How Much Honey Do Bees Make?

How Much Honey Do Bees Make?
Michael Bell

Michael Bell

9 minutes

Bees are magical honey producers, but their powers depend heavily on their environment. Learn how Manukora's ethical beekeeping in New Zealand's nectar-rich forests harvests superb Manuka honey through sustainable practices that prioritize bee health over profits.

Key Takeaways

  • Bees need a healthy, pesticide-free habitat to thrive and produce the most honey
  • Manukora uses ethical practices to ensure hives remain antibiotic-free in remote forest regions
  • Strategic hive placements in nutrient-rich areas like NZ's "Golden Triangle" maximize honey output
  • Manukora bees produce over 30-60 lbs per hive; the highest yields top 100 lbs

Comparison Table

Standard Hives

Manukora Hives

Location

Variable

Remote forest regions

Environment

Can be exposed to pesticides/pollution

Pristine, secluded

Beekeeper Care Practices

Can involve antibiotics, chemicals

All-natural, ethical

Average Honey Yields

30-60 lbs/year

30-60+ lbs/year

Peak Honey Production

Up to 100 lbs/year

100+ lbs/year

How much honey does the average beehive produce in a year? 

The average beehive can yield between 30 to 60 pounds of honey per year. However, honey production is heavily dependent on the bees' health and environment. With ideal conditions like a pesticide-free habitat and the use of ethical beekeeping practices, a single beehive can produce over 100 pounds of honey annually. 

Most honey is harvested from robust hives cared for naturally in pristine forest areas rich in nectar-producing flowers.

Executive Summary:

The Magical World of Bees and Honey

Bees worldwide are under constant threat due to:

  • Pesticides
  • Pests
  • Drought
  • Habitat destruction
  • Nutrition deficiency
  • Air pollution
  • Global warming

While some of these causes are natural, most are due to human action and a lack of environmental concern.

If done correctly (as nature intends), honey production can be done without harming the bees or the environment. 

Take our own forests right here in New Zealand as an example — we have some of the healthiest bee stock in the world.

At Manukora, our bees are dedicated to their craft. Yet, with Manuka honey considered a rarity, how are they making enough to keep up with demand? Well, you might be surprised at how efficient these clever insects are — and how the right environment and care can result in heaping amounts of this delicious and unique nectar.

What Can Ethical Beekeeping Accomplish?

Honeybees aren’t just responsible for all the honey on the planet; they’re the backbone behind 80% of pollination worldwide. 

For every pollinator you see, chances are they’ve already pollinated around 300 flowers and plants that day alone. Impressive, to say the least.

While bees are known for their honey-making, they’re also the reason we enjoy the delicious nuts, fruits, and veggies we all know and love. We can also thank them for the trees and other greenery they pollinate.

While the rest of the world's bee population is decreasing rapidly, New Zealand beekeepers, especially the ones working with us here at Manukora, take extra special care of the bees.

While incredibly hard-working and dedicated, bees are fragile creatures and must be given copious amounts of care. After all, a bee’s environment affects its honey and how much it can make.

If they aren’t in a pure environment with a steady supply of nectar and pollen, that will show when it comes to the amount of honey produced. Luckily, at Manukora, we consider each of these variables before placing our hives. 

Does It Matter Where Bees Live?

Where bees live is vital to honey output and overall quality. Without a pure, flourishing environment, the bees can’t flourish either.

At Manukora, we strategically place our bees in the most remote regions of the New Zealand forest. 

This environment is known for its copious amounts of Manuka flowers and the Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka tea tree) nectar within them.

In fact, the highest quality Manuka honey comes from a region in the New Zealand forest called “The Golden Triangle.”

  • This unique section of the forest offers an endless supply of nectar and pollen for our bees to work with.
  • The purity of this region is one reason we can uphold the health of our bees and their hives without the intervention of antibiotics, sprays, or human-made industrial chemicals.

We believe beekeeping should be kept all-natural; after all, the bees know what they’re doing! 

Why Are Manukora’s Bees So Healthy? 

  • New Zealand is home to some of the world's happiest and healthiest bee stock, and this isn't a coincidence.
  • As the New Zealand bee population has seen immense growth over the last century, Manukora strives for continued sustainable growth.

In New Zealand, pesticide use is less common than in other developed countries, and Manukora’s beekeeping practices are held to an even higher standard.

