The Buzz Blog

Welcome to our blog 'The Buzz'.  Here we will keep you updated on what is happening in the world of bees and honey and anything else that we think you would be interested in.  If there is a topic you would like to hear about drop us an email and I'll see what we can do.


Plastic Avoided In The Production of Sweetree Honey

Written by Stephanie on August 23rd, 2017.      0 comments

Many people, including Martin and I, like to limit the purchase of food in plastic packaging.  People do this for various reasons but mainly for environmental or health motivations.  One way of limiting plastic is to purchase food in glass jars instead of plastic.  When we were deciding how to package our honey it had to be glass.  It is so much healthier, attractive and environmentally friendly.

But have you thought about how honey is stored before it goes into the jar?  In the beehive honey used to always be stored on beeswax comb foundation which was wired into a wooden frame.  But what is most commonly used now is plastic frames with plastic sheets embossed with hexagon indentations for the bees to work with as a foundation. The other common one is a wooden framing with a plastic insert foundation.  Here are some photos of what they look like.

plastic-foundation       Plastic-frame

The thing that concerns us about these is the possibility of plastic residue getting into the honey, the bees health working from a plastic foundation, let alone the environmental issue of what to do with the plastic frames and foundations when they are broken or past their best.  We was concerned to see all these plastic beehives (the whole hive in plastic) for sale at a beekeeping conference we recently attended.  That's a lot of plastic!  What will happen to them when they are finished with?  I guess they will end up in the landfill!

Sweetree's policy is to use wooden hive gear and frames with beeswax foundations wherever possible for our honey collection.
Wax-frame
Beehive frame with beeswax foundation
 

Purchase Sweetree honey with no plastic residue

Topics: About Sweetree Plastic Free
 

The Joys of a Family Business

Written by Stephanie on May 14th, 2017.      0 comments

The thing I love about working from home in our family business is that I'm there for our boys, I can go to their sports days, be home for them after school or when they are sick.  It's great that I can work around them. They are the reason we started this business, so I could earn an income but still be there for the boys.  

As they  have got older I've come across another bonus of having a family business, extra hands available when we need them!  The boys have helped from time to time over the years, whether it's emptying a pallet of jars into boxes, labelling jars of honey or packets of pollen, or helping to pack honey. But as they are getting older and stronger (14 & 12) I'm thinking it won't be long until they are helping Martin in the field on a regular basis!  Daniel helped Martin harvest the Ohui Manuka this season and was pleasantly surprised that he enjoyed it!  And when they have a car license they might be keen to do the markets for us!
Daniel-beekeeping

Here's some photos taken over the years of the boys helping:
Boys-Helping-Pic-Collage

 
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

What's So Special About Kirikiriroa Honey?

Written by Stephanie on February 19th, 2017.      0 comments

Unblended honeys are not new, but the fact that Sweetree’s honeys are not based on a single flower source but the local area and season make our approach unique. For this reason we choose our sites carefully and we never mix honey from different locations. Each apiary location has its own special nuance and character and this is reflected in the honey when you come to taste it.

Sweetree Kirikiriroa is certainly no exception!  This honey came about when we approached the Hamilton City Council in early 2014, looking for iconic Hamilton locations to place some of our hives. After discussions with staff, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo and Taitua Arboretum were identified as ideal locations for the bees to do their business.

We have 45 hives in these Hamilton City sites and we love that we can produce a honey that reflects the flora and places of Hamilton. The three locations we’ve chosen are some of our most-loved and beautiful sites, and this enhances their reputation and the fantastic work staff is doing there.

Martin-with-Dep-MayorAt the Hamilton Farmers Market, many locals tell us they don’t have any bees in their gardens and they would be very keen to have some. In the height of summer we now add 1,500,000 bees into the city, each with a 5km flight range, and we are very pleased to be working with Council to make some contribution to improving biodiversity and nature in the city.

Julie Hardaker, the city’s previous Mayor, said the partnership with Sweetree Honey emphasis Council’s commitment to protecting the city’s natural environment, while promoting public-private partnerships. “Hamilton is known for its green spaces and this is a great match. Bees pollinate an estimated 70 per cent of our food crops, so gardeners near these three locations will benefit as well,” Mayor Hardaker says.

