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Not-so-busy bees: Honey production drops in Wisconsin

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(Credit: iStockphoto/Florin Tirlea)

MADISON (AP) — Honeybees in Wisconsin and Minnesota have had an off-year.

Wisconsin produced 3.6 million pounds of honey in 2011. That’s down 12 percent from the 4.1 million pounds it produced the previous year.

And Minnesota produced 6.4 million pounds last year, a decrease of 25 percent.

However, the results mirror a national trend. U.S. production fell 16 percent to 148 million pounds last year. One reason is that the number of honey-producing bee colonies across the nation has fallen.

That’s raised the average U.S. honey price to $1.73 per pound, up 11 cents.

Minnesota remains sixth in the nation in honey production. Wisconsin is still ninth.

North Dakota is easily the nation’s leader, with 32.7 million pounds last year. California and South Dakota round out the top three.