Manuka Honey 1880

Great Barrier Island: Pioneers of New Zealand's beekeeping legacy since 1880.

Nestled in the pristine waters of the Hauraki Gulf, Great Barrier Island boasts a proud heritage as the birthplace of the nation's first commercial beekeeping activities, dating back to 1880. Today we pay respect the early pioneers.

At the heart of the island's legacy is Manuka Honey, a true New Zealand treasure. Crafted by diligent bees that forage the blossoms of the Manuka trees, this dark and distinctive honey posesses a unique and powerful secret - its active compounds. These compounds provide unique natural properties, setting it apart from conventional honey varieties.

In our commitment to harness the island's gifts, we have blended Manuka Honey into this entire range to provide daily nourishment to soothe and repair your skin.

Having regularly visited “the Barrier” for over 20 years I have developed a great understanding and appreciation for its unique environment and the history it holds. Through respect to the pioneers and those who currently work the land we have created every iconic New Zealand range which reflects this special place and all it has to offer.
The focus is on providing products which assist to repair and protect the skin. All utilize quality formulations with our active Manuka Honey (UMF15) being blended with other beneficial “skin soothing” ingredients like Sweet Almond Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Propolis, Royal Jelly and Olive Oil.

Harvesting Manuka Honey

In early spring during the months of September and October the Manuka trees burst into flower. Around parts of the island, it almost looks like snow has fallen! This is an incredible sight and marks the beginning of what is known as the “honey flow” as bees begin their collection from the Manuka flowers and deposit in carefully placed beehives. The actual harvest and extraction of the honey normally starts about December and carries through to around late February pending seasonal conditions.

Manuka Honey (Leptospermum Scoparium Mel)

Manuka honey is well proven to have unique antibacterial properties combined with the ability to be able to soothe and heal dry and damaged skin. This makes it a very important ingredient used in many of our products. Collected from native Manuka trees on Great Barrier Island.

Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly is a milky like substance created by the worker Bees. The Jelly is secreted from glands in the Bee’s head. It is known as Bees Milk. (a bit like Colostrum from a cow) It is made for the nourishment of the Queen Bee. It is also fed in small quantities to all larvae in the colony during the first 2-3days of their development.
Benefits when using Royal Jelly
- Contains some of the most essential nutrients like minerals, enzymes, and amino acids.
- With regular use Royal Jelly may assist with firmer and more elastic skin.
- May also assist with a softer and smoother feel.
- Generally accepted as being nourishing and stimulating


The Bee’s collect resinous sap from trees and plants and bring back to the hive, where they combine it with their own secretions and form a glue-like mixture known as Propolis. The Bee’s use Propolis to protect the hive from infections and moisture lost.

Benefits when using Propolis

- Retains Moisture.
- Leaves a protective barrier.
- Also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities in addition to its wound healing


Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the beehive of honeybees. Typically, for a honeybee keeper, 10 kg of honey yields 1 kg of wax.
Benefits when using beeswax
- Is an excellent emollient and support for moisturisers
- It gives skin protective action and increases the protective action of sunscreens
- It provides greater permanence on skin and lip surfaces

The Great Barrier Island Bee Co lotion is the best thing I have ever put on my VERY difficult skin
Vicki, NZ

I bought your Great Barrier Island manuka honey soothing lip balm and it’s the first lip treatment that has soothed damaged lips without causing a reaction
Annie NZ

A few months ago, now I bought a tin of hand cream Les Blackwell’s manuka honey & lemongrass. Fantastic product, I work as a raft guide in Queenstown on the Shotover river, a very silty river that dry your hands every day, that cream work so well for me.
John, NZ

Over the Christmas period I was visiting a relative up in Bright Victoria (Australia) and picked up some of your Great Barrier Island Bee Co moisturizing cream in a pump pack This helped me enormously with my psoriasis however due to the fact that I was using it all over I ran out in a two- and half-week period. 
Denise, Australia

My daughter sent me some manuka honey hand cream.  This product is fantastic for very dry hands that do gardening as well as chores around the house. I use it once a day and if needed at night. However, I am unable to buy it in England.
Carol, UK

I bought some of this while in New Zealand this year and it has done my hands a world of good. I have quite severe psoriasis and your healing hand cream has been good for it.
Mel, UK