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.


Waste Pyramid - Reduce Wastage

Written by Stephanie on June 7th, 2018.      0 comments

This second blog in my 'waste pyramid' blogs is about reducing waste.  If we can't avoid waste then we need to try and reduce it as much as possible.

I've already covered food waste in my previous blog so please check that out.  


Rethink-Produce-Full-26Other Things We Can Do To Reduce Waste:

  • Borrow instead of buying
  • Buy second hand instead of new
  • Learn to repair or get someone else to repair things rather than throwing out, it's amazing what a new lease of life items get by doing this
  • Wrap presents in fabric or use reusable paper gift bags
  • Take your own reusable containers for takeaway food and drinks
  • Take your own containers to the butcher for your meat
  • Take reusable cloth bags everywhere you go
  • Look into getting chickens, start a compost bin or/and worm farm to reduce food scrap wastage
  • Do not buy drinks in plastic
  • Avoid single use plastic 
  • Ditch plastic straws
  • Have a 'no circulars' sign on your letterbox
  • Plan your meals and use left overs for lunches or other meals
  • Use the bulk bins or buy bulk through a food co-op
  • Use cloth napkins instead of servettes

There is so much we could all be doing!
 

To Help Our Earth Start Using Re-usable / Plastic Free Products

We've decided it's so important that we all take care of our world that we now sell a range of plastic free products  to help our customers start to make a difference:​
Topics: Enviromental Recycle Waste Pyramid
 

Waste Pyramid - Refuse Wastage!

Written by Stephanie on May 30th, 2018.      0 comments

The way things are going I'm worried earth is going to end up like the movie WALL-E, where humans were driven off earth because it was unsustainable to live there anymore.  People were consuming at a fast pace without thought, while the earth was piled up with mountains of rubbish until nothing would grow anymore.  The mountains of rubbish in the movie looked the the recycling piles that are growing in New Zealand right now - have a look at this, we can't ignore it so easily when it's on our back doorstep!
 
Huntly Refuse Centre

We've all be sucked into the consumer age but we need to try and get ourselves out of it for the sake of the planet and future generations!  This first blog in my 'waste pyramid' blogs is about refusing waste.  This is the first thing we need to think about when we purchase items and we need to be asking questions of ourselves before we buy things.  We need to refuse wastage!
 

Before Purchasing Ask Ourselves:

  • Do I really need a new ...?  Can we do without it?
  • Could I get the old one fixed rather than replace it?
  • Could I buy second hand?
  • Could I borrow from someone, if it is something I don't use often?

 

When Purchasing Always:

  • Consider the less packaged option, refuse over-packaged items
  • Choose items that you can get parts for and can be fixed if broken or refilled/reused
  • Refuse single use plastic, styrofoam, etc
  • Refuse plastic! We'll have more on this over plastic free July but some tips are:
    • Choose items in glass, paper, and cardboard over plastic
    • Take your own re-usable coffee cup when getting a takeaway coffee
    • Carry a reusable non-plastic drink bottle
    • Take your own containers to takeway places you know will use plastic or styrofoam
    • Store containers, reusable utensils, straws, etc in your car for meals on the go
    • Choose skin and haircare in bar form, in tin or glass over plastic bottles
    • Always have reusable shopping bags in your car/s and in your handbag
    • Use reusable containers, paper or wax wraps for school/work lunches.
 

Refuse By Using Reusable Products Such As:

Ethique hair and body bars
Joco coffee cups and stainless straws
Reusable shopping/produce/bulk bin bags
Biodegradable dental care products
Honey in glass jars
Honeywrap food wraps

We've decided it's so important that we all take care of our world that we now sell a range of plastic free products  to help our customers start to make a difference.
 
Topics: , Enviromental, Recycle , Waste Pyramid
 

Waste Busters Workshop Week 2

Written by Stephanie on May 24th, 2018.      0 comments

We've just had week two of the 'Waste Busters' weekly workshop at Go Eco in Hamilton.  It's an opportunity to share ideas on creating less waste, having fun making waste-free products and chatting about creating change in our world.  

Did you know that putting your food waste into the rubbish bin increased our green house gases!!!  The food will  decompose without oxygen and release methane gas, which over time raises the earth temperature.  Find out more here - Love Food Hate Waste.
 

FoodWaste-900Growing Food To Reduce Waste


This week we covered growing food to reduce waste.  If we grow some of our own food we reduce wastage in many areas, we reduce:
  •  Water and resources associated with intenstive growing
  • Transport costs
  • Imperfection waste (only the good looking fruit or veges get sold in stores and imperfect items usually get dumped)
  • Spoilage (so long as we share or preserve our surplus)
  • Packaging (single use plastic)
Not to mention reducing our costs!

