Honey Production Down
Colorado honey production in 2020 took a significant downturn.
Producers with five or more colonies produced a total of 1.23 million pounds. That’s down 16 percent from 2019 according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
There were 30,000 colonies producing honey in Colorado in 2020. That’s down 6 percent from 2019. Yield per colony averaged 41 pounds, down 11 percent from the 46 pounds in 2019.
Producer honey stocks were 455,000 pounds on December 15, 2020, down 9 percent from a year earlier. Colorado honey prices decreased during 2020 to $2.09 per pound, down 11 percent from $2.34 per pound in 2019
Colorado is not unique in honey production numbers. U.S. honey production also took a significant downturn in 2020.
The USDA says there were just 2.7 million honey bee colonies producing honey last year nationwide. That’s 4% less than in 2019. And the average honey yield per colony was down 2% from 2019. Total honey production 148 million pounds, 6% less than the year before.
Production nationwide was up 2% in both 2018 and 2019. Some producers believe it may have something to do with high production in the previous years sending prices down. Prices for producers were lower by 11%. There are also continuing problems with colony collapse disorder, diseases, and parasites. COVID-19 might have been a factor too. Much of the honey is sold in farmers’ markets which were less accessible to consumers due to health concerns.
This is the 2nd year Colorado honey production dipped. In 2019 producers totaled 1.4 million pounds. That was down 1% from 2018. There were 32,000 colonies producing. Colorado honey prices increased during 2019 to $2.14 per pound, up 4 percent from $2.05 per pound in 2018.