On any given day in New Zealand, Comvita’s bees are hard at work. They’re carrying out the unbelievably complex task they have undertaken on Earth for centuries – pollinating the local flora, returning to the hive and looking after their queen.
Our bees may not know how lucky they are to inhabit such a spectacular landscape, but we know the purity of this land impacts the quality of our honey – creating a premium product unlike any other in the world.
Hives across New Zealand
Our hive locations across New Zealand are selected for the quality of their Manuka trees and the concentration of the natural properties in the Manuka flower.
Early in the spring, the honey from our Northland hives is ready to harvest.
After the bees have collected and stored nectar from nearby flora in the comb, they have a unique process of dehumidifying the nectar by collectively fanning their wings over it. This gradually reduces the amount of water in the substance from 80% to about 20%, thus transforming it into what we know as honey. The bees then cap the comb over with beeswax, a natural preservation method that can prevent fermentation for centuries.
“It’s a natural food preserving factory that’s going on here,” says our founder, Alan Bougen.
As summer makes it way south, our beekeepers in the Waikato, East Coast, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa make their way to the hives, tucked amongst mountains and valleys in remote corners of New Zealand. In some cases, our hives can only be reached by four-wheel vehicles through the bush. In others, the only way to reach them is by helicopter.
Remote, untouched Manuka forest
The remoteness of our hives is what we believe helps to maintain our honey’s pure, natural qualities. Our Manuka forests are left untouched, with nothing but the sunshine, wind and rain to nourish the native trees season after season.
The making of Comvita Manuka honey is really down to the bees and their environment – we set our hives in prime locations and rely on nature to look after the rest.
It’s this practice that allows us to stay true to our original mission to bring our customers the very best Manuka honey – as nature intended.