September 13, 2018
Bees & Trees Partnership with The New Zealand Native Forest Restoration Trust
Our Manuka honey is region-specific, produced in Taranaki, which is on the west-central part of the North Island. The areas where we produce our Manuka honey are remote even by New Zealand standards. Much of the land either borders on or is part of publicly owned native forest reserves. We place our hives in some of the most remote and pristine areas of the New Zealand backcountry.
One of our landowner partners is the New Zealand Native Forest Restoration Trust whose mission includes purchasing recovering farmland and overseeing the land’s management to support and enable regeneration of the native forest. We are partnering with this group on a block of land called the Omoana Bush Extension in the heart of the area where we operate. This year, plantings of Manuka seedlings began on the land purchased jointly by our company and the Trust back in 2016 to jump-start this regeneration process on some of the land that had been most intensely developed and farmed - roughly 10 acres around the old homestead. The remaining 500 acres of land is already well underway with Manuka growth that is coming back on its own after the completion of farming operations and removal of the stock (in this case sheep) when the property was purchased.
The Native Forest Restoration Trust is dedicated to protecting New Zealand’s native forests and wetlands. Not just for today, but for generations to come. Since its founding in 1980, the Native Forest Restoration Trust has acquired land to promote the regeneration of forests, protect important species and restore their habitats, and to improve the quality of waterways. It has purchased and protected well over 7,000 hectares of native forests and wetlands throughout New Zealand.
The Trust was formed in 1980 when a group of people got together to protest the felling of giant totara in Pureora Forest. Their ethos remains the same as it was back then – if we all come together, we can achieve extraordinary things. And they have achieved extraordinary things. Today, the Trust manages over 7,000 hectares of reserves, protected forever for all to enjoy.
Each piece of land that they look to purchase is assessed on its ecological significance, viability for ensuring the long-term sustainability of that particular type of habitat and capacity to naturally regenerate. When it has been purchased, they place it under a covenant for permanent protection through the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust. A covenant ensures that New Zealand’s native species are protected forever. This ensures that the land can never be harvested, cleared or developed. They appoint an honorary ranger and establish a management plan for the area, often working with local volunteers to carry this out. This often includes making sure that the area is protected from invasive pests and predators through predator-control and plant management programs, fencing the property to keep stock out and creating paths and information boards for visitors.
The Trusts invites you to explore the extraordinary natural beauty that New Zealand has to offer further by learning more about the reserves. You can find their details here.
Because we use these remote, pristine areas for our bees to forage on the Manuka plants, and we harvest and sell raw, hive-to-jar Manuka honey, you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality Manuka honey possible. We believe supporting these natural areas is a win-win situation for all involved. We are able to help restore native lands, produce one of nature’s finest natural foods, and provide you with a natural food that can help you become healthier and stay well. We’re committed to providing the highest quality Manuka honey available.