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.


NZ Garden Bird Survey

Written by Stephanie on June 26th, 2017.      0 comments

Garden SurveyNow, this is a great event to be part of!  It's the yearly 'Garden Bird Survey'.  By surveying birds in our gardens, parks or school grounds, we can help Landcare Research, NatureWatch, TopFlite, Birds NZ and Forest & Bird, together, learn more about NZ's common and widespread birds as well as inform future conservation efforts.

The survey runs from now until Sunday 2nd July.  Just choose a day that suits you, grab a comfy seat and binoculars and look and listen in your garden for one hour.  For each species record the highest number seen at any one time (not the total seen over the hour).  

You can find out more details on their website and record your data on the online form.  There are identification and tally sheets as well. 

In our home garden in Horsham Downs, Hamilton we recorded:
4 x fantail
5 x greenfinch
2 x myna
1 x song thrush
2 x starling
2 x tui
12 x welcome swallows
1 x Kaka - we couldn't believe it when we saw it in our tree!
 
Topics: Enviromental
 

Can You Take NZ Honey into Australia?

Written by Stephanie on June 20th, 2017.      0 comments

2-honey-boxWe often get asked if honey can be taken into Australia.  I've contacted Customs in Australia and here is the low down:

Honey is permitted into Australia and should be packed in checked luggage, not hand luggage. It must be declared for inspection on arrival. The import limit is 10 litres/10 kilograms or less for most Australian states and territories.

If travelling to Western Australia (Perth and all other WA ports) please let them know that stricter conditions apply. Honey or honey product is allowed into WA without an import permit as a liquid in individually packaged units with a capacity of 150 millimetres or less.
 

Check out our wonderful Waikato, New Zealand honey!




 
Topics: , Products
 

OSOF Sustainable Me Challenge - June

Written by Stephanie on June 11th, 2017.      0 comments

I'm loving the '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 was to drive less, March was to avoid micro plastic and other chemicals in personal products, April was to preserve some fresh produce and May was to reduce our energy usage.  It's great to try a new challenge and take something out of it to use in our everyday life.  Why not join in!

This month's challenge is an interesting one, it's t
o reduce non-recyclable paper tissue waste!  I've never really worried about paper tissue waste, I've never thought about what happens to it after it's used.  I didn't realise that is wasn't recycled somehow.  And did you know that it's normally made from virgin pulp directly from trees?  Because it can't be recycled that paper only has one single use and then ends up in the landfill!  It's sad to think a huge amount of trees can provide tissue paper and nothing else, it seems such a waste of trees. 

Also making paper uses a lot of water as well as harsh chemicals to attain that pure white look.  OSOF say choosing and using re-useable cloth saves water, reduces the number of trees that need to be harvested to support your lifestyle, and reduces landfill inputs. All of these things add up to a healthier, more sustainable world.

We're going to stop using tissues and use hankies all the time, go back to cloth serviettes and use loo paper more sparingly.  How about you, are you keen to try this month's challenge?
 

Here's What The Challenge Suggests:

hanky-40Beginner: Find a handkerchief and use it! Better yet, find a bunch of them so you can always have a clean one on hand.

Step it up: Already using a handkerchief or just want to boost this month’s challenge? Add in cloth napkins if you use paper ones, and/or ditch paper towels. Use loo paper that is made from recycled paper, there are a few available now.  These are other examples of problematic single-use paper items that end up in landfills.

Want more? Re-evaluate all your home disposable paper use – switch to 100% recycled or bamboo toilet paper, make your own cloth wet wipes (not just for babies), or if you’re feeling really brave, try washable cloth toilet paper, hmmm not sure I'm quite up to that level!

See the OSOF website to read more tips


Read more about:

Check out the eco-friendly items in our online store!
 

