21 Sep Manuka Trees flourishing at Goodwood
3 years ago I purchased some Manuka tree seeds from New Zealand and managed to germinate 15 of them.
By this Spring they had made enough progress to be planted out here at Goodwood and with the fine weather we have had this year they have continued to do well.
Although recent testing has showed our honey to have similar anti bacterial properties to Manuka, it can only add to the properties if our bees have access to Manuka flowers as well.
In a conversation I had with Prof. Baillie at Cardiff School of Pharmacy, it seems that the honey which demonstrates the strongest Manuka-like properties carry the plant DNA of Bluebells and Gallium.
We know that our bees have huge exposure to Bluebells with their profound showing every spring in the ancient woodland surrounding our site here on the estuary. Gallium I am not so sure about…
Adding in the possibility of our own Manuka will be interesting.
After 3 years of care in our greenhouse, they couldn’t have had a better introduction to the Pembrokeshire climate with the Summer – and Autumn – we have had.
Soon we will undergo the true test of Winter, and if they come though ok, then I hope they will flower next year. The attraction of Manuka will not only be the possible benefit it will have to the honey, but for the bees it means the long flowering period that Manuka provides – about 3 months worth of nectar and pollen.
So fingers crossed for survival this Winter and flowering next Spring/Summer.