Bees & Trees Journal

Articles, News, and Resources about Manuka Honey

Bees and Trees Founder Mike Everly, his wife Shannon, and head NZ beekeeper Raul Orban-Mateas are in Montreal for the 46th Apimondia (International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations) conference. This worldwide gathering of beekeepers, researchers, an industry experts is an incredible sharing of information on the latest discoveries, trends and technologies affecting beekeeping and honey production. Estimates are that 3,000 to 5,000 participants are here, and the report from Mike is that they are hearing some very engaging presentations.

Mike will be in New Zealand in early October to share information with our team and discuss how recent discoveries with regards to bee nutrition, parasites, and viruses that affect bees can be best applied to keeping our bees healthy and strong.

(Pictured below, Mike Everly, cute bee girl, Shannon Everly)
(Head beekeeper Raul was busy as a bee doing other things!)

Mike and Shannon Everly with cute girl in bee costume


If you or someone you know suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, you may get relief by adding Manuka honey to your daily regimen. 

"Manuka honey consists of various substances which are antioxidants and prevent the damage to the tissues of the gastro-intestinal tract; hence aiding the symptoms of ulcerative colitis."

For more details, read this article.

Purchase Bees & Trees Manuka honey.


Mark Your Calendar!

Vital Health Radio

What:   Radio Show Interview of Mike Everly, Bees and Trees Founder

Topic:   Manuka Honey:  What It Is and How It Is Used

When:  Sunday, August 18, 2019, 9:00 am EST* or download the app.

All shows are also available after the show airs on

This Sunday, August 18, 2019, at 9:00 am EST, Bees and Trees Founder, Mike Everly, will be interviewed on the by Ed Jones and Dr. Christopher Greene on the Vital Health Radio Show about “Manuka honey:  What It Is and How It Is Used.”

Vital Health Radio is a radio show that provides practical health-related news and information in a comforting, convenient and easy to understand.  It’s a weekly one-hour radio talk show, hosted by Ed Jones (owner of Nutrition World, Chattanooga) and Dr. Christopher Greene (Board Certified M.D. & Chief of Staff – CHI Memorial Georgia).

Vital Health Radio is all about your health, wellness, mind and body, as well as well-being.

*Go to, click “Listen”, search for “98.1 The Lake”



British Open: Phil Mickelson gets himself and his game in shape


Phil Mickelson has been fixated on his swing lately, but not the one that won him 44 Pro Golfer, Phil Mickelsontournaments over the course of his illustrious golf career. 

It’s a different kind of swing, his abrupt transition to healthy eating — a diet many people would consider extreme — that has been his focus.

Read full article here.

To learn more about Bees & Trees Manuka honey, start here.

To purchase Bees & Trees Manuka honey, click here.


Hi, I just bought a jar of your honey. My wife and I love the honey and will continue to buy it, but I’m curious…why is your honey not UMFHA certified?

(Bees & Trees Note: UMFHA stands for Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association)

Bees & Trees:
Thank you for ordering from us. In order to use the UMF trademark and to be certified by the UMFHA, a producer must be a member of the UMFHA. We made the decision a long time ago not to join the UMFHA. It is expensive for a smaller producer like us, so we simply use the actual amount of methylglyoxal (abbreviated MG) on our labels. I can personally assure you that our quality control, testing (3rd party test reports available on our product pages), and assurances around the authenticity and place of origin of our honey (our Oritain Certification) far exceed most UMF members. We're glad the UMFHA exists and we tell consumers to make sure you either get a MG/MGO labeled honey (like ours), or a UMF honey and make sure it says UMF. The brands that use confusing and deceiving labeling practices don’t do either.

We strive to provide a very high quality Manuka honey that our consumers love and can trust. Thanks for your question.

-Mike Everly (Bees & Trees Owner)

Purchase Bees & Trees Manuka honey.


National Pollinator's Week

National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.