Hamilton Zoo Director Stephen Standley says the hives are a welcome addition to the Zoo’s biodiversity. They are proud to be part of a combined effort with Hamilton Gardens and Taitua Arboretum to produce a quality product for people to buy, and the sweet treat is also given to the zoo’s honey-eating birds such as the tui as well as primates.

When Martin dropped the zoo beehives into their site adjacent to the giraffe enclosure at 6:30am.  It was very quiet and also a little surreal to see seven long necks towering above the foliage and 14 large eyes staring at him stock still and watching his every move!  That's a first in beekeeping for him!

Sweetree Kirikiriroa honey won silver at the National Beekeepers Honey Competition in 2015!  Unfortunately we didn't have it packed out in time for the 2016 competition.  Cross fingers it will be for this years!


Kirikiriroa-and-cheese
Get a taste of the Hamilton City and try pairing it with different food and in different recipes.  

Last year we paired out honeys with Meyer Cheese and Good George Beers made in the Waikato.  The Kirikiriroa honey works beautifully with Meyer's Garlic and Chives cheese and Good George IPA.  

You might like to try this Creme Brûlée recipe made for us by a local chef using Kirirkiriroa honey. 


Purchase our Kirikiriroa honey here!

 

Check out the great locations to visit within Hamilton City

Topics: , About Sweetree, Products
 

Beekeeping in the Blood

Written by Stephanie on March 26th, 2016.      0 comments

Grandads-HivesBees have always been a part of Martin's life, you could say that beekeeping is in his blood!  Martin's granddad always had hives to feed honey to his seven children, extended family and friends.  As you can see from the photo he had quite a few.  We're not sure when he started beekeeping or whether his father was also into beekeeping but the love of bees was passed down to Martin's dad and uncle.  They both enjoyed tending to their hives when they had families of their own.  Martin remembers as a young child the hand extraction in the garage with bees flying everywhere. He developed a keen interest himself in his teenage years and eventually inherited his dads hives.

Martin says "Bees are highly resilient creatures and very interesting to work with. Visiting remote & beautiful areas in the Waikato while looking after our bees is a joy and nothing beats the taste and aroma of honey from freshly waxed frames on a warm summer’s day".



 
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

This Season's Honey is Harvested!

Written by Stephanie on March 19th, 2016.      0 comments

Sweetree-hakarimata-harvest-2016-576
We have just finished harvesting and extracting this season's honeys and thanks to our wonderful helpers who have assisted at each apiary location!  We couldn't have done it without you!  We are very lucky to have great family members and friends (and even friend's teenagers!) that make themselves available to help lift heavy boxes of honey off hives, onto trailers and then unload them at the honey house.  There's been some very long and exhausting days but it's been fun along the way. 


It hasn't been one of the best honey harvests but we are very thankful for what we do have. We will be able to pack at least one batch of each of these varieties of honey: Marokopa Spring, Marokopa Summer, Hakarimata, Kirikiriroa, Four Brothers Reserve, Ohui Manuka and Horsham Downs. It has been a bad season for manuka honey around the country so we are lucky to have a small batch of Ohui Manuka and we have just packed the last of the previous seasons Marokopa Manuka.

honey-harvest-2016-508You may have noticed our online honey store is looking a little bare at the moment,  please be patient with us while we pack the honeys.  It all takes time!  We use someone else's facilities to extract and pack our honeys and they are in the process of installing a new packing machine, so there will be delays.  We are incredible lucky to work with the best beekeepers / honey packers in the Waikato and very lucky to use their facilities.  We do need to fit around them to pack our honey but we hope to have the honeys available as soon as possible.  The first one to be packed will be Four Brothers Reserve!

 
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Re-using Sweetree Honey Jars

Written by Stephanie on February 26th, 2016.      0 comments

We use glass jars to store our honey for several reasons.  Apart from the fact that they are more attractive than plastic they are also healthier.  But another reason is that they are recyclable.  They can be put in your recycling bin or you can reuse or repurpose them yourself.  There are some amazing and beautiful ways you can re use glass jars, we have a few ideas on our Pinterest board.   Or you can use them for storing bits and bobs such as food in your pantry, sewing bits in your sewing area, screws in the workshop, etc.  And of course they are perfect for preserving.  

