Auckland Manuka Honey Bee Tours

MANUKA HONEY – Why is it so special?

Manuka honey comes from the Manuka tree; (Leptospermum scoparium, aka Tea tree).

NOTE: The NZ Tea tree is not to be confused with the Australian Ti tree which is derived from the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia (aka: Narrow-leaved paperbark) It is completely different to NZ Tea tree (aka: Tea tree). As you can see, these trees are quite different. (However, both the Australian plant and the New Zealand plant have medicinal properties, but it is the NZ Manuka tree where the special honey comes from).

NZ Leptospermum Scoparium


Manuka honey has been used recently as a substitute for antibiotics in fighting ear, nose and throat infections, as well as dressings for burns and slow-to-heal wounds. It’s the UMF (or Unique Manuka Factor) which has the special antibacterial property found in Manuka honey. When honey is diluted, a special enzyme the bees have added produces hydrogen peroxide (a well known antibiotic). Manuka honey has been found to have an antibacterial activity in addition to hydrogen peroxide. No one has discovered the substance involved, so it’s called UMF. Some Manuka honey contains more of this substance than others. The higher the UMF factor, the stronger the properties! Lately, most of the higher UMF honey (grade 30 UMF and grade 40 UMF) is going straight to the hospitals for use there. This higher grade honey would retail at around NZD1,000 per kg.

So, it is the wonderful honey bee we must all thank for its interaction with the Manuka tree to produce this very precious honey. Everyone must be aware of the important role the bee plays in the world, and we must strive to help their survival! Pesticides and disease are destroying the world bee population at an alarming rate. Apart from the decline in honey production, so is the pollination of major crops. It is estimated that one third of all food crops in the world is pollinated by bees.

Honey Bee Showing Full Pollen Sacs

CREDIT: NZ Honey Centre Warkworth

During our FULL DAY tours, we include honey-tasting. This is your opportunity to try various honeys (including New Zealand’s most famous Manuka honey!). There is honey available to purchase…however, SOME countries (and/or their states) do not allow honey and their products across the boarder. It is wise to check if the countries you are visiting (or returning home to) will allow your honey entry!

There are 2 honey centres in the Auckland district: Queen Bee and Honey Centre Warkworth

Honey products come in various forms (other than honey!), there is; pollen, royal jelly, propolis, etc. Bio security can be very strict, so please be aware.




Before someone else gets your seat!!