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Learn where this sticky new island treat is made, and why it's so good for Hawaii

Learn where this sticky new island treat is made, and why it's so good for Hawaii
A beekeeper checks on the apiary within a koa forest on Hawaii Island, from which a rare type of nectar is gathered to make honey. (Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods)

Rare honey is creating a big buzz on the Big Island of Hawaii. The first-of-its-kind honey comes from the nectar of native koa trees along Hawaii Island's Hamakua Coast, north of Hilo.

Hawaiian Legacy Honey, as it's called, is raw and unfiltered.

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It's the latest venture in sustainability for Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, a company that reforests koa trees on the island. In past years, indigenous koa trees were over-harvested in the Hawaiian Islands, which led to strict regulations on the felling of such trees.

The honey has been collected in recent weeks and comes from an apiary located within an 800-acre koa forest that the company is working to grow in size.

Visitors gather under an old growth koa tree at the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods plantation along Hawaii Island's Hamakua Coast.
Visitors gather under an old growth koa tree at the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods plantation along Hawaii Island's Hamakua Coast. (Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods)

The company's website notes that the honey has "a unique flavor and thick, crystallized consistency." It is also rich in enzymes and nutrients that are removed during typical processing, according to the company.

The honey is priced from $8 for a 2.25-ounce jar to $35 for 13.5 ounces. Last year's supply sold out within two days, but this year, honey production has greatly increased.

Hawaiian Legacy Honey, extracted from honeycomb in a rare stand of koa trees, is available for sale both at the site north of Hilo and by mail.
Hawaiian Legacy Honey, extracted from honeycomb in a rare stand of koa trees, is available for sale both at the site north of Hilo and by mail. (Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods)

The unique nectar can be purchased through the website or in person at the forest, where tree planting tours are conducted daily.

You can pay $180 for the 3.5-hour Grand Tour which includes planting a young koa tree. Youths 5 to 18 years old cost $90, but that price doesn't include the tree-planting.

Tours must be booked in advance.

Info: Hawaiian Legacy Honey, (844) 733-6737

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