Manuka Honey

The other day I was in my local health food store purchasing some clove essential oil. I use a few drops on my bee suit to keep the defending bees away when they decide to attack their intruder, me. I am not sure if it works or not but no harm in trying.

While at the counter, a customer was questioning the sales assistant wether they should purchase the $38 jar of Manuka honey or the new-improved $45 dollar jar. These were one pound jars and although I was tempted to sell her my honey at $8 a jar, with excellent flavour and un-researched medicinal advantages, I decided to watch and learn. Each jar had different “levels” of benefit (UMF) with medicinal advantages at each level. This is something that I find….I’m trying to find the right word, “dubious”, on my part. For many years I have read many reports about the amazing health benefits of Manuka honey but it seems the reports from medical researchers are not as common. Perhaps the research is still being worked on, which good. Perhaps I have not found the right research, not so good. I would hate to waste $45 on some honey that didn’t do what it was supposed to…

After the customer had bought the honey, the $45 product, I asked the sales assistant how honey sales were going. Very good was the answer, especially the Manuka product. So much in fact that they had placed the honey rack behind the counter as it was starting to walk (stolen) from the shop floor. No kidding at $45 the pop! Demand was strong…

You can say I have some bad history regarding Manuka. I was lucky growing up in New Zealand, that the farm I lived on did not have too much Manuka to be cut yearly. It was the scourge of  farmers, along with gorse, broom, rabbits and any other colonial import that the early settlers wanted to establish. All to make the countryside as pretty as “the motherland”. Manuka was not something that was wanted anywhere by the farming community.  On  land where it grew, it managed to find its way into the wool of sheep, thus reducing the quality and value of fleeces that came from those farms. Times have now changed, so much that you can now read about the new plans to plant large areas of Manuka within NZ, to keep up with demand from the multi-million Manuka beekeeping industry. The link is here: link


Kanuka flower in bloom


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