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.


Newsletter - June 2015

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

Thanks to Martin's hard work, increasing hive numbers and favourable conditions we had a bumper crop of 9 tonnes of honey this year!!  That's our best ever harvest, quite a bit for a part time business!  The bees are all wintered down now.  They are taking a well deserved rest and clustering to keep warm (read what they do below).

Find out in our latest newsletter what bees do over the winter and what we could plant on our properties ready for the bees in spring.  Read about how we can help Nepal after the earthquakes and how we can help the environment this 'Plastic Free July'.  Take the Lemon & Honey Drink Challenge and check out our new Hamilton City honey, 'Kirikiriroa'!

Read our latest newsletter here.
Topics: Newletters
 

The Healing Powers of Manuka Honey

Written by Stephanie on June 26th, 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.

All honey has some naturally occurring antibacterial qualities (peroxide activity).  This is due to the high levels of sugar in the honey, therefore fewer water molecules, which makes it hard for bacteria to grow. Hydrogen Peroxide can easily be damaged by light and heat.  This is one of the reasons why at Sweetree Honey we are very careful not to damage our honey with heat, so all our honeys retain some antibacterial properties.

Mnuaka-flowerSome Manuka honey has a special healing quality that occurs when the bee takes manuka nectar and adds a honey ripening enzyme as they are storing the honey in the hive.   This healing quality has a special antibacterial activity, it gives a wider range and greater antibacterial power and allows the honey to absorb deeper into human tissue.  This special component is only found in NZ Manuka and Australian Jellybush honey.  In New Zealand it is usually called 'Active Manuka'.
 
Manuka honey is a truly amazing natural, therapeutic food that can be used heal internally and externally.   It is highly affective in treating wounds, burns, acne, ringworm and other skin conditions. Consumed regularly manuka honey can help relieve joint pain, improve sore throats, coughs, colds, relief stomach ulcers, lower blood pressure, nourish & heal skin, and increase immunity to sustain great health, naturally.
 

Purchase Sweetree Manuka Honey

 

Find out more about the antibacterial benefits of honey

 

Rural Women NZ and The Farmy Army Help Nepal

Written by Rural Women NZ on June 20th, 2015.      0 comments

nepal building-856Rural Women's Network Nepal (RUWON-Nepal) have started a joint relief campaign with ALIVE Nepal. We know this is a genuine group working to support women in Nepal.

If you wish to donate, send your donation to National Office or deposit your donation through online banking into the Rural Women NZ account 06 0501 0778590 00. Reference Nepal. All funds go directly to the campaign.


Also RWNZ has organized a collection with Farmy Army to buy tarpaulins and have them shipped to Nepal in time for the monsoon rains.

Hurry if you wish to support this fundraiser as it closes on Wednesday 24 June.  The Farmy Army is rallying to send humanitarian aid to Nepal. Together with the Student Volunteer Army and the Himalayan Trust we will be sending tarpaulins, ropes, school supplies and some bedding by air, initially at a cost of approximately $10/kg. We would welcome donations towards freight, which can be paid to Federated Farmers account 06-0501-0035869-00.

Please note:

When you pay into this account, that we require the reference to say 'Farmy Army'
Because we are not a charitable society, so your donations will not be eligable for a tax credit.
If you would like to donate tarpaulins to Nepal then you simply telephone or email either Mitre10 branch below, order the item/s that you wish to donate (with Item and Code No), give them your Ruralco or Farmlands card number and that's all you have to do!

Simon Lye, Manager, Mitre10 Ashburton and Liam Pawson, Manager, Mega Mitre10 Hornby have generously offered this amazing deal on tarpaulins and wind-up torches for Nepal. The prices are GST inclusive and are up to 40% off normal retail.

JOBMATE - Extra Heavy Duty Tarpaulins with ‘D’ Links – 3 year guarantee

242866 - 6.1x9.1m - $165.82 - suitable for a schoolroom (Usually $279)
243035 - 6.1x7.3m - $133.82 - suitable for a school or family ($237)
242867 - 3.7x4.9m - $56.61 - suitable for a family ($97)
243039 - 2.4x3.0m - $25.38 - suitable for a shelter ($40)
167569 - Dynamo Wind Up Torch/Radio - $14.42 ($20)
183537 - Crank Up Small Torch - $5.13 ($7)
Ashburton Mitre 10 - Contact - Maree O’Reilly - Ph 03-308-5119 - collins@mitre10.co.nz

Hornby Mitre 10 MEGA - Contact - Chelsea - Ph 03-349-8497 - hornby.retailsales@mitre10.co.nz

Thank you for your support.

 
Topics: , Enviromental
 

Honey for Skincare

Written by Stephanie on June 19th, 2015.      0 comments

Last year I wrote this blog for Oasis Beauty about how honey can help with skin care, so I thought I would share it here...