Pollination Fast Facts from the Pollinator Partnership:


What is pollination?
Pollination is a vital stage in the life cycle of all flowering plants. When
pollen is moved within a flower or carried from one flower to another ofBee Foraging on Manuka Flower
the same species it leads to fertilization. This transfer of pollen is necessary for healthy and productive native & agricultural ecosystems.
-About 75% of all flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their heavy pollen grains from plant to plant for fertilization.
-About 1,000 of all pollinators are vertebrates such as birds, bats, and small mammals.
-Most pollinators (about 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees.

Why are pollinators important?
Pollinators are often keystone species, meaning that they are critical to an ecosystem. The work of pollinators ensures full harvests of crops and contributes to healthy plants everywhere.

-An estimated 1/3 of all foods and beverages is delivered by pollinators.
-In the U.S., pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.

How you can help.
-Reduce your impact. Reduce or eliminate your pesticide use, increase green spaces, and minimize urbanization. Pollution and climate change affect Bee Foraging on Manuka Flowerpollinators, too!
-Plant for pollinators. Create pollinator-friendly habitat with native flowering plants that supply pollinators with nectar, pollen, and homes. For information on what to plant in your area, download a free eco-regional guide online at
-Tell a friend. Educate your neighbors, schools, and community groups about the
importance of pollinators. Host a dinner, a pollinated food cook-off or other event and invite your friends.
-Join the Pollinator Partnership Go to and click on “Get Involved.” Be part of a growing community of pollinator supporters.





An interesting article by the "Unique Manuka Factor" (UMF) Honey Association outlining the difference between Australian Manuka honey and New Zealand Manuka honey explains that the two are not the same, and as such, Australian Manuka honey shouldn't really be called Manuka honey.

There are many different species of the Leptospermum genus, with Manuka honey, Leptospermum Scoparium, being quite different from others. Australia hasManuka Flower Illustration many of the Leptospermum species growing side by side. There are easily recognizable physical and visual differences, along with chemical differences. Although the article does not specifically talk about methylglyoxal (the main constituent in Manuka honey that is correlated to its health and wellness benefits) content, it alludes that there are probably bioactive differences as well. The Australian honey industry has not historically produced what it now often calls ‘Australian Manuka’ honey. Some believe that as the Manuka honey industry has grown successfully, Australia has jumped on a wagon that is already rolling.

The article ends leaving you to answer this question:

"Why have some operators in the Australian honey industry decided to adopt the name ‘Australian manuka’ for Leptospermum honey, given that the honeys are distinct, and those differences are readily detected by consumers? The decision to do so is clearly not supported by science, is misleading and, at worst, could be cynically viewed as an attempt to deceive consumers."

Read full article here.

To order real 100% pure New Zealand Manuka honey from Bees and Trees, click here

Our Manuka honey is 100% pure, raw, hive-to-jar New Zealand Manuka honey.  We take great care of our bees and we use pristine land sites to ensure we're providing the highest quality Manuka honey and being the best stewards possible of Nature and her gifts. 

At Bees and Trees Manuka honey, our mission is to educate consumers about Manuka honey so that you can make an informed decision with confidence when purchasing Manuka honey.  Because Manuka honey is a premium product, you want to make sure you're not overpaying and that you will get the results you expect.  We help you do this by sharing our knowledge and information with you.

As always, if you have any questions, just ask!

At Bees and Trees Manuka honey, our mission is to educate consumers about Manuka honey so that you can make an informed decision with confidence when purchasing Manuka honey.  Because Manuka honey is a premium product, you want to make sure you're not overpaying and that you will get the results you expect.  We help you do this by sharing our knowledge and information with you.


Manuka honey could provide the key to a breakthrough treatment for cystic fibroMicroscopesis patients following preliminary work by experts at Swansea University.  Dr Rowena Jenkins and Dr Aled Roberts have found that using Manuka honey could offer an antibiotic alternative to treat antimicrobial resistant respiratory infections, particularly deadly bacteria found in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) infections.

