Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

March 29, 2014

Michigan's honey production up in 2013

BEULAH — Michigan honey production grew 12.4 percent in 2013, but those rosy numbers resulted from a tough 2012 season, said Nathon Lane of Sleeping Bear Farms.

“The year prior was devastated by the drought,” he said. “The honey crop in the entire country was in a state of emergency for that year. You hoped there was no place to go but up from there.”

Michigan honey producers made 4.68 million pounds of honey in 2013, compared to 4.33 million in 2012 and 4.74 million in 2011. A severe drought in 2012 meant fewer plants bloomed for bees to gather nectar.

Honey prices were up by 10 cents in 2013, which Lane also attributes to low production in 2012 because farmers ran out of honey in the early summer before they could catch up with the 2013 harvest.

“When we got into those months of summer when we’re still operating on the prior year’s honey harvest, everybody around the country that was so impacted by the drought started running out,” Lane said.

Trouble with bee health and a decline in bee populations, possibly resulting from pesticide use, lack of crop diversity, parasites and more, also means beekeepers must focus on building hives rather than making honey.

“Sick bees don’t make as much honey as healthy bees in the first place,” Lane said. “If all the beekeepers are spending their time building up the bees, that’s going to affect the honey production flow.”

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot