Manuka Honey You Can Trust — Satisfaction Guaranteed

Pure, raw, untreated high activity Manuka honey, hand crafted from the eastern Taranaki native hill country of New Zealand.

What exactly is Manuka Honey?

Manuka Honey is specifically crafted from bees foraging on nectar of the New Zealand Manuka trees. To get Manuka Honey, beekeepers must move their hives into areas where the Manuka is the predominant vegetation type when the Manuka is starting to flower, typically spring to early summer depending on the region within New Zealand.

We watch closely as the season approaches and time the placement of their hives to maximize their exposure to the Manuka nectar flow. Even with all of this work, it’s still impossible to get 100% pure Manuka Honey out of a hive because there will inevitably be some non-Manuka nectar that the bees will get into. While fascinating creatures, the bees don’t listen very well, and we can’t tell them to only work the Manuka flowers.

Despite that, there are some techniques you can use when harvesting the honey to segregate honey coming from different areas of the hive to increase the concentration of Manuka Honey in a given batch. As experienced Manuka Honey producers with our own extraction operation, we’re quite good at maximizing our results.

What’s the fuss with Manuka Honey?

It's not hard to find someone singing the praises of Manuka Honey these days. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson credit it for their great complexions, while tennis star Novak Djokovic says it gives him a boost on the court.

There’s good reason for that. Doctors and researchers (as far back as 30 years ago) have found that Manuka Honey has unique bioactive properties not found in traditional honey. Scientists believe the bioactive properties support and boost the body’s own immune system, resulting in benefits ranging from fighting off the common cold, to wound care treatment for antibiotic resistant skin infections.

Independently Tested for Bioactivity

While taste and color are our initial indicators, we need a scientific result. For that, we send samples from each of our batches to independent laboratories in New Zealand, and they test the honey for dietary Methylglyoxal.

Dietary Methylglyoxal, abbreviated as MG or MGO, is a naturally occurring organic compound found in high concentrations in Manuka Honey. Test results are given as mg/kg, and the concentration of MG directly correlates to the health and wellness benefits of Manuka Honey. Typical tests come back anywhere from 100–250 mg/kg at the time of harvest, and then this concentration changes over time as a precursor organic compound in the honey (dihydroxyacetone, or DHA) converts to MG.

Legitimate Active Manuka Honey - What should be on the label?

There are only two legitimate, industry recognized and independently verifiable ways to label Manuka Honey:
  1. Manuka Honey should be labeled with the actual MG test results (in mg/kg), or
  2. Manuka Honey should be labeled with a rating on the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) scale.  UMF is trademarked, and must appear on the label.

We label our honey with the actual MG results and make our test results publicly available (example here: ( Click here for 2018 Batch 4 - MG 550 Lab Report ).

When you see anything else on a label of honey purporting to be Manuka honey, you should steer well clear. Examples of what continues to show up on labels include: “Active”, “Bio-Active”, “Total Activity ”, “K-Factor ” plus a number typically ranging from 5+ to 20+. When labeled this way, the company is trying to intentionally mislead the consumer into thinking they are getting a high MG (or legitimate UMF) honey when in reality they are typically getting a very low concentration, or low activity (i.e. low MG value) honey.

Licensed New Zealand Fernmark Company


With unscrupulous sellers trying to pass-off counterfeit New Zealand honey, you'd be wise to ask where your honey comes from. Bees & Trees is located in the Mr. Taranaki region of New Zealand (see the circle on the map). We have been accepted by the New Zealand Fernmark license program, where membership requirements include strict adherence to New Zealand’s financial, regulatory, and governance requirements. Our participation in this program is further evidence of the provenance of our honey, and our dedication to the high-quality standards associated with the license requirements.

Pure, Raw, Hive-to-Jar Honey

The reason we’re able to make this additional investment in protecting the quality of our honey, while the big corporate players in the Manuka market are not, is because of a key aspect of their so-called production process: blending.

Much of the Manuka Honey sold under the big name labels is purchased in bulk from honey producers all over New Zealand. The honey is then blended to achieve a certain MG or UMF rating. Notice how producers will sell a 250, a 400, and a 550 MG honey, but never, say, a 430.

Most of the honey going into these “production batches” is probably Manuka Honey, but it doesn't need to be. Under the blended model, the goal is the rating number.

All of our Manuka Honey is sourced from sites that we control, stocked with our hives. We produce hive-to-jar honey from these sites, without blending in honey from elsewhere. Our honey may have some variation in color and texture from batch to batch. Granulation of honey is natural and varies from batch to batch based on a number of factors related to the season. The way the bees make the honey is the way we give it to you. This ensures our honey has all the wonderful health benefits you'd expect, in addition to the added bonus of being a marvelous tasting gourmet food.

Manuka Honey Buying Guide

Whether you're buying our Manuka Honey or someone else’s, we want you to be informed. To find a brand you can trust, you should check for the following criteria:

  1. MG or UMF ratings on the package— anything else is deceptive.
  2. Publicly available labratory test results (from an independent testing lab) indicating levels of dietary methylglyoxal.
  3. Compare pricing ($/oz) for like activity honey. Different package sizes makes price per oz the only viable comparison.
  4. Hive to jar processing, instead of blending (if taste and food quality are important to you.)

Our Promise to You

At Bees & Trees, we will always work diligently to produce what we think is the world’s finest jar of honey.

  1. Our dedicated and experienced team of beekeepers work hard to keep our bees healthy and happy.
  2. Our hives are flown by helicopter to remote Manuka tree sites, nestled within native New Zealand forests.
  3. We extract the honey in our own facility in small batches and present our product in a clear glass jar.
  4. We independently test each batch for bioactivity levels of MG, and we show you our test results.
  5. We are a licensed New Zealand Fernmark company.

We do all of this so that we can provide you with a great-tasting, health-boosting honey in which you can have ultimate confidence.


Mike Everly

PS: If you have any questions at all, ask us anything.