Manuka: The biography of an extraordinary honey written by Cliff Van Eaton.
Manuka – once that most peculiar honey, much darker than the clover everyone put on their toast and with a very different taste. The problem honey that was hard to get out of the comb and even harder for beekeepers to sell.
Today Manuka is known around the world. It fetches high prices and beekeepers do all they can to produce as much as possible. Wound dressings containing manuka honey are now used in leading hospitals. It has saved the lives of patients infected with disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to standard antibiotic drugs. Manuka has forced the medical profession to rethink its position on the therapeutic properties of natural products.
The remarkable rags-to-riches story of manuka honey seen through the eyes of a New Zealand beekeeping specialist who watched it unfold from the very beginning. A great tale of science – how an iniquisitive university lecturer discovered something totally unexpected in a product everyone had written off. This is also an entertaining account of the way that seemingly simple discovery caught the international media’s attention. As a result, enterprising New Zealanders developed manuka honey-based products and took them all around the globe.
Above all else, Manuka: the biography is a story of hope for the future. It sounds a note of optimism in a world that for good reason feels saddened and sometimes even afraid about the future of the special relationship we humans have always had with those marvellous creatures, the honey bees.
Cliff van Eaton is a well-known writer on beekeeping subjects. He has worked as a beekeeping adviser for over 30 years here in New Zealand as well as overseas.