For the Birds from the Bees
Manunui honey takes its name from a precious conservation area in Raetihi. Manunui, meaning ‘plentiful birds’, is 250 hectares of restored native bush that provides sanctuary to a wide variety of New Zealand native birds, including the North Island brown kiwi.
Manunui Honey founder, Blake Cole, purchased adjoining land to Manunui to extend the footprint of the conservation area by returning more land that had previously been milled to native bush.
With a passion and deep commitment to conservation, Blake monitors kiwi as part of Operation Nest Egg, as well as trapping and eradicating pests on Manunui. These efforts, in combination with the amazing work of many others, have seen kiwi numbers reverse their decline and the population is now growing year on year.
In 2016 bees were brought to Manunui. As well as forming an integral part of the natural ecosystem pollinating the native flowers that provide food for the growing numbers of native birds, the honey produced by the bees helps the conservation work remain sustainable.
Profits from Manunui Honey directly support the ongoing conservation activity, returning more of the land to native bush, growing our bird numbers, and protecting this special place for future generations.
Bringing back our birds
Creating a thriving ecosystem
Restoring our forests
eradicating our pests
safeguarding our kiwi
values driven honey
Our conservation values naturally extend to our bees. Just as we work hard to safeguard and protect our native birds, we see our role as beekeepers being to serve our bees – not the other way around.
Our bees enjoy plenty of space and an abundant food source. Minimal hives are kept at Manunui, guaranteeing that our bees thrive. The remote location means our bees are not exposed to pesticides and chemicals typically used in horticulture and agriculture. We never feed them sugar syrup or chemicals, and you will taste that purity in our honey.
Our honey is hand extracted using humane methods that don’t stress or agitate our bees. We don’t heat our honey. This kills the naturally occurring enzymes that make honey so wonderful. Commercial beekeepers often do this for speed and efficiency - the hotter honey is, the easier it is to pour when bottling. We know that good things take time. We never filter. We gently strain our honey by hand, removing chunks of wax, but making sure that we keep all the natural goodness in.
Our hives are only built from recycled, untreated timber and we only use glass jars. When you order from us, there’ll be no plastic wrap arriving in your letter box. You can trust that every decision we take is informed by our deep-rooted values.