I gave mum a labelling machine for Christmas and she has recently made some bread n butter pickle using her new machine and an old Sweetree Honey jar!  Nothing like home preserves!
 
bread n butter pickle
Topics: , About Sweetree , Enviromental, Recycle
 

What's Different About Sweetree Honey?

Written by Stephanie on October 2nd, 2015.      0 comments

Honey is one of the oldest known sweeteners.  It has been an essential part of our diet since earliest times and there is increased interest in its culinary and health properties.  Not only is it delicious to eat, honey is hailed for its medicinal properties – it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and packed with highly valuable nutrients.
 

Honey spoonsWhat's Different About Sweetree Honey?

Sweetree Honey is a true reflection of the Waikato's flora.  Much like a great wine reflects the terroir of where the grapes have grown, Sweetree Honey’s different varieties reflect the area and season the bees worked their magic.  From the gorgeous caramel and butterscotch flavour  of the Hakarimata to the  thick and buttery Marokopa Spring - there is a Sweetree honey to suit all tastes and occasions.

Unblended honeys are not new, but the fact that Sweetree's honeys are not based on a single flower source but the local area and season make our approach quite different.

People who try Sweetree honey often comment how it tastes like the honey they used to have when they were young.  It’s much more than just a sweetener.  Being in attractive glass jars with stylish labels it makes a great gift.

 
How is Sweetree Honey Processed?


Sweetree honey is extracted by cutting the wax cappings off each honey frame, they are then placed into a spinner, where the centrifugal force extracts the honey from the frames.  We then cream our honey, this is to ensure that your honey does not granulate (look sugary) and it maintains a consistent texture.  During this process the only thing that is added is a fine grained natural honey, this is used like a starter to start the creaming process.  The honey is then stirred and left to cream over a few days.  We manually pack the honey into re-usable glass jars.

Our honey is not pasteurized.  You can be confident that Sweetree Honey has not been damaged by heating or finely filtered.  It still retains the enzymes, antibacterial qualities and high pollen counts naturally occurring in the honey.  Samples of Sweetree honey tested have a HMF level of <4mg/kg, indicating very low levels of heating and very fresh honey!  Fresh extracted honey is usually below 10mg/kg, higher levels such as 40mg/kg indicate excessive heating.  Find out more about HMF

 
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Good Neighbour Degustation Dinner

Written by Stephanie on September 25th, 2015.      0 comments

Last night we shouted my parents out for dinner to thank them for all the things they do to help us out.  They help us pack honey, paint bee boxes, harvest honey, etc.  We would be lost without them! 

Anyway, we went to our local, Good Neighbour, for a 5 course degustation dinner matched with Good George Beer and Mills Reef Wine.  A beer and a wine were paired with each course and we had to rate whether the beer (grain) or wine (grape) matched best with the food.  For each course the brewer and wine maker got up to talk about the food and how their product would match it.  It was very entertaining to say the least!  It was a lot of fun!  The wine only just won!

I was so busy enjoying the delicious food that I didn't get any photos!  Apart from the menu below.  I highly recommend the food at Good Neighbour the chefs Matt, Alice and the team did a fantastic job!  Do check out the beers and wines on the menu, there were some very yummy flavours coming through!

Featured in the meal was our Kirikiriroa honey along with Meyer Cheese.  As you see below it was a smoked Cambridge duck, Meyer Gouda gougere, Sweetree Honey glaze, chilli lollipop, walnut, smoke aroma.  It was so yummy!

You can read about Good George Beer, Sweetree honey and Meyer Cheese pairing here.

Grain-vs-grape-1     grain-vs-grape-2-582
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Waikato - The Land of Cheese, Honey & Beer!!

Written by Stephanie on August 28th, 2015.      0 comments

Kirikiriroa-and-cheeseAs you may know, we like to think Sweetree honey is a true reflection of Waikato's varied flora and locations.  Much like a great wine reflects the terroir of where the grapes have grown, Sweetree Honey’s different varieties reflect the area and season the bees worked their magic.  When you taste our different honeys it's like wine tasting, each one has it's own flavour profile, aroma and texture.  So what about pairing our honey with other special foods?

