Manuka Honey FAQ
Q: Is Comvita the leading Manuka Honey company?
Comvita® is New Zealand's leading producer of UMF® grade Manuka Honey.
Q: What does UMF mean?
The UMF® (Unique Manuka Factor) trademark was established by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA). The UMF® grading system appraises natural markers found in Manuka Honey, and assures purity & quality. This is compliant with the recent interim labelling guidelines published by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Not all Manuka Honeys are UMF® rated – only those which have been independently tested and verified by UMFHA are given a UMF® rating. For more information visit www.umf.org.nz.
Q: What is the meaning of UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+, UMF 18+ and UMF 20+?
The UMF® grading system has two components which are expressed on any UMF® licenced honey product: 1. The label claim that it is Manuka, 2. The number - this represents three chemical markers that indicate the content of this honey to ensure purity and quality. This includes the key chemical markers DHA, MGO, and Leptosperin. For more information visit www.umf.org.nz/grading-system-explained.
Q: What's the difference between Manuka Blend and UMF 5+?
The Comvita® Manuka Honey Blend is a delicious blend of UMF®5+ Manuka Honey, combined with New Zealand forest honeys to bring you a superior tasting blend, rich in floral flavour. UMF®5+ is a Manuka Honey with no other added honeys.
Q: Why is Manuka Honey more expensive than other honeys?
Manuka Honey is unique to New Zealand and to obtain pure Manuka Honey is a specialised task for beekeepers. Manuka Honey is more difficult to extract and has a limited harvest period as it is only collected at certain times of the year. The unique properties of Manuka Honey are well understood by consumers around the world, thereby creating a continually high level of demand.
Q: Why does honey’s colour and texture vary?
Honey is a natural product, influenced by seasonal and regional conditions. Some areas produce paler honey than others. Like a good wine, honey will grow in flavour and darken with age.
Q: What is added to Comvita honey?
Comvita honeys are pure with no additives.
Q: Diabetes – can I take your honey?
Nectar from plants is the sugar source for honey. It is collected by bees, stored and ripened in the hive. The resulting honey is rich in natural fructose and glucose. Diabetics should consult their healthcare professional before consuming honey.
Q: Can Manuka Honey be taken during pregnancy?
Manuka Honey has been taken by pregnant women for many years with no reported problems as a result of its ingestion.
Q: Can children take Manuka Honey?
We do not recommend that honey be given to children under the age of one.
Q: Can I use a jar of Manuka Honey on my wound?
No. Manuka Honey that is purchased in a jar is for oral/internal use only. Comvita® recommends sterile Medical-Grade honey products such as Comvita Medihoney® Antibacterial Wound Gel™ for use on wounds.
Olive Leaf FAQ
Q: What is the difference between Olive Leaf Complex and Olive Leaf Extract?
It's the same product. We just renamed it to be in line with our sister companies around the world.
Q: Can I take Olive Leaf Extract with other medications?
We advise you to consult your healthcare professional.
Q: Can I take Olive Leaf Extract while pregnant or breastfeeding?
We advise you to consult your healthcare practitioner.
Q: What dosage of Olive Leaf Extract should I give to my children?
Comvita has developed Children’s Olive Leaf Extract to appeal to younger taste buds. Children’s Olive Leaf Extract can be given to children over the age of 2 years at a rate of 5mL (1 teaspoonful) twice daily. Children over two years of age may be given the original or peppermint flavoured Olive Leaf Extract at 2.5mL (half teaspoonful) 2 to 3 times a day with food. Take up to 7.5mL daily.
Q: Why do you advise drinking plenty of water while taking Olive Leaf Extract?
When you start taking Olive Leaf it begins to cleanse your body so you may occasionally feel one or more of these symptoms: mild headaches, rashes, fatigue, diarrhoea, muscle and joint pain. This is known as the "Herxheimer Effect" or healing effect.
Q: Are Olive Leaf products Halal? Kosher?
Our Olive Leaf Extract Original and Olive Leaf Extract Peppermint flavours have been certified Halal and Kosher.
Q: Are Olive Leaf products suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
If you are a vegan or vegetarian we recommend that you use the liquid Olive Leaf Extract range which is made from 100% plant derived products. Our current Olive Leaf Extract capsule products contain a gelatin coating which is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Q: What is Propolis?
