Image Credit: Istock

A bee may not be an insect many people want to be around, but you have to give them credit for making some of the most natural, healthy and delicious ingredients on the planet. We went down to the Dubai Mall to try some delicious honey from the Balqees Honey stand in the lower ground floor near the waterfalls. They were celebrating the launch of an amazing collaboration between Balqees Honey and New Zealand's premium honey producer, Guilds of High Peak Estate. 

During the launch, Balqees’ owner, Riath Hamed, said that the Guilds of High Peak honeys were the perfect partners to work with since they are the top of the top.  Kevin McKenna, the Trade Commisioner to the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, Riath Hamed and Tom Dunbar, the Head Aparist were there to speak with us about the high quality products that are brought to the UAE from New Zealand, including their amazing honey. 


“We were looking for a leading and ethical New Zealand premium honey producer capable of supplying the best honeys from New Zealand. Raw honeys that contain all the pure goodness that come from this beautifully unspoilt country. The Guilds of High Peak range delivers just that,” Hamed said. He's even travelled all the way to New Zealand earlier this year to see the best honey with his own eyes for his customers in the UAE. “The estate that the Guilds produce their honey from is singularly beautiful and remote, nestled in the base of the Alps on New Zealand’s South Island. It is so remote, the bees can only forage on pristine alpine and sub-alpine land untouched by commercial agriculture. The countryside on the estate is spectacular with the cleanest air you can imagine. You can even drink straight from the alpine streams that run through the property. It’s bee bliss,” he said.

Brown and Black Bees

Guilds of High Peak's Dunbar, said that his operation is focused on quality rather than quantity, and the opportunity to exclusively supply Balqees fitted with his vision for producing premium honeys using sustainable and ethical production techniques that look after the bees while maintaining the integrity of the honey. “We produce three varieties of honey at High Peak Estate – Black Beech Honeydew, Manuka and Clover. While New Zealand is probably best known for its production of Manuka Honey, this isn’t the first variety Riath wanted for his UAE-wide outlets. Riath encouraged us to focus initially on our Raw Black Beech Honeydew, which will now be available to Balqees’ customers across the UAE,” he commented.

We spoke to both Riath and Tom about the health benefits of honey, to get a clear idea on what this amazing substance can do for your body.

1. Fix yourself

Tom says that he uses honey to heal his scratches and wounds. Honey can be used as a treatment for wounds and burns. The compounds in honey can naturally disinfect and heal. Next time you cut yourself, consider covering the wound with some honey and you’ll notice that it heals very well.

2. It’s a natural energy drink

According to Riath Hamed, Honey is an amazing source of natural energy. He mixes a tablespoon with some water as a pre or post workout drink. The natural unprocessed sugar in the honey is released slowly and gives you a boost of energy.

3. Sleep well honey!

Honey can be a healthy way of helping you fall asleep. Forget counting sheep or sleeping pills. When you ingest honey, your body responds with a rise in insulin and releases serotonin, which is converted to melatonin and helps you fall asleep faster.  

4. Blood sugar regulation

Although honey is made up of simple sugars, it is definitely not the same thing as white refined sugars or the sweeteners that you add to your tea or coffee. Honey actually helps your body properly normalise your blood sugar levels. Because honey has the exact combination of fructose and glucose, your blood sugar levels won’t suddenly spike. They rise naturally and won’t let you crash suddenly like a sugar rush would.

5. Honey = beauty

Riath and Tom couldn’t stop raving about how great honey is for your skin if you apply it topically. For your very own honey mask at home, you should splash some water on your face and apply some honey on it, until you have a nice even layer. Keep it on there for 20 minutes, then rinse it off. Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help with scars and fine lines.