Manuka Flower

The Manuka Flower is the most important part of making the Divine Manuka Honey without the Manuka Flower, we wouldn’t have Manuka Honey. What makes Honey extracted from the Manuka Flower different from others you ask, Ausvita brings you answers to all the questions you might have 

1. The Divine properties of the Manuka Flower

The Honey extracted from the Manuka flower by our bees has antimicrobial properties, making it antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. It also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-modulatory properties. Together these qualities make Manuka Honey great support for digestion, immune function and skin care. 

2. The Blooming Period

Mānuka is a shrub or small tree, found throughout Australia. mānuka flowers prolifically and from an early age, with seedlings as small as 5cm producing flowers and setting seed. Flowering season is relatively short, usually 6 to 12 weeks (and often less) between September and March.

3. They are Delicate 

Apart from having a short blooming window, these plants only grow in specific microclimates in Australia, usually in the isolated hills and forests which becomes even more difficult for the creation of manuka honey. This wild plant is very sensitive to human interference, so the further away the Manuka plant is situated from human contact, the healthier the Manuka Flower, bee colonies and Manuka Honey.

4. It’s quite a trip

Bees only have as little as 12 days to collect the nectar from these flowers to get the honey for the entire year. Moreover, it takes bees around 22,700 trips to the Manuka Flower to collect the nectar required to make a single jar of honey, hence they have to work a lot within a limited span and beekeepers have to essentially track this period.

5. Can plants “Hear” the “Buzz” ?

Honey Bee on Manuka flower

You are strolling in a garden and hear a buzzing sound. Even before you spot it, you know instinctively that there is a bee around.

It seems the plants do, too.

A team of scientists from Tel Aviv University in Israel led by  Lilach Hadany have found that plants can tell when a bee is hovering over a flower.Hadany’s team looked at evening primroses and found that within minutes of sensing vibrations from pollinators’ wings, the plants temporarily increased the concentration of sugar in their flowers’ nectar. In effect, the flowers themselves served as ears, picking up the specific frequencies of bees’ wings while tuning out irrelevant sounds like wind.

Source: National Geographic

6. Manuka helping the farmers and nature

New research indicates planting mānuka could reduce the impacts of farming on waterways, as well giving farmers an additional income stream.

Plant & Food Research scientists have contributed to a collaborative programme, led by University of Canterbury professor Brett Robinson which found that, after heavy application of urea, the soil around Manuka trees contained dramatically less nitrate than around radiata pines used for comparison.

Plantings could be sited to shield waterways, and in areas known to have high concentrations of effluent, or adjacent to those areas to take runoff. He says planting or growing mānuka as shelter would also improve animal welfare and, as animals spend more time there, those sheltered spots would naturally receive the most effluent.

“These results show mānuka and kānuka could be even more effective at protecting water systems than anyone expected,” he says.

Environmental chemistry professor Brett Robinson says better use of manuka and kanuka could offer “an all-round win”.

“Using native mānuka and kānuka as part of a farm system could support biodiversity, nutrient cycling efficiency, animal welfare and farm income,” he says. “It could contribute to sustainable agriculture.”

Plant & Food Research’s Dr Craig Anderson says the difference doesn’t come from mānuka and kānuka taking up more nitrogen but from the effect of the trees on the microbes in the soil.

“Manuka seems to have an inhibiting effect on the microbes in the soil that mediate the nitrogen cycle,” he says.

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