Not only can you grow your own fruit, veges and berries but you can easily grow your own micro-greens and sprouts.  Micro-greens and sprouts are a great way to start!
 

Options for Food Waste

  • Start a compost bin or bokashi unsink system (so easy)
  • Maintain a worm farm
  • Have chickens or feed someone else's chickens, or pigs
  • If you have surplus produce then share with friends or neighbours or if you have a lot of surplus contact a community food bank or an organisation like Kiavolution that distributes food to those in need.
Topics: , Enviromental
 

Waste Busters Workshop Week 1

Written by Stephanie on May 20th, 2018.      0 comments

I've just joined a 'Waste Busters' weekly workshop with Go Eco in Hamilton.  It's an opportunity to share ideas on creating less waste, having fun making waste-free products and chatting about creating change in our world.  It will cover: food, the garden, cleaning (personal and home), celebrations, work, recreation and travelling.  Can't wait to learn some new tricks!

It is great that most people are recycling their plastics and other recyclables.  But did you know that China are no longer taking other countries recycling?  Many of New Zealand's recycling centres have plastic piling up with no where for it to go!  Have a read of this example in Huntly where the Huntly transfer station is described as 'slums of Mumbai'.  It's a real concern!

So reducing waste is even more important than ever!  

In session one we talked about what waste is and how to avoid it. I love this definition of waste - 'Waste is a resource we haven't figured out what to do with yet'.  It's so true!  If we think outside the square there might be a use for our waste, we just need to stop and think before we throw things out!

This waste pyramid is very helpful to remember when you are thinking about waste.


Waste Pyramid

Refuse:
When purchasing items or food refuse unnecessary packaging and single-use plastic.  For example purchase items in glass or paper rather than plastic.  Do you even need the item in the first place?  Can you do without? 

Reduce:
If you can't avoid waste then try to reduce it as much as possible, can you borrow instead of buy or buy second hand?  Look to get chickens, start a compost bin or/and worm farm to reduce food scrap wastage.

Reuse:
Can you use it for something else?  If you have to buy things in plastic containers, reuse them for storing items and food.  Pass on unwanted clothes and items to others, there are always people in need.  Mabye give old containers, lids, egg cartons, scraps of material, wood, etc to your local Playcentre for childrens craft. 

Recycle:
If you can't refuse, reduce or reuse then recycle.  Use your councils recycle bins, put all your soft plastics in the specified bin at the supermarket.  Remember to use recycle bins when you're out instead of just rubbish bins, if there aren't recycling bins available then please take items home to add to your recycling.

Recover:
You may be able to recover materials or energy from waste.  I just love this story about some retired men in Wanganui turning trash into cash for the community, check it out!

Dispose:
Finally if you are unable to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle or recover then the final resort is to dispose of the item in the landfill.  The least the better!

I've been thinking lately that if we have the mindset of people in the great depression that would really help our environment, treat everything as a resource to be used to it's full potential and not wasted.

 

To Help Our Earth Start Using Re-usable / Plastic Free Products

We've decided it's so important that we all take care of our world that we now sell a range of plastic free products  to help our customers start to make a difference:​
 
Topics: , Enviromental, Plastic Free , Recycle , Waste Pyramid
 

World Bee Day

Written by Stephanie on May 20th, 2018.      0 comments

World Bee Day logoToday is the first annual World Bee Day! The United Nations declared the date as World Bee Day in December 2017, after years of campaigning by the Republic of Slovenia to get recognition for bees and their importance to the environment.

It's all about raising awareness about the critical role of honey bees in our communities and economy, and the need to protect their health.

Bees are critically important to New Zealand and to the New Zealand economy – much more so than you might think! Without bees, our gardens would be without many of their plants and flowers, and our major agri-export industries (worth around $5 billion) would be in severe trouble! At least one-third of our food depend on honey bees for pollination, this food provides us 35% of our calories, most of our minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. What would happen to our nutrient food intake and in turn our health if our bees disappeared? Albert Einstein said, “If the Bee Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth, Man Would Only Have Four Years Left To Live".

Honeybee colonies are dying or disappearing in record numbers in the USA. Thriving colonies disappear overnight without leaving a trace. The bees seem to fly off never to return, leaving the queen bee and mother of the hive to starve to death.
 

Read what you can do to help our precious bees

 

We Love JOCO Reusable Cups!

