U.S. Beekeepers Challenged by Honey Fraud

Jul 17, 2020
Adee Honey

When you think of fraud, honey may not come to mind - that is unless you’re a U.S. beekeeper.

U.S. demand for honey far exceeds the 156 million pounds U.S. beekeepers and their bees can produce. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each year about 596 million pounds of honey are consumed by U.S. households and food processing facilities. 

But profits aren’t what some might think. The livelihood of U.S. beekeepers is challenged by a substance disguised as pure honey, imported and sold to U.S. food processors. 

Murder Hornets captured the news cycle early May when the giant, 2-inch yellow and black native to Southeast Asia was discovered 1400 miles away in Blaine, Washington. Capable of killing an entire colony of 60,000 honeybees in just a few short hours - SDPB’s Lura Roti reached out to learn what South Dakota’s beekeepers and entomologists have to say about the Asian Giant Hornet.     

In The Moment ... August 1, 2019 Show 628 Hour 2

South Dakota has gone from second in states that produce the most honey to fourth in just two years. Why such a sudden drop? What's the outlook for South Dakota's honey producers?

Nick Lowrey is an investigative reporter for South Dakota News Watch. He discusses his feature story that says the state's beekeepers are facing the industry's "darkest days."