Frequently Ask Questions



Does Taylor Pass have their own hives?

Yes, we do, we have over 10,000 hives located throughout the South Island of New Zealand. These are run and managed by our team of dedicated beekeepers year-round to ensure the health of our hives.  We are a fully integrated company controlling all aspects of the supply chain from hive to pantry.

What is Manuka Honey and why should I buy it?

Manuka Honey comes from the nectar of the flower of the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) which is a native plant found only in New Zealand. It is the nectar and the bee that give this honey its unique properties. It is one of the world’s most unique honeys. It is well respected by consumers and has a substantial body of research behind it. Manuka Honey is recognised as being the ‘standard’ against which other honeys are compared. Recognising the inherent value of it, consumers have been buying Manuka Honey for over 20 years.

Manuka Honey Grading Systems Explained All Manuka honey bottled and sent from New Zealand for export markets must meet the government standard for Manuka honey introduced in February 2018. A combination of five attributes (four chemical markers and one DNA marker from Manuka pollen) are required to authenticate Monofloral and Multifloral Manuka honey.  These attributes can be identified using two independent laboratory tests.  The difference between Monofloral and Multifloral is the required levels of these key indicators. In addition to the above, those companies wanting to label their honey with a rating system must perform a separate round of laboratory analysis to identify the signature compounds that are responsible for efficacy with the main compound being Methylglyoxal.

Why is Manuka honey so expensive?

Manuka trees grow in very wild and remote parts of New Zealand, which can create a challenge for our beekeepers to get to their hives. Manuka trees only produce nectar for 3-4 weeks each year and depending on the weather during flowering, yields can be very low. On top of this, it is rare to find honey with high levels of UMF signature compounds.  As consumers discover the unique properties and benefits of Manuka honey, demand is overtaking supply, particularly in the higher-rated UMF Manuka honey range. 

What are the benefits of manuka honey?

The healing properties of Manuka honey are widely known, and many have been scientifically tested. Due to New Zealand food regulations, we can’t make any claims on the therapeutic or medical benefits of Manuka honey, which is why you will find no reference to this on either our packaging or in any of our content.  We have however heard many great success stories from customers who have used our honey for specific ailments including wound care and immunity.  The rating on the jar 5+, 10+, 15+ etc is a measure of the concentration of the signature compounds in the Manuka honey that are responsible for giving the honey its antibacterial properties. The higher the number the more concentrated the properties.

How can I use honey?

The uses for honey are endless – here are a few ideas;

  • Use honey to sweeten your dressings or marinades.
  • As a sweetener in coffee or tea.
  • Drizzle honey on top of toast or pancakes.
  • Mix honey into yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal for a more natural sweetener.
  • On wholegrain toast and top with peanut butter.
  • As an energy boost before exercise.
  • Use as a glaze on meat.
  • As a sugar replacement in baking.
  • As a face mask applied directly to the skin.

Why should I buy UMF Manuka Honey over any other non-UMF mark product?

The UMF® quality trademark is the only rating system that is independently verified.  UMF is the association of New Zealand honey producers that governs the Manuka honey UMF rating system specifically to protect consumers against honey labels making unsubstantiated claims. UMF Manuka honey has unique properties that have been well researched. The UMF Honey Association and the mark assure consumers that these key signature compounds are present in license holder’s products. The Association has a Code of Practice which all licensees must follow. This includes independent audits to ensure compliance with UMF quality standard production facility requirements. We also appoint independent companies to regularly check samples from the marketplace. This helps protect consumers from counterfeit products. UMF is the only rating system that guarantees that the product is packed in New Zealand from 100% New Zealand honey. 

No other rating systems are independently governed and are free for producers to use whether onshore or offshore. 

What is the MGO / UMF Conversion?

MGO UMF

≥83 mg/kg 5+

≥263 mg/kg 10+

 ≥514 mg/kg 15+

 ≥573 mg/kg 16+

≥696 mg/kg 18+

≥829 mg/kg 20+

Why does honey’s colour and texture vary?

Honey is a natural product, influenced by seasonal and regional conditions - just like wine, with no two harvests being the same.  You can expect honey’s flavour profile and colour to develop with age.

Can I eat Manuka while pregnant?

Manuka Honey has been taken by pregnant and breastfeeding women for many years with no reported problems however if you have any concerns, we recommend checking with your health professional. 

How long does honey keep for?

Food standards state that honey must be labelled with a best before date, but as long as honey is stored properly and not exposed to too much heat honey will last well beyond its best before date and in most cases indefinitely.  Honey was found in Egyptian tombs…..

Is it safe for Diabetics to consume honey?

Our honey has just one ingredient – 100% pure New Zealand Honey however it is important to remember that honey contains naturally occurring sugars just like fruit and for this reason, it is recommended that diabetics seek advice from their doctor with regards to the consumption of honey.

Can children eat honey?

Manuka Honey is suitable for children over 12 months old.