We are lucky in the Waikato to have such a great variety of high quality producers!  In our opinion, two of the best are Meyer Cheese & Good George Brewery, both Waikato awarding winning producers.  Meyer cheese is New Zealand’s best quality hand made Gouda cheese, they make a variety of Gouda cheeses the traditional way, and it's divine!   Good George beers and ciders are definitely not bland, full of chemicals, mass-produced or boring! They believe that exploring and drinking beer should be enjoyable, simple and really rewarding. 

We recently had a relaxing and fun afternoon at Good Neighbour Brew Bar (in Rototuna) with the team from Meyer Cheese and Good George, pairing our products together.  We thought it would be a great way of finding those special and different flavour nuances coming through for each of our products.
Pairing
 

We found some really great matches!  Here's our very favourite pairings:Pairing-honey-on-cheese-206

Cheese Honey Beer / Cider
Amsterdammer Marokopa Spring White Ale
Cumin Gouda Marokopa Summer Sparkling
Marokopa Summer White Ale
Marokopa Manuka Cider
Fenugreek Gouda Four Brothers Reserve Cider
Marokopa Summer Cider
Marokopa Manuka IPA
Tasty Gouda Marokopa Manuka IPA
Vintage Gouda Marokopa Manuka Amber Ale
Horsham Downs Country Amber Ale
Garlic & Chives Kirikiriroa IPA
Hakarimata Sparking
Cracked Pepper Marokopa Summer Amber Ale
 
Come down to the Good Neighbour Degustation Dinner on Thurs 24th Sept and try great Waikato food using some of these combinations!!
 
pairing-hands
 

Here’s some tasting notes from each of the food types mentioned above:


Sweetree Honey's: 

Marokopa Spring:  This is a thick buttery honey which tastes like beeswax, clover and sea spray with a salted toffee apple aftertaste.

Marokopa Summer: Think of the beach!  This honey tastes like grapefruit, wildflowers with a blueberry, hokey pokey with dark chocolate and burnt sugar aftertaste.

Marokopa Manuka:  This season’s Manuka has a dried raisins and pineapple flavour with fresh pear and baby carrot and a fresh plum aftertaste.

Four Brothers Reserve:  A soft buttery honey with a butterscotch taste with touches of pinenut and citrus.

Horsham Downs Country: Much like a sweet fruit liquor, with the perfect balance of sweet and sour – think verjuice.

Hakarimata:  Think dried prunes, ripe home grown banana, this honey has a deep dark caramel taste leading into butterscotch.

Kirikiriroa:  Think of a summer picnic! This honey tastes of caramel, lemon pith with a vanilla Crème brûlée aftertaste.


Meyer Cheese's: 

Amsterdammer: Named after the popular city in Holland this cheese has a higher moisture content so has a slightly creamier texture and mild acidic tone which is a result of the increased moisture levels.

Tasty Gouda: Tasty Gouda is aged for about 9 months, at this age it still retains its smooth creamy texture but has started to develop that sharp bite and full bodied flavour which aged Gouda’s are famous for.

Vintage Gouda: The name says it all. Crumbly parmesan like texture and a bite like no other, this cheese has what most cheese lovers want a strong full bodied flavour with Bite. After eating it lingers on the palate for quite some time.

Cumin Gouda: Even though Cumin is an Indian spice cumin Gouda is an extremely tradition Dutch cheese. Early spice traders from India set out for Europe and the spices were quickly found to be used in the Cheeses. Not only was the flavour really good but it also added a nutritional value to a travel ready product.

Cracked Pepper: For those who love pepper, try it! Cracked Pepper Gouda is made from cracked whole black and white pepper corns, hand mixed and aged for about 8 weeks.

Fenugreek Gouda: This cheese has an excellent aroma! The seeds give off a sweet smell which is evident once cutting open the cheese. The taste is also mild, sweet and nutty.

Garlic & Chives: For those who love Garlic, this Gouda is packed with Garlic to give it a good strong flavour. The chives not only make the cheese look good but round off the sharpness of the garlic so you still enjoy the taste of cheese.


