daytime highs were frequently in the low 90's. A complete shift took place the end of the month when central and eastern areas were below normal and the Willamette Valley and along the coast warmed up. Dry conditions kept farmers irrigating most of September as topsoil moisture was still as much as 70% short in some areas.

The warm days allowed the bees numerous cleansing flights but not much to gather pollen or nectar from. A small amount of red clover, wild aster, hockweed and wild carrot were about the only things blooming. As extraction of this years honey crop is finished up, medication and treatments were added and in some cases protein and pollen substitutes were also put in as they were moved to winter holding yards. A few losses were reported from heavy seed pollination but overall the bees are reported to be in good conditions.

The honey is down slightly from last year in some areas but the quality is reported to be very good.

UTAH
September was just as dry as the entire summer had been. A few beekeepers did report that yields were better than they thought they would be, for others it was a real short crop. Due to slow honey sales in retail stores the self-space allotted for honey is being reduced even more. Floral sources left for the bees is dandelions and a few remaining fall yard flowers.

WASHINGTON
Fall-like conditions were recorded across the state the first week and a-half of September. Daytime highs started in the low 80's but dropped into the 70's and varying amounts of rain were reported across the state. Summer was not quite over as warm, dry weather returned from the 11th to the 17th. Highs ranged from the 80's in Western Washington to low 90's in the east. More normal conditions returned to finish the month and parts of Central and Eastern Washington recorded their first frost of the season on the 18th. Spokane dropped to 22 degrees and Wenatchee recorded 31 which tied a September record low. The occasional precipitation helped improve the topsoil moisture level to 27% short, much better than the 50% short the end of August.

Frequent warm, sunny days allowed the bees to take numerous cleansing flights. A very good crop of wild blackberries & fireweed on the western slopes of the Cascades gave the bees plenty to gather food from. Beekeepers were putting queens in the bottom & supplemental feed on top. Some producers were looking for additional supers.

WISCONSIN
Weather conditions the first week of the month was less than ideal because of record or near record hot, humid temperatures. Rainfall for the period was spotty with most areas receiving less than a half inch. The rest of the month cooler seasonal weather moved into the state with some frost reports from northern sections. As expected, the fall collection of honey for colonies overwintering was poor over most of the state. Beekeepers moved most of their hives into overwintering yards or moved them out to southern states.

Commercial demand continued to be slow with little bulk movement reported. Retail demand continued to be good due to fall festival activities.


NATO JETS CREATE A BUZZ IN BEE'S BONNET
USDA Today, September 15, 2000

Macedonian honey producers are demanding compensation from NATO, saying last year's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia made their bees nervous and aggressive, resulting in a drop in honey output. The group is demanding about $222,300 in damages. "They were also nervous and extremely aggressive, stinging not only owners but everything alive around," said Mendi Trajkovski, secretary of the Nectar Association.