As of 2016, India is the country with the highest number of beehives, at around 12 million, followed by mainland China and Turkey. In comparison, the United States only has about 2.8 million beehives. Despite the huge number of hives in India, China outstrips India in terms of production volume, producing about 491,000 metric tons of honey in that same year, about 27 percent of the global market volume.
The value of honey production in the United States has seen some wide fluctuations since 2000 but has an overall positive trend. North Dakota is by far the top honey producing state, producing around 33 million pounds of honey in 2017, more than twice as much as the runner up, South Dakota. However, South Dakota had the largest stock of honey of any U.S. state in that year. In the United States, the average price of honey increased by about one U.S. dollar per pound between 2016 and 2017.
As the top producer of honey worldwide, it comes as no surprise that China also has the highest export value of natural honey at about 271 million U.S. dollars, consisting of 11.4 percent of the overall value. The United States is the leading importer of honey worldwide, purchasing about 570 million U.S. dollars of honey from other countries in 2017.