A Comprehensive Guide To New Zealand Honey

30 March 2022

100% Pure New Zealand Manuka honey is known across the world for its mouthwatering and creamy taste. Loaded with unique bioactive ingredients and delivering a velvet texture to the tongue, it’s hard to believe that other New Zealand honey can be just as unique. 

This blog will outline and delve into the various native honey types in New Zealand. Known for its extensive collection of exotic flowers, New Zealand has a large array of honey types, both conventional and native, and each can deliver a unique taste and feel. 


1. Clover Honey

The purest and lightest form of this famous honey is harvested in the lower regions of the South Island. Clover honey has become a staple in New Zealand culture and is frequently used as conventional honey.

As the name would suggest, clover honey is derived from the clover (Trifolium) flower - which has over 300 different species worldwide. Clover honey is known for its mild taste and syrup-like consistency. 


2. Honeydew Honey

Honeydew (also known as Beech Honey or Forest Dew Honey) is collected from Black Beech trees located in the Alpine forests of the South Island of New Zealand. This native honey is uniquely produced by creatures within the trees. Small insects deep within the beech forest produce sticky liquid collected on Black Beech trees.  

Worker bees then search these remote forests for the New Zealand native tree and collect its unique dew. Typically amber in colour, honeydew (prior to honey production) is a common food for birds and bees. Unlike the nectar variety of honey, this variation is a lot less sweet, and some even describe the taste as salty or sour. 


3. Rata Honey

The Rātā Tree can be found hidden in the pristine forests of the West Coast on the South Island of New Zealand. This species flowers sporadically - meaning that this honey is produced in limited quantities. This tree has been reported to only flower every two to three years.

When in flower, the Rātā tree features a striking red nettle blossom. The rarity of supply makes honey fans aware that it is one of the rarest honey varieties found in the world.  This rare honey is spectacularly smooth but not sweet - showcasing a mild and almost salty flavour.


4. Rewarewa Honey

Produced from the New Zealand-native Honeysuckle tree, Rewarewa Honey is a beautiful deep red amber colour. This smooth, malty, but caramel-like honey is rich and full-bodied. 

Found at the top of the South Island and throughout the North Island, this delicious treat is derived from a pretty red flower whereby the worker bees collect its nectar. Unlike the honey mentioned above, Rewarewa flowers bloom very densely in late Spring. Subsequently, this makes Rewarewa honey far more accessible for year-round supply. 


5. Kamahi Honey

Kāmahi Honey is produced from the stunning white bottle bush Kāmahi tree. Bees collect pollen to produce an intense and complex flavour with glorious after tones. Most Kamahi Honey produced is from the beautiful native forest canopies of the West Coast in the South Island. Here, the New Zealand native Kāmahi trees grow in abundance.

This honey is known for its smooth and soft texture followed by an intense, full-bodied flavour similar to molasses or burnt caramel. 


6. Thyme Honey

Originating from some of the most pristine environments within the South Island’s Central Otago, Thyme flowers turn the countryside an exquisite shade of purple. Thyme is an aromatic flower, making a distinctive herbal and pungent honey.

Thyme honey is considered to be very strong honey and highly aromatic. This honey has been known to include herbal, fresh and even tropical flavours. Due to this being an intense honey, the flavours have also been suggested to linger on the tongue for longer. 


7. Manuka Honey

During a narrow 6-week window per year, the Mānuka tree is shrouded with masses of flowers. The bee visits this flower to collect the pollen and begins the production of the iconic honey. Once the pollen and nectar are collected, worker bees fly back to the hive, depositing their nectar from their honey sacs into honeycombs. 

Known for its rich, earthy flavour, monofloral Manuka honey has gained a reputation worldwide as a dreamy example of nature’s finest. Some have even suggested that there are unique perceived benefits that come from this liquid gold. 


Midlands Apiaries Can Provide You With The Best of New Zealand Honey

Midlands Apiaries is the perfect partner for your brand, whether you provide skincare, winter wellness products or food and drink. Our widespread Manuka honey supply and production operations (including other honey varieties) can accommodate your needs. Proudly supplying multifloral and UMF™-certified monofloral Manuka honey, we can work with you to achieve your goals. 

Midlands Bees has a dedicated honey extraction facility with state of the art extraction equipment, including a centrifuge system. We can confidently supply your business with honey varieties, including Manuka, Rewarewa, Clover, Honeydew, Rātā, Kāmahi and Thyme. Alongside extracting our honey, contract extraction services are available.

We also offer the services of a highly knowledgeable Sales & Marketing team. So if you’re looking to bring a fantastic brand to market, our team of professionals can plan a pathway to your launch. With an extensive network of honey supplies and laboratories - Midlands Apiaries can provide your business with everything it needs.

Additionally, as the largest New Zealand supplier of wholesale Manuka honey globally, Midlands Apiaries knows a thing or two about quality. An accredited, independent laboratory tests each batch of Manuka honey from Midlands Apiaries for certification. We are very aware of the stringent requirements set forth by UMF™HA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association).

Get in touch with us today for more information about how Midlands Apiaries can make for a beneficial partner in your budding business.

Known for its rich, earthy flavour, monofloral Manuka honey has gained a reputation worldwide as a dreamy example of nature’s finest.