Good George Beer's & Cider:

White Ale:  A crafty blend of New Zealand botanicals gives this wheat ale a subtle, spicy kick against the backdrop of sweet navel orange. It’s always summer somewhere in Waikato, the perfect everyday drop.

Amber Ale:  Brewed with a classic English bitter in mind. This beer is about rich, caramel malts, balanced with a dash of colonial hops. The Hard Workers beer, we’ll let you have a couple.

IPA:  Inspired by the wave of punchy new world hops. A lovely soft malt backbone is balanced perfectly with juicy, mouth-coating hoppy GOODness & a smooth lingering bitterness.

Cider:  A GOOD cider should balance fruity succulence with subtle tartness. We reckon we've hit it on the nose. Bursting on the palate with white-wine sweetness, the finish is crisp, dry & refreshing. Lip-smackingly drinkable.


Why don’t you try some combinations yourself?!


About Good Neighbour

Good Neighbour Brew Bar, in Rototuna, is where the local brewing of fine beer & cider is quietly celebrated with the company and conversation of the people who love to drink it. It is the coming together of great hospitality and the craft of brewing good beer & cider.

Good Neighbour prides itself on sourcing locally made produce with the emphasis on selecting only the freshest ingredients. The menu includes a range of hand crafted pizzas, smoked meats and fresh foods. The on-site micro brewery produces specialty beers only for consumption at Good Neighbour while the other beers and ciders are delivered fresh daily from the local Good George Brewery in Frankton.

They are cycle friendly, beer friendly and people friendly too. Drop in for a casual drink in the garden bar, a meal or share a pizza with friends. Their upstairs bar and balcony is a great place to hang out or hire for your next party or event.

Topics: , About Sweetree, Products
 

The Curious Tale of Captain Puffleface & Tiger!

Written by Stephanie on December 6th, 2014.      0 comments

Hen-&-KiteenOur sons, Daniel and Matthew raise chickens from one day old chicks each year.  They have a little free range egg business, called 'Who Let the Chooks Out', and sell eggs to neighbours and friends.  While feeding his chickens one morning last week Daniel decided to look for new egg spots.  As he did he came across Captain Puffleface, one of his favourite hens, that had been missing for 2-3 weeks.  She was hidden in the corner of the garden sitting on un-fertilised eggs.  Not only was she sitting on eggs, but a little face, not a chick, peeked out!  It gave Daniel a huge fright and he ran inside to tell us about it.  Thinking it was a story we were surprised to find Captain Puffleface sitting on a little kitten!

We have no idea how this all came about, I'm guessing the kitten was separated from it's mother some how and found something warm to snuggle up to in the garden one night and they have been together ever since.  Captain Puffleface is a wonderful mum, she is very protective of her baby and they are inseparable.  We now feed the kitten and have de-fleaed and de-wormed it.  The boys have called her Tiger but when I call 'chick, chick, chick' she comes up to me, so I wonder if we should rename her 'Chick'.  Tiger is becoming more adventurous and wandering around, with mum always nearby.  Whenever Tiger gets a bit scared she runs back to mum for protection.  They are very sweet together.

As you can see from the links below we have had some media interest.  The highlight was Daniel's Campbell Live interview with Ali Ikram.  Ali did a fantastic job making Daniel feel comfortable and just being himself.  They had a ball together!  In the end the story wasn't just about Tiger and Captain Puffleface it was also about Daniel and his wonderful imagination.  It was really delightful.  Have a look at the links below.

See Daniel's Campbell Live interview
Read the article and see the video interview on the Waikato Times
Read the Number 8 Network article
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Sweetreee Honey on Toast at Ibis

Written by Vicki Ralvich-Horan (Nourish Magazine) on February 12th, 2014.      0 comments

Honey on toast; this humble breakfast enjoyed by millions around the world each morning has taken on new meaning at the Ibis Tainui in Hamilton.

