Genuine Manuka honey is unique to New Zealand. Produced for just a few weeks each year, the Manuka honey harvest is the result of a complex synergy of natural elements that is never guaranteed. Only when conditions align is high quality Manuka honey produced.
Healthy beehives, situated in an environment where Manuka trees (leptospermum scoparium) are predominant is the first prerequisite for producing New Zealand Manuka honey. Typically in New Zealand, Manuka-rich locations are remote and rugged: hideaways where few people visit.
As with a fine wine, quality of the finished product is determined partly by the terroir – the earth – in which the plant has grown. The complex character of the terroir effects the strength and vitality of the Manuka trees. New Zealand has regional varieties of Manuka tree: different forests produce Manuka honey with varying characteristics and UMF™ ratings. Not all Manuka honey is created equal.
To make Manuka honey, honey bees fly up to 5km from the hive to gather nectar from the Manuka (leptospermum scoparium) trees. Flowering occurs only once per year for a few short weeks, and is extremely vulnerable to weather and climatic conditions.
The quality and quantity of Manuka flowers and nectar are critical to the Manuka honey harvest. Standing in a valley when the nectar is flowing is a unique experience: the air is alive with honey bees flying en masse to forage for nectar.
For our beekeepers, bee health is their highest priority. Careful handling and tending of their hives is very important. Healthy beehives ensure a thriving bee population and Manuka honey that has been ethically produced.