Written by Stephanie on May 8th, 2018.      0 comments

New Zealanders throw away tens of thousands of takeaway cups every day!  These cups, that we use only once, can take 200 years to break down into tiny toxic particles that affect our precious oceans and sea life. 

JOCO2 months cups-655-295

The great news is that if you like takeaway coffee or tea you don’t have to give them up to look after our environment! Just swap to reusable!
 

We Love The JOCO Reusable Cups!


JOCO cups are designed to enhance your morning brew, save your taste buds and help out mother nature.
Most of us have had a coffee or tea served in a disposable paper or Styrofoam cup. Annually, over 500 billion disposable paper, Styrofoam and single-use plastic cups are used worldwide and this figure is rapidly rising each year. Shockingly, these cups deplete natural resources, increase C02 emissions and most are sent straight to landfill where they add to the global waste crises.  That equates to 50,000,000 trees cut down and harvested for the sake of convenience.
 

There’s a Whole Host of Benefits For You and The Natural Environment When Using JOCO Reusable Cups:

 
1.  Don't Beat Up Your Tastbuds
JOCO cups are made from high quality, non-porous, borosilicate glass. They are lightweight and resistant to extreme changes in temperature. Their superior durability makes them microwave and dishwasher safe. Your JOCO cup is free of all harmful chemical nasties including BPA, lead and cadmium. Glass doesn’t affect flavour so you will taste your coffee or tea, not your cup.

2.  It's All In The Details
Just like the attention that goes into brewing a good tea or coffee, JOCO takeaway cups have been designed and created with an absolute passion for the little things. JOCO cups are first-class.


Thermal Sleeve
The thermal silicone sleeve keeps your coffee or tea at the optimal temperature and your hands cool.

Splash Proof and Nose-Dome Lid
Our one-way lid means no more coffee splashes when you are on the go. The specially designed nose-dome feature means no more embarrassing nose to lid collisions.

Barista Friendly
The liquid volume of the glass cups is measured from standard takeaway cup sizes. We keep the baristas happy and they approve your JOCO cup with thumbs up.

JOCO thermal-sleeve-919-252  JOCO barista-certified-189

Purchase JOCO cups here!


Information and photos curtesy of www.jococups.com 

 

Honey for Allergies

Written by Stephanie on April 25th, 2018.      0 comments

MSprg-2-spoonWe have many customers that find buying the Sweetree honey variety produced closest to their home beneficial for reducing hay fever symptoms. If you are one of these customers you may find that your normal honey variety is unavailable (due to a very poor honey harvest this season). I would recommend that you try one of our other honeys we have in stock, even if it is a long way from your home. Our honeys are not finely filtered, therefore still retaining a high pollen count, which will help with hay fever. Give it a try and let us know how you get on.

Another option is to take small amounts of bee pollen each day (especially leading up to spring), this can also help descensitize your body against hay fever.
 

Buy Sweetree Honey with high pollen counts here

Buy Sweetree Bee Pollen here

Topics: , Products
 

A Poor Honey Harvest

Written by Stephanie on April 18th, 2018.      0 comments

You may have heard that honey harvests were poor this season. It is fair to say we had a pretty shocking season. We have harvested about two thirds less honey that we would normally harvest. The Waikato was hit the hardest. Apiary sites that we would typically harvest about 50 boxes of honey from, we harvested just 2-4 boxes. So I'm afraid to say we will not have these honeys available this year - Horsham Downs, Four Brothers, Hakarimata (apart from the batch from last season we still have in stock) and Kirikiriroa.

The good news is that it was a reasonable season at Marokopa so we have Marokopa Spring and Marokopa Manuka and will shortly have Marokopa Summer available. The Marokopa Summer and Marokopa Manuka honeys didn't come easy as there was a freak weather event in Marokopa that swept a huge amout of water through the valley and there were several slips on the sheep station we have our hives on. A lot of the farm tracks collapsed so it made it very tricky getting the honey out, but we did it!

 

Why Such A Bad Season?


The variable weather at the end of last year and early this year have interrupted the honey flow, and added to this was the severe weather patterns (storms, cyclones,) and then extreme heat. Bees can't fly in strong winds or rain so during those times the bees stay in the hive, therefore reducing their nectar collecting time. The severe weather can strip flowers from trees/plants leaving less flowers for the bees to forage on as well.

The very wet spring appears to have affected clover flowering and nectar production. Even though you may have seen clover flowers this summer, little nectar was produced. Very hot weather can burn summer crops and honey flow virtually stops. The bees end up gathering water, instead of nectar, to try and cool down the hives.

