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U.S. Honey Supply Chain: Structural Change, Promotions and the China Connection


  • Ward, Ronald W.
  • Boynton, Bruce


Among almost all natural food goods, honey is probably one of the most unique in terms of its production history and importance. It is often a by-product from the primary function of pollination by bees. Honey color and flavor is directly related to the types of plants being pollinated. For some agricultural products, honey has limited economic value beyond the food source for the bees, while for others, such as citrus, the value of the honey is much greater since the flavor, texture, and color yields highly desirable honey attributes. Bee pollination is essential to almost every sector of agriculture. For some agriculture goods, beekeepers recoup their returns through payment for the pollination services. When the pollination leads to desirable honey varieties, the value of the honey serves as the indirect payment for pollination services. Hence, the economic viability of the honey market is an essential element for supporting the bee colonies needed for pollination. A weak honey market should directly affect beekeepers’ abilities to provide essential pollination services to all agriculture sectors. Efforts to enhance the demand for honey clearly have implications far beyond just the value of the honey since the cost of pollination would be significantly higher if it were not for the sales of honey.

Suggested Citation

  • Ward, Ronald W. & Boynton, Bruce, 2009. "U.S. Honey Supply Chain: Structural Change, Promotions and the China Connection," 2009 International European Forum, February 15-20, 2009, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 59184, International European Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi09:59184

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    1. Reberte, J. Carlos & Schmit, Todd M. & Kaiser, Harry M., 1996. "An Ex Post Evaluation of Generic Egg Advertising in the U.S," Research Bulletins 122835, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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