Sweetree Endeavours to be Sustainable

Written by Stephanie on June 11th, 2017.      0 comments

Here at Sweetree we are endeavouring to become more sustainable to help the environment.  All Sweetree honeys are packaged in glass jars, our propolis in glass bottles, we use paper bags instead of plastic at the markets and we are currently investigating compostable pouches for our bee pollen. We believe storing food in glass, as opposed to plastic, is much healthier for the end consumer and certainly the environment.  It also allows them to reuse or recycle the packaging after the honey has been eaten.

capping-618But it goes further than just the end product, we want the honey to be healthy all the way through the process. We ensure the honey in not stored in plastic the whole way through the process. A high percentage of beekeepers use plastic frames and foundations on the hive for honey collection, these are more economic and robust than the wooden frames and natural beeswax foundation. We have continued to use the traditional wooden frames and beeswax comb foundation wired into the frame. We believe this is not only healthier for us humans but also for the bees, let alone less plastic going to the landfill.

When harvesting our honeys we always make sure we leave enough food stores on the hives for the bees to keep them healthy over the winter and to avoid supplement feeding as much as possible in spring.  Once the honey is harvested from the hives we ensure it is not damaged by heat and pollen grains are not stripped out, therefore retaining the natural goodness of our honeys.

In both our home and business we have substantially reduced what we send to landfill, we avoid over packaging, avoid one use plastic, buy bulk, reuse or recycle as much as we can and purchase locally as much as possible.

We like to offer our customers variety on our website and sell earth friendly products that relate to bees and honey such as bee friendly seeds, HoneyWrap reusable food wraps, HoneySticks non-toxic beeswax crayons, etc. All proceeds from the bee friendly wildflower seeds go back into research to help the NZ bees; we have raised a total of $2013.

The local Rural Women of NZ group I am involved in, has a 'Share the Surplus' project. We often see fruit trees laden with fruit and not picked and it seems such a shame when there are so many people struggling to put food on the table. Our project turns that surplus into preserves. We collect fruit from people who have surplus fruit on their trees, make preserves in recycled Sweetree honey jars that customers have returned, and give it to those in need.

We have a lot to still work on but we are trying to do a little bit at a time, every little bit helps.  We believe that if everyone did a little bit towards the environment it would make a huge difference and we encourage you to make some little changes in your everyday routines to help our beautiful earth!  Thanks!
 
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Our lovely Rural Women group making jam for the food bank
Topics: , Enviromental
 

World Environment & Arbor Day - 5th June

Written by Stephanie on June 5th, 2017.      0 comments

Today is 'World Environment Day' and 'Arbor Day'!  It's a great reason to get out there and do something to help our environment, whether it's planting trees, tidying up trees, picking up rubbish on a bush track, beach, park or along the road; every little bit helps!  We've just spent last weekend planting over 250 trees around our wetland but it's an ongoing effort to think about the impact our every day activities have on the environment and lessening that impact.  

 

World Environment Day

world environment day wallpapers environmental awareness nature green savelife pollution clean 12-648World Environment Day is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.  It is an t is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote action on national environmental issues. 

World Environment day is a day for people to do 'something' to take care of the Earth or become an agent for change.  We can act locally, national or globally; as in individual or as a group.

This year's theme is ‘Connecting People to Nature’, which implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance and commit to being involved in protecting the Earth that we share.



Arbor Day


Matt-Planting-TreesArbor day is the day of the year when people are encouraged to plant and care for trees.  The first arbor day was in USA in 1872 when a Julius Morton began a large scale planting of trees to beautify his town and encouraged others to do the same.  It took off and now many countries observe this day as a special day to plant and tend to trees.

Arbor Day is an excellent opportunity to take stock of the trees on your property and plan for the future. Inspect your trees, note any broken branches or evidence of disease or insect infestation. Think about how planting new trees might improve the look of your property or provide wind or heat protection.

Even better get into involved in a local reserve native tree planting initiative!  There are plenty of events happening around the country you could take part in, search online.  This photo is of our son planting trees at the Waiwhakareke Reserve by the Hamilton Zoo last weekend, a crew of people meet on the last Saturday morning of every month.  If you want to join the team or for more information call Stephanie on 0272447759 or email tui2000inc@gmail.com

New Zealanders are being challenged to plant a native tree on Arbor Day this year to set a record for the most trees ever planted on one day in New Zealand.  You can log the trees you plant here


Read more about Sweetree's native tree plantings


 
Topics: , Enviromental
 
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