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History of New Zealand Honey - Shop Here

History of NZ Honey – Benefits, Uses, Where to Buy

The earliest record of honey harvesting dates back 8000 years, based on a rock painting found in Valencia, Spain. Showing the honey seeker robbing a wild bee colony by subduing the hive in smoke and retrieving the natural raw honey. Fast-forward to today and smoke is still used by beekeepers to calm the honey bees down while inspecting and tending to their hives.


Where to Buy New Zealand Honey?

You can buy honey in New Zealand through our online website at Lili’s Honey. We deliver New Zealand-wide via NZ Post and via personal deliveries throughout Auckland.

Our store has a range of raw NZ Honey available for purchase online, with links provided below:

Buying New Zealand local honey through Lili’s Honey will not only guarantee the highest quality honey straight from the beehive, but it will also taste delicious on its own as well as an ingredient to all food recipes.


Honey in New Zealand: 

According to the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Mary Bumby, a Methodist Missionary’s sister, is most likely the person who introduced honey bees to New Zealand. She brought over two honey hives when landing in Hokianga in March 1839. 

Although New Zealand had two species of native bees, neither were suitable for honey production. Once the honey bees were introduced, it did not take long at all for wild honey colonies to spread in abundance. A big factor in the rapid success of hives was the New Zealand Bush and Native Flora especially in the Bay of Islands, Auckland region and later throughout New Zealand including the South Island.

In the 1860s honey bee hives in local New Zealand native bush were plentiful and Māori were the country’s first commercial beekeepers that were able to trade and sell in considerable amounts of honey, honeycomb and other byproducts. By the late 1870s, commercial production of New Zealand honey picked up pace following the introduction of the Langstroth hive, which is the boxed-frame beehive which you see today in apiaries across New Zealand.

Some varieties of New Zealand honey include Pōhutukawa Honey, Multiflora Honey (a variety of native and other flora that a beehive is exposed to), and the highly demanded NZ Manuka Honey, which you can learn more about here (link).

Although Beekeeping is spread throughout the country, the majority of beekeepers and hives are located in the North Island. According the Ministry of Primary Industries, as at June 2018, there were 881,185 registered beehives in New Zealand.


North Island Region
Northland / Auckland /Hauraki Plains
Waikato / King Country / Taupo
Coromandel / Bay of Plenty / Rotorua / Poverty Bay
Hawke's Bay / Wairarapa / Manawatu / Taranaki / Wellington
South Island Region
Malborough / Nelson / West Coast
Cantebury / Kaikoura
Otago / Southland



Benefits of New Zealand Honey:

New Zealand is considered one of the most advanced countries in the field of beekeeping so you can rest assured in the high quality of New Zealand Honey. This is due to our country’s abundance of bush and large green spaces but also the well-established registered beekeepers’ societies that strive towards best practice beekeeping and honey collection.

Honey contains many important oxidants such as organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. High-quality New Zealand honey sourced directly from your local beekeepers is likely to be rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown that antioxidants have been linked to the reduced risk in heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer. They may also promote your eye health.

Blood pressure is a key factor in the risk of heart disease, and honey may help lower it due to the antioxidant compounds that have been linked to the reduction of blood pressure. Several studies also show that honey may improve cholesterol levels, promote the healing of burns and wounds and help suppress coughing during upper respiratory infections.


Uses of New Zealand Honey: 

Humans have a long history using honey for many different things. From bathing in it, to eating, treating their wounds and trading with honey – its qualities have endured the test of time. Archeologists have discovered honeycomb in tombs buried with pharaohs and their most prized possessions, the honey was so well preserved and still eatable thousands of years later. There are also countless records stating that throughout the Roman Empire, honey was used to heal wounds after battles.

Most importantly, we all love honey for its rich tasteful texture and flavor. Honey is a great replacement of sugar due to its organic and natural qualities. Largely considered as a healthier alternative. Whether you enjoy sweetening your tea with some honey, your morning cereal, baking, and more, Lili’s New Zealand Honey is a great choice nutritionally as far as raw natural honey goes.

Growing up in the Mediterranean, each generation knew how important honey was to a healthy diet. We fed our kids a spoonful of honey and olive oil every morning.

Other ways to include New Zealand honey in your diet, is to sweeten marinades and dressings; spread on toast or pancakes; mix with yogurt, cereal or oatmeal and much more. You can stay tuned to our blog section (link) where we will post some of our favourite recipes rich in honey.

PS. Have you tried mixing honey and peanut butter? DO IT.