  • At Manukora, hive transportation is infrequent, but when done, it’s done carefully — such as between short distances to avoid mixing hives and honeybees.
  • Our bees are also healthier thanks to little to no human intervention — the bees are trusted to do their jobs.
  • At Manukora, we never prematurely dehydrate our honey; instead, we allow the bees to finish the process before harvesting.
  • On top of this, we always leave enough supply to get them through the colder months.

How Much Honey Do Bees Make? 

As we said, the amount of honey bees make has much to do with their environment and care. The honey produced can be considerable if bees have all the necessary tools to thrive.

  • The average beehive produces around 30-60 pounds of honey each year, but they could make up to 100 pounds of this delicious nectar with a strong hive in the right environment.
  • Constraints like weather, pests, predators, and poor beekeeping practices can all affect honey output  from a hive.

Luckily, bees tend to be over-achievers. The honeybees responsible for the uniquely delicious Manuka honey make much more honey than they need to survive, meaning they don’t mind sharing with us.

We’re grateful for any Manuka honey we can get, and we make sure not to take too much. As you might already know, bees don’t make honey in the winter, so they rely on their honey reserves as food during the colder months. 

The last thing we want is for our bees to go hungry, so we leave plenty for them to enjoy! 

Is Manuka Honey Better Than Regular Honey? 

All honey is inherently delicious, but that’s not to say some types of honey aren’t perhaps a little better than others. While you may eat honey solely for its sweet taste, others consume honey to gain the beneficial nutrients that it contains.

Regarding health and honey, Manuka honey is packed with beneficial nutrients that aren’t found in any other honey!

On top of that, unlike your average grocery store honey, Manuka honey is left raw to help retain all of its beneficial nutrients. With commercial honey, these nutrients are lost due to the high-heat refining process called pasteurization, which is used to extend shelf life and keep color and texture consistent.

What Is Manuka Honey?

In this article, we’ve spent plenty of time praising Manuka honey. Yet, if you’ve never heard of this thick, dark, and creamy substance, you may want a little more information.

Genuine Manuka honey derives from New Zealand and is known for its high levels of methylglyoxal (MGO), a naturally occurring nutrient found in the Manuka tea tree that possesses antibacterial properties

Each Manukora Manuka honey product undergoes rigorous testing to verify the levels of MGO, Leptosperin, and other indicators used by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to authenticate genuine Manuka honey.

Every Manukora product is tested to ensure you receive the highest quality Manuka. We look for the following factors when testing our products:

  • MGO levels
  • Leptosperin
  • Project Non-GMO verified
  • Glyphosate residue-free (herbicide)
  • Monofloral

    Our Manuka Honey Is Traceable

    All genuine Manuka honey comes from New Zealand. We take the extra steps by placing our hives in the best possible place for optimal honey production, but you don’t have to take our word for it.

    Each of our products comes with a QR code. By scanning the code, you can see exactly which hive your Manuka came from. You can even meet the beekeeper responsible for your specific batch of honey!

    Our Manuka Honey Is Ethical

    We take pride in the production of our Manuka honey. Not only do our honey products add a bit of sweetness to your life, but they also help the bees. Ethical beekeeping allows our bees to work diligently with Mother Nature to produce plenty of honey for their tribe and yours.

    At Manukora, we take special care of our bees, which shows in our honey’s quality and taste. We believe in protecting the bees at all costs, which is why we never rush their natural process, and say no to poor beekeeping practices like frame dumping.

    Our Manuka Honey Is Raw 

    Honey is very sensitive to heat, and when honey is processed and pasteurized, the intense heating and cooling process affects the integrity of the honey’s wellness properties.

    At Manukora, we keep our honey in its purest and rawest form, ensuring you get every ounce of liquid gold you deserve. 

    Honey Galore!

    When bees are cared for and protected, it will show in their honey. Healthy, happy bees produce the most honey, and with plenty of honey to go around, they have no problem sharing with their beekeepers.

    At Manukora, we understand this deeply. Our Manukora Dose Spoon is not just a tool for honey lovers, but a symbol of our commitment to sustainable practices. By exploring our Manuka Honey collection, you’ll discover the fruits of our labors — honey produced by bees that are cared for with respect and love.

    We are also proud of our initiatives like the Project Non-GMO Verified, emphasizing our commitment to natural, ethical beekeeping. Lastly, for those curious about the authenticity of honey, our guide on how to tell if honey is real is an insightful resource.

    Looking to learn more about bees and honey? Explore Manukora’s blog here, or if you’re ready to try our authentic, unique Manuka honey for yourself, browse our different Manuka honey options here.

    Sources:

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