South Dakota honey production up

South Dakota honey production up South Dakota's 2003 honey production totaled 14 million pounds, up 22 percent from last year, according to the USDA's South Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service. Adequate rains created good vegetation throughout much of the spring and summer, making for more favorable conditions for honey production. South Dakota ranked fourth in the nation, following California, North Dakota, and Florida, respectively.

The number of colonoies of bees in the state declined 11 percent, to 200,000, with honey production per colony increasing to 70 pounds, 19 pounds higher than the yield in 2002.

Over the previous five years, the state has averaged 229,000 colonies producing an average 87 pounds of honey per colony. The price received by producers increased 3 percent in 2003, from $.42 per pound to $1.46 per pound. The value of production in 2003 increased 25 percent from 2002, to $20.4 million.

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