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.

Sustainable Me March Challenge

Written by Stephanie on March 1st, 2021.      0 comments

With the 'OSOF (Our Seas Our Future) Sustainable Me Challenge' each month we are challenged to test out an environmentally friendly behaviour that in some way impacts ocean health.  This month's challenge takes place in our bathrooms, to reduce our personal care product footprint. The idea it to avoid microplastic and other chemicals in personal products.

Here's What They Suggest:

Become an informed consumer. Read the back of your shampoo bottle and other personal care projects. Look for and learn about the chemicals listed above in their various forms. When it’s time to purchase more, choose a brand that is microplastic, paraben, phthalate, formaldehyde and palm oil free. 

Extend your scrutiny to other bathroom products including ensuring that all your cleaning products are eco-friendly. Lemon, baking soda and vinegar are great as cleaning products – both good for the environment and your wallet! You might also look at your choice of toilet paper and choose a 100% recycled brand.

Go cosmetics free! There are lots of ways to eliminate commercial personal care products from your life. Try washing your hair with baking soda and conditioning with vinegar. Do some research, get creative!

Check out inspirational local websites such as Wendyl's

Read more about the Sustainable Me Challenge and Why We Love It


Read more on the Sustainable Me website




Sweetree Honey, Local Hamilton Honey

Written by Stephanie on February 20th, 2021.      0 comments

Sweetree honey is as local as you can get, we even have beehives at Claudelands Events Centre (150 metres from the Hamilton Farmers Market barn)! Our Kirikiriroa honey comes from the Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo and Taitua Arboretum and from this seasons harvest will include nectar from around Claudelands Events Centre.  Our other raw honeys come from surrounding areas of Hamilton such as Four Brothers Reserve, Hakarimata ranges, Horsham Downs and Ohinewai (coming soon).  Every honey has its own unique nuance depending on what is flowering in the area at the time and are finely granulated making them very easy to spread.  

Come and see us at the Hamilton Farmers Market this weekend and have a taste of our honeys.  They are a true taste of the Waikato!

Check out our delicious range of honeys


Rain, Rain, Glorious Rain!

Written by Stephanie on February 15th, 2021.      0 comments

We have really appreciated getting the rain today as its been so dry and many of the flowering grasses have dried up. Much of the summer has been good for our bees however and its been pleasing to see a steady flow of nectar into the hives. We are now starting to harvest the honey from our hives and will be treating for varroa to ensure mite populations are reduced as much as possible. It’s a key time to monitor the health of our hives as its at the end of summer that colonies can suddenly “crash”.

Sustainable Me February Challenge

Written by Stephanie on February 1st, 2021.      0 comments

With the 'OSOF (Our Seas Our Future) Sustainable Me Challenge' each month we are challenged to test out an environmentally friendly behaviour that in some way impacts ocean health. This month is to drive less.  This can be a difficult one to especially when you live rurally like us.  But let's try something new!

Go car-free at least one day per week. Don’t just decide to stay home once a week, either! Instead, pick a day that you would normally drive, then seek out an alternative that works for you and practice it.

How about a car-free week? Alternatively, you could go car-free for at least half of the car trips you would normally take that are less than 5km.

Don’t drive for any trips under 5km for the month of February. Or you could try going the entire month without driving or riding in a car. 

Read more about the Sustainable Me Challenge and Why We Love It


Read more on the Sustainable Me website


Sustainable Me January Challenge

Written by Stephanie on January 2nd, 2021.      0 comments

In a recent post I explained 'OSOF (Our Seas Our Future) Sustainable Me Challenge'. Each month this year we will be challenged to test out an environmentally friendly behaviour that in some way impacts ocean health. It gives us the challenge to try something new for the month and decide if we want to adopt it more in our lives.  

This months challenge is to stay away from one use plastic and styrofoam when eating out, try one of these:

Stop using single-use straws and cutlery for one month. Don’t just omit eating out this month. Instead, seek out an alternative that works for you and practice it.

