Australian Manuka Honey Association
Australian Manuka Honey Association

With the secret to producing manuka honey laying with the nectar from the flowers, measuring the DHA content of the nectar became the next issue to understand. Widespread testing of the nectar from flowers of the Leptospermum Scoparium revealed that the level of DHA varied from tree to tree and from region to region. On average the DHA of the manuka Trees in New Zealand average just over 2000ppm which ultimately converts into a MGO content within the honey of 260mg/kg.

The nectar testing on the wild Leptospermum Scoparium forests conducted by Rod Skellet on King Island produced results well in excess of this average. Over the past 12 months Rod Skellet has established King Island Pure Manuka as a honey operation on King island, with hives and extraction facility. In January 2020, the first manuka honey was harvested and sent to the University of Sunshine Coast the preeminent body for honey and nectar testing in Australia. The results are confidential but suffice to say the company is accelerating their business plan on the back on the results.

The ability to produce a high grade monofloral Manuka honey puts King Island Pure Manuka in a very unique and advantageous position. Bees are very fussy and deliberate creatures. The determinably seek out both nectar and pollen sources that is attractive to them. The Manuka Tree, and its flowers, are on the whole pretty unattractive from a bee’s perspective. If there is anything else in flower within 5 km of the hive site, the bees will choose that floral source over a Manuka tree that maybe just 10 meters away.

The benefit that King Island has over much of the Manuka forests in New Zealand, is that there are no floral alternatives available to bees on King Island. The Manuka is the only floral source available to the bee colonies, and as such they have no choice but to harvest the nectar from the Manuka Tree when it is in flower from late November through to early January. This ensures that King Island Manuka honey is a true and pure Manuka honey, that is not tainted by other floral sources. This Pure Manuka is what the premium honey buyers want. It is what King Island Pure Manuka promises to deliver.