Last year Head Chef, Simon Goodchild, was looking for a local honey to offer his guests when he discovered the award winning Sweetree Honey through a simple goggle search.  A visit to the Hamilton Farmers Market confirmed Sweetree were a perfect fit and it wasn’t long before the relationship flourished.
Honey-dispay-at-IBIS-with-Planet-21-sign-copy
As a member of the Accor group Ibis Tainui Hamilton have embraced Planet 21.  In lay mans terms, Planet 21 is the Accor group’s corporate responsibility policy, or as Accor put it “making sustainable hospitality the focus of its strategic vision”.

Planet 21 outlines Accor’s 21 commitments to a sustainable future and encompasses health, nature, carbon, innovation, local development, employment and dialogue.  “21 commitments for the well-being of our world.”
So when Simon went in search of a local honey he simply wanted to provide Ibis guests with a local honey, but he soon discovered Sweetree ticked many more boxes that Accor are trying to promote with their Planet 21 programme.

Sweetree is a family business owned by Stephanie and Martin Lynch.  The Lynch's take the concept of local honey one step further by not blending their honey from their various different apiaries around the Waikato.  Instead Sweetree, much like many world class vineyards, embrace the nuances each apiary site produces.  This concept is then further expanded with Sweetree honeys also being distinct to the season the honey was produced which results in subtle changes each year, or vintage, reflecting what Mother nature provided that year.  A hot dry summer may mean certain flowers flourish one year to be scarce the following due to high winds or a lot of rain.
honey-on-display-at-IBIS
Sweetree Honeys now takes pride of place on the Ibis Tainui Hamilton breakfast buffet.  The jars, (that’s right, jars, no individual plastic pouches here) help people to recognise that each honey is distinct.  It’s clear, Simon says, that the honey is popular by the sheer volume we are going through but also the way the guests have embraced it.  In fact you will often see guests take the whole jar to their table, laughs Simon.

Because the honey is so popular among the guests Ibis now also have jars of Sweetree Honey available for guests to buy and take a sweet reminder of the Waikato home with them.

The glass jars Sweetree Honey comes in are another bonus for Simon as it reduces packaging waste.  Stephanie and Martin have long encouraged clients to recycle the jars either by repurposing them or by returning them so that they can be reused.  You will often see Simon at the Hamilton Farmers Market returning a box of empty jars but now there is another reason Simon is so keen to return the jars to Sweetree.

Last year “one of our employees” Simon says “came to us after watching a TV show on child poverty wanting to help”.  So Ibis Tainui Hamilton looked for a school they could help and adopted a local primary school.  At first they helped get a breakfast club up and running, now they deliver lunch as well as morning and afternoon teas.   Simon, who is also now on the Board of Trustees at the school is always on the lookout for other ways they can help.  “We are always crying out for more stuff” says Simon.

So now those jars that Simon returns back to Sweetree are handed over to the Horsham Downs Rural Woman’s group, Horotiu Honeys who regularly hold working bees, this time filling the jam with homemade jam.  Then it is Stephanie’s job to return the, now full jars back to Simon who makes sure they go to good use at the local primary school.  What a wonderful example of local businesses working together and making a difference on so many levels!
Swap-fo-jars-at-farmers-market---best
Simon returning jars to Sweetree Honey at the Hamilton Farmers Market
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Sweetree Receives Highly Commended in Taste Awards

Written by Stephanie on July 27th, 2013.      0 comments

Wahoo!  We have received 'Highly Commended' at the Taste Farmers Market Awards for 2013!
 

Here are the Comments from the Judges:


Taste FMNZ 300There were hundreds of entries this year and while the judges had their work cut out for them your product certainly stood out.  Your products were judged HIGHLY COMMENDED as the best of the best and stood out as a great example of local produce at a Farmers' Market - the judges were highly impressed.

NZ Honey that stings you on the tongue with flavor, the judges could taste the dedication and flavor from each of the 150 hives you have in Waikato…the fact that you seek out nearby floral sources for each batch and that you can delivery that with consistency shows why it is simply some of the tastiest bee flavorsome honeys that we have tasted.

The story behind each variety and the business name show the passion and dedication of the Lynch family as they are embarking on this taste and culinary journey.  All of the products were faultless and the pollen simply outstanding, if everybody knew of the power that bees have and the super foods that they make then the world would be a healthy place. 

