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Bee boxes

Bee boxes are located in a field near Sterling, N.D.

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota is once again tops in the nation in the production of honey.

The Agriculture Department says producers with five or more colonies totaled 38.2 million pounds of honey in 2018, up 13% from the previous year. That led the nation for the 15th consecutive year.

The number of honey-producing colonies in North Dakota was up 16% to 530,000. Average yield was down 2 pounds, to 72 pounds per colony.

The total value of honey produced in the state was up 12%, to $71.7 million.

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Nationally, honey production was up 2%, to 152 million pounds. Montana produced the second-most honey, followed by California, South Dakota and Florida.

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