Propolis is created by the bees from natural sap and resins found on trees. Trees produce these resins at the site of a plant injury and on new shoots. The bees collect the resin and carry it back to the hive where they mix beeswax and enzymes to make Propolis.
Q: What are the benefits of Propolis?
Propolis contains high levels of active bioflavonoids, with well known antioxidant properties. Propolis helps to support and maintain a healthy immune system.
Q: Should I take Propolis liquids, capsules or tablets? Which is best?
The strength of dose is the same, so it is more a question of suitability and personal preference. We recommend Propolis Tincture for teeth, gum and external use; Propolis Extract (alcohol free), Tablets and Capsules to be taken orally for internal use.
Q: How should I take the various Propolis products?
Propolis Capsules should be swallowed with water. Propolis Tablets can be swallowed with water or chewed before swallowing. Propolis Extract can be dropped directly into the back of the mouth and throat, or mixed in water and drunk or gargled. Propolis Tincture should be applied directly by the dropper onto the desired area.
Q: Are there any other things I should know before choosing the most appropriate Propolis product?
Vegetarians should choose the Propolis Tablets rather than Propolis Capsules due to the bovine gelatin in the capsule.
Royal Jelly FAQ
Q: Why should I store Royal Jelly in the fridge?
Royal Jelly is a natural product that will darken over time. Exposure to light and warmth can hasten the darkening process.
Q: What is HDA®?
HDA® refers to 10-Hydroxy-2 decanoic acid, a short-chain 8-10 carbon chain fatty acid. 10H2DA is the most well-known of the fatty acids responsible for most of the noted biological properties of royal jelly. 10H2DA is used within the industry as the main measure of Royal Jelly concentration, purity and quality. Levels of 10H2DA are routinely tested to determine the quality of Royal Jelly.
Q: Is there any person who should not take Royal Jelly?
Royal Jelly should not be taken by asthmatics.
Q: Why would I choose to take Royal Jelly & EPO Capsules?
Royal Jelly & EPO are designed for women's hormonal support, especially during premenstrual and menopausal periods. It also assists with dry skin.
Oral Care FAQ
Q: How natural are Comvita’s Toothpastes?
We work hard to ensure that all our ingredients come from sustainable, renewable sources and it goes without saying that we do not test our products on animals. International certification standards for natural skin care such as BDIH, Ecocert and NPA require products to be made from at least 95% natural ingredients before they can be certified as natural. All of our Comvita® Oral Care formulations are 100% natural based on the criteria applied by Natural Products Association (NPA).
Q: Can there be any side effects with using these products?
The ingredients in the Comvita Oral Care range have been carefully chosen for their gentle but effective properties to provide oral hygiene. There are no known side effects at the quantities used in our formulations. However, if you have allergies towards propolis you should not use our Propolis Toothpaste and Propolis Toothgel formulations.
Q: Why would I buy Comvita and not another brand?
Comvita is an established brand with a reputation for producing natural and effective products. We are fully committed to producing toothpastes that provide complete oral hygiene.
Q: Where are Comvita Toothpastes made?
Our Oral Care products are proudly made in New Zealand.
Q: Do your products expire?
The shelf life of our three toothpastes is 3 years after date of production. The Propolis Toothgel expires after 2 years from date of manufacture. Please look at the best before date (BB) of our products to know when they expire.
Q: What is xylitol and why do you use it?
Xylitol is a sweet substance commonly found in birch trees and many fruits and vegetables. Research has indicated xylitol has great tooth friendly benefits. Xylitol is one of our key ingredients that helps maintain complete oral hygiene.
Q: Why do you use baking soda?
Baking soda is a natural ingredient that cleans your teeth effectively yet gently.
Q: Why does the Comvita Oral Care range not contain Fluoride?
There is ongoing debate about the benefits, safety and side effects of fluoride in toothpaste. The main concern is really over ingestion of fluoride i.e. when toothpaste is inadvertently swallowed. For this reason, the Comvita oral care range is free of fluoride for consumers who wish to make a personal choice to avoid taking fluoride internally. This ensures that we are providing a 100% natural, safe and effective product to enhance oral hygiene.