Same as beginner, but add in coffee cup lids and takeaway containers. Some takeaway restaurants will allow you to bring in a reusable container for your food, and be sure to bring along a box or container for leftovers when you go out to eat.

Become an advocate for ditching plastic and talk to your favourite cafes and restaurants about plastic alternatives and offering BYO containers.

Read More: 


OSOF Sustainable Me Challenge!

Written by Stephanie on January 1st, 2021.      2 comments

You will have probably guessed by now, by reading previous posts, that we are passionate about sustaining our earth for future generations. Martin's full time job is actually in energy management, helping large businesses reduce their energy consumption, looking at alternative energy uses and reducing their carbon footprint. At home and in our honey business we have substantially reduced what we send to the landfill, we avoid over packaging, try to avoid one use plastic, buy bulk, reuse or recycle as much as we can and purchase locally as much as possible. 

All Sweetree honeys are packaged in glass jars, our propolis in glass bottles, our bee pollen is available in glass jars and we have always used paper bags instead of plastic at the markets. We still have lots of work to do but we are getting better!

I believe that if everyone just starts somewhere and does a little bit (e.g. saying no to a straw) it will make a big difference to the future of our earth. It can be really hard to take on new behaviours and even harder with our busy lifestyles these days. I found it easier to start by following a few organised challenges like 'Plastic Free July' and 'Recycle Week', I just started out small and now many of those behaviours that I found hard are now automatic.


A Great Challenge!

'OSOF (Our Seas Our Future) Sustainable Me Challenge' is a great way to start! Each month this year we will be challenged to test out an environmentally friendly behaviour that in some way impacts ocean health. It gives us the challenge to try something new for the month and decide if we want to adopt it more in our lives.

OSOF say "Give it a go for one month and see if you like it. If it’s something you can get on board with, great! Adopt it as part of your regular routine. If it’s a behavior that doesn’t work for you, that’s ok. After 12 months and 12 activities, you just might have a few new actions to add to your sustainability portfolio. If possible, rope a couple of friends or family members into participating with you. The more support you have, the more likely you are to keep up with the behaviours for a full month – enough time to decide whether or not it’s something you can take up for the long term."

Good luck and have fun! Let us know how you get on!

Check Out the Monthly Challenges so Far:





How to Store Honey Over Summer

Written by Stephanie on December 30th, 2020.      0 comments

With summer officially here you may want to know the best way to store honey now the temperatures are starting to rise. The best place to store honey is in a cupboard or your kitchen pantry. It's usually cooler in a cupboard and will keep the honey out of direct sunlight.  Keeping it in the fridge will crystalise the honey.

If it has been sitting in an area that is too warm the honey can darken and it may start to separate but it's still completely fine to eat.  Honey never goes off, it's be found in Egyptian tombs after centuries and it's still edible.  But to keep the goodness in the honey and to keep its consistency it's best stored between 10 and 20°C.

Just make sure you screw the lid on tight and if you do drip some down the side the jar rinse it in water, or you may have a visit from ants!

Purchase our yummy Sweetree honey

Sweetree honey range-63



Closed Over Christmas / New Year

Written by Stephanie on December 20th, 2020.      0 comments

I think we can all do with a little R & R over the holiday season!  We're looking forward to spending time with family and friends.  Sweetree will be closing up from midday 24th Dec until the 4th Jan.

We wish you and your families a very merry and safe Christmas and New Year. 

Dec 22 Closed Over Christmas-164

Christmas Gift Ideas

Written by Stephanie on November 30th, 2020.      0 comments

Hard to believe we're nearly at the end of another year!  It really is time to starting thinking of Christmas gifts.  We have a great variety of sustainable gifts to give this Christmas.  Check out the links on the photos below, they include:
  • Award-winning Waikato honey, from iconic Waikato areas
  • Reusable food wraps
  • Honey stick crayons
  • Books on honey and beekeeping
  • 100% natural beeswax candles
  • 10% off - JOCO coffee cups
  • 25% off - produce and bulk bin bags, Ethique solid bars, eco floss, dish scrubs, stainless steel straws
  • 50% of eco toothbrushes

There's gifts everyone!  Gifts to post, gifts to pop in the Santa stocking, secret Santa gifts!

