The Sweet Stuff

Writer Danielle Parla | November 6, 2014

More and more beauty companies are now exploring the use of manuka honey in their skincare products for its diverse, natural healing properties.

Idelight in the sight and sound of the honeybee – for it signifies the emergence of spring and the bounty of summer. I am equally mystified by the panic they sometimes evoke when they are far more interested in the object of their devotion – the flower, than in us. Bees play an essential role in our ecosystem and survival on this planet; and the simple truth is that without these miraculous creatures we wouldn’t enjoy the delicious nectar of their labour – honey. There is substantial evidence from around the world that honey has been harvested for food, ceremony and healing for at least 8,000 years.

Honey is produced by industrious honeybees that fly from flower to flower collecting sugar-rich nectar and storing it in honeycombs within the beehive to eat during times of scarcity. According to the International Bee Research Association, foraging honeybees have to travel the equivalent of three times around the world to produce a single jar of honey. The honey that they make will have varying physical properties depending on the water content, type of flora they collected from, temperature and the proportion of the specific sugars it contains.

China is the world’s largest producer of natural honey (over 440,000 metric tons per year) according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, and Hong Kong- based Bee’s Nest handcrafts monofloral honey from ivy, longan and lychee trees. Unheated (raw) and organic, Bee’s Nest celebrates the powerful natural vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes with pure honey and beauty products for the skin and hair.

The world’s most medicinal honey, manuka, has been the subject of intense scientific research and comes from the manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) – a tea tree native to New Zealand. The nectar from the delicate white and pink flowers yields a unique, but pleasant flavour, and unlike the simple carbohydrates and trace vitamins and minerals found in other honeys, manuka honey is rich and stable in carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, vitamins B and C, minerals and antioxidants. These bioactive components make it a natural antimicrobial, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them
~ Saint Francis de Sales