Wound Care FAQ
Q: Where does Medihoney Antibacterial Manuka Honey come from?
Medihoney™ Antibacterial Manuka Honey is sourced from New Zealand hives, these hives are managed by beekeepers whose sole focus is producing medical-grade honey for Comvita. The honey is transported to Comvita’s purpose built, state of the art facility for processing, once filtered to Medical-Grade standards the honey is then transported to our Medical Device partner in Canada to complete the product to global medical device standards. Comvita has developed a world-leading medical Manuka Honey supply and extraction methodology into a system that has helped redefine honey industry standards. This has resulted in products licensed for use in hospitals in Europe and the United States.
Q: What process does our honey go through to become Medihoney Antibacterial Manuka Honey?
The extraction and processing of medical honey is vastly different to that of table honey. A key difference is the number of processes designed to minimise environmental contaminants. All of the tools we use to remove honey frames are sanitised and the frames are hygienically transported to our specialised extraction and processing facility in Te Puke, New Zealand. Automated closed extraction and filtration procedures minimise exposure to contaminants. At Comvita we use only the most stringent standards to ensure the consistency, efficacy and integrity of every product. Each batch is tested by an independent laboratory for its antibacterial activity and is sterilised to make it safe for use.
Q: Can I use Manuka Honey in a jar on my wound?
No. Manuka Honey that is purchased in a jar is for edible purposes only. Wounds, cuts and scratches or broken skin should only be treated with sterilised honey. Therefore, Comvita recommends using Medical-Grade Antibacterial Manuka Honey for such conditions such as Wound Gel or Adhesive Dressings infused with antibacterial medical-grade Manuka Honey. Medihoney Wound Care products are CE marked to European medical device standard 93/42/EEC and are the first honey-based products cleared for medical use by the FDA (North America), Europe and Australasia.
Q: Are Comvita Wound Care products sterile?
Yes. Both Medihoney Wound Gel and Adhesive Dressings are sterile products.
Q: Is Medical-Grade Manuka Honey the best honey to use for wound care?
Comvita is committed to researching the best honey for different applications or stages of wound healing. Our medical-grade Manuka Honey has been selected because it contains high levels of Methylglyoxal, which has been shown to offer effective antibacterial protection. To ensure we manufacture highly efficacious products, Comvita will continue to re-evaluate the honey type and content of our products as we understand more about the therapeutic action of honeys.
Q: How often should I change my wound dressing?
Not every wound is the same and so we recommend that wound dressings are changed as required depending on the size and severity of the wound as well as whether the dressing gets wet, dirty or damaged. It is important to keep your dressing fresh and clean to optimally support wound healing. Continue to keep the affected area covered until the wound is completely healed.
Q: Does Medihoney sting when I put it on wounds?
Due to the properties of honey some people may experience some discomfort such as a stinging upon application. This will subside after a few minutes as the wound adjusts to the lower pH. If discomfort is of an unacceptable level, remove the dressing and wash the affected area. Honey has a low pH which can be responsible for the stinging sensation. Honey also has a very high sugar content and low water content. Excess fluid from the wound is drawn towards the honey which can cause a drawing or slight throbbing sensation.
Q: Is Medihoney safe for children, babies, elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women?
Yes. Because Wound Gel and Adhesive Dressings are sterilised they are safe for the whole family.
Q: Can you use Medihoney Adhesive Dressings on deep cuts?
Medihoney Adhesive Dressings are classified as a medical device suitable for minor wounds which can be treated at home. If the individual has suffered a deep cut that requires medical attention then the Adhesive Dressing is suitable for use following treatment. Medihoney is also suitable for post operation wound healing as it is sterile and antibacterial.
Q: Does the honey melt or crystalize at different temperatures?
Medihoney Adhesive Dressings will not crystalize or melt as the honey is infused into a hydrogel making up 63%. Medihoney Adhesive Dressings should be stored in a dry place out of direct sunlight in temperatures 10°C to 25°C to retain the integrity of the product and its adhesiveness.
Q: How do these products compare to other First Aid products in market e.g. Silver, Charcoal, Betadine?
Medihoney Wound Care products are unique in the sense that are antibacterial, create a moist environment conducive to optimal wound healing and act as a barrier against further infection. Other First Aid products have their place but not all have the same unique qualities as Medihoney.
