Macadamia honey is a type of honey produced by bees the are placed near macadamia nut tree orchards, where all of their pollination activity is focused on the white flowers that the macadamia nut tree produces. This gives the honey a nutty flavor that is reminiscent of the macadamia nut itself. A common source for macadamia nut honey is from the US state of Hawaii, where the macadamia nut industry is widespread and the trees flower in the winter season. The dominant producer of macadamia nuts in general, however, is Australia, which produces over one-third of all the world's macadamia nuts each year as of 2011.
In Australia, macadamia honey is produced by honeybees only partially feeding on the pollen from macadamia nut trees. This is due to the fact that the flowers of these trees generate pollen that can vary quite considerably in terms of its protein content, at anywhere from a range of 16% to 22% protein. This can restrict the growth rate of bee colonies, so they tend to also feed on nearby flowers from red gum trees as well. Since the macadamia tree flowers from July to September in Australia, this is the peak time for macadamia honey there. It tends to have a molasses flavor due to the fact that the bees use a variety of floral sources near the macadamia tree orchards to produce their honey.
The honey industry often serves as a supplier to other specialty food industries, and macadamia honey is no different. A common use for it in Hawaii is in the production of macadamia nut honey wine, a direct by product of macadamia honey, and is considered a light, sweet wine to be consumed with an after-dinner dessert. Another use for macadamia honey involves mixing it with ground, raw macadamia nuts to create a type of butter, which can be used as a topping for toast or as an ingredient in macadamia-flavored baked goods and candy.
The macadamia tree is native to Australia, but it is now cultivated in many warm climates around the globe, including in Brazil, China, and Fiji, making the production of macadamia honey a lucrative side business to growing the trees. Several Asian, African, and Central to South American nations now grow the tree for its nuts as well, as they are considered something of a delicacy. The nuts rank the highest in terms of omega-3 versus omega-6 fatty acids, which makes them the healthiest group of nuts to consume in terms of fat content.
Though known by different names within the Australian landscape, the macadamia tree is the only that has proved to grow heartily in domestication. The Australian Aborigines call the macadamia tree Kindal Kindal or Boombera Jindilli. Nine native macadamia species of trees were all renamed in the 1850s after an Australian scientist named John MacAdam, however, who first described them for European settlers to Australia.