Read full article in Science Daily here.

Purchase Bees and Trees Manuka Honey here.


Until the early 1990s, Manuka honey was just a really nice honey produced frHoneybee on Manuka Flowerom flowering native New Zealand trees.  That’s when Dr. Peter Molan of the Waikato University in New Zealand, through his research, discovered a very unique and special property of Manuka honey.  Dr. Molan was studying the health properties of honeys.  Normally these properties are attributed to a natural mild hydrogen peroxide formed by the enzyme glucose oxidase that bees add to nectar as they digest it and turn it into honey.

However, this "peroxide activity" is easily destroyed by exposure to fluids, heat and sunlight.  Dr. Molan discovered that Manuka honey had a different property, what he termed a "non-peroxide activity" (NPA), which was more potent and stable, opening up the possibility of a wide range of uses.  The term "Unique Manuka Factor," or UMF was coined (and trademarked) to describe this property which was originally based on its NPA test result.

Later, Professor Thomas Henle at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany set out to isolate what in Manuka honey was producing this more potentChemical Compound of Methylglyoxal Image and stable antibacterial effect.  The compound, methylglyoxal (MG/MGO), was isolated as having a direct correlation to the NPA or UMF rating of Manuka honey.  NPA or UMF can be directly measured by observing the inhibition of growth of bacteria within honey samples.* As a practical matter, this test is seldom used today. Instead, MG/MGO is directly measured, and then the NPA or UMF value is correlated to the MG levels. In the case of the UMF grading system, there is also a verification that a threshold level of Leptosperin is present, and maximum level of Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is not exceeded.

MG/MGO is directly measured in ppm or parts per million, typical Manuka honey sold at retail will have a MG concentration of 100 to 600ppm. NPA or UMF ratings typically range from 5+ to 15+.

For labeling purposes, MGO is trademarked by Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd.  The abbreviation MG is also used to represent methylglyoxal. UMF is registered and controlled by the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA).

For a more in-depth look at the unique characteristics of Manuka honey, you can read this article by Steve Howse, Analytica Laboratories, published in The “New Zealand Beekeeper.”  DHA and MGO: The Most Common Testing in Manuka Honey.

*In this video from 2014, the late Professor Peter Molan takes the viewer into his laboratory to show the special non-peroxide antibacterial activity of Manuka honey versus other honey.  Why you need the right sort of activity in Manuka honey 

Manuka, New Zealand, Honeycomb image

Find out more about Manuka honey ratings here.


If you want to avoid fake news, you have to know the source of the information.  Further, you have to determine whether or not the information that source is
Image - Real Manuka Honey?
telling you is accurate or not.  Sometimes this takes a lot of effort just to discern between truth and fiction.  Determining if Manuka honey is real and from a trusted source based on facts is very similar.

You should never buy Manuka Honey without knowing anything about the company (the source) or if they are properly labeling the honey (the facts).  When it comes to buying Manuka honey, you really need to know what you’re getting or you could end up with a product that is not what you think it is, disappointed with the results, and paying too much for an inferior product. 

Evaluating the Manuka honey company (the source) can be a bit more subjective; similar to evaluating the source of a news story.  How much do you know about the company?  Are they transparent with their test results?  Where does their honey come from and do they have Country of Origin Certification?  What do they say about themselves on their website and their social channels?  What type of information do they share?  Do they seem authentic in the way they present themselves?  The answers to these questions will give you some facts and a feeling for the company to help you determine if they are a trustworthy source.

Now the facts.  The number one, biggest, most important question you should ask is – are they accurately indicating the amount of methylglyoxal (MG) on their label?  There are only two legitimate ways to label the amount of methylglyoxal (Manuka honey’s unique ingredient that makes it so potent) in a jar of Manuka honey.  But first, let’s talk about exactly what is methylglyoxal.