Q: How long should I expect my online order to take to be delivered?
Comvita aims to deliver all orders within three working days.
Q: How do I return goods which are damaged or not the same as what I ordered?
Simply return the goods together with the shipping note to Comvita within 10 working days of the date of purchase. Please refer to the Terms of Purchase for more details.
Q: Can I purchase the same promotions online and in store?
Not always, some promotions are exclusively available on Comvita.co.nz.
Q: The Comvita website is not displaying correctly. What should I do?
Try pressing Ctrl-F5 (the Ctrl key and the F5 key at the same time). This refreshes the page and forces your browser to load the latest Comvita® files. This should resolve an issue where your computer may have some older Comvita® files, which causes the site to display incorrectly. If you are using a Mac, press Command-R (the Command key and the 'R' key at the same time).
Q: Can Comvita products be used during pregnancy?
We advise you to consult your healthcare practitioner.
Q: Are Comvita products tested on animals?
At Comvita, we do not believe in testing on animals.
We do not conduct animal testing on any of our products or ingredients, nor commission others to test on our behalf. At no point is animal testing a part of our product development process and we are committed to this policy.
All of our products are extensively tested on humans only. We commonly test new products on ourselves and our family and friends. Any clinical trials have been conducted on humans. As our products are natural with our raw materials being either food or plant based, they do not pose any real risk to anyone consuming or applying them (unless they have allergies). We have been doing this for almost 40 years and have built a global reputation for the quality and efficacy of our products.
In some countries, as part of the product registration process, animal testing may be a mandatory legal requirement to provide evidence of consumer safety. If the relevant government authority deem it necessary, a third party laboratory carries out toxicological tests that may involve animals. They say this is required to ensure that products do not pose a risk to their consumers. Once the regulatory authorities have approved the product for sale, no further testing is carried out.
We are committed to working with the regulators in the countries we export to, to challenge both the necessity of the testing and to encourage alternative testing methods where possible. This is the most effective way we can lend our support to the groundswell of global opposition to this unnecessary practice.
Q: Can we take honey overseas?
Honey can be taken from New Zealand to many other countries. However, the customs officials in each market are able to deny entry of product even if the product is legally sold in their country. Honey cannot be taken to Western Australia, Samoa or Vanuatu. Please check with your local customs website.
Q: Where can I buy genuine Comvita Products?
Genuine Comvita product may be purchased on-line from this website, or from any of the websites from the country list at the bottom of this page. If you would prefer to purchase in store, refer to our store locations list using this link.
Q: What are the risks of not buying Comvita product from an endorsed Comvita Stockist?
If the goods you purchase are counterfeit, it cannot be guaranteed the product/s are safe to consume or true to label. Comvita’s global reputation is based on providing the highest quality natural health products. If you purchase goods on-line from a stockist who is not endorsed by Comvita, you may be purchasing from a counterfeit site. If you are asked to provide your contact details and/or credit card details on these sites you may be opening yourself to the potential of identity theft or fraud. We do not recommend you give your personal details to a site which you are not certain is genuine.
Q: I have already purchased Comvita product, how can I check it’s genuine?
If you purchased your Comvita product from the Comvita website, a Comvita store or one of our endorsed stockist, then you can be confident the product is genuine. If you purchased your Comvita product from any other source, we recommend you contact us directly to determine if the product is genuine. It will be useful for you to provide the details of where you purchased the product (e.g. company name, website address, country you purchased it in), as well as clear photographs if possible. Our customers’ safety is our top priority, and we investigate thoroughly every enquiry about potential counterfeit product.
Q: What should I do if I have purchased counterfeit goods and want to report the website?
If you suspect counterfeit product, we advise you contact us with as much information as possible so we can take appropriate action. We are committed to ensuring customers maintain their faith and trust in our brand, and to protecting consumers.
Q: Do fake sites advertise on search engines?
It is our understanding search engines may display websites or advertisements which are selling counterfeit products. It is our recommendation you purchase Comvita product only from an endorsed stockist, and that you refrain from giving any personal information out on the web if you have any doubts about the authenticity of the site you are on.
Q: Is it possible to buy genuine Comvita products on auction and trade sites?
