Manuka honey is a truly remarkable honey in every respect and it was not so long ago that nobody was very interested in it. How things can change! Here are some interesting facts about manuka honey that you may not be aware of!
- Manuka honey did not exist before 1839, which is when honey bees were introduced to New Zealand by an English missionary called Mary Bumby.
- Prior to the 1980s, beekeepers were discouraged from producing manuka honey due to its low market value.
- Manuka honey is thixotropic or has so-called ‘non-Newtonian’ properties, which is why, for example, if you hold a teaspoonful of manuka honey upside down it tends to stay on the spoon.
- All honeys have an antiseptic quality to a certain extent because they contain hydrogen peroxide but Manuka honey has an antibacterial action that works with a different mechanism from other types of honey, leading to the term non-peroxide activity. Some manuka honey has an antibacterial activity even if hydrogen peroxide in it is destroyed.
- In 2011, the Prime Minister of New Zealand presented Queen Elizabeth II with manuka honey as a gift.
- A manuka honey bee only produces a ¼ of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
- Manuka honey is effective against MRSA bacteria and is used in several wound care products.
- To fill a jar of manuka honey would require a single bee to fly the equivalent distance of more than twice around the world or make 22,700 separate trips.