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.

raw honeyHoney can do wonders for your skin.  That is why Oasis Beauty uses it in their products. It is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it is fantastic for acne treatment and prevention, being slightly drying it will also help soak up any pimples or oiliness.  It’s healing properties help repair sores and scars.

Honey is full of beneficial enzymes and antioxidants that can help with anti-ageing.  It soaks into your skin to moisturise and sooth, it helps to create a glow to your skin.

Honey is 100% natural and is beneficial for every type of skin – oily skin, aging skin, normal skin and dry skin. What more can you ask for!

Well actually there is a little more to the story about honey! Some Manuka honey has a special healing quality that occurs when the bee takes manuka nectar and adds a honey ripening enzyme as they are storing the honey in the hive.  This healing quality is called non-peroxide activity, it gives a wider range and greater antibacterial power and allows the honey to absorb deeper into human tissue.  Non peroxide is only found in Manuka and Australian Jellybush honey.  In New Zealand it is usually called ‘Active Manuka’.

This non-peroxide activity is rated to show the strength of the non peroxide activity in the honey (just like SPF in sunscreen).  The rating signifies the level of antiseptic strength.  The higher the rating the higher the activity, therefore the greater the healing power.

Thanks to Oasis using Manuka Active 14+ in their range we can have even more healing powers in our skincare regime!

See more of Oasis Beauty's blogs at http://blog.oasisbeauty.co.nz
I love their natural skincare range and have been using it for years, check out their range
 
 
 

How to Protect Your Health Over Winter

Written by Stephanie on June 14th, 2015.      0 comments

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 7+ 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.
 

Beehive Update - June 2015

Written by Martin on June 14th, 2015.      0 comments

As I write this we are in the grip of winter and the bees are clustering to keep warm. Most of the queens have stopped laying and the brood comb is emptying out as the last of the new bees emerge. Hives are wintered down (surplus boxes removed), entrance reducers on to keep out wasps and mice. Varroa treatments have been administered and removed. Its now a case of keeping an eye on the hives to make sure they don't run through their honey stores too quickly.

Most beekeepers would have had a great season. The weather came right just before Christmas and carried on through summer. Our bees did well with very few losses and our best ever harvest. Remarkable considering the poor weather last Spring!
 
Hamilton City / Kirikiriroa
We had our first season with beehives in Hamilton. The city council provided apiary sites at three iconic parks,  Taitua Arboretum, Hamilton Zoo, and Hamilton Gardens. All in all, these sites have worked very well with more than 1.5 tonnes of honey collected. Some of the honey will go back to Council to be sold at Hamilton Gardens and some is going to the zoo. Honey is a special treat available to some of the zoo animals and the zoo keepers are very enthusiastic about using the Kirikiriroa honey. It's a mild, pleasant tasting honey and we've had a great response from our regulars at the Hamilton Farmer's Market.

Looking ahead
Its only 8 weeks to spring (or at least when the bees will start getting more active) and we are in the process of making sure that all the gear is ready for another season. New bottom-boards, repairing frames, fixing boxes, and a general cleanup all round! I'm looking forward to attending the bee-keepers conference in Taupo in a week's time and learning some new things about beekeeping from the "old hands".
Topics: , Beehive Update
 

Uses for Honey

Written by Stephanie on June 12th, 2015.      0 comments

Here are some uses of honey that you may not realise.  Try some and let us know what you think!
 
  • Rub honey on your lips and a natural lip balm, both soothing and healing. 
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with half an avocado and mash together for a wonderfully moisturising face mask.  Leave on for 10 minute before washing off.
  • Apply honey to fresh cuts - it's antibacterial and will not only disinfect, but aid healing
  • Soothe a sore throat by slowly swallowing a teaspoon of honey
  • Apply honey to a fresh burn.  It will soothe and heal
  • honey-in-potEat 2 tablespoon of honey to relieve a hangover - it's packed with fructose, which can help speed up your body's ability to metabolise the alcohol
  • Substitute honey for sugar in your baking.  For every cup of sugar in a recipe, replace with 3/4 cup of honey.
  • Make ginger-lime honey by mixing together 1 cup honey, 8 slices fresh ginger and a zest of 2 limes.  Put in a small saucepan and heat gently until just boiling, then simmer for five minutes. Remove, cool, then strain into a jar.
  • Soothe a sore stomach by mixing 1 teaspoon of honey into a lemon and ginger tea
  • Preserve your fruit with honey syrup.  Mix 1 part honey to 10 parts water and use this to pour over your fruit, rather than a sugar syrup.  Do make sure you heated the mixture up to ensure that the honey is dissolved. 
Topics: , Health Articles
 
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