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.

Why Hasn't It Been A Good Season for Honey?

Written by Stephanie on March 19th, 2017.      0 comments

You have probably seen or heard in the media that this season's honey harvest will be significantly down.  We think we are down by about 50% but we won't know for sure until the honey is all harvested at the end of this month.  You may wonder what affects honey volumes and why each season can be so dramatically different.

Just like any agricultural business we rely heavily on the weather patterns.  Our bumper crops have always been in long dry summers.  Of course we need a little rain to help the flowers grow but not some much that it stops the bees flying to collect nectar.  Wind is also a problem, the wind blows the flowers off the trees/plants and the wind can make it difficult for bees to fly.  Wind and rain reduce the flying time for the bees that they would normally use to harvest nectar.

iStock 000003281196XSmallThis year we had a late spring and summer was cold and windy. The poor bees have really struggled with this as they can't get enough nectar from the flowers during the flowering season.  The temperatures need to be high enough for the nectar to flow in the flowers for the bees to collect it and it has only been warm enough in the last couple of weeks.  It will be interesting to taste this season's honeys, they could be quite different this year as the bees rush to get the last of the nectar from late flowering plants at the end of Summer.

Spring and Summer is generally a busy time for bees. If bees have the opportunity to make honey, in the form of access to nectar and accommodating weather, they will take it! So if one or both of these factors are reduced the resulting honey flow will reduce also - as has happened this season!

See what honeys Sweetree have in stock


'Bee Sweet and Reuse' Photo Competition!

Written by Stephanie on March 12th, 2017.      0 comments

When we were deciding how to package our honey it had to be glass.  It is so much more healthier, attractive and environmental friendly.  I came across this on Glass for Life facebook page which sums it up quite well - "People trust glass more than any other packaging material to protect the flavor and freshness of their food and drink. And for good reason. Glass is safe and healthy, pure and virtually inert. It’s made of natural ingredients—sand, limestone and soda ash. Glass is 100% recyclable and highly sustainable— unlike most other packaging materials, it can be recycled over and over. And glass says quality without even trying. Glass is life, for all the right reasons."

Lots of our customers reuse our honey jars for jams, chutneys, sauces and for storing items.  Any jars we get back I get together with the local Rural Women group and we make jam to give to the local food bank.  My pantry is full of them for nuts, seeds, etc.  What do you use empty glass jars for?

Competition Time!

We would love to see what people do with used glass jars so we have decided to run our photo competition again.  Email us a photo of glass jars (not just Sweetree jars) being used creatively and you could be in to win!  Show us your storage ideas, preserves, anything!

Please note the photos are not being judged on photographic ability but rather the original use of one of our empty honey jars!  You have plenty of time to be creative, the competition will close on 30th June!!

The best photo wins $108 worth of goodies - 500g Sweetree Kirikiriroa honey, the latest Good Magazine (will be Jul/Aug edition by then), Tui Sports massage & body balm & World Organic Luminous Rosehip & Orange Moisturiser.

Second best photos wins - World Organic Luminous Rosehip & Orange Moisturiser worth $48!

The first entry wins the latest Good Magazine!

Here's some ideas from our photographer, Claudia Aalderink who owns The Mandarin Tree art and concept store in Gordonton. There are more ideas on our Pinterest page and some coming on our Facebook page over the the next month or so.
bead-in-jar                pumice-in-jar
Bee-Sweetree-Reuse-Keepsakes  Bee-Sweetree-Reuse-Pencils


OSOF Sustainable Me Challenge for March

Written by Stephanie on March 1st, 2017.      0 comments

You may recall from a recent post that I'm trying a new challenge - 'OSOF (Our Seas Our Future) Sustainable Me Challenge'. Each month this year we will be challenged to test out an environmentally friendly behaviour that in some way impacts ocean health. It gives us the challenge to try something new for the month and decide if we want to adopt it more in our lives. January's challenge was to stay away from one use plastic and styrofoam when eating out.  February's challenge was to drive less.  This month's challenge takes place in our bathrooms, to reduce our personal care product footprint.  The idea it to avoid microplastic and other chemicals in personal products.


Here's What They Suggest:

Beginner:  Become an informed consumer. Read the back of your shampoo bottle and other personal care projects. Look for and learn about the chemicals listed above in their various forms. When it’s time to purchase more, choose a brand that is microplastic, paraben, phthalate, formaldehyde and palm oil free.

Check out the local natural skin care businesses I buy from - World Organics & Oasis Beauty , and of course other personal care products from EcoStore, EarthWise and Only Good.  Be aware of any over packaging, make sure they are recyclable.  I like that some Bin Inn stores sell EcoStore products in bulk to save on packaging!

Step it up:  Extend your scrutiny to other bathroom products including ensuring that all your cleaning products are microbead-free. You might also take a look at your choice of toilet paper and choose a 100% recycled brand such as Earthcare or recycled sugarcane fiber Greencane paper.

Want more?  Go cosmetics free! There are lots of ways to eliminate commercial personal care products from your life. Try washing hair with baking soda and conditioning with vinegar. Olive or coconut oil can be used as a face wash alternative. Do some research, get creative, and let us know what you find!  

Check out inspirational local websites such as Mrs Goodness and Wendyl's


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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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