Despite the challenges the bees have come out of the season very healthy and strong, they just haven’t been able to collect a surplus this year. With the season officially over, some of our bees have been treated to a late nectar flow which will keep them going over the winter quite nicely.

 
Marokopa-Slip-804





Marokopa-Track-103
Marokopa-Trolly-15
One of the many slips in Marokopa The track had collapsed in many areas Walking up to check the hives and move by trolly if needed.


Check out what's in season in our honey store

    
Topics: , About Sweetree, Products
 

We've Got Ethique Face, Body and Hair Bars!

Written by Stephanie on March 31st, 2018.      0 comments

You may have guessed that at Sweetree we are passionate about taking care of our environment, our focus at the moment is reducing plastic and waste.  We're so excited to be stocking Ethique beauty bars, we LOVE everything Ethique stands for and their products! Zero plastic packaging, palm oil free, petrochemical free, paraben free, sustainably produced, 100% vegan & cruelty-free beauty bars full of natural goodness.

They produce face, hair and body solid bars which last between three to six times longer (depending on the product) than bottled products; because they’re super-concentrated.  NZ Ethique customers have already saved the Earth from 280,000 plastic bottles, how good is that!

Join us in the revolution and give up the bottle!  #giveupthebottle
 

Purchase Ethique solid bars now

 
Ethique Group Blog-442
Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free
 

Check Out Our Plastic Free Reusable Bags!

Written by Stephanie on March 22nd, 2018.      0 comments

Most single-use plastic bags are only used for about 12 minutes but could take a century to break down, let alone the environmental effects of production and distribution! There is more to the simple plastic bag than meets the eye, please read more in this article.

New Zealanders use on average 700 million plastic supermarket bags per year, not including other single plastic bags! We really need to, at least, substantially reduce this but ideally eliminate single use plastic bags all together. The best way to do this is to use reusable shopping bags. 

The trick is to always have reusable bags in all your car/s and in your handbag and when you’ve unloaded your shopping put it straight back into your bag or by the door to put back in your car when you next go out.
 

We have a selection of wonderful resuable shopping bags!


Reusable Fresh Produce Bags - Multi Pack:
This multi pack includes 2 x large and 1 x small bags.  Conveniently available in two handy sizes to use and reuse when shopping for fruit and vegetables.  These bags are made from sustainably produced, Certified Organic, unbleached Indian cotton - 100% biodegradable.

Reusable Bulk Bin Bags - Multi Pack:
This multi pack includes 3 x Bulk Bin Bags & 108 blank stickers for product codes.  These bulk bin bags when shopping for loose bulk bin items such as pasta, legumes, lentils, and seeds.  These bags are made from premium, sustainably produced, certified organic, unbleached Indian cotton - 100% biodegradable.

Stylish EnviroSax Reuable Bags:
These reusable bags are the perfect shopping companion; they fold up nice and small in your handbag, glove box or even your pocket. They are strong, durable, lightweight and stylish!  These bags are so versatile, they can be used for grocery shopping, for a day trip, as swimming bag, use anywhere you would normally use a plastic bag. They have a waterproof coating that makes them suitable for wet items.  They are large enough to hold two plastic grocery bags and can hold up to 20kg. Plus the wide straps made them comfortable to hold in your hand or over your shoulder!! The perfect companion in your everyday life!



Photo Montage


Check out all the reusable bags here!


 
Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free
 

Sweetree are Selling Reusable Straws!

Written by Stephanie on March 14th, 2018.      0 comments

New Zealanders throw away 541 million straws each year and they are the most common items collected during beach clean-ups. A straw, that we use only once, can take 200 years to break down into tiny toxic particles that affect our precious oceans and sealife. You may have seen the YouTube clip of the poor turtle with a straw stuck up it’s nostril, it’s not nice!

The great news is that if you like using straws you don’t have to give them up! Just swap from plastic to stainless steel! These straws are incredibly durable, completely dishwasher/sterliser safe and can be used over and over.

We're excited to offer you the following straws:

Reusable Smoothie Straw Packs:
The reusable smoothie straws are used with thick drinks.  They are made wide, the diameter of the straw is 0.95cm, so it's the perfect size for your morning smoothie. 

Reusable Drinking Straw Packs:
The reusable drinking straws are great if you like drinking 'thin' liquids through a straw such as water, juices or lemon water.

Each pack comes with four stainless steel straws and one straw cleaner brush, but in case you want more brushes we also offer:

Cleaner Brush Pack:
Make cleaning your reusable metal straws even easier with these specialised straw cleaner brushes. Two brushes per pack.  Natural fibre, completely plastic-free, cleaning brush pack.  One size fits all.  Also useful for other little places like coffee machines and drink bottle!  More sustainable with compostable natural fibre bristles and highly recyclable stainless steel handle. 


