damn it, I modded but I need to say that this number 8777 is the number of beekeeper not bee population. The highest was in 1986, but 2014 is close to that all-time max.
What I find interesting is the value of honey is rising exponentially (with a slight dip between 1983 and 1999)
Of interest too is that the total production per colony went from a ratio of 0.06 in 1924 to an all-time high of 0.18 in 1998. So the bees were working 3x as much as in 1924. Maybe they got tired?