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September 10, 2018

National Honey Month: Learn More About Honey Farms & Honey Bees

Honey Farms in the United States are Providing Sweet Benefits to the Agriculture Industry and Your Dinner Table

September is National Honey Month, a time to celebrate American beekeeping, the beekeeping industry, and the various benefits of honey. It’s thanks to honey farms and the beekeeping industry we are able to reap the many by-products of honey bees. 

History of National Honey Month & The Beekeeping Industry

The National Honey Board, an organization established and overseen by United States Department of Agriculture, started National Honey Month in 1989. They selected September to honor honey as it marks the end of the honey collection season for many American beekeepers.

There are an estimated 115,000 – 125,000 beekeepers in the United States of which the majority are hobbyists with less than 25 bee hives. Honey production in 2017 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 148 million pounds, a slight decrease from 2016. Even though beekeepers are battling a honey bee population decline, production is keeping up with the high consumer demand of Americans who each use about 1.5 pounds of honey per year.

In 2017, Florida had 205 bee colonies which produced over 8 million pounds of honey. Other top states for honey farms include North Dakota, South Dakota, California, and Montana which together totaled 72.2 million pounds of honey in 2017.

The Many Uses of Honey

Honey farms and beekeepers are working hard across the nation as honey is produced and harvested in every state. Americans have embraced honey as much as any farm-produced commodity available, with uses ranging from tea sweetener to skin moisturizer. While it is a tasty treat, honey has a variety of other purposes. Honey can be used to heal wounds, burns, sunburn, fight infections, and relieve cough and cold symptoms. Honey can also be mixed with other remedies and consumed or rubbed on the skin to help with stress, hiccups, asthma, high blood pressure, and arthritis.

Outside of personal use, honey and honey bees are also helping the nation’s agriculture industry. The USDA has estimated that 80 percent of insect crop pollination is accomplished by honey bees. Millions of acres of fruits, vegetables, oilseed, and legume seed crops depend on insect pollination, which include honey bees. Additionally, sunflowers are another key commodity pollinated by honey bees and even the production of beef and dairy products from livestock depends on the work of honey bees and honey farms.

In addition to producing honey, honey bees produce beeswax which helps to pollinate crops, backyard gardens, and wildlife habitats. We owe a lot to our nation’s beekeeping industry and bee farms, who help to ensure our nation’s honey bees are healthy and continue to pollinate in order to keep our agriculture industry moving forward.

At AgAmerica Lending we understand all facets of the agricultural industry and offer land loans for a variety of ag industries. Learn more about our 10-year line of credit that qualifies farmers and ranchers  for 10 years, freeing up more time so you can focus on working the land you love.

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