our standard

Airborne Honey was established in 1910 and is owned by the founding family, New Zealand’s oldest most trusted and technically competent honey company. Behind each jar is over 100 years of experience, plus 30 years of laboratory experience and a comparative database containing more than 40,000 records. Airborne Honey adheres to the International CODEX standard for honey.

Verify Honey Variety


UNFILTERED HONEY: We measure the pollen percentage and total pollen per 10g.

When we label a product as a floral source, it has the backing of 100 years of experience plus 25 years of laboratory experience and a comparative database containing over 27,000 records.

There are several research papers in the scientific domain that refer to microscopic analysis and pollen analysis in particular that give broad indications of required levels of pollen for a single floral source statement to be made. Such as our Floral & Manuka honey.

Pollen Analysis is based on identification of pollen in a sample of honey but may also extend to identification of other particles in the honey e.g. in the case of honeydew.

For honey blends such as our Classic Range we publish the total pollen per 10g to verify they honey is unfiltered. The CODEX states No pollen or constituent particular to honey may be removed except where this is unavoidable in the removal of foreign inorganic or organic matter.

Low HMF = Undamaged


We measure the HMF level as mg/kg.

The single most common question we get is " Is your honey heated, raw " All honey crystallizes and must be liquefied before it can be placed in the retail pack. How it is liquefied is the key. At Airborne, we have a patented process for liquefying our honey that routinely delivers the lowest amount of heat damage of any honey in the New Zealand market. Yes, we have tested (and continue to test) this.

We select honeys that are least likely to crystallize for our liquid honeys so don't need excessive heating to stop them crystallizing. We also don't need to pasteurize our honey to stop it fermenting because we don't add water to it.

We only strain our honey through a coarse mesh size to remove visible impurities but retain all the natural things like pollen that should be in natural honey. And, because we select slow crystallizing honeys to present as liquid, we don't need to ultra-filter our honeys to remove all the pollen that can act as a nucleation point for crystallization.

HMF (HydroxyMethylFurfuraldehyde) is used as an indicator of heat and storage changes in honey.

Raw Honey is a subjective term and gives no indication if the honey has been damaged by heat. Heat damage can occur in the beehive and at any stage after that.

The CODEX states Honey shall not be heated or processed to such an extent that its essential composition is changed and/or its quality is impaired.

The infographic illustrates the average HMF levels in Airborne Honey vs other New Zealand Honey and the CODEX standard (results from over 400 competitor samples analysed).

Low HMF = Undamaged
Trace by Batch Number


Scan our TraceMe QR code to check the variety, quality and origin of the honey in your jar.

Our proprietary quality systems use advanced laboratory procedures and tailored software to track each batch of honey supplied from the apiary site to the jar sitting on your table.

Our TraceMe software enables us to enter a batch code into our system to show:

  • • Every apiary (site of bees) that contributed to the batch.
  • • Every drum of honey in the batch.
  • • Every analytical outcome for every drum in the batch.
  • • Exactly where and when it was moved along the way through our process, and who moved it.

Our Batch No. system: YYWWDB

YY is the year of creation
WW is the week of the year
D is the day of the week (Mon = 1, Tues = 2, etc.)
B is the batch of the day

eg. 192321 is the 1st batch on Tuesday in the 23rd week of 2019

How Monofloral and Multifloral honey is defined – Codex Alimentarius

World wide the International Standards for Honey are laid out in the Codex Alimentarius to which New Zealand is an active signatory. The relevant section for monofloral honeys in the Codex Alimentarius is:

Essential Composition and Quality Factors
3.1 Honey sold as such shall not have added to it any food ingredient, including food additives, nor shall any other additions be made other than honey. Honey shall not have an objectionable matter, flavour, aroma, or taint absorbed from foreign matter during its processing and storage. The honey shall not have begun to ferment or effervesce. No pollen or constituent particular to honey may be removed except where this is unavoidable in the removal of foreign inorganic or organic matter.

3.2 Honey shall not be heated or processed to such an extent that its essential composition is changed and/ or its quality is impaired.

7.1.6 Honey may be designated according to floral or plant source if it comes wholly or mainly from that particular source and has the organoleptic, physicochemical and microscopic properties corresponding with that origin.

7.1.7 Where honey has been designated according to floral or plant source (6.1.6) then the common name or the botanical name of the floral source shall be in close proximity to the word “honey”.

How to authenticate manuka honey – Manuka Honey Science Definition

All honey labelled as manuka for export must be tested by an MPI-recognised laboratory to make sure it meets the new manuka honey definition.

The manuka honey definition is made up of a combination of 5 attributes (4 chemicals from nectar and 1 DNA marker from mānuka pollen). This allows industry to:

- separate manuka honey from other honey types
- identify it as either monofloral or multifloral manuka honey.