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The Wild Story of Manuka, the World's Most Coveted Honey

Manuka Honey History

  • The honey bees species (Apis mellifera) that are necessary for commercial honey production are not native ones of New Zealand but arrived in 1839 due to an English beekeeper, Mary Bumby.
  • She managed to bring the skeps (woven baskets) of honey bees in a six-month voyage from England, paving the way for the bees to start working on the manuka bushes.
  • The honey did not gain popularity until 1980, when Dr. Peter Molan confirmed the unique antibacterial properties of the nectar, along with the already known healing properties. A series of quantifiable tests proved that manuka honey can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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The Wild Story of Manuka, the World's Most Coveted Honey

The Wild Story of Manuka, the World's Most Coveted Honey

https://www.afar.com/magazine/the-wild-story-of-manuka-the-worlds-most-coveted-honey

afar.com

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Key Ideas

The Most Coveted Honey

Manuka honey from New Zealand is the world’s most coveted honey. It’s supposedly unique healing properties make it a high-demand consumable in the elite circles. It is derived from the nectar of a native bush called leptospermum scoparium and is has been enjoying a boom in popularity in the last 30 years. 

In 2017 for example, the annual shipment of the manuka honey industry was $270 million.

Manuka Honey History

  • The honey bees species (Apis mellifera) that are necessary for commercial honey production are not native ones of New Zealand but arrived in 1839 due to an English beekeeper, Mary Bumby.
  • She managed to bring the skeps (woven baskets) of honey bees in a six-month voyage from England, paving the way for the bees to start working on the manuka bushes.
  • The honey did not gain popularity until 1980, when Dr. Peter Molan confirmed the unique antibacterial properties of the nectar, along with the already known healing properties. A series of quantifiable tests proved that manuka honey can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

International Sweet Sensation

By 1991, manuka honey was marketed in the U.S. which was going through a health and fitness resurgence, gaining massive adoption and cult status. It also gained traction as a versatile and healthier sugar substitute.

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