Manuka honey land wars.

High-grade manuka honey is shaping up to be New Zealand's next big gold rush, but smaller-scale beekeepers are worried about losing land for hives to those with bigger cheque books.

National Beekeepers Association president Ricki Leahy said livelihoods were threatened as the big players began scoping out properties they were prepared to pay good money for.


Hive theft reaching new levels.

Reward offered as bee colonies stolen

Manuka honey company Watson and Son is offering a $20,000 reward for information on stolen bee colonies.

The company said it had 200 bee colonies stolen from the Toponi Forest in Northland between July 11 and 16.

Watson and Son has put a public notice in the New Zealand Herald asking for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the people responsible for the theft, and for the recovery of the hives.

Beekeepers say there appears to be an increase in bee hive theft and vandalism around the country due to high prices for Manuka honey.


Manuka Plantations business opportunity.

Establishing high yielding plantations of manuka around the country are at the root of a plan to turn the manuka honey industry into a $1 billion a year earner.

The Primary Growth Partnership program funded by the government and industry partners is aimed at increasing production of high value, medical grade manuka honey used in treating wound infections.

In the latest development, the state-owned farming enterprise, Landcorp will be planting out more than 90 hectares of manuka on its farms in Wairarapa, the Te Anau area and Canterbury

The research partnership's managing director, Neil Walker, said there were 18 trial plots of specially selected manuka in different parts of the country.

"We're the first people to have suggested that manuka could be a plantation crop, the idea that instead of just being say, a wild scrub plant growing somewhere, you actually look to systematically plant high active manuka cultivars.

"And we're looking to double the activity, be able to double the amount of honey collected per hive, double the number of hives on an area and double the area, taking the manuka industry from $85 million to $1.1 billion a year,"


Growing manuka from seed.

Leptospermum scoparium/manuka

Manuka is a specialist colonizer of low fertility soils with different forms adapted to clay hillsides and others to wetlands. The flowers appear in early spring and the mature seed capsules can stay unopened on the branches for a long time so there is generally seed available for collection at any time of year. Manuka should always be Eco sourced carefully because it is so variable across the country.


Propagation: Place the capsules in paper bag in a warm dry place until the fine red seed is released. Sift out the seed and lightly sprinkle over a firm smooth bed of seed raising mix. Do not cover but water well. The seedlings will come up in one to four weeks depending on the temperature.



Manuka Honey medical properties

At present, a number of honeys are sold with standardized levels of antibacterial activity. The Leptospermum honey, (Manuka honey) the best known of the honeys, has been reported to have an inhibitory effect on around 60 species of bacteria, including aerobes and anaerobes, gram-positives and gram-negatives. Tualang honey has variable but broad-spectrum activities against many different kinds of wound and enteric bacteria. Unlike glucose oxidase, the antibacterial properties from Leptospermum spp. honeys are light- and heat-stable. Natural honey of other sources can vary as much as 100-fold in the potency of their antibacterial activities, Honey is hygroscopic, which means that it can draw moisture out of the environment and dehydrate bacteria, and its high sugar content and low-level pH can also prevent the microbes from growth.


When honey becomes toxic.

a. Honey should not be mixed with hot foods.

b. Honey should not be heated.

c. Honey should not be consumed when you are working in a hot environment where you are exposed to more heat.

d. Honey should never be mixed with rain water, hot, spicy foods, fermented beverages (whiskey, rum, brandy) ghee, mustard.

e. Honey includes nectar of various flowers of which some may be poisonous.

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so no honey on toast till it cools down? There goes my lemon honey chilli and whiskey then. Definitely honey wars goin on.

 heated above 140°F longer then 2 minutes it will be toxic.

They heat it to 100, 4 times,  to pasturise it.

I stopped having this in my coffee eventually because of your honey warnings.


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