Bees & Trees Journal

Articles, News, and Resources about Manuka Honey

A question we've been asked numerous times is "What is the nutrition information for your Manuka honey."

Because of the size of our company and the amount of packaged honey we sell, we fall under the Small Business Nutritional Label exemption from the FDA.  If you go into a small farm store or somewhere similar and look at the product labels, you will notice that those products do not have nutrition labels either, for the same reason.  Although a label is required of larger honey sellers, honey is a whole food, so in one sense you could think of it like putting a nutrition label on an apple.

We do, however, have the nutrition information readily available.  We donate limited edition, specially labeled jarred honey to a community-led conservation and restoration of the Rotokare Scenic Reserve in New Zealand.  These jars have a nutrition label on them.  Since this information is shown in grams and kilojoules, we’ve provided the conversions also.

New Zealand Nutrition Info:
Serving Size: 10 gm
Servings per jar: 38
Per serving energy: 141kJ
Carbs: 8.29 gm
Sugar: 7.64 gm

US Conversion:
Serving size: 2 teaspoons
Servings per jar: 38
Calories: 34
Carbs: 8.29 gm
Sugars: 7.64 gm

As always, if you have any questions, just ask us!  We're happy to help. :-)

 

We received an order from a new customer, and the new customer quickly canceled his order.  We'd like to share this because there is a lot of confusion and lack of knowledge about Manuka honey labeling, ratings, and content.  We try to alleviate the confusion by providing information, education, and facts on our website, on our blog, on our social media pages, at retail, and pretty much any way we can.  An educated customer becomes our customer.  Once you know the facts, the decision of which Manuka honey to buy becomes much easier.  Click here to read an article we wrote on this very subject.

Customer (almost):
"Please cancel my order. The reason I do not want to try your honey is that I do not believe it is true Manuka honey. It does not have a UMF rating."

Bees & Trees:
We appreciate your suspicion as the US market is rife with imitators at this time. All real Manuka honey is tested for MG (methylglyoxal) when it is produced in New Zealand. There is a look-up table that provides a UMF rating based on the MG test.  Beyond that, the UMF program is 90% marketing spin, and it is heavily controlled by one of the large packers, Comvita, who we have chosen not to align ourselves with. We are very upfront in telling people to either trust an MG level or a UMF rating on a label, and to stay clear of anything else, such as “K Factor,” “bio-active,” or other non-legitimate claims.

We are the highest quality, raw, hive to jar Manuka Honey that you can get in the US, and probably in the world. We are confident of that, and we are very transparent, posting our test results on our website (at the bottom of each product page), and going the extra step to obtain an Oritain Certification of Origin verifying the geographic origin of the honey. We also provide a money back guarantee.

In summary:
-We provide independent lab reports showing the actual MG levels in our honey.
-We provide an Oritain Certification of Origin verify our honey is from New Zealand.
-We educate the public about many aspects of Manuka honey.
-We're available for anyone to ask us anything, always.
-We have a money back guarantee.

We work hard to provide you with the finest jar of Manuka honey on the planet.

Mike Everly,

Bees and Trees Founder/Owner

 

In a series of short videos, Mike Everly, our Founder and the Owner of Bees and Trees Manuka Honey, has put his video camera to work so that he can show you the beautiful landscape at one of our sites in New Zealand while he tells us about the Manuka tree, the bees, and some of the honey production process.

In this video, Mike has been stung by a bee. Spoiler alert: he's OK. He also talks about the land we use, or should we say, that our bees use to forage on the Manuka trees. :-)

 

In a series of short videos, Mike Everly, our Founder and the Owner of Bees and Trees Manuka Honey, has put his video camera to work so that he can show you the beautiful landscape at one of our sites in New Zealand while he tells us about the Manuka tree, the bees, and some of the honey production process.

In this video, Mike talks about where Manuka honey comes from, the New Zealand forest, and our process for producing Manuka honey. It's just Mike, his camera, and the bees and trees. So don't be surprised when runs out of video at the end. With Bees and Trees Manuka Honey, you always get raw and real; whether it's our honey or our videos! :-)

In a series of short videos, Mike Everly, our Founder and the Owner of Bees and Trees Manuka Honey, has put his video camera to work so that he can show you the beautiful landscape at one of our sites in New Zealand while he tells us about the Manuka tree, the bees, and some of the honey production process.

In this video, Mike gives us a "tour" of our hives, explains how we know the bees are foraging on flowering Manuka trees, and what a happy bee sounds like. :-)

In a series of short videos, Mike Everly, our Founder and the Owner of Bees and Trees Manuka Honey, has put his video camera to work so that he can show you the beautiful landscape at one of our sites in New Zealand while he tells us about the Manuka tree, the bees, and some of the honey production process.

