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Our Beekeepers &
Sustainable Practices

Hive to shelf

All Comvita® UMF™ Manuka Honey is traceable to its source - from the hive to the shelf. We work closely with our bees and beekeepers to produce UMF™ Manuka Honey of the highest quality. From New Zealand’s rugged central North Island volcanic plateau, to the bush clad hills of Northland, there are many factors that can affect the quality of Manuka honey - it’s a natural product so the sun, wind and rain all play a part.


Our founders, Claude Stratford and Alan Bougen, brought natural beekeeping practices and business to life by ‘doing good’. They were convinced if they concentrated on doing the right things first, then wider business success would follow. In the early years, Comvita was a community of hardworking individuals committed to acting in a manner that preserved and helped improve the quality of life and our environment for generations to come. Today, this sentiment remains at the heart of the business.

Healthy bees and honey starts with the land and its surroundings. Our hives are located far from pollution and agricultural sprays in remote forests in New Zealand, a country free of Genetically Modified crops.


While our bees are busiest during the Manuka flowering season (typically September through February), we ensure our bees are looked after and hives protected throughout the year. Comvita also 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.

No Antibiotics, Ever.
As it is illegal in New Zealand to use antibiotics for bees, they are never used during the production or collection of Manuka Honey.


We've been working alongside our beekeepers and beekeeper partners for decades, some since the company was founded in 1974. In New Zealand, the beekeeping profession has generally been a profitable one and in the last few years, following a global trend, a very popular one. Comvita’s Apiary Management System (AMS) is an in-house developed system which automates data to help beekeepers manage their hives effectively and efficiently to ensure premium hive health. It also provides complete transparency from hive to shelf. Additionally, we have a Supply Partnership Group (SPG) whereby our loyal beekeepers have shares in the company, thus providing a win-win. Comvita's fair practices and long-term relationships foster and benefit the communities where beekeepers live. We appreciate the hard work and dedication to the craft by our beekeepers, who know the importance of delivering the finest Manuka Honey.


Comvita's Beekeeping Cadet Program We support future beekeepers. Our Beekeeping Cadet Program is a fully-paid program that offers those with an interest in the apiculture industry the opportunity to become a fully-qualified Kiwi Bee (Comvita) beekeeper. The cadetship attracts new and local talent to enter the trade, and helps ensure the longevity of apiculture. In 2017, 10 cadets successfully completed the New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture (Level 3). All the graduating cadets are offered full time employment with Comvita to continue to develop their beekeeping skills and knowledge. In 2018, 15 of our experienced beekeepers will participate in a training program which will result in them obtaining a New Zealand certificate in Apiculture (Level 3).


We understand that our processes create a carbon footprint and it is a continual focus for us to reduce our carbon impact on the environment. 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. Specifically:

  • Through 2017, we have planted approximately 1 million Manuka seedlings. We are making great progress towards achieving our five-year target of planting 11,500 hectares of Manuka by 2021. Where Manuka planting takes place, marginal and soil eroded land is restored, and waterways become cleaner, which supports our aquatic biodiversity and local habitats. To find out more about the Trees that Count program, click here and here.
  • 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.


If you're in Paengaroa, New Zealand, stop by for a visit to Comvita headquarters! Here you'll find our Experience Comvita store, Cafe Restore, and guided, interactive tour. If your travels aren't taking you to New Zealand any time soon, you can still experience what it's like to helicopter to remote forests where we maintain hives on a virtual tour on our Comvita US Facebook page here

Experience Comvita is typically open year-round, except for holidays. Hours: 8:30am-5pm. See link here for details.

Experience Comvita


From humble beginnings in 1974, and now with over four decades of perfecting our beekeeping craft, we are proud to be the trusted leader in Manuka Honey. We have over 40,000 hives and are committed to growing relationships with our beekeepers. We give back to the community through environmental and education programs, our bee cadet program (training tomorrow's beekeepers), and by creating a sustainable place to live.


  • Plant wildflowers in your yard
  • Choose organic, non-GMO, wild, pollution-free foods
  • Be mindful to avoid wasting food
  • Provide fresh, pesticide-free drinking water for bees. If you fill a saucepan of water, put pebbles or twigs in the water for bees to rest on while they drink.


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