Categorized | Agriculture

Hawaii’s honey production down 19 percent, prices reach record high

MEDIA RELEASE

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service Hawaii Field Office (NASS), Hawaii’s honey production in 2010 dropped 19 percent from the previous year to 770,000 lbs. The maximum number of honey producing colonies during the year remained the same at 10,000 colonies while the average yield per hive decreased from 95 lbs to 77 lbs. Total honey stocks held by producers at the end of 2010 declined as well showing a 26 percent decrease to 239,000 lbs. As production dropped, honey prices jumped 51 cents to a record high price of $2.27 per pound. Total value of production also reached an all time high of $1.75 million, with the increase in price offsetting the reduced production.

Since 2007 the varroa mite has caused problems among farmers and beekeepers alike. While formic acid has been certified as an organic product for mite control, beekeepers suffered a major setback this year with the emergence of the small hive beetle (SHB). The SHB was detected on the Big Island in April 2010 and then on Oahu in December 2010. This beetle is especially devastating because it not only weakens the hive, but also can directly affect honey production. The SHB infestation occurs predominantly in weakened hives, such as those that have already been affected by the varroa mite. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Plant Pest Control Branch has hired an apiary specialist and has expanded the apiary program in hopes to help beekeepers overcome the difficulties in managing honeybee pests.

Note: Survey targets those with five or more honey producing hives. Honey producing colonies are the maximum number of colonies from which honey was taken during the calendar year. It is possible to take honey from colonies that did not survive the entire year. Therefore, any variation in number of colonies throughout the year due to losses or increases will not be reflected in survey results. As such, the honey producing colony count should be seen as a year-to-year comparison of the maximum number of honey producing colonies operated.

For complete results visit the link at: usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannU…
Contact Director Mark Hudson at (808) 973-2907 for additional details.

2 Responses to “Hawaii’s honey production down 19 percent, prices reach record high”

  1. Jean says:

    I’m curious as to when the crab spider was brought here to the Hawaiian islands for whitefly control ? We now know the only thing the crabspider catches on a regular bases in it’s very powerful web is mainly honey bees and humans.
    Crab spiders have been a huge nuisance in our yards and subdivisions for many years and I believe it should be acknowledged as a devastating pest to our honey bees. Just my 2cents

  2. According to Dr. Hapai, Entimology Department University of Hawaii, Hilo, The “Crab” spider is a misnomer. We are told that it is not a true Crab Spider, at all. But in her classes, she also explained that our so called “Crab” Spider is not aggressive and does not bite. One wonders where she got that idea? (I’m almost 100% certain she is correct about the annoying creatures NOT technically being a Crab Spider, however. Facts do bear that out. However, whether or not it is aptly called, it may (or not) have been imported to our state by the same short-sightedness that brought us so many other pests (such as the Buffo Toad and the Mongoose, to name only two).

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