Manuka honey may be liquid gold
The Land, 29 Oct, 2014
AUSTRALIAN beekeepers could be set for a boom, earning up to $30 per kilogram for honey, if new research confirms honey produced from various species of Australian manuka trees have antibacterial properties.
Honey is increasingly being used for the treatment of wounds and skin infections due to its potent antibacterial and healing properties, including major infections like Golden Staph, E-coli and superbugs which are now becoming untreatable with modern antibiotics.
Currently, the majority of medical grade honey is sourced from New Zealand, where two species of Leptospermum (the manuka tree) are earning the industry an estimated $75 million a year. This is likely increase to $1 billion over the next 10 years.
Australia has 83 different species of manuka, leaving the door ajar for our beekeepers to seriously grow their profit margins if this project can systematically identify which species make the most therapeutically active honey and where they are located in Australia.
The research is being led by the ithree institute at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). It is funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Capilano Honey Ltd and Comvita Ltd under the Honey Bee & Pollination R&D Program, which is jointly funded by RIRDC and Horticultural Australia Limited (HAL)…