Heather Robinson is a Gary Marx Journalism Fund intern.
While the demand for honey is at an all-time high, production in the U.S. continues to decline, according to data collected by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In 2021, Americans consumed about 620 millions pounds of honey, with just 20% being produced domestically.
Now more than ever, Americans rely on imported honey. Just three countries — India, Vietnam and Argentina — accounted for almost three-quarters of all imported honey.
Consumers can expect the price of honey to keep rising. In 2019, the average price per pound was $1.99, according to USDA data. The next year, it was $2.20. Last year, $2.54.
The increase in demand for honey has been attributed to its growing popularity as a nutritional food product and an alternative to artificial sweeteners. The graph below shows the change in relationship between honey consumption, production and imports in the U.S. over the last 35 years.
Top image: Honey bee on a Mexican Hat flower (Ratibida) in a wildflower pollinator meadow. USDA photo by Kirsten Strough