The amazing bees and their role in making Manuka honey
If you're reading this article, you probably would have heard about Manuka honey and its medicinal and healing properties. But have you ever wondered how and where it’s made and the role of the bees in it? In this post, we will discuss the areas where Manuka is gathered, dive into the fine detail of how honey is made, how the bees live, and will help you choose a jar of Manuka honey for your needs.
This honey has so many incredible properties and uses, we can’t wait to uncover the way it is produced.
Where does Manuka come from?
The real Manuka honey is native to Australia. It is said that a long time ago when nobody knew about honey's incredible properties, farmers used to remove Manuka trees as if they were a weed. Today, Manuka trees are considered unique because they grow in specific locations, primarily in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.
The antibacterial properties are in the Manuka flowers. So, when bees arrive at the flowers, they take this unique nectar to their hives to store in honeycombs. At Biosota, we ensure to place our hives in the most suitable areas so that bees can perform their work calmly and without being disturbed.
The Manuka trees flower for a very short time each year, anywhere from two to six weeks. This fact, along with the unique combination of natural ingredients makes Manuka honey one of nature's most rare and wonderful gifts.
How is Manuka honey made?
You have probably wondered about how do beekeepers collect honey without being afraid of the bees. The answer is simple — honey bees usually ignore people since they mind their own business. Many people think that when bees are buzzing, they're warning us to step away, but in fact, this couldn't be further from the truth. Buzzing is their signature sound, a response to the beauty around, the sunny weather and a warm home.
The bees that produce Manuka honey are the European honey bees. This species was imported to Australia by European people and is the most common type of bee around the world.
Each bee has a role
Each beehive consists of more than 40,000 little golden-black workers. This is their home — the place of living, breeding, and producing Manuka honey. One of the most impressive facts about bees is that they are a superorganism, they are so well-coordinated that they act as one being. And every little bee in this colony has its role; it can be anything, starting from keeping the hive clean and ending with controlling the efficiency when making honey.
In the hive all workers are female, and each honey bee needs to pass through various levels in the hive to have the ability and experience to fly out of the home to seek flowers’ nectar.
What do bees eat?
Honey is not the only food that the bees eat; they can also feed themselves with sweet secretions of other insects, floral nectars, and pollen. Honey is their source of carbohydrates, and pollen is bee's protein. These little impressive workers need a high-quality diet to maintain their health and strength because they spend so much energy on collecting nectar every day. The balanced diet of the bees is the secret of some of the tastiest honey because they can fly far away from hives to collect the best nectar.
There is a frequent question about honey bees and their welfare when it comes to beekeepers collecting honey. However, bees usually gather, store, and make a lot more honey than what they need for themselves. This is why the beekeepers can extract honey from the hive while ensuring they leave enough honey for the bees to eat in the winter.
How is honey made and stored?
The Manuka starts flowering in early September. The flower begins at the very top of the manuka tree, and it’s slowly working its way down so you can see that once the flower opens, the nectar sits at the very tip of the flower. The bees come along, gather the nectar and take it to their little honey sack, then take it back to their hives. Little golden bees have two stomachs, one for eating and the second for storing the gathered nectar. This second stomach serves as a vat where the nectar mixes with the enzymes.
Without too much thought, you may assume that bees are just simple insects and don’t perform anything special except gathering honey (we think this is pretty special already!) but that's not the case. Some bees store Manuka nectar, other honey bees work as a team waving their wings to vaporize water from the collected nectar. This process not only turns sugar into honey but also activates those unique medicinal properties.
Crucial features for bees to make good honey
The weather plays a leading role in the bees’ life. When it’s sunny outside, honey bees are encouraged to collect nectar because Manuka tree produces flowers only in warm weather. When it is windy, not only pollen but also flowers can be blown away, so that's why the weather conditions need to be just right.
To ensure that bees gather nectar only from Manuka trees, the hives need to be located close to the blossoming trees, far away from any other plants and flowers. At Biosota, we have a testing method to make sure that the collected nectar is taken only from Manuka tree.
Boost your immunity with Manuka honey
By now, you certainly are well aware of how and where Manuka honey is made, but the question arises “Which jar of honey is best for immunity boost and which is good for a tea party?”.
We've already covered premium Manuka honey on our blog and reviewed the best options with the highest MGO. Now, let's explain what some of the lower MGO rated Manuka is used for and how to select the best one for you.
The Manuka honey with MGO 30+ to 260+ can be considered as a maintenance dose for health. This is your daily supplement and a boost.
Honey with minimal activity for medicinal purposes starts at MGO 300+ and goes up to around MGO 550+. This activity can boost your immunity and keep you healthy.
If you are suffering from digestive problems, then you can try any of our Manuka honey from MGO 800+ until 1200+.
Manuka honey may assist in solving more serious problems such as wounds, burns, ulcers, oral problems, for these issues you're best to go with MGO 1443+ and MGO 1717+. It is the most powerful Manuka honey we have produced. in our store.