Montana honey production in 2018 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 14.72 million pounds, up 41 percent from 2017. There were 160,000 colonies producing honey in 2018, up 10 percent from 2017. Yield per colony averaged 92 pounds, up 28 percent from the 72 pounds in 2017. Producer honey stocks were 3.68 million pounds on December 15, 2018, up 47 percent from a year earlier. Montana honey prices decreased during 2018 to 192.0 cents per pound, down 13 percent from 221.0 cents per pound in 2017.
United States honey production in 2018 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 152 million pounds, up 2 percent from 2017. There were 2.80 million colonies producing honey in 2018, up 4 percent from 2017. Yield per colony averaged 54.4 pounds, down 2 percent from the 55.5 pounds in 2017. Colonies which produced honey in more than one State were counted in each State where the honey was produced. Therefore, at the United States level yield per colony may be understated, but total production would not be impacted. Colonies were not included if honey was not harvested.
Producer honey stocks were 29.1 million pounds on December 15, 2018, down 5 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude those held under the commodity loan program.
United States honey prices decreased 2 percent during 2018 to 216.6 cents per pound, compared to 219.9 cents per pound in 2017. United States and State level prices reflect the portions of honey sold through cooperatives, private, and retail channels. Prices for each color class are derived by weighting the quantities sold for each marketing channel. Prices for the 2017 crop reflect honey sold in 2017 and 2018. Some 2017 crop honey was sold in 2018, which caused some revisions to the 2017 crop prices.
For operations with five or more colonies, the average prices paid in 2018 for honey bee queens, packages and nucs were $18, $86 and $110 respectively. For operations with five or more colonies, pollination income for 2018 was $302 million, up 8 percent from 2017. Other income from honey bees for operations with five or more colonies in 2018 was $94.6 million, up 17 percent from 2017.
For a full copy of the honey report please visit nass.usda.gov.