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.


How to Store Honey Over Summer

Written by Stephanie on December 3rd, 2020.      0 comments

With summer officially here, although it doesn't feel like it here in the Waikato yet, you may want to know the best way to store honey for when the temperatures do start 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 it 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
 

Honey-Range-531


 

 

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.


Christmas-Discounts-bagsChristmas-Discounts-eithquieChristmas-Discounts-flossChristmas-Discounts-JOCOxams-gift-boxesChristmas-Discounts-SafixChristmas-Discounts-StrawsMerry-Christmas-10-copyChristmas-Discounts-Toothbrushesxams-honey-wrapsChristmas-Discounts-bags1xmas-booksMerry-Christmas-11xmas-honey-sticksxmas-candles

 
 

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

 
Bee-Pollen-Sweetree
 

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

 
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

 
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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. 
 
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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.

Bee-on-purple-flower

 

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.”
 
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Epsom Salts

Written by Stephanie on August 17th, 2020.      0 comments

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, and its effects are wide-reaching. Just some of the things it does include: blood glucose control, protein synthesis, muscle contraction, nerve function, detoxification, energy production, and more!  

A great way to get magnesium into your body is by soaking in epsom salts.  We have been using Sam Walker Epsom Salts for years and swear by them.  We love that it's natural, chemically pure, food-grade magnesium sulphate for use in baths & footbaths, and it's the epsom salt of choice in the biomedical community of New Zealand.

What a better way to end your day in a nice relaxing epsom salt bath!!

We just love working with local businesses like Sam's.  She was after some pouches for her epsom salts and we had some surplus to our requirements.  I had been holding on to them for quite some time awaiting a use for them. I'm so pleased the plastic pouches are being used and not wasted, we are now both working towards compostable pouches for our businesses.
 

Check out Sam Walker Epsom Salts

 
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Embrace Nature this Conservation Week

Written by Stephanie on August 13th, 2020.      0 comments

See nature through new eyes this Conservation Week, 15-23 August 2020. Conservation week is a great opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature and embrace what's always been there; look, listen, breathe and feel.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown, many of us slowed down and looked at our lives and the world differently. So, the Department of Conservation is inviting us to enjoy a fresh perspective on our natural spaces and unique wildlife and boost your wellbeing by immersing ourselves in nature.
 

Nature needs us

New Zealand’s wildlife is still in crisis with more than 4,000 of our native animals and plants threatened or at risk. Conservation Week is a chance to bring everyone together to do something, big or small to create change.
Every year Conservation Week sees thousands of New Zealanders getting involved through doing conservation activities at home or attending one of many events hosted across the country. Creating change can be big or small, when we pull together, we can make a big difference. Check out DOCs website.
 

History of Conservation Week

Did you know that Conservation Week was originally launched in 1969 by the New Zealand Scout Association?  With the goal to promote greater interest in the environment and encourage people to take practical actions to look after it. Awesome!
 
Conservatin-Week
 

How to Prevent Seasonal Allergies

Written by Stephanie on August 8th, 2020.      0 comments

sneezeSpring is just around the corner!  Yeah - more daylight hours, flowers blooming and birds singing.  More time to spend in the garden and playing outside with the kids.  But for hay fever sufferers spring can be a dreaded time!  Sneezing, watery eyes, itchy throat, coughing, itchy nose, blocked/runny nose.  During this time many people stock up on tissues and run to the chemist to grab antihistamine, sometimes even antihistamine isn't enough.  It's no fun at all!

In spring hay fever can be triggered by tree and grass pollen.  There are two types of flower pollen. One is very light and is easily airborne, this light pollen causes allergies. The second pollen is heavier, it is collected by bees and made into bee pollen.

Did you know that research indicates that if you take small amounts of bee pollen from your local area a few months before the hay fever season your body may become desensitised to the airborne pollens.  It works like a vaccination does against childhood diseases. Desensitisation is based on the idea that the taking of the bee pollen will cause the body to produce antibodies that will cancel out the effects of the air-born pollen when the person is exposed to it again.  See below this blog for more details on research in the area.

Some of our customers have commented that their allergies have lessened when either taking Sweetree Bee Pollen or Honey.  Our honey is not finely filtered and therefore retain a high pollen count.  So to help with your hay fever symptoms try either taking bee pollen every day or raw honey from your local area. Sweetree produces bee pollen in the Horsham Downs area and honey from Hamilton, Horsham Downs, Raglan, Ngaurwahia and Marokopa areas. 

If you feel you need something more to protect you against allergies see a health professional.  You may want to see your doctor, pharmacy, herbalist, Chinese medicine therapist, Naturopath, etc.  Personally I love to visit the friendly team down at the Herbal Shop and Clinic (cnr Ohaupo Road & Lorne St in Hamilton).  Check links below for some herbalists / health shops in your area.  They will give you a brew specific for your needs!  I love this holistic approach to nourishing, healing and protecting your body.

Breath easy this spring!

The Herb Shop & Clinic, Hamilton
 

Purchase Sweetree Bee Pollen

Purchase Sweetree Honey

 

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Beehive Boxes Repurposed into Beautiful Art!

Written by Stephanie on August 7th, 2020.      0 comments

Nothing goes to waste here!  Even our old beehive boxes get a new lease of life by local artist Claudia Aalderink.  Claudia takes rustic, weathered, and colourful beehive boxes, along with found materials such as wine barrel rings, pallet straps, and anything usable and transforms them into unique and one of a kind pieces of art.  I've never met anyone who can take a basic discarded item and create such beauty like this before.