Great Honeys and products, the recipes just keep on adding to the appeal of a truly real local food producers...these taste are awesome !

See details of our Awards here
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Sweetree Wins Honey Awards!

Written by Stephanie on June 24th, 2013.      0 comments

At this years National Beekeepers Honey Competition Sweetree Honey was judged second over all!   We also won the following for individual products:


Our Hakarimata honey won gold (1st place) in the ‘Beekeepers Special Reserve’ honey competition.  All products are sent in competition standard plastic pottles with no labels.  The honey was judged on colour (15%), cleanliness (15%), aroma (5%), texture/evenness of grain (20%), firmness (15%), flavour (25%) and general presentation (5%).

Our bee pollen also won gold (1st prize) in the 'Dried Bee Pollen' section.  Again the pollen was sent in standard competition plastic pottles with no labels.  The bee pollen was judged on general appearance (30%), colour (20%), cleanliness (20%), hardness (5%) and taste/flavour (25%).

Our Propolis Tincture received a bronze (3rd Prize) in 'Product from the Hive'.  This was judged on presentation (25%), originality / innovation (30%), quality of product (30%) and natural unique honey hive advantage (15%).

These awards are judged purely on the product with no packaging, marketing or gimmicks to detract from the honey.

We are very excited about the results, there is a lot of focus on manuka in the industry (for good reason), but these awards recognise the wonderful diversity and quality of bee products produced here in NZ - and in particular the unique and special honeys.  

Photos coming!

Check out our Awards section of our website
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Our Little Helpers

Written by Stephanie on May 7th, 2013.      0 comments

It is great now our boys are getting a bit older (eight and ten) and getting more interested in our honey business.  Last week, being school holidays, they came out with us to pack the latest Hakarimata honey.  I was thinking it was going to be hard with them asking how much longer we would be and saying they were bored.  But I was pleasantly surprised!  They worked well for five hours (with morning and and lunch break as well of course) without one complaint!

Matthew's job was to put the lids on the small jars and Daniel's was to empty the pallet of empty jars into boxes then make sure we all had enough jars up on the tables to fill them.  They really loved it!

Matthew loves to help with labeling the jars and is very good at placing the award stickers. Daniel has his own beehive and hopes to produce some comb honey this year.  Matthew is looking forward to getting his own hive this year too!
    Daniel boxing jars   Matth lidding jars   Matt-labeling
Topics: , About Sweetree
 

Bee Sweet and Reuse Photo Competition!

Written by Stephanie on March 1st, 2013.      0 comments

When we were deciding how to package our honey it had to be glass.  It is so much more healthier, attractive and environmental friendly.  I came across this on Glass for Life facebook page which sums it up quite well - "People trust glass more than any other packaging material to protect the flavor and freshness of their food and drink. And for good reason. Glass is safe and healthy, pure and virtually inert. It’s made of natural ingredients—sand, limestone and soda ash. Glass is 100% recyclable and highly sustainable— unlike most other packaging materials, it can be recycled over and over. And glass says quality without even trying. Glass is life, for all the right reasons."

Lately I've been reading on Facebook how our customers reuse their Sweetree honey jars.  They are used for jams, chutneys, sauces and for storing items. What do you use empty Sweetree jars for?

We would love to see what people do with them so we have decided to start a photo competition.  Post a photo on our Facebook page of a Sweetree Honey jar being used creatively and you could be in to win!   If you don't have Facebook just email to us at info@sweetreehoney.co.nz and we'll pop it up for you.

Please note the photos are not being judged on photographic ability but rather the original use of one of our empty honey jars!

Please vote for your favourite photos by liking them on Facebook and ask your friends to vote too!

The best photo at the end of May wins a Sweetree Honey gift box with the latest season's honeys plus the latest Good Magazine and three back issues of the NZ Farmer Lifestyle Magazine - worth a total of $60!

Here's some ideas from our photographer.  Don't worry Claudia isn't allowed to enter!

bead-in-jar                pumice-in-jar
Topics: , About Sweetree
 
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What do our customers say?

"This honey so delicious!  It taste just like when I was a kid, rather than the supermarket brands"  Anna Bradford, Rotorua
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