Check out the full range in our online store.



What's Special About Sweetree Bee Pollen?

Written by Stephanie on November 6th, 2020.      0 comments

Sweetree Bee Pollen is collected from our home apiary site at rural Horsham Downs, near Hamilton.  With abundant nearby flora, Sweetree honey bees gather pollen from a wide range of flowering plants, reflected in the many different colours of pollen.  These colours indicate a highly nutritious bee pollen and we have received many favourable comments from our customers regarding its effectiveness.  We ensure that our bee pollen is kept as fresh as possible, storing no longer than the previous season.

The pollen is collected from the hive and dried in a purpose built drying room at temperatures no higher than would naturally occur in the beehive on a hot summers day, thereby still retaining its natural nutritious properties.

The flavour of the bee pollen will depend on the floral source and each granule has a different flavour.  You will receive a mouthful of many flavours including  sweet, tarty and earthy.  You may find that the colour and taste of each bag of pollen changes as the floral sources vary throughout the season.  For example early seasonal pollen may have more of a tarty flavour and not quite so many of the different coloured pollens.  Having said that, as the season progresses we try to mix the different coloured pollens into the bags so you are getting the best nutrients you can.

Enjoy the benefits of increased energy & enhanced performance with Sweetree Bee Pollen!

Find information on research carried out on bee pollen for certain health aliments and for sport nutrition.

Purchase Bee Pollen


What's the Buzz About Bee Pollen?

Written by Stephanie on October 27th, 2020.      0 comments

Bee pollen is an incredible natural source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Studies have shown that it has a nutritional composition that surpasses that of virtually any food eaten. Regular consumption of bee pollen aids your general health and well-being. Just some of the benefits reported of our Sweetree Bee Pollen are: Sustained energy, enhanced immunity, reduced stress, relief of inflammation, more rested sleep and better skin condition.

Studies have also shown that taking bee pollen improves prostate conditions, reduces harmful effects of x-rays and results in fewer side effects from radiation treatment.

Bee pollen is often used by athletes to improve strength, endurance, energy and speed.  It is said to help muscles recover more quickly from exercise and to increase mental stamina. Many great athletes have enjoyed its benefits and find it enhances their performance and decreases downtime due to illness.

Read more on bee pollen benefits!

How to Eat Sweetree Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is often thought of as a dietary supplement but is much more than that.  It is one of nature’s best super foods.  We recommend you start with a 1/4 teaspoon per day and work your way up to up to a dessertspoon per day (or more if you need it!).  Bee pollen can be added to food, many of our customers sprinkle it on their cereal in the morning.  Some add it to yoghurt, smoothies or ice-cream.

Try these ideas:

  • Add bee pollen to a dish of ice cream and hot chocolate sauce
  • Place bee pollen onto a piece of tin foil then take a peeled banana and roll it into the bee pollen and toasted coconut.
  • Add a tablespoon of bee pollen to beef casseroles or beef stir-fries
  • Add bee pollen to salsa, home-made salad dressing and sandwiches
  • Can be sprinkled on your favourite cereal, fruit or yoghurt to provide a tasty and nutritious supplement to your diet
  • You can also spread it on toast with honey.
  • Mix bee pollen, chai seeds and cinnamon together with mashed banana and yoghurt (any flavour) and spread on raisin toast.  Very yummy breakfast.
  • If you are not that fussed on the flavour you can simply take it in a spoon and chase with water or juice.

Purchase Sweetree Bee Pollen




Do You Sweeten Your Tea With Honey?

