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.


Plastic Avoided In The Production of Sweetree Honey

Written by Stephanie on August 23rd, 2017.      0 comments

Many people, including Martin and I, like to limit the purchase of food in plastic packaging.  People do this for various reasons but mainly for environmental or health motivations.  One way of limiting plastic is to purchase food in glass jars instead of plastic.  When we were deciding how to package our honey it had to be glass.  It is so much healthier, attractive and environmentally friendly.

But have you thought about how honey is stored before it goes into the jar?  In the beehive honey used to always be stored on beeswax comb foundation which was wired into a wooden frame.  But what is most commonly used now is plastic frames with plastic sheets embossed with hexagon indentations for the bees to work with as a foundation. The other common one is a wooden framing with a plastic insert foundation.  Here are some photos of what they look like.

plastic-foundation       Plastic-frame

The thing that concerns us about these is the possibility of plastic residue getting into the honey, the bees health working from a plastic foundation, let alone the environmental issue of what to do with the plastic frames and foundations when they are broken or past their best.  We was concerned to see all these plastic beehives (the whole hive in plastic) for sale at a beekeeping conference we recently attended.  That's a lot of plastic!  What will happen to them when they are finished with?  I guess they will end up in the landfill!

Sweetree's policy is to use wooden hive gear and frames with beeswax foundations wherever possible for our honey collection.
Wax-frame
Beehive frame with beeswax foundation
 

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Topics: About Sweetree Plastic Free
 

What's The White Stuff On The Inside Of My Honey Jar?

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

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You may have noticed that many of the Kirikiriroa and Horsham Downs jars, of the current batches, have white marking around the inside of the jar, you may think it looks like mould.  Don't worry, it's not!  This is called frosting.  It is due to the presence of air trapped between the side of the jar and the honey, and therefore crystals form against the glass.  Frosting in honey usually starts as a small white streak or crescent on the edge of the jar and can gradually spread over time, sometimes it covers most or all of the inner surface of the jar.  

You may be put off by the look of the honey but don't worry once you open it you will generally find it just up against the jar and it definitely does not affect its taste!  The next batch should be all fine again.
 

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Sweetree Honey in Good George Stout

Written by Stephanie on August 18th, 2017.      0 comments

Duck Island Stout-804Local beer brewing company, Good George, have collaborated with local Duck Island Ice Cream company to craft their 'Blackberry, Sage & Honey Cream Stout'.  But Duck Island isn't the only local ingredient used, Sweetree Kirikiriroa (Hamilton City) honey is also included! We're pretty excited about it!

It's beer inspired by a popular ice cream and there will be an ice cream available infused with the beer!

It is smooth, rich and roasty with a hint of sage and lingering berry flavour.  One review said '440ml can Dark red pour with creamy head. Roasted malt aroma with slight chocolate and berry notes. Mild bitterness. Roasted malt taste with mixed herb/sage follow-through. Also slight chocolate note and smooth finish. Don’t get any berry or honey notes.'
Duck Island Good George Kirikiriroa stout-510-625
 

It's available in 440ml and available at:

On tap – Good Union, Good George - Dining Hall, Good Neighbour, BEERNZ Limited, Malthouse, The Rogue & Vagabond, Hide - Thirst and Hunger, The Hop Garden.

In Cans – Roslyn Fresh Choice, Liquorland Forrest Hill, Good George Dining Hall, Good Neighbour, Beer NZ, Little George, Eastside Liquorland, Okere Falls Store, The Old Stone Butter Factory, Liquorland Upper Hutt, New World Porirua, Raglan Liquor Centre, Glenview New World, Super liquor Hillcrest, Farro Fresh Epsom, Liquorland Mount Maunganui, Liquorland Waterloo, Mount Wine Barrel, Fresh Choice Richmond, Super Liquor Greerton, Fresh Choice Parklands, The Hamilton Beer & Wine Co., liquorland centre Glenview, Super Liquor Richmond, Raglan Super Value.

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Alleviate Seasonal Allergies

Written by Stephanie on August 15th, 2017.      0 comments

sneezeSpring is just around the corner or maybe it's already here!  I was at the pharmacy the other day and the pharmacist thinks that allergies have started already and by looking at the pollen starting to be collected in the hives I think she's right.

Seasonal allergies can be a nightmare - sneezing, watery eyes, itchy throat, coughing, itchy nose, blocked/runny nose or worse.  During this time many people stock up on tissues and run to the chemist to grab antihistamine, sometimes even antihistamine isn't enough.  It's no fun at all!

In spring hay fever can be triggered by tree and grass pollen.  There are two types of flower pollen. One is very light and is easily airborne, this light pollen causes allergies. The second pollen is heavier, it is collected by bees and made into bee pollen.

Did you know that research indicates that if you take small amounts of bee pollen from your local area a few months before the hay fever season your body may become desensitised to the air borne pollens?  It works like a vaccination does against childhood diseases. Desensitisation is based on the idea that the taking of the bee pollen will cause the body to produce antibodies that will cancel out the effects of the air born pollen when the person is exposed to it again.  See below this blog for more details on research in the area.

Many of our customers have commented that their allergies have lessened when either taking Sweetree Bee Pollen or Honey.  Our honey is not finely filtered and therefore retain a high pollen count.  So to help with your hay fever symptoms try either taking bee pollen every day or raw honey from your local area. Sweetree produces bee pollen in the Horsham Downs area and honey from Hamilton City, Horsham Downs, Ngaurwahia and Marokopa (King Country) areas.

If you feel you need something more to protect you against allergies see a health professional.  You may want to see your doctor, pharmacy, herbalist, Chinese medicine therapist, Naturopath, etc. 

Breathe easy this spring!

Read more about bee pollen and check out the Research on its benefits 


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lying-in-grass
Topics: , Health Articles , Products
 

Sustainable Me Challenge - August

Written by Stephanie on August 2nd, 2017.      0 comments

This month's 'Sustainable Me' challenge is to reduce our water use. 

You would think in clean, green New Zealand that we wouldn't need to worry about this but our fresh water resources are becoming more and more under pressure.  OSOF (Our Seas Our Future) says that p
ollution from agriculture, runoff from increasing urbanization and antiquated sewer systems has created un-swimmable rivers. And the looming uncertainties of climate change bring further concern for this vital resource.

The average Auckland household uses 174 litres of water per day in winter and slightly more in summer, it's been broken down by:
31% showers and baths
24% laundry
19% toilets

With just a little bit of thought we can make a big difference to reducing our water use.  Reduce, Ruse and Recycle applies to water too!

Water Every drop counts badge-275

Here's What The Challenge Suggests:

Beginner: Find one or two basic water-reducing behaviours such as shorter showers, turning the tap off when brushing teeth and washing hands, etc.

Step it up: Find a bigger way to reduce your household water such as checking for plumbing leaks, installing low-flow taps and shower heads, etc.

Want more?  Get involved in a local advocacy group or join a group planting plants around water ways.  

Every little bit (or drop) helps!

See the OSOF website to read more tips


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Check out the eco friendly items in our online store!
Topics: , Enviromental
 
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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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