Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Manuka honey in short supply

Reports coming in from beekeepers around New Zealand are stating that the famed Manuka honey will be in short supply this year because of an unusually poor flowering season due to inclement weather.

When the weather is wet or cloudy the bees do not get out as much to gather the nectar from the Manuka flowers.

In normal sunny summers the Manuka plants flower well and large amounts of Manuka honey are produced which is then tested for the additional antimicrobial activity that is a unique feature of Manuka honey.

Where the Manuka plants are concentrated and few other floral sources of nectar are available to the honey bees the honey can reach very high levels of antibacterial and antifungal activity. This is measured according to a scale developed by Professor Peter Molan of Waikato University in New Zealand called UMF or Unique Manuka Factor to describe and certify the level of antimicrobial activity of this honey which is only produced in New Zealand.

Unfortunately for the bees and for the public, hospitals and clinics around the world who use this special honey to treat stubborn infections, there will not be as much available for export this year as in normal seasons, which is expected to put pressure on prices, especially for the higher grades like Manuka UMF 20+.

Local on-line businesses have been able to secure some of this Manuka UMF honey for their clients and expect to be able to supply limited amounts over the coming months.

To check the availability of Manuka UMF honey in various certified grades click here

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