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Economy and Business

Honey production sharply dropped in Ohio last year
The bad winter is likely to make the worsening trend continue, beekeeper says

Honey production went down last year and bee losses over the winter are likely to hurt honey production for 2013.
Courtesy of Peter Shanks
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A report from the USDA shows honey production in Ohio dropped from 2012 to 2013 and the outlook is not good for 2014.

Honey production was down almost 30 percent from last year. Master Beekeeper Joe Kovaleski of Steubenville says poorly timed weather affected honey production. Late frost hurt flowers in spring and heavy rain kept bees in their hives in early summer.
Then droughts dried up the nectar the bees need for honey.


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Kovaleski says this coincided with recent problems with bee colony collapses due to insecticides and fungicides.

Unfortunately, the outlook for this year is not good either. Kovaleski says Ohio beekeepers are reporting about a 70 percent loss of bees over the harsh winter. 


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“Which is going to put a real crimp on what’s going to happen the rest of the year with our Ohio bee hives," Kovaleski says. "The excessive long winter that we had, the excessive cold puts a crimp on everything we have for the rest of the year.”

While Ohio was down, nationwide production was up 5 percent. Honey prices also reached an all-time high at over $2 a pound.

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