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.


Tribute to Claude Stratford (Aug 1910 - July 2013)

Written by Stephanie on July 28th, 2013.      0 comments

In August last year we posted a blog on Claude Stratford, one of New Zealand's health pioneers.  On 10 July he passed away, a few weeks from his 103th birthday.

With an interest that began as a child, Claude had a life-long affinity with bees and honey. He was 63 when he started the international health product business, Comvita, in 1974 and continued to take an active interest well into his final years. 

He started making and selling a range of bee products from the basement of his home in Paengaroa.  His idea was to help others - with a vision that included "caring for the community, producing natural products that work, and acting in a way which preserves the environment for generations to come".

Until he moved into his Te Puke retirement home at 96, Stratford was still driving and working up to six days a week.
 

Claude Stratford's 'Top 10 tips for living well'

  • A tablespoon of bee pollen every day - Claude had been doing this since he was 26.
  • A daily teaspoon of Manuka honey and a dose of Olive Leaf Extract (15 ml), two omega 3 fish oil capsules and a multivitamin tablet.
  • Persistence and at times - dogged determination - if at first you don't succeed, then try, try, try again.
  • A drive to help others is a strong motivator
  • An unswerving belief in the power of nature to provide a source of healing.
  • Dream big dreams and treat any setbacks as challenges to overcome.
  • Accepting people as they are, and believing the best of them.
  • Generosity of spirit.
  • Faith and prayer.
  • Read widely, keep up with the latest information about your interests, and have an open mind.
Comvita Photo Montage

Information for this blog post was sourced from www.newzealand.com
Image from comvita.co.nz
Topics: Health Articles
 

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
 

Avoiding Winter Ailments

Written by Stephanie on July 9th, 2013.      0 comments

iStock 000009780161XSmall
It's that time of year again when it can be hard to avoid those winter ailments.  Coughs, colds, sore throats, blocked/running nose, blocked ears, feeling miserable.  And then there is the full blown flu - we want to avoid that!

The best thing you can do to avoid these bugs is by having a good strong immunity to start with.  But with our fast paced lives these days there is often not enough time to exercise, get out in the sun or prepare nourishing foods.  And the physical and emotional stress just make things worse!

Here is what we recommend you do to support your body over the winter months.
 

To help you avoid nasty bugs over the winter we recommend:

  • Daily consumption of bee pollen to build your immunity.  
  • Take vitamin C every day (I recommend Clinicians Family Vitamin C)
  • Eat lots of fresh fruit and veges
  • Eat fish regularly, I would also recommend taking cod liver oil daily (here's a good one for the winter months)
  • Get some fresh air and exercise
  • Get outside everyday to get vitamin D, you may even need to look at taking a supplement for this over the winter months
  • Get enough sleep, try to get as much sleep before midnight as possible
  • Avoid stress - get some time out.  Take up yoga, mediation or relaxation exercises


If it is too late and you already have cold or flu symptoms try these:

  • When you feel a cold or flu coming on have some drops of Propolis tincture in a little bit of water. 
  • Make 'Helen's Cold and Flu Remedy', it works wonders and tastes delicious
  • Eat a teaspoon of active 5+ Manuka or active 10+ Manuka honey every hour or so if you have a sore throat
  • Make some homemade chicken stock/broth and drink some cups of this.  I know what you are thinking - but it works a treat!!  There are lots of great recipes online, try this Weston Price recipe
  • If your nose is blocked put your head over a bowl of boiling water with a few drops eucalyptus oil and place a towel over your head (and the bowl to enclose the steam) and breath the steam in through your nose.
  • Lots of rest, drink lots of water and keep warm. 
  • Try to get into a warm spot in the sun and get some vitamin D

If you feel you need something more to build your immunity or get you through the bugs go and 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).  They, or any herbalist near you, will give you a brew specific for your needs!  I love this holistic approach to nourishing and healing your body.
Topics: , Health Articles
 

Praise Bee – industrious insects get the stamp of approval

Written by on July 3rd, 2013.      0 comments

They’ve been celebrated in verse (by the likes of Emily Dickinson[1], William Blake[2] and Kahlil Gibran[3]) – in song (by the likes of Gloria Gaynor[4], Blake Shelton[5] and Owl City[6]) – and in popular culture (with spelling bees, ‘Buzzy Bees’ and Wellington’s own ‘Beehive’).  But the humble bee stands poised to get a new tribute this week, with the release of a special set of postage stamps.

The Honey Bees stamp issue celebrates the industrious insects on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the National Beekeepers' Association of New Zealand.

Honey bees, which are of European origin, have played a key role in New Zealand horticulture for over 150 years – pollinating essential crops and producing up to 12,000 tonnes of honey per annum, with as much as half of that being exported.

New Zealand Post’s stamps spokesman Simon Allison says the numerous species of native bees don’t make honey, prompting a Yorkshire-woman named Mary Bumby to bring the first honey bee hives to this country in 1839.

As Simon Allison explains, “Honey bees in this country are a sort of golden-amber colour, and shouldn’t be confused with the black and yellow striped bees you find in your garden, which are bumblebees.

“Bumblebees produce only a tiny quality of honey – enough for their own needs - and despite the similarity in names, have nothing to do with Mary Bumby.  Entomology – and indeed etymology – can be very complex.

“Sadly honey bees in New Zealand are under threat as a result of the Varroa mite. This collectable stamp issue aims to raise awareness of the immeasurably valuable role that honey bees play in this country, and to do so by telling the story of how honey is made,” Simon Allison said.
honey-bees-stamps-small

The 70c stamp depicts the first step in making honey - the gathering of nectar – a task carried out by ‘field bees’ which fly from flower to flower using their long tongues like straws to extract nectar. The field bees store that nectar in their ‘honey sacs’, which can weigh almost as much as the bee itself when full.  The honey sacs contain enzymes which break down the complex sugars of the nectar into simpler sugars.

The $1.40 stamp shows field bees returning to the hive - where they empty the nectar from their sacs into the cells in the honeycomb nearest to the entrance.  A single hive can house thousands of honey bees, mostly workers – plus the queen bee.

The $1.90 stamp shows young worker ‘house bees’ transferring nectar to the honey storage area inside the hive.  Enzymes are added to the nectar, which is then further concentrated by house bees fanning their wings to create an air current which dries the nectar into honey.  Once the honey has a water content lower than 20% the bees seal off the cell in the honeycomb with a wax cap.

The $2.40 stamp shows beekeepers removing the combs from the hives to harvest the honey.  These combs are spun in a centrifuge to separate the honey without damaging the hives or hurting the bees.

The fifth and final stamp in the set – valued at $2.90 – shows a block of pure honey – which is then processed and packaged into the familiar jars and pottles we see on supermarket shelves.

The five gummed stamps are also available as a collectable miniature sheet, as first day covers and in a special presentation pack.
 

The Honey Bees stamp issue is available from Wednesday 3 July 2013 at PostShops or from our website - order here

 
ab.jpg

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
ab.jpg

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
Read more customer feedback