Should I keep honey in the fridge?

There’s no need to store honey in the fridge.  Keeping honey in the refrigerator can cause it to crystallise.

Why has my honey crystallised?

Honey will naturally crystallise over time.  New Zealand honey, in particular, is prone to crystallization when left in a liquid state this is largely due to the filtration process.  It is common across the world to ultra-filter honey to remove pollen and all visible impurities that aid crystallization however this process is illegal in New Zealand.   New Zealand honey retains all of the natural pollen, these pollens can act as a nucleation point and therefore increase the chance of crystallization.  If your honey has crystallised you can bring it back to liquid by placing the jar in a bowl of warm water and slowly letting it warm up.

What is creamed honey? Does it contain dairy? How do you make it?

 The first thing to clarify is that Taylor Pass Honey Co’s creamed honey varietals are 100% natural NZ honey with no additives. The “creaming” process relies on, and enhances, honey’s natural tendency to crystallize.

Two main types of sugar make up honey; glucose and fructose.  Glucose is responsible for crystallisation; honey varietals have varying levels of glucose depending on the type of flower the nectar originated from.  Nectar from flowers such as Manuka have a higher level of glucose and are therefore prone to crystallisation. Another factor causing rapid crystallization is the presence of pollen, which you will find in raw honey that has been minimally processed. Pollen particles create a surface for the crystals to begin forming. 

Lastly, temperature has its part to play. The reason why you commonly see honey in the supermarket that stays liquid and looking pretty for a very long time is that many honeys you will find on a supermarket shelf have been fine-filtered/ultrafiltered (taking out the beneficial pollen) and heat-treated, which destroys the natural composition of the honey.  It does alleviate the crystallization issue but, in the process, it strips all the goodness from the honey and all you are left with is a glorified sugar syrup.

how do we get creamed honey that is deliciously smooth out of liquid honey that will eventually turn into gritty crystals?

To begin with, we take previously creamed honey which we call “seed” or “starter” and add this to liquid honey at about a 10% ratio of starter.   The honey is slowly stirred intermittently in a temperature-controlled tank (cool) over a three-four-day period.  The fine crystal present in the original starter is replicated throughout the entire batch creating a product with a thick, smooth and silky texture. 

Does mixing Manuka honey with warm water reduce its efficacy?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that adding Manuka Honey to a warm drink such as tea will affect the efficacy of the product. Damage is only likely to occur if the honey was exposed to high heat over a long period of time.  We do not recommend adding honey to boiling water but rather letting the water cool slightly and adding the honey as the last step before consumption.

How do I substitute honey for sugar?

Because of its high fructose content honey is twice as sweet as sugar so you will need to reduce the amount mentioned in your recipe.  For each cup of sugar required, you should use approximately half the amount of honey.  As honey is composed of up to 18% water you will also need to reduce the liquid required by approximately a quarter. When baking sweets, you should lower the oven temperature by 15oC to prevent over-browning.

Will eating local honey help with my allergies?

There are many anecdotal stories of people claiming relief from allergies by eating local honey, but we are not aware of any scientific evidence to support these claims. This subject is somewhat controversial, since some experts claim that the kinds of pollens that are the greatest cause of allergies are smaller windblown pollens that are not typically found in honey.  In addition to this, many honeys around the world are ultra-filtered and pollen is essentially stripped out of the honey during this process and therefore would be ineffective against allergy relief.  This is not the case for honeys produced in New Zealand where it is illegal to ultra-filter honey.  

How do bees pollinate plants to extract nectar from a flower?

A honey bee must crawl deep inside the flower. During this process, it brushes against the stamen and stigma.  When it does this, its body gets covered in grains of pollen and it leaves some of that pollen behind when it visits the next flower.  The honey bee gets all the pollen and nectar it needs, while the flower is successfully pollinated – it’s a win-win situation.  Kiwifruit, apples, avocados, berries, cherries, stone fruit, walnuts and many other crops all rely on bees for pollination.

How do bees make honey?

Honey is produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers. Worker bees transform the nectar that they gather into honey by adding enzymes to the nectar and reducing the moisture content.

What is the role of pollen in honey?

Honey is produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers and plants, not pollen. Pollen is actually an accidental guest in honey, brought back by the bee as a source of food for baby bees (the “brood”), or incidentally introduced into the honey through other means, such as during the extraction process. Pollen in honey can be used as a tool to help determine the primary nectar source.

Pollen and Filtration Pollen is naturally present in honey at the time of harvest and is often used in conjunction with sensory analysis to determine a honey’s primary nectar source.  Filtering of honey is commonly used to remove pollen along with other visual impurities, this is because these particles can act as a nucleation point that accelerates the crystallization process.  Fine filtering producers a product which is shelf-stable and more appealing to the consumer with its bright colours and fine liquid texture, however, consumers need to be aware that this process damages the natural composition of the honey and makes it very difficult to confirm the origin of the honey. 

 

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