New Zealand is the geographically very isolated country and a large number of New Zealand’s endemic plants are not found anywhere else in the world.
Manuka is the most abundant New Zealand shrub, scientific name Leptospermum scoparium. Manuka flowers in spring around October and peak flowering season from November to January.
Manuka honey is produced by bees which gather nectar from the Manuka bush. The antibacterial properties are due to the presence of methylglyoxal, a naturally occurring compound found in significant levels only in manuka honey. Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey against bacteria causes life-threatening infection to humans.
Honey’s antibacterial activities were not established until 1919 by scientific research because of discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics. Honey was not used as medicine until mid 1940s. The late 19th century that researchers discovered that honey has natural antibacterial qualities.
New Zealand is now recognized as one of the world most abundant beekeeping countries. Bees produce honey but also play a big role in pollination of plants. Because of this it can be said the beekeeping does more important role in New Zealand economy than honey itself.