May 18, 2018

5 Reasons To Shop Sustainable Honey

As an environmentally-conscious shopper, asking ‘where does this come from, how was this made?’ is likely just as important to you as the quality of the product itself. These questions are incredibly important when it comes to honey, in fact the survival of the entire planet may depend on it (sorry for being dramatic, but…). Give yourself peace of mind when enjoying your next spoonful of wellness - here are five key reasons to look out for sustainably made Manuka Honey:

1) Bees are essential to all life on the planet:

Bees are vital to the global eco-system. Honeybees pollinate one third of the global food supply, and without them many plants (including food crops) would die. If there are no bees, there’d be no flowers; with no flowers, there’d be no herbivores; with no herbivores, there’d be no omnivores. In short, if we don’t ensure the sustainable health of bees, we could put our own human survival at risk.

Healthy bees and honey starts with the land and its surroundings. We ensure our bees are looked after and the hives are protected throughout the year. Comvita even owns a queen-bee rearing facility to ensure that our bee colonies have good genetic diversity, high productivity and youthful Queens, all of which contribute to healthy hives.

2) The Manuka flower is incredibly susceptible to climate change:

The Manuka flower is a scarce resource found only in New Zealand, it only blooms 2-6 weeks per year and its composition is delicate. This means that one of the earth’s most rare and precious wellness resources is seriously endangered by the weather extremes resulting from climate change. At a global level, the more we invest in and choose sustainable practices, the more we can slow and curb the effects of climate change, which threatens the existence of the Manuka flower and so many other powerful plants.

3) Pesticides on flowers become pesticides in your honey:

Pesticides commonly used on large, essential crops have been found to directly cause harm to honey bees. This can range from affecting flight patterns to demolishing entire colonies. Along with the damage to the honeybee, pesticide traces turn up in the pollen and nectar that the bees gather, and that would end up in your bottle of honey.

To avoid pesticides, look for honey that is harvested in remote regions. Our hives are located far from pollution and agricultural sprays in remote forests in New Zealand, a country free of Genetically Modified crops. New Zealand’s environmental regulator, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) manages these risks through special measures designed solely to protect bees, such as:

  • No spraying near hives
  • No spraying near budding or flowering crops;
  • No spraying on crops likely to be visited by bees, or when bees are foraging.

Learn more about pesticides and bees HERE.

4) And don’t get us started on antibiotics:

We often hear about antibiotics used in the dairy and meat industries, but it is rarely discussed with bees. The same impacts apply: the use of antibiotics could destroy the entire ecosystem of the hive. It is illegal in New Zealand to use antibiotics for bees, so they are never used during the production or collection of Manuka Honey. Which means there is no risk of ingesting unnecessary antibiotics when you choose REAL Manuka Honey.

5) ‘Big honey’ has a big carbon footprint.

With the looming threats of global warming, we understand that our processes create a carbon footprint and it is a responsibility for all citizens and especially businesses to continually ask themselves what they can do to reduce their impact. If a brand you buy isn’t forthcoming about their sustainability practices, ask them. Our Manuka plantation projects, partnerships, and pledge to plant more trees provides opportunities for Comvita to offset its carbon credits by reducing its overall carbon footprint.

We take extra care to offer the best natural products, and when it comes to the way they're packaged, we make the same conscious considerations. Most of our products are packed in BPA-free recyclable plastic. As we ship from New Zealand, plastic is lighter to ship overseas and therefore reduces the carbon footprint.


So next time you’re at the grocery store, keep an eye out for brands that are known for their sustainable practices. By shopping sustainably made, you’re voting with your dollar for a system that ensures bee health, minimal pollution, high-grade soil quality, smarter consumption of fossil fuels and water resources, minimal usage of pesticides, and little to no unnecessary packaging.