CaliWoods Styled-324-16-695  CaliWoods Styled Smoothie -374-887

Purchase reusable stainless steel straws
Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free
 

Introducing a new Eco Dental Care Range!

Written by Stephanie on March 11th, 2018.      0 comments

Here at Sweetree Honey we are passionate about cutting back on plastic use, looking after our environment and minimising waste. We are in the process of adding a whole lot of new plastic free and environmental friendly products to our offering.  We are really excited to introduce you to our first range - eco dental care!

The new dental care range is brought to us by Nelson dentists who are passionate about reducing wastage in the dental industry.  It was essential that they sourced good products, products that were good for the user, while being better for the environment.   For every toothbrush sold one is given to a New Zealand child who doesn't have one. 


Eco Dental Care Offers:

Ecofloss - Bamboo Charcoal Dental Floss:  
This dental floss is 30m of candelilla waxed bamboo charcoal floss with natural mint flavour.  Stunning and possibly the most fabulous dental floss we have ever used.  This is a degradable bamboo charcoal floss with polyester base.  By degradable we mean it will break down faster that normal plastic materials but does this by breaking down into smaller parts.  It is slightly thicker which help remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth.  It may take a little getting used to being thicker, but it works wonders.

Ecofloss - Silk Dental Floss:  
Pure silk floss.  A little finer than the bamboo charcoal floss so easier to use if you have quite tight gaps between your teeth.

We love that not only is the floss biodegradable but that all floss comes in a recycled and recyclable glass bottle.  But even better is the bottle is reusable, just pop in a refill and it is good to go again.


Ecobrush - Painted Bamboo Toothbrushes (soft and medium):  

These toothbrushes are biodegradable, sustainable and beautiful.  The bamboo is organic and a renewable resource.  It will biodegrade completely, simply cut off the bristles and dispose of the handle in your compost, garden or general waste.  The painted handles make it easy to see whose is whose!

We love that for every brush bought one will be donated to a child in New Zealand that has no toothbrush!

Dental Floss Carcoal

Check out the eco dental care range today!
Topics: , Enviromental, Plastic Free
 

New Season Honey Extraction

Written by Stephanie on February 14th, 2018.      0 comments

The extraction of our first honey harvest for the season has started!  Have you ever wondered how honey gets from the hive into a liquid form?

The boxes of honey come in from the hives and the wax cappings are cut off the outside of each frame to allow the honey to flow out.  Manuka honey frames are need to be pricked because the honey is a lot thicker and jelly like, therefore harder to flow out of the cells without a little help.  The frames go into a spinner and all the honey is spun out and then coarsely filtered.  The beeswax is separated and the honey is then drummed off ready to be packed into jars.

frames
Marokopa Spring honey frames wanting for extraction

spinner
Honey frames in extractor ready to be spun

Fast-spin
Honey frames having honey spun out of them


Check out what's in season in our honey store
Topics: , Bee Facts , Products
 

Honey Harvest has started!

Written by Stephanie on February 4th, 2018.      0 comments

It's that time of year again - honey harvesting!  If you didn't already know honey collection is seasonal.  Bees start to collect honey in spring time and then through to the end of summer.  We harvest Ohui honey first (around mid Jan) then not long after that Marokopa Spring (late Jan, early Feb). The other honeys are harvested later in March.  

 We've just spent this weekend harvesting Marokopa Spring honey.  The season hasn't great but we've harvested a bit more Marokopa Spring than we did last year so that's good.  Both Ohui and Marokopa Spring honeys will now be extracted and we'll be packing Marokopa Spring first, so it should be available for sale by early March.
 
Spring-Harvest-Busy-Bees              Spring-Harvest-Martin-with-frame 
Both the bees and Martin are working hard in the heat of summer
 
Spring-Harvest-frame-1
Frames of honey  



Spring-Harvest-Trailer-with-boxes
Boxes of Marokopa Spring off for extraction


Check out what's in season in our honey store
Topics: , Bee Facts , Products
 

Sweetree Online Store Closed until 3rd January

Written by on December 16th, 2017.      0 comments

Our online store is now closed until 3rd January.  Any orders received after the 14th Dec will be sent on the 3rd of January, sorry for any inconvenience.  

Remember you can purchase from one of our stockists, at the Hamilton Farmers Market on Sunday the 17th Dec and at The Farm Shop in Gordonton Village.

Merry-Christmas
 
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