Wild Cape manuka honey is from the beautiful and unspoilt region in New Zealand, the remote East Coast of the North Island. Here vast areas of the native manuka bush grow wild along the rugged coastline.
Unlike manuka honeys from other regions in New Zealand, which can be quite acrid and bitter in flavour, the manuka honey from this region is famed for its mild flavours while still retaining its health-enhancing properties.
Wild Cape is a small family business owned and run by beekeeper Bill Savage. In spring of each year, Bill and his team take the beehives into the remote manuka forests.
A new worker bee emerges into the hive approximately every minute. It chews its way out of the honeycomb and merges into the hive. Over the next six to eight weeks the worker bee will fly approximately six to eight hundred kilometres and gather 1 teaspoon of honey.
In the summer when the manuka flowers produce their nectar the bees fly from flower to flower to collect this prized nectar and pollen. The bees need to visit up to four million flowers to produce 1kg of honey.
The queen bee is the mother of every bee in colony. She lays all the eggs. She lives for about three years, or up to three years, and the bees feed her constantly. She can more-or-less lay her own weight in eggs every day.
In autumn they gently blow the bees off the honeycomb and collect the full combs of honey which are taken home to the honey house. Here each frame of honey is hand-loaded into the spinner, and the honey extracted from the comb. The honey is then stored in batches and tested to select the finest honey for the Wild Cape jars.
The East Cape produces a strain of manuka honey that is very high in the unique manuka factor that makes manuka honey special. Not all areas have this unique manuka factor. Only some special manukas and some special regions produce this honey.
The UMF quality mark was created by the UMF Honey Association to measure these properties. This is the only association that carries out regular in-market audits of its licensees to ensure the honey meets their strict criteria. All Wild Cape manuka honey carries this UMF quality mark.