What Makes Premium Manuka Honey So Rare?

08 March 2023

Genuine Mānuka honey is a highly prized and sought-after variety of honey that is harvested and produced in New Zealand. It is known for its unique taste, luxurious texture and versatile uses.

In this article, we will explore what makes Mānuka honey so rare. Midlands Apiaries prides itself on being one of the largest suppliers of wholesale Mānuka honey in New Zealand - we are highly knowledgeable on the optimal, efficient and premium production of pure Mānuka honey. If your business is considering a Mānuka honey supplier, Midlands Apiaries can provide world-class expertise and high-quality rare Mānuka honey for your inventory.

Where Does Pure Mānuka Honey Come From?

Firstly, Mānuka honey is rare because it is produced by bees that feed on the flowers (nectar) of the Mānuka tree, which is native to New Zealand. The Mānuka tree only flowers for a short period of time each year, typically between two and six weeks a year.

Subsequently, this narrow blooming window means that the bees must efficiently collect nectar from the Mānuka flowers to produce the largest amounts of honey. As a result, the production of Mānuka honey is highly seasonal, limited and ultimately rare.

Midlands Apiaries conducts an optimised harvesting process to ensure we collect all of the pure Mānuka honey available to us. This involves several logistical systems, extensive vehicle fleets for efficient honey transportation and master craftsmen who delicately ensure the purity of the honey remains constant throughout the packing process.

For more information, please read - “Why Premium Exporting & Logistics Is Needed For Mānuka Honey

Does Methylglyoxal (MGO) Make Mānuka Honey Rare?

Yes. Mānuka honey is also considered rare because of the unique bioactive ingredient MGO in large concentrations. While many honey types may contain smaller levels of MGO, Mānuka honey has been measured to contain up to 20-fold the concentration of MGO compared to conventional honey.

Furthermore, MGO is produced by the bees when they convert the nectar of the Mānuka flowers into honey. The level of MGO in Mānuka honey varies depending on factors such as the location of the hive and the time of year.

As a rule of thumb, the higher the levels of MGO, the more potent the Mānuka honey. Mānuka honey with high levels of MGO is highly valued among certain customers due to the reputation Mānuka honey holds within the naturopathic industry. There are customers worldwide who are not only familiar with Mānuka honey but have become dedicated fans and consistently seek the most potent variety.


How Do Customers Know If Their Mānuka Honey Is Rare? 

While Midlands Apiaries always supplies monofloral Mānuka honey that is of exceptional quality, we do also produce variations with exceedingly high MGO concentrations. Often, customers will search for UMF™-certified Mānuka honey.

The Unique Mānuka Factor is widely considered to be the gold standard for measuring Mānuka honey quality and potency. A UMF™-certified Mānuka honey jar will showcase the UMF™ symbol along with a grade.

This number will indicate the strength of the Mānuka honey, and will be between UMF™ 5+ and go as high as UMF™ 32+. The higher the number, the more potent - and thus, there will be higher concentrations of MGO. UMF™-certified Mānuka honey has three other factors that also determine the grade (although MGO is the driving factor for many of the high-strength grades).

The three other factors include:

Leptosperin: The DNA marker to show genuine Mānuka honey contains the DNA of the Mānuka tree nectar.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA):  This compound is present in the nectar of Mānuka flowers. It is converted into MGO during the process of honey production. The concentration of DHA in the honey is a key factor for determining the shelf-life of the product and will also indicate that MGO has not been artificially added.

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF): HMF levels are used as a measure of honey quality and freshness. High levels of HMF can indicate that the honey has been subjected to excessive heating or prolonged storage. At Midlands Apiaries, we always maintain low HMF levels to ensure freshness.

For more information, please visit - “UMF™ Mānuka Honey Grading Explained


Can Midlands Apiaries Provide Monofloral Mānuka Honey?

Absolutely. Monofloral Mānuka honey is rare because it’s difficult to produce and harvest. Beekeepers must carefully manage their hives and ensure that the bees have access to Mānuka flowers during the short flowering season.

Our expert beekeepers must also take unique precautions to prevent contamination of the honey with other types of honey, which can reduce its purity and value. Ensuring monofloral Mānuka honey is our speciality - we have the right systems in place to guarantee that only Mānuka nectar is used to make each batch of honey.

Once the honey is harvested, it must be carefully processed and tested to ensure that it meets the rigorous Midlands Apiaries standards required for our products to be certified as pure Mānuka honey.

For more information, please visit - “The Difference Between Monofloral and Multifloral Mānuka Honey


Midlands Apiaries Can Provide You With 100% Pure New Zealand Mānuka Honey

Midlands Apiaries is the perfect partner for your brand. Wherever your business sits in a specific industry, i.e. skincare, natural foods, or genuine Mānuka honey provider - we have all the latest technology and expertise to deliver what you want and when you need it. In addition, our widespread Mānuka honey supply and production operations can work with you to achieve your goals.

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 Mānuka honey globally, Midlands Apiaries knows a thing or two about quality. An accredited, independent laboratory tests each batch of Mānuka honey from Midlands Apiaries for certification. We are very aware of the stringent requirements set forth by UMF™HA. Our undeniable expertise in crafting Mānuka honey will give your business the necessary confidence to consistently deliver quality products. Get in touch with us today for more information about how Midlands Apiaries can make for a beneficial partner in your budding business.



Johnston, M., McBride, M., Dahiya, D., Owusu-Apenten, R., & Nigam, P. S. (2018). Antibacterial activity of Mānuka honey and its components: An overview. AIMS microbiology, 4(4), 655.