I often get customers who say to me that they have planted some manuka bushes in their back yard or lifestyle block and are hoping to get into harvesting manuka honey. Unfortunately if you have other plants flowering at the same time your manuka honey will be very diluted. This will mean it can really only be classified as a multifloral honey. The other complicating factor is that bees prefer to collect their nectar from other sources rather than from the manuka flower.
The manuka flower produces nectar for approximately six days. Rain or wind during this period means no nectar will be collected from the flowers. Also the flower will produce more nectar as the temperature increases so if your manuka bushes flower on a cold week, there will be very little manuka nectar gathered.
Commercial manuka honey producers put their hives in the centre of hectares of manuka bushes. This ensures the bees will be gathering from manuka only. As soon as the manuka has finished flowering they pull the hives out. The frames of manuka honey are removed immediately so it is not diluted with other floral sources. https://www.kauriparknurseries.co.nz/our-work/manuka/
Don’t let this put you off your attempt at harvesting manuka honey – just be aware of these factors!