Both counterfeit and genuine Comvita product may be listed on auction or trade sites and you may not be able to tell the difference between these. We recommend you only purchase goods from an endorsed stockist.
Q: What is Comvita doing to combat counterfeiting?
Comvita take our customers safety, health and well-being seriously, and they are our top priority. We investigate all queries relating to potential counterfeit product, and we undertake all means to shut down counterfeiting of our product including working with government authorities, legal advisors and other partners. If you suspect counterfeit product, we advise you to please contact us with as much information as possible so we can take appropriate action. We are committed to ensuring customers maintain their faith and trust in our brand, and to protecting consumers.
Bee Product Supply FAQ
Q: How does Comvita source honey?
We source the majority of our honey supply from independent New Zealand beekeepers. This supply is complemented by our Kiwi Bee operation. Almost all of our propolis and pollen demand is met by independent suppliers.
Q: What type of honey does Comvita buy?
We buy most types of honey, please contact us for more information.
Q: What else does Comvita buy?
Our team also buys propolis, pollen and Medical-Grade Manuka Honey.
Q: How do I supply Comvita?
We make it easy for beekeepers to sell bee products to Comvita. Simply contact us to discuss what options are available for you to supply honey, pollen or propolis.
Q: What regulatory requirements do I need to meet?
Honey for New Zealand use needs to meet MPI requirements. Honey for export needs to be extracted at a Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) registered Risk Management Programme (RMP) facility, and you must be listed with MPI. Please contact us for further information.
Q: What if I don’t have a RMP?
It’s fine if you don’t have a RMP, as long as you are a registered Apiarist, and complete a Harvest Statement, you can have your honey extracted at another Beekeeper’s RMP facility, please click here for further information.
Q: What are the requirements for transporting honey?
Honey (once extracted) must be transported by a vehicle registered to a RMP or RCS (Registered Control Scheme). A number of freight companies have a RCS in place, Comvita partners with Mainfreight for New Zealand movements. Contact us for further information.
Q: Is there anything else that your team can help me with?
We often help to facilitate various requests, such as landowners looking for beekeeping partners. As our team are out meeting with beekeepers on a regular basis, we have built relationships around the country, and do what we can to share information and make connections.
Q: Who do I contact for information regarding Manuka planting?
Please click here for more information regarding the Manuka Planting Programme.
Q: I am interested in having hives on my property, who do I contact?
Please click here for your nearest Comvita Kiwi Bee Landowner contact.
For more information please click here
Q: How do Kiwi Bee manage and track their hives? I’d like to know exactly what is going on with the hives on my land.
Every hive is tracked, with bar codes and scanning equipment. Traceability extends through the Kiwi Bee extraction process, to the final drummed product. Complete transparency therefore exists throughout the supply process for both Kiwi Bee and the landowner.
Q: How do I know I am getting paid for the honey harvested off my land?
The traceability described above allows for the right honey to be sampled and analysed to determine its quality. All of the honey off your land will go through Kiwi Bee owned extraction plants, so we know traceability will be retained.Depending on the Honey type identified by analysis, the Comvita-listed value for that honey is applied to the volume of honey tested. By calculating the landowner share of honey revenue (determined at the time of signing the Apiary Land Use Agreement), the correct payment is then made.
Q: What are Apiary Land Use Agreements?
These are like contracts made between Kiwi Bee and the Landowner, where, depending on whether the hives are to be placed for wintering or for gathering honey, the following relevant terms and conditions are agreed:Payment terms for Hives placed on the property, including any honey revenue share. Health and Safety obligations for both parties. Term of the agreement.
Q: How can I know when beekeepers are coming onto my land?
Under the terms of the agreement you can identify how and when the beekeeper contacts you. This can be by email, phone call or TXT, and can be stipulated to be made prior to any visit by the beekeeper.
Q: Why should I enter into an agreement with Kiwi Bee, and not another beekeeper?
Kiwi Bee (a wholly owned subsidiary of Comvita) has a long and successful history in the honey business. We are the largest single Apiarist in New Zealand, with a high level of integrity – as you would expect of a publically-listed company. We do what we say we will do.
Q: Who do I contact to find out more about having hives on my land?
Contact your local Kiwi Bee Office. Please click here for details.