Other honey and bee products

For centuries honey has been used not just for eating but for therapeutic purposes, beauty and general health. Honey has for a long time been used in ointments and creams, being blended with other natural products to produce very distinct and unique skin preparations. There are also a number of other bee resources that have important benefits for mankind. Such other bee products include royal jelly, propolis, bee venom and bee pollen.

Manuka Honey and Royal Jelly - Skin Creams

Honey's natural antioxidant and anti-microbial properties and ability to absorb and retain moisture have long been recognised. It is used extensively in skin care treatments as these properties help to protect the skin from the damage of the sun's rays and rejuvenate depleted skin.

As an ingredient in creams developed for skin care and beauty purposes, it helps to give skin a very 'clean' sensation to the touch leaving it feeling non-greasy, elasticated, rejuvinated and hydrated. With its superior antibacterial protective properties, active manuka honey is a luxurious and prized ingredient in any skin care preparation.

Royal jelly is a highly valued and rare commodity and over man's history has been regarded as a mysterious fertility promoting substance. It is used in the hive to feed larvae in their early stages, and if a queen bee is required then a hatchling is fed only royal jelly and in large quantities. This rapid early feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs. A queen bee lives typically for between 3 to 8 years - this is some 45 years longer than worker bees!

The Madeleine Ritchie collection of manuka honey and royal jelly skin care products offers a fine blend of these precious ingredients. You can read about the Madeleine Ritchie story and how this distinctive beauty range of honey skin care creams originated in the UK but then developed in New Zealand. Click here to read about the story. To view the products please visit our online store here.


Propolis is a mainly resinous substance that bees collect from trees and plants. Being made up of waxes, resins, fatty acids and even amino acids. Aristotle reputedly coined the name Propolis meaning "defender of the city". This is exactly what Propolis is for the hive, it acts as a bee populationís external immune system keeping the hive sterile and free of microbial invaders.

Propolis quality varies hugely according to its location. New Zealand propolis is well renowned for its natural purity and high levels of antioxidants. We sell propolis in two forms - capsules and throat spray - providing a convenient way to take advantage of the health benefits that propolis can offer. Our propolis capsules are manufactured according to the highest Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. Click here to find out more.

Bee pollen

Bee pollen is about as perfect a food as nature produces. It contains twenty two amino acids (so is a good source of protein), all the known vitamins, and twenty seven minerals, in particular the B vitamins, including the elusive B12. If you were stranded on a desert island, and had nothing but bee pollen and water, you could survive on just that.

Bee pollen is available as a food supplement often in granule form. It is commonly taken by professional sprinters, marathon runners and recreational athletes. I is also taken as a general food supplement and can be sprinkled onto breakfast cereal.

Manuka oil

Manuka honey is made by bees who collect nectar produced by the flowers of the manuka tree that grows uncultivated in New Zealand. Similar to the Australian tea tree, its oil contains natural anitmicrobial properties that make it useful in a number of ways in topical applications. It is made by harvesting the leaves and stems of the manuka tree and then extracting the oil by steam distillation.

A subtly powerful oil that contains high levels of Flavesone, Isoleptospermone and Leptospermone. This combination gives a high level of antimicrobial activity, particularly against gram positive organisms such as staphylococcus and streptococcus. It also has a wide range of antifungal activity. This oil is often used on aches and pains and arthritic conditions by massaging into the affected areas.

Bee venom

Bee venom is extracted from bees in a non-harmful way by placing an electrified pad at the entrance to the bee hive. When a bee lands, a small electircal charge is delivered to the bee making it deliver a sting to the padded surface. The bee is unharmed and the venom is easily collected.

Bee venom is sometimes used to rub onto arthritic joints and may offer some relief from painful symptoms.