Articles, News, and Resources about Manuka Honey
Analytica is one of the two third-party testing laboratories in New Zealand that we use to test every batch of our honey. With many years of experience in commercial testing, R&D, and leadership in science and technology they offer leading-edge services to the Manuka honey industry and others.
In this article, they explain the two constituents in Manuka honey that are above and beyond the hydrogen peroxide activity of other honeys.
"For centuries, honey has been known to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties and has been used to treat a variety of ailments. This medicinal value, which is exhibited by many types of honey, is believed to come from features such as honey’s acidity (low pH), high sugar concentration, and the presence of bacteriostatic and bactericidal compounds such as hydrogen peroxide, antioxidants, lysozyme, polyphenols, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and bee peptides. These features are sometimes collectively referred to as honey’s ‘peroxide’ activity.
Certain honeys derived from the New Zealand Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) have additional antimicrobial activity, above and beyond what is contributed by the above features."
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From time to time we receive questions from our customers. We like to share these questions because it helps to educate and inform others who may have the same questions. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.
“I purchased your honey at a store in Connecticut today. The jar says “Summer 2017” and it tastes grainy and gritty. I have had it before and it was smooth. What’s wrong?”
Not sure if part of your question is the year of the harvest, but I’ll cover that first. All Manuka honey produced in New Zealand is “aged” for 12-24 months prior to packing. The activity level of the honey, measured in MG (methylglyoxal) level, will continue to increase after harvest. And so we patiently wait for nature to work its magic; that’s why we are currently selling our summer 2017 honey.
In terms of differences in texture from batch to batch, our honey is raw, hive to jar honey. We don’t blend it to hit a certain activity level (most companies blend different MG levels to achieve a specific MG level), and we don’t cream it to try to achieve a certain consistency in the texture. Creaming typically requires heating the honey to a level that we think risks damaging some of the natural goodness. Our approach is to keep it as natural as possible, which will inherently cause differences batch to batch in texture and color. We have had customers question some of the batches that they thought were too creamy wanting to know if they were actually raw and natural. So variation in texture and color is normal and expected for our honey. What nature provides, what the bees give us, is what we give you.
Mike, Bees & Trees Founder
November 26, 2018
There's never a dull moment when you are keeping bees! Our little friends at the Toko School have some news to report.
Hive #4 lost it's queen and a few bees are swarming, but all in all things are looking good at the Toko School. They've even included a video at the end of their blog post. :-)
You can read all the details here.
November 15, 2018
Honey has been known for its therapeutic properties since the time of ancient civilizations. Modern scientists have been catching up with this time-honored knowledge in recent decades. In a recent review of scientific research studies on Manuka honey, researchers looked at the properties of Manuka honey, its chemical composition with special reference to flavonoids, polyphenol, and other bioactive trace compounds used in carcinogenesis (the development of cancer), tissue regeneration, and other health benefitting functions.
The included studies they reviewed showed that Manuka honey can inhibit the process of carcinogenesis by controlling different molecular processes, and progression of cancer cells. Also, Manuka honey has been found to have various biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-proliferative capacities. Scientists have also tried to use Manuka honey in the area of tissue engineering to design a template for regeneration.
The big take away here is that in addition to bacterial growth inhibition, Manuka honey can enhance wound healing and tissue regeneration by its immunomodulatory properties, as well as have positive effect on cancer development and progression.
October 12, 2018
The children at the Toko School have split their hives! With Raul's help of course. ;-)
Read about all their work (and fun!) on their latest blog post here.
For our new readers - about a year ago, Bees & Trees donated bees and hives to the Toko School in New Zealand, and we have been following their learning through the entire process of beekeeping all the way to selling their honey! It's been a lot of fun to follow.
September 21, 2018
According to Forbes, the typical American consumes 130 lbs. of sugar each year – that’s 22 teaspoons of sugar per day! Between processed foods, bread, pasta, rice, soda, cookies, cakes, and so many more, sugars lurk everywhere in the average American diet.
Consuming all of that sugar causes a lot of problems, like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, acne, fatigue, and so much more. And it’s not easy to control your sweet tooth; refined sugar can be as addictive to the brain as cocaine.
Sugar is bad news. But not all sweeteners are created equal. Even though both sugar and honey are classified as sweeteners, raw honey and sugar are nothing alike:
Honey contains many nutrients. Refined sugars have generally been stripped of all their nutrients during processing.
So, as you can see, the evidence is quite clear – honey is a healthier choice than sugar to use as a sweetener. But, any sweetener should be consumed in far fewer quantities than the current average of 22 teaspoons of sugar per day! A balanced diet that consists of lots of fruits and veggies is the way to go.
And since we’re talking about the benefits of honey, we’d be remiss not to mention the added benefits of Manuka honey. Manuka honey has lots of health-boosting properties, including being antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating to name a few. One thing is for sure, Nature knows what it’s doing, and Manuka honey is one of Nature’s gifts.
Bees & Trees Manuka honey is raw, hive-to-jar pure goodness. And if you've compared prices, you know that our honey is a much better value than the big brands ounce for ounce. You can get your own jar here.
If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask us. We're here to help.
-The Bees & Trees Team
A quick catch-up for our new followers. In September of 2017, Bees & Trees supplied a hive of bees and the time of our head Beekeeper, Raul, to the Toko School in New Zealand. The Toko School is a Green Gold Enviro School, so having a beehive makes a lot of sense. The children have been on a journey of beekeeping and it's been a lot of fun to follow!
They are celebrating Bee Aware Month and are splitting their hive in preparation for another great year of tending the bees and learning along the way. You can read their latest blog post and see more pictures here.
September 13, 2018
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.
September 6, 2018
Manuka honey has been well studied for its effectiveness on a wide variety of issues and ailments. We recently posted an article on our blog journal about the effectiveness of Manuka honey on tooth decay/cavities. As part of our continuous efforts to educate and inform consumers about Manuka honey, we are proud to contribute our Manuka honey to additional research on the effects of Manuka honey as it relates to remineralizing and reversing initial dental caries (tooth decay) in children. This research will examine Manuka honey’s ability to arrest or even reverse the spread of devastating carious lesions (tooth decay) in children. The study is being conducted at the Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in India.