A brief history of honey

Honey is as old as the bees that produce it, but beekeeping is thought to date back to 700 BC.

The Egyptians fed honey to their gods and the Romans used it to heal wounds. It was so highly sought after in medieval times that it was kept for the wealthy. Luckily now days honey is more available, so it’s not just Kings and Queens that can enjoy it. When refined sugar from sugar cane became more widely available, honey was used more for its medicinal properties rather than cooking.

It’s thought that Mary Brumby brought honey bees to New Zealand back in 1839. Commercial honey production flourished because of the native bush. The Langstroth hive was used back in the 1870’s and is still the model used today.

Why choose organic honey

Right from the beginning we learned to keep our honey production as natural as possible.

We know in cities and farming areas that pollution, antibiotics and pesticides found on plants can end up in pollen and honey. These chemicals may be bad for our health and wellbeing.

As different countries have different limits on how much chemical residues are allowed in honey, we stand by our 100+ years of knowledge that organic is the safest way to produce honey.

Over time we’ve learned that honey is more than just a sweet toast-topping or raw food ingredient. It’s the ultimate medicinal food. We know that you buy honey when you’ve got a sore throat, a cold, skin infection or cut, or to boost your immune system.

To be certified organic the honey we produce for you has to come from hives which are more than 3km away from any area of intensive agriculture, has to be surrounded by primarily native vegetation and be traceable back to individual beehives.

We also have to show we use no synthetic chemicals or antibiotics have been used in our beehives or on our equipment. We use minimal heat to prevent damage to the honey taste and colour.


Take advantage of the exceptional benefits that organic New Zealand Manuka honey can provide. But be warned, not all Manuka honey is created equal. ‘Active’ Manuka honey means very little. Looking for the ‘MG-MGO’ number is what’s important.

The ‘MG’ is a little something called Methylglyoxal which makes Manuka honey so special. Scientific research has shown it’s the naturally occurring MG that’s unique to Manuka honey, giving its superfood properties. All honey contains some MG, but it’s found in highest amounts in Manuka honey.

So we have each batch of our organic Manuka honey tested independently by an IANZ accredited laboratory to measure the amount of MG. Research tells us that having a minimum of 50mg/kg MG is needed for reliable health properties. Because each of our organic Manuka honey products gives you the MG value you can rest assured knowing you’re getting Manuka honey with the unique active ingredient it’s renowned for.

Read about how TranzAlpine organic Manuka honey meets the MGO Ratings and the New Zealand Government’s Science Definition.


Both MG and UMF are trusted Manuka honey grading systems, and both measure MGO (methylglyoxal) content. Testing for MGO levels is important as they can vary greatly – not all Manuka honey is equal.

The MG Manuka Honey grading system is a precise and reliable test that simply and directly reflects the MGO content of the honey. The higher the MGO content the higher the grade of honey.

We’ve provided a handy correlation between MGO™ and UMF™ numbers here.

You can use this chart to see how UMF and MG line up. 

UMF 5+ MG 83

UMF 10+ MG 263

UMF 12+ MG 354

UMF 15+ MG 514

UMF 18+ MG 692

UMF 20+ MG 826

Explore our organic Manuka products.



Propolis is made by bees to repair and protect their hives. Propolis is high in bioflavonoids, types of antioxidant which may help protect the body from free radical damage. Free radical can damage healthy cells in the body.

What makes us really excited is the research showing that bioflavaniods found in propolis may have a role in reducing inflammation and stimulating the immune system, which may help with respiratory health and viral, bacterial or fungal infections.

Combining the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities of propolis with the superfood properties of our organic New Zealand Manuka honey makes a powerful product that we’ve packaged as both a tincture, throat spray and throat and chest syrup for you.