What a great story! I bought this book because I keep bees and the way Manuka honey has blossomed from a second-class honey to the international medical wonder it is, has fascinated me.
I wasn’t disappointed. It is told much like a mystery-drama in such an easy to read down-to-earth style that I found I was drawn to read and read on. Not only is it a story about Manuka honey but also a story about the history of bees and humans from antiquity as well as the introduction of European bees to New Zealand and how the honey industry developed here.
Cliff Van Eaton also describes in the most comprehensive yet easy to read narrative of how bees actually make honey and why. And of course the compelling story of how and why honey’s poor cousin (Manuka honey) ended up being the most sought after curative for antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.
I highly recommend it to anyone interested in bees, honey, or New Zealand success stories.
Review by Bruce Clow
Manuka honey from New Zealand, is known around the world. It fetches high prices, and beekeepers do everything in their power to produce as much of it as possible. Wound dressings containing manuka honey are used in leading hospitals, and it has saved the lives of patients infected with disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to standard antibiotic drugs. In so doing it has forced the medical profession to rethink its position on the therapeutic properties of natural products.
This book chronicles the remarkable ‘rags-to-riches’ story of manuka honey, as seen through the eyes of a New Zealand beekeeping specialist who watched it unfold from the very beginning. It’s a great tale of science, in which an inquisitive university lecturer found something totally unexpected in a product everyone had written off. It’s also an entertaining account of the way that seemingly simple discovery caught the international media’s attention, helping enterprising New Zealanders to develop manuka honey-based products and take them all around the globe.
But above all else it’s a story of hope for the future, sounding 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 marvelous creatures, the honey bees.
Author: Cliff Van Eaton