How is Manuka Honey Made?

We all know Manuka honey has a number of health benefits, tastes delicious, and can be drizzled on everything from an acai bowl to yogurt to toast. There is, however, one question that comes to mind when we think of Manuka honey: How is Manuka honey made? Given the rising popularity of Manuka honey, we’re not surprised that people are curious to know where this mouthwatering honey originates from. 

Which country does Manuka honey come from? 

Before we dive into how Manuka honey is made, it would be helpful to know which country Manuka honey originates from. Manuka honey comes from Leptospermum scoparium (tea tree),otherwise known as the Manuka plant, which is indigenous to New Zealand. Fun fact: The Manuka flowers bloom only 2-6 weeks per year, making Manuka honey even more of a precious commodity. Given its rare source and short flowering season, it’s no surprise Manuka honey is seen as a sort of treasure. 

where does manuka honey come from

What does Manuka mean? 

On top of wondering how Manuka honey is made, you may have also questioned what Manuka means. Manuka is exactly what we described earlier: a treasure! Manuka was referred to as ‘taonga’ or ‘treasure’ by the Māori people, New Zealand’s first settlers. Over the past five years, New Zealand and Australia have been in a legal battle trademarking the term Manuka. In an article for The Guardian, they quoted New Zealand’s Manuka Honey Appellation Society’s chair, Pita Tipene, on why it’s important for them to stop the term Manuka honey from being used on products made outside New Zealand: “For Māori, this means that our reo is respected and a precious taonga [treasure] is being honored and protected. For consumers, it means that they can trust they are getting genuine honey produced in New Zealand from our Mānuka trees. It also protects the industry, export earnings and jobs.”

The Guardian article also referenced how John Rawcliffe, the chief executive of the UMF Honey Association, pointed out that Australia had 83 varieties of Leptospermum, but not all of them are created equal. Tipene mentioned how protecting the Manuka term would ensure the legitimacy for customers: “This definition requires that all honey exported from New Zealand under the name ‘Mānuka honey’ (which includes variations on the name) meets test requirements, ensuring it is unadulterated and true to labeling. This enables consumer confidence in this genuine and unique honey of New Zealand.”

How is Manuka Honey made? 

Now that you’re aware of Manuka honey’s background, let’s explore how Manuka Honey is made. Manuka Honey is made by bees that pollinate the Manuka flower. It should be noted that other species of Leptospermum scoparium can be found in other areas of the world, but these species don’t grow the flowers honey bees need to make Manuka honey. As we’ve mentioned, true Manuka honey can’t be found anywhere. Besides its many health benefits, we can see how the rarity of the Manuka plant can contribute to the price of Manuka honey compared to the regular honey you usually find in grocery stores. 

At Kiva, we take pride in the fact that our Manuka honey is not only traceable from hive to jar, but it is also independently tested in order to provide our customers with assurance in its purity, authenticity, and traceability. Our premium Kiva Raw Manuka honey is harvested from the nectars of the Manuka flower in remote parts of New Zealand that feature pristine hills, forest, and coastal areas. This rare Manuka honey is rated to be at least UMF 20+ (equivalent to MGO 830+). Kiva is also a member of the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) Honey Association. Simply scan the QR code on a jar of Kiva’s Manuka honey to verify the UMF certificate. Questioning why UMF is so important? Buying UMF rated Manuka honeys protects you from untested honey (often labeled ‘active’, ‘factors’, or ‘bio-active’).


how is manuka honey made

What does a Manuka tree look like? 

Now that you’ve learned how Manuka honey is made, you may be wondering what exactly a Manuka tree looks like? The Manuka plant is a small shrub that produces white (and oftentimes pink) flowers. While the Manuka plant is able to grow in dry and wet areas, it blooms during seasons like summer and spring when the weather is good. It’s also known that bees forage for nectar in the beginning of spring when flowers are blooming and the weather starts to become warmer. 

what does a manuka plant look like

Kiva Manuka Honey

As we mentioned earlier, Kiva’s Manuka honey is harvested from the nectars of the Manuka flower in New Zealand. And, as you learned from this article, Manuka honey is derived from the Manuka plant (leptospermum scoparium) which is native to New Zealand. The Manuka honey contains unique, active compounds with natural antimicrobial properties which sets it apart from regular honey. Manuka honey has proved that its a superfood, and you’ll never have to doubt if your jar is authentic when you purchase from Kiva. At Kiva, we are dedicated to providing assurance to our customers of purity, authenticity, and traceability for all our Manuka honey. Each jar of our Manuka honey is independently tested and certified to guarantee the UMF™ grading on the label. Don’t miss out on our variety of Manuka Honey options that you can easily purchase on our website!