Founders Story: What makes Steens Honey so different?

When looking at the difference between one brand and another, the easiest way to compare the two, is by looking at points of difference that are easily and obviously measurable and proven.

At Steens, we are very clear about the unique measurable qualities our honey has over any other brand, but these proven differences all come down to one unique point that is not so easily measurable – the passion that Paul and Sheryl have for beekeeping, and for the vital role natural foods play in health and wellness.

‘We always remember one of our long-time beekeepers saying that it was our passion for bees that set us apart.  Neither of us came from a beekeeping family so we had to learn everything from scratch, but we could be really innovative and flexible in our thinking and what we did.’

It was this passion for getting the absolute best from nature that started the whole journey of Steens Honey, by providing people with 100% raw, natural honey that has not been through any heating or fine filtering processes. Steens honey is the closest thing you can find to what is found in the beehive. All we filter out is the large wax pieces formed in the hive – the rest stays in.

‘Paul and his brothers designed the extraction machine that allows us to capture all the goodness the bees produce, there is no other machine like it.  They were clever lads!’

Steens Honey has been blind tested in an independent, IANZ approved laboratory and is certified to have between 3 and 15 times MORE bio-available bee pollen and bee bread than any other tested brand – all the other brands we tested were large Manuka Honey brands, that sell on multiple platforms.

Whilst we love the fact that people are enjoying the taste of Manuka Honey around the world, they are not necessarily all enjoying the maximum benefits of this incredible natural resource, as most other brands are fine filtered, heat treated or pasteurized, either in the harvesting, extraction or packing process. This can damage the live enzymes, flavonoids and microbials in the honey, creating a very different end product to what is found raw in the hive.

Steens always ensure that our honey is not heated above the temperatures naturally found in the beehive to allow all the naturally occurring enzymes and microbes to remain intact.

Interestingly, beehives are quite warm places! The reason for this is a combination of factors and for several reasons. Baby bees need to stay a little bit warmer than the rest of the colony, so the nursery is usually a little warmer than the rest and is kept at a temperature of around 91˙F (32˙C) – 97˙F (36˙C), while at the surface of the cluster it fluctuates to around 50˙F (10˙C).

The bees keep the hive at optimal temperatures by constantly exercising their flight wings whilst remaining stationary, clustering together and ensuring that any holes in the hive are sealed closed by using plant resins and gums. In hot weather they collect water and evaporate it by fanning their wings and moving this cool air around the hive to keep it at the perfect temperature. So, you can see, the temperature of the honey in the hive is just as important to the bees as it is to us.

For Paul and Sheryl, the most important thing is that we provide the very best quality Mānuka honey, and by very best quality, they mean ‘the closest to nature – that retains as many of the beneficial properties as possible, including bio-available bee bread which contains high levels of readily absorbable minerals, vitamins and antioxidants – all playing a vital role in supporting your body’s immune system and overall health and wellness. When the pollen and bee bread particles are removed, you are removing all these benefits – so why would you choose to purchase a honey that provides you with less?

‘Quality is key for us and being involved in every step of the production chain allows us to be in control of this.’

Whilst our extraction process is more involved than other honey companies, Paul and Sheryl are adamant that these processes will remain and are key to our product being of the very highest quality, providing the absolute best in health and wellness support.

‘We built our business over 40 years ago with the premise that everything we did would be our absolute best and our values haven’t changed.’    


Learn more about our raw, unpasteurized honey

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