Written by Stephanie on October 16th, 2020.      0 comments

Many people love to sweeten their tea with honey.  The main reasons are because it tastes delicious and it's so much better for you than sugar!  Honey sweetens without adding any unhealthy ingredients to your drink, it adds goodness instead.  Raw honey in your tea can soothe, heal sore throat and coughs and revitalise you at the same time.

An added benefit is that honey tastes sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. One teaspoon of honey per cup of tea is a good rule of thumb. Be sure to add the honey after the tea has steeped and the water has cooled a little.  If the water is too hot it takes the goodness out the honey and can make the honey taste a little bitter.

Check out the loose TLeaf tea we love, it's plastic-free (not like tea bags) and reduces waste, it's also organic so it's better for the bees and us!  

Purchase loose tea
Purchase honey


Breaking News.... We are Finalists in the NZ Artisan Awards!

Written by Stephanie on September 2nd, 2020.      0 comments

We've just heard the exciting news that we are finalists in the NZ Artisan Awards!  With well over 600 brands entered, the competition was tough. So much so, that a new category was opened up to cater for the huge number of honey brands that entered. 

The Inspire+ Artisan Awards have showcased the depth and breadth of New Zealand’s best and locally made produce something that resonates with New Zealand consumers in the new normal where we are all strongly identifying with buying local.

The finalists for this year have been chosen, after a lengthy judging process, that analysed the product’s degree of innovation, fit for purpose, visual appeal, taste, price point, and shelf-life. 
NZ Artisan Awards 2020-545

Bee Aware Month

Written by Stephanie on August 29th, 2020.      0 comments

September is Bee Aware Month, a great opportunity to think about our wonderful bees as we start getting back into the garden this spring.  Just take these simple steps:

Grow Flowers for the Bees

Bees forage on flowers for nectar, which provide carbohydrates, and pollen, for protein. These are important for growth and energy. Well-nourished bees are more capable of fending off disease and parasites.  We can help by planting bee-friendly flowers in our gardens.  Here's some great planting ideas

It's important that bees have plenty of water to drink as well.  Help the bees in your garden this summer by creating some water stations for them.  The trick is to create stations that are not too deep and allow the bees to drink water without falling in.  Here's some inspiring ideas

Spray Safely

One of the biggest threats to bees is the use of insecticides in home gardens, farms, orchards and market gardens.  They are designed to kill good and bad insects, including bees so please avoid them.  Please follow these tips for spraying safely

Support Beekeepers 

Buy from your local beekeeper honey, beeswax, propolis, bee pollen, and other bee products.  New Zealand bees create a wide range of delicious and highest quality honey in the world.  By buying honey directly from the beekeeper you know where your honey comes from, how it's collected and processed, and how well the bees are looked after.  Make sure you ask questions.  Thanks for supporting local beekeepers who care about their bees and the environment!  Check out Sweetree's local raw honeys.

Read more ideas to help our NZ bees.



Honey: Effective Treatment for Coughs and Colds

Written by Stephanie on August 20th, 2020.      0 comments

For centuries honey has been used as a home remedy to treat coughs and colds, now the research backs this up!  Research suggests that honey is more effective than many over-the-counter medicines, studies indicate that:

  • Honey may be better than conventional treatments for coughs, blocked noses and sore throats. It is good value for money, readily available, and has virtually no side-effects.
  • Honey was more effective than usual care for improving symptoms, especially the frequency and severity of coughing. Two of the studies showed that symptoms lasted one to two days less among those treated with honey.
  • “Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescription. Since the majority of URTIs are viral, antibiotic prescription is both ineffective and inappropriate.”  Honey might therefore provide an alternative when doctors want to prescribe something to safely treat upper respiratory tract symptoms.
  • “Honey is more effective and less harmful than usual care alternatives and avoids causing harm through antimicrobial resistance.”

Read our blog to see what’s happening

Read our blog to keep up to date with what we are up to!
Find out more

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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