 Methylglyoxal Content

The value of active Manuka honey is based on the concentration levels of methylglyoxal (MG) contained in the honey.  Manuka honey has strong antibacterial properties that are unlike ordinary floral honeys, and scientists believe that MG is the primary factor that gives Manuka honey its uniqueness.  In 2008, Professor Thomas Henle at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany set out to isolate what it was in Manuka honey that was producing this antibacterial affect.  He isolated a compound called methylglyoxal (MG) and stated that his findings “clearly demonstrate that the pronounced antibacterial activity of New Zealand Manuka honey directly originates from MG.” (1)

Manuka honey is the ONLY honey in the world with meaningful levels of MG. The amount of MG in a Manuka honey determines its value.  If your honey has low levels (or no levels) of MG, it really shouldn't cost you more than any other table honey.

The Only 2 Legitimate Ways to Label Manuka Honey

You can put the actual concentration of MG on the jar.  MG concentrations in Manuka honey generally range from 100 to about 600.  There are values higher than 600 MG, but those honeys are rarer, and can be quite expensive.  When you look at a jar of Manuka honey rated this way, should say MG or MGO (both are abbreviations for methylglyoxal) in front of the numbers.  It has to have the actual letters M-G or M-G-O or it is not properly labeled and does not properly represent the amount of MG in the jar.

Another rating system used that you may be familiar with is the UMF scale.  UMF means “Unique Manuka Factor”, it is a term trademarked by the UMF Honey Association in New Zealand. (2)  UMF members test their honey for MG concentration, for Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), and Leptosperin. After confirming threshold levels of HMF and Leptosperin, the actual UMF rating simply corresponds to the MG content and ranges from 5-20 (see chart below).   Most brands that use the UMF scale will typically use an even number, such as, 5+ UMF, 10+ UMF, or 15+ UMF.

The MG or UMF number should be on the label; if it isn’t on the label, you don’t know what you are getting.  If you are a legitimate Manuka honey brand and you have honey with a meaningful concentration of MG, you put it on the label. Either by displaying the MG test result, or by using the UMF correlated rating number (provided threshold HMF and Leptosperin values are confirmed).  If you have a real Manuka honey, there is no reason not to properly label the jar.  There are, quite simply, no departures from this standard.



Manuka Honey Imposters

If you don't see actual MG or UMF ratings on the label, you need to be asking yourself "Why not?"  The answer is simple—they just don't have it.  The biggest offenders among the Manuka honey brands are those you would not suspect.  The jars say "Manuka Honey" all over the label, and many contain words like "Bio Active 15+" or "K Factor 16" that are intended to make you think they are UMF ratings, but in fact, they are nothing more than words and numbers on a page created by the company.  Some honeys will also mention other scientific/compound disclosures, including DHA.  While DHA is a precursor compound to MG, it cannot be correlated to the MG level and does not tell you the potency of the honey.  Putting DHA on the label is just another attempt to fool you.  The same can be said for disclosures about pollen count or pollen percentage—they aren't accepted standards for measuring the activity of Manuka honey.

Manuka Honey – Worth the Effort

Manuka honey’s host of synergistic properties make it one of Nature’s most potent superfoods and well worth the effort of understanding what is legitimate and what is not.  When looking at a Manuka honey product label, just be sure it has the actual MG level or a UMF rating.  Anything else can’t be trusted.

 If you still aren’t sure or you have a question not covered in this article, just ask us; we are happy to help.

100% Active Manuka Honey

At Bees & Trees Manuka Honey, we are on a mission to bring understanding and assurance to you as the consumer.  We put the MG content right on our jar.  We are happy to provide our independent lab test for each and every batch of honey that we produce showing the actual MG content.  These can always be found linked at the bottom of our product pages on our website.  We provide origin certification from Oritain, a global leader in preventing food fraud.

When you buy Bees & Trees Manuka honey, you can be confident that you're getting real, authentic Manuka honey. 

Click here to order a jar of Bees and Trees Manuka honey today.