[22 September/ Stuff]

Farmers are being encouraged to put in the right plants the flower at the best time for bee activity to prevent disappointment for those who have put in mānuka that flowers before bees are most active. Massey University, Senior Lecturer in Agronomy, James Millner said anyone interested in producing mānuka honey should plant a known variety that flowered at the right time because they were likely more able to produce nectar with a higher active ingredient content of dihydroxyacetone than wild plants. Mr Millner said establishing the right plants could be expensive, and could cost about $2500/ha, to establish mānuka, however planting mānuka could yield high-value honey.