Honey production fell in Wisconsin last year but rose across the United States.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service "Honey Report" released March 21, honey production from Wisconsin producers with five or more colonies totaled 3.54 million pounds in 2013. That's a 14 percent decrease from the 4.14 million pounds produced in 2012.
The number of honey-producing colonies in the state fell from 60,000 colonies in 2012 to 59,000 colonies in 2013. This number does not include producers with fewer than 5 colonies or producers who did not harvest honey, the report noted.
Yield per colony in Wisconsin averaged 60 pounds, down from 69 pounds per colony in 2012. Wisconsin moved to tenth place nationally in honey production, down from ninth place last year. On Dec. 15, 2013, producer honey stocks in Wisconsin were 1.56 million pounds, a 16 percent decrease from the previous year.
The state's 2013 honey crop was valued at $8.18 million, down 4 percent from the previous year's $8.49 million, while the average price per pound was up 26 cents to $2.31.
In 2013, honey production from American producers with at least five colonies totaled 149 million pounds, up 5 percent from 2012. There were 2.64 million colonies producing honey in 2013, up 4 percent from 2012, and the yield per colony averaged 56.6 pounds, up 1 percent from the 56 pounds in 2012.
Colonies that produced honey were counted in each state where the honey was produced, the report noted. That means the U.S. level yield per colony may be understated, but total production would not be impacted.
Nationally, producer honey stocks were 38.2 million pounds on December 15, 2013, up 20 percent from a year earlier.
Honey prices increased to a record high during 2013 at 212.1 cents per pound, up 6 percent from 199.2 cents per pound in 2012. The U.S. and state level prices reflect honey sold through cooperatives, private and retail channels, the report said. Some 2012 crop honey was sold in 2013, which caused some revisions to the 2012 crop prices.
The "Wisconsin Honey Report" was produced by the Upper Midwest Region-Wisconsin Field Office, headquartered in Madison, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.