Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What's that buzzing noise?

We've arrives in the northlands at our next stop and have discovered that we're sharing the property with bees. Lots of bees. Don't get me wrong, bees are great. They pollinate the plants and are responsible for one of the most tasty substances on earth, honey.

But really, this is a lot of bees, and right beside the front door:

Bees on the bottle brush. 
Seen as we're now in the northlands and today was almost entirely spent driving, here's some exhilarating info about honey. 

In north New Zealand they sell a type of honey called Manuka  Honey, which is made from Manuka trees. I had never heard of this stuff, and quite frankly, some of the marketing makes it sound like snake oil (miracles anyone?) Here is a pic of some of the bee products in the local iSite gift shop. Bee venom?

Bee venom beauty, yours for the low price of $35 per tiny bottle.
Manuka honey, $21 a pot.
Manuka Honey is supposed to be antibacterial and therefore it's marketed for anything from acne prevention to curing ulcers to helping with cancer treatment. The honey is rated on how much UMF (unique manuka factor) it has. No joke. The honey also contains flavonoids and antioxidants too (but then, most honey does).

I'm not sure about much of the hype, but I can tell you that honey definitely has the beneficial property of being a tasty food.

Professional photo of Manuka tree ... Source

My Photo of a Manuka tree.
Meanwhile, producers of NZ honey are quick to cash in on the popularity. So much so, that last week a news article on false labeling of honey was published. It goes to shows that the honey hype is buyer beeware.


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