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 - November 2015

Written by Stephanie on November 27th, 2015.      0 comments

It's so hard to believe we are already at the end of November and Christmas is looming up fast!   It's been a very busy spring so far... in fact its nearly over!  Almost every hive has been split and most have been re-queened with breeder queen cells.  In general most of our sites are going reasonably well and despite the splits, bee numbers are satisfactory. There has been particularly good spring nectar flows in and around Hamilton so that's great.

In this newsletter you will see some great Christmas gift ideas, find out about purchasing the Sweetree range over the holiday period and receive a yummy 'Sweetree Honey & Fresh Blueberry Mille Feuille' recipe.

Read the latest newsletter here!

Beehive Update - November 2015

Written by Martin on November 24th, 2015.      0 comments

Spring 2015:

Its been a very busy spring so far... so fast its nearly over!  Almost every hive has been split and most have been requeened with breeder queen cells. In general most of our sites are going reasonably well and despite the splits, bee numbers are satisfactory. There has been particularly good spring nectar flows in and around Hamilton so that's great.

Hive numbers are now back to our standard 250 colonies and we have also made up an additional 100 colonies for a new beekeeping business. Not bad considering this is a part-time job!

We've started putting on supers (honey boxes) at all our sites and are seeing some good flows coming on. One beekeeper who I spoke to last week had already started extracting honey! It looks like our Marokopa site will have the Rewarewa trees flowering in the next few weeks, and this is a very nice honey. At Horsham Downs its been great to see first the gorse (sorry we beekeepers love the gorse!), then willow, then barberry and hawthorn, cabbage trees and now the first signs of clover coming through. We've had some excellent quality pollen collection.

The word is that its likely to be a short fast season with a dreaded drought coming through quickly in early summer. I know there are many worried farmers and it will certainly have an impact on honey collection if it goes dry too quickly.

Wherever I go there is always such an interest in bees and beekeeping and there are always plenty of questions. It seems many people are fascinated by these little creatures and certainly I am as well! A lot of people are keen to have a hive in their back yard or already have one or two or three, yes, they soon start multiplying! Its a very relaxing hobby and one or two hives can produce more than enough for a family, so if you are keen and have the space give it a go. I'm a third generation beekeeper, with my dad and his dad keeping bees as a hobby. Its a nice connection that I hope my two boys might have the chance to take up later on. 

If you are interesting in hives in your back yard contact your local beekeeper hobbyist club.  Here are some that we know about:

Waikato Hobby Beekeeping Club
Auckland Beekeepers Club
Whangarei Beekeeping Club
Christchurch Hobbyist Beekeeping Club

We Love The LifeFood Range

Written by Stephanie on November 20th, 2015.      0 comments

LifeFood CacaoLifeFood's is a New Zealand business producing certified organic superfoods.  We love their range!  They source the highest quality nutrient rich amazing superfoods from around the globe.  They are very passionate about quality and making sure the products are 100% organic and have a very rigorous process of screening suppliers and growers to ensure they only source the best products possible.

For example they have tested over 20 cacao suppliers around the world and of these 18 of them failed the testing as they were either not actually raw at all, or they were not organic, or worse not heirloom.  After years of research they are confident that they have the cleanest, purest form of 100% raw organic cacao on the planet!  The cacao is an heirloom variety of cacao that is wild harvested by locals in Ecuador on donkey back straight out of the rain forest. This is just one example of how good the quality of their products truly are!!

They're passionate about putting quality ethical foods before profit and ensure they don't just sell products but provide healthy foods that will help their customers. 

Their philosophy is similar to ours - they are passionate about health and believe that true health comes from eating a diet that is nutrient dense from food that has had minimal processing, to ensure it retains its goodness. 

They (as well as us) believe that in order to have optimum health, a diet that has an abundance of raw super foods is essential, as it's a sure fire way to boost your immune system and to give you an abundance of energy. It's amazing how much difference eating 'real food' makes to a persons general well being.

We love LifeFoods range so much we decided to sell it on our website.  Check out the LifeFood range here.


Book Review: What's Cooking?

Written by Stephanie on November 13th, 2015.      0 comments

What's-Cooking-cookbookThis cookbook is for kids who want to cook, bake or make something in the kitchen without any help from Mum or Dad.  The book was created by Hamilton mum & daughter, Claudia & Isa Aalderink.

All the recipes are made and tested by 11 year old Isa and photos were captured by Claudia, a talented photographer.  The instructions are easy to follow, along with very helpful step by step photos.  You'll love the photography!  The recipes are all easy to make without any electrical mixing equipment or microwave!  Sometimes you just need some elbow grease and effort to make something great and share with our family and friends.  The recipes use kitchen equipment that most people already have.  In the back of the book is a list of all the tools that are used.  You will also find a list with measures.

The recipes cover breakfast, lunch, snacks, baking and desserts!  Just some of the many recipes are buttermilk scones, pizza scrolls, savoury muffins, cheese twists, ginger kisses, truffles and apple crumble.  Just imagine having these lovingly prepared by your child!

Isa and Claudia challenge you to have an amazing time in the kitchen and make some great recipes on your own.  Of course you can add your own favourites to each recipe if you like.  Ask the grocery shopper in your family to help you with the shopping list and you are ready to go!

This attractive and easy to use kids cookbook would make a great Christmas present for that budding young chef!

Purchase 'What's Cooking?' kids cookbook


Natural Crayons for Kids

Written by Stephanie on November 6th, 2015.      0 comments

Most commercial crayons are made with paraffin, a petroleum based wax that is not easily biodegradable, and other ingredients that may be questionable.  In the past there have been recalls and warnings for lead, asbestos, and most recently, mercury in crayons. 

honysticksIt's wonderful to know there are non-toxic options out there now!  One of these is NZ made 'Honeysticks', beeswax crayons.  Honeysticks beeswax crayons are made from New Zealand beeswax and non-toxic pigments so they are natural and safe for children.  Honeysticks were developed by a preschool teacher who was looking for safe and natural crayons for her pupils. Realising that her only option was to import non-toxic crayons, the idea for Honeysticks was born. 

The beeswax to create Honeysticks is a natural by-product of honey production. The sustainable process causes minimal impact on the environment and gives the crayons a wonderful scent of honey.

The unique chubby shape of toddler sized Honeysticks makes them easier for small hands to hold, but much more difficult for small hands to break! Honeysticks have been "tested in preschools and the kids have tried to break them but they just can't. Plus they love the smell!"  They also come in long thin crayons for older children.  You're kids will love these vibrant colours!

Purchase Honey Stick beeswax crayons here.


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