Where does Kapiti Island honey come from?
Our honey comes from one of New Zealand’s oldest and most treasured nature reserves, Kapiti Island. Our Manuka Blend honey is the delicious result of Carniolan honey bees foraging the lush forests and rolling hillsides where our hives are located. Kapiti Island is around 5 kilometers off Paraparaumu, around an hour north of Wellington, and is an internationally recognised nature reserve, home to a wonderful array of endangered birds and wildlife.
I didn’t think people were allowed on Kapiti Island, how are there hives there?
Our family has been caring for Kapiti Island since the early 1800s. From the days of our great-great-grandfather Wi Parata who farmed the land and passed it down to his daughter, our great grandmother, Utauta, who farmed the land and managed to hold on to it while other landowners were forced to sell by the government. As a result, our whanau is lucky enough to have this private land on the island and we continue our role as kaitiaki or guardians of the land. Part of that role includes sharing what we can with the rest of New Zealand.
We take a kaupapa or principled based approach to everything we do on the island.
Our activities are structured around the conservation, biosecurity, and cultural needs that come with such a nationally and internationally important nature reserve, we’ve worked alongside DOC managing those needs for decades and will continue to do so.
We’re very much a local and whanau based business. We have teamed up with a very professional and highly principled locally based apiarist who is keen to assist by training some of our immediate whanau to make beekeeping a sustainable practice on the island. It’s another way we can work for the island to ensure it grows and develops as a healthy ecosystem.
How much Manuka is in the honey?
We decided we didn’t want to pay for the UMF Manuka Honey rating label, but in the 2020 limited harvest of Kapiti Island Honey there is a minimum 90mg MGO per kg of our honey, that’s the main antibacterial compound in Manuka Honey. 83 MGO is the equivalent of 5 UMF.
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Whānau and whenua first
Kapiti Island Honey is a whānau run business. It's not going to turn any of us into millionaires but it does give us an opportunity to work together on a kaupapa promoting the healthy whenua (land), healthy customers, and our own wairua (spirit). That's why we do it!