Honey bees were introduced to Australia from the 1820s, and ever since we have been producing many beautiful and unique honeys, including our own Manuka.
Australia has been using the word ‘Manuka’ since European settlement as a name for places, as well as for the plant. The funny thing is, people at the time had little knowledge of the health benefits of Manuka honey, and instead favoured milder, lighter honeys, which were probably less active.
In 1935 there is an article in the South Australian Chronicle discussing the production of Manuka honey. It includes a section describing “the repulsive honey” by a beekeeper who also talked about how to avoid ending up with Manuka honey in your hives! Back then the unusual and strong flavour of Australian Manuka was undesirable.
However, we now know that our Australian Manuka is very special. And we have many specialist beekeepers producing this remarkable, natural and potent honey from our pristine bushlands and forests.