We love that the materials that could have ended up in the fire pile or landfill, are repurposed, recycled and reused in such an artistic and functional way.  Thanks so much Claudia for your inspiration!

Check out Claudia's latest piece below, you can see Martin likes to write little notes on the outside of the boxes eg 'Ohui'. 
 
Claudia takes commissions for any size work, check out Claudia's websitelike on Facebook and/or follow on Instagram.

Find out more about Ohui
Beehive-Art-Ohui-548
 

How is Sweetree Honey Processed?

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

Sweetree raw honey is extracted by cutting the wax cappings off each wooden 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 heat-treated or pasteurised.  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.  
 

Check out Sweetree's range of honeys


honey on spoon
 

Plastic Free July: Reducing Packaging

Written by Stephanie on July 4th, 2020.      0 comments


Monthly-PlasticThe photo to the right was a display at the Waikato Museum that shows how much packaging the average New Zealand family sends to the landfill every month.  Startling isn't it! Do you think your family uses this much packaging monthly?  I think if you held onto your plastics for a month you would be surprised how much you used!

You can just imagine what this is doing to the environment with everyone adding their bit to the landfill each month.  If we all did a little something to reduce the amount of packaging we use it will all help! 
 

Tips for Reducing Packaging in Our Homes:

  • Grow your own veges and fruit
  • Buy fresh, loose food rather than pre-packaged food, you can make or buy little cloth bags to put loose fruit or veges into
  • Say no to the bags that shops give to carry your goods, see Limit Plastic Bag Use, and take your own cloth bags instead.
  • Choose items in glass, paper, cardboard, etc as opposed to plastic
  • Buy nuts, dried fruit, flour, legumes, coffee, rice, oats, etc from bulk bins using cloth bin bags (check out your local Bin Inn Store)
  • Consider buying commonly used items like flour and rice in bulk and share with friends (bags are usually paper)
  • Avoid over packaged products, go for products with the least plastic packaging
  • Go for reusable options where you can, eg refilling containers, refillable toner cartridges, etc
  • Purchase from a Farmers Market or farm shop and take your own cloth bags
  • Store food in the fridge in a non-plastic container, in a bowl with a plate on the top or cover or wrap them in HoneyWraps or you make your own bowl covers
  • Make or buy fresh bread from the bakery and pop into a cloth bag, you can make your own
  • Wrap cheese in an old linen towel or HoneyWrap
  • Learn the art of furoshiki gift wrapping, it's fun!
  • Use reusable lunch boxes and wrap in HoneyWraps rather than plastic food wrap for lunches and snacks
  • Use newspaper to line your rubbish bin instead of a plastic bag - check out this website for more details
  • Instead of using plastic bags when walking the dog use newspaper to wrap up their business
  • Use paper rubbish sacks
  • Use glass or stainless steel drink bottles and reusable travel coffee mugs
  • Don't use plastic straws; don't use straws at all or use stainless steel straws
  • Use wooden toothbrushes and biogegradable dental floss
  • Make the most of bamboo and other natural fibre products!  You can purchase sustainable dish brushes, etc from EcoWarehouse or dish scrubs made from coconut husks.
  • Save glass jars and containers for storing bulk food and leftovers
  • When you have a crowd over and don't have enough for them to eat off make sure you use paper or biodegradable plates and bamboo cutlery or even better get them to bring some more plates and cutlery with them, less waste!

See other blogs on this topic:


Check out our range of plastic-free products - 30 % off

 

Plastic Free July: Plastic Free Shopping

Written by Stephanie on July 3rd, 2020.      0 comments

Here are some tips for limiting plastic when you are shopping this Plastic Free July.

 

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General:

  • Say no to the plastic bags that shops give to carry your goods, see Limit Plastic Bag Use, always have a folded up bag or two in your handbag
  • Choose items in glass, paper, cardboard, etc as opposed to plastic
  • Avoid over-packaged products, go for products with the least plastic packaging
  • Go for reusable options where you can, eg refilling containers, refillable toner cartridges, etc


Food:EnviroSax-Oriental-Spice-Bag-4-Folded-31

  • Take your own containers for deli and butcher items, there are more us doing this now so you might not be the first for your butcher, you can do it
  • Buy loose fruit and veggies and not the ones pre-packaged, use your own cloth produce bags.
  • Buy nuts, dried fruit, flour, legumes, coffee, rice, oats, etc from bulk bins using paper bags of cloth bulk bin bags (check out your local Bin Inn Store)
  • Consider buying commonly used items like flour and rice in bulk and share with friends (bags are usually paper)
  • Purchase from a farmers market or your local farm shop and take your own bags
  • Take cloth bags or tea towels to your local baker (farmers market or farm shop) for bread, or better still make your own bread with your bulk flour!  You can make your own cloth bread bags by following these instructions
  • Buy wine with natural corks
  • Give up chewing gum (would you believe chewing gum has plastic!)
  • Buy loose tea leaves instead of tea bags, they also have plastic in them, let alone the plastic they wrap the boxes in
  • Grow your own veggies and fruit
Plastic Wrapped veges and fruit-607
Avoid pre-packaged items

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Use cloth alternatives
 
                    

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Make your own cleaning products, there are lots of websites with recipes but check out Wendyl Nissen's recipes
  • Take your own reusable containers to refill at bulk buying shops such as Bin Inn
  • Use cleaning clothes such as Enjo, no other products are required
 

Bathroom Items:

             

See other blogs on this topic:


Check out our range of plastic free products - 30% off!

 
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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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