In this video, Mike talks about scanning RFID tags for tracking and traceability.  Those wild bulls are still looming nearby!

In a series of short videos, Mike Everly, our Founder and the Owner of Bees and Trees Manuka Honey, has put his video camera to work so that he can show you the beautiful landscape at one of our sites in New Zealand while he tells us about the Manuka tree, the bees, and some of the honey production process.

In this video, Mike checks on the bees to see if the nectar is flowing. While there, wild bulls can be heard in the background, making Mike a bit concerned. :-)

 

 

Would you buy gold without knowing its purity and carat content? Of course not, you wouldn’t know what it’s worth – you wouldn’t know what you are buying. Similarly, why would you buy Manuka Honey without knowing the amount of methylglyoxal (abbreviated as MG, Manuka honey’s unique ingredient that makes it so potent). You wouldn’t. Or at least, you shouldn’t. When it comes to buying Manuka honey, you really need to know what you’re getting or you could end up disappointed with the results, and paying too much for an inferior product. Several of the best-selling, best-promoted, most popular brands do not properly convey the amount of MG on their labels, fooling you into thinking you’re getting something that you are not. Sound outrageous? It is. And yes, you should be outraged. There is one thing for sure – the science is clear, and easy to follow. There is ONE thing to look for on the label of a jar of Manuka honey.

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.

MG/UMF Concentration Ratings
MG concentrations are generally range from 0-600. There are values higher than 600 MG, but those honeys are extraordinarily expensive. A Manuka honey is considered to be medically active at 100+ MG. There is another rating system used that you may be familiar with – the UMF scale. This is another way of expressing the levels of MG in Manuka honey, and that is with a UMF number. UMF means “Unique Manuka Factor”, it is a term trademarked by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association in New Zealand. (2) A UMF number corresponds to the MG content and ranges from 0-20 (see chart).  Most brands that use the UMF scale will typically use an even number, such as, 5+ UMF (=83MG), 10+ UMF (=263 MG), or 15+ UMF (=514 MG). The MG or UMF number should be on the label - period. If it isn’t on the label, you don’t know what you are getting – period. If the label has a number, but doesn’t have the actual word methylglyoxal or the actual letters “MG” or “UMF”, it isn’t MG or UMF – period. If you are a Manuka honey brand and you have MG in your honey, you absolutely PUT IT ON THE LABEL. There are, quite simply, no departures from this standard.

Manuka Honey Pretenders
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 MG/UMF ratings, but in fact, they are nothing more than words and numbers on a page. Some honeys will also mention other scientific/compound disclosures, including DHA. While DHA is a component in real Manuka honey, the levels do not at all correspond to the MG levels. 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.

Imagine someone showed up to sell you gold jewelry. You look at the label, and it reads "contains real gold" or "this gold is rated a 10+", but there was no indication about the real purity or carat content. What would you think? Would you buy that gold? Probably not. The same goes for real Manuka honey. Don’t buy it if you aren’t certain what’s in it.

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 methylglyoxal (MG) level or the UMF rating. Anything else can’t be trusted. If still in doubt 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 to you for each and every batch of honey that we produce showing the actual MG content. 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 the real thing. You deserve to know and to get what you are paying for.

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

(1) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.200700282/abstract
(2) http://www.umf.org.nz/grading-system-explained/

At Bees & Trees Manuka Honey, we make transparency and traceability hallmarks of our brand. We hire an independent laboratory to test the actual levels of methylglyoxal (MG) in our honey, and we post those results on our website. We also hire Oritain, a recognized global leader in the science of food source authentication, to verify the origin of our honey. We are also implementing a tracking and traceability system that includes radio frequency (RFID) tags on all of our hives and honey boxes. These will track our hives via GPS to the actual site where the honey is produced. When we say “hive-to-jar” we know the exact location of the hives that go into each batch. We work hard to make it easy for you to decide which brand of Manuka Honey to trust.

Bees & Trees Manuka Honey – Now that’s Honey You Can Trust.

 

January 10, 2018

A nice note from Miss Rebecca, Grade six teacher at the Toko School in New Zealand, to Mike Everly, Bees and Trees Manuka Honey owner.

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The kids made a piece of wood string art for Raul to say thank you and Merry Christmas.

Mike, I can't thank you and Raul enough for getting involved in our bee journey. The support we have received from you both has been outstanding. The kids are loving the experience and you guys have helped make it possible. Raul is so busy at the moment but always makes time to come and check the hives and help us out.

This really has been an amazing journey, not only for the kids but also for me as their teacher. I am really enjoying it and look forward to learning even more next year. 

We also look forward to seeing you in the new year. I am teaching a new class at school next year and they are super excited to be working with the bees.   

Thank you so much
Rebecca

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