It’s a short journey for our premium Mānuka honey once it’s harvested from the hive with our extraction and processing facilities uniquely located just a few kilometers from the beehive sites on the border of our largest Native Bush block.
Our Bees & the land
At Settlers Honey we are committed to best beekeeping practices. We know that bees play a vital role in our ecosystem and are used around the globe to pollinate valuable food crops and for that we must respect and protect them.
At Settlers Honey our Bees are cared for by our team of highly trained and experienced beekeepers who make sure our hives are well looked after year round.
At the heart of the hive is the queen and a healthy queen is the key to a strong hive. Our internal queen rearing teams have mastered the art of rearing strong and healthy queen bees. By producing our queens and new hives internally we can also ensure that from the very start our hives are given the high quality treatment they deserve and will not be compromised in any way.
While Makowhai Station does provide a home to many of our beehives we also have long-term partnerships with landowners throughout the North Island of New Zealand. Without these partnerships we wouldn't be able to do what we do and produce the volumes of Mānuka Honey that we do for our customers.
We are passionate about sustainability and ensuring the future of the Mānuka industry. We actively invest in Mānuka planting and most recently have begun producing our own seedlings at our Mānuka nursery.
As the chill of the winter subsides the bees can look for other food sources.
The hives are relocated to areas where NZ’s native bush begins to flower; namely Kāmahi, Rewarewa and Rātā.
Our Apiarists tend to the hives regularly, producing nuclear hives where they can and introducing new queens. This is an important part of improving the strength of the hives as well as increasing the number of hives.
The bush honey is brought into the Extraction Plant to produce Makowhai Native Blend and the hives are shifted to the Mānuka clad hills of back country NZ.
With the heat of the summer sun the bees will feed on the nectar of the Mānuka flower and produce rich Mānuka honey.
As the honey flow comes to an end our Apiarists collect the honey, check the health of the hives and produce new hives where they can.
The honey is delivered to Settlers Honey Extraction Plant to be processed*.
Each jar of honey can be traced back to the honey site it was sourced from and is rigorously tested to determine the quality of the honey.
Our hives are relocated to warm areas rich in sources of flower and/or pollen such as garden flowers and gorse. The bees are supplemented with an additional food source as required to ensure they stay healthy throughout the Winter season.
*This process is audited through Asure Quality to ensure it meets the standard set out in our Risk Management Program registered with the Ministry of Primary Industries (NZ).
Not only are they great Apiarists, they are also great Photographers. A collection of images from our ever so talented team showcasing their great work and the beautiful places they get to visit ...
From Hive to Jar
First stop is Extraction
The Settlers Honey extraction facility is located toward the upper end of the Waitotara Valley surrounded by Mānuka clad hills. The extraction plant has been developed by NZ Manufacturing Ltd creating a medical grade facility producing a high quality product.
The honey harvested is extracted in small batches according to the apiary site the honey originated from.
Each batch of honey is tested by an independent MPI (NZ) and ISO certified Laboratory. All honey is tested for the required regulatory limits of Tutin, the ‘activity’ MGO, NPA, DHA, the pollen count and for our medical honey the microbiology.
Mānuka Honey isn't ready to be put into a jar as soon as it's extracted, first it needs to mature. Maturity times vary for different grades of Mānuka honey. We like to keep the honey stored at a steady temperature and test it at various times over the coming years to keep track of the conversion of DHA to MGO and NPA.
Once it has matured then it's into a Jar
Settlers Honey has a stand alone Packing and Blending plant further up the road from the extraction facility.
Every batch packed into jars or pails is carefully crafted by our team of honey creaming experts to give our 100% pure honey the smooth and silky texture that you all love.
Each batch of honey takes up to a week of gentle conditioning to achieve the perfect product that we strive for. It is then independently tested and labelled with its UMF™ & MGO rating.
Creamed honey is 100% pure honey - there is nothing extra added.
*Risk Management Program (RMP): Both the extraction and packing/blending facilities are regulated by the Ministry of Primary Industries New Zealand. Each RMP is audited by AsureQuality NZ to exacting honey food safe parameters outlined in the Operational Code Processing of Bee Products (15 Dec 2017) issued by MPI. All honey produced by Settlers Honey meets the assurances provided by the Animal Products Notice: General Export Requirements for Bee Products (3 August 2020) issued under the Animal Products Act 1999.