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.


Do Gooder Toothbrushes Gives Back

Written by Stephanie on September 23rd, 2018.      0 comments

Did you know that for every Do Gooder 'Eco Toothbrush' bought one is donated to a child in New Zealand that needs one?  Just some of the community groups that have received these toothbrushes are: Community Oral Health Services in Nelson, Mission to Zero, Women’s and Children’s Refuge Services & Community Dental Services in Bay of Plenty.

Recently students at Mt Richmond School, a special needs school in Otahuhu, happily received Eco Toothbrushes and had fun practising cleaning their teeth in class after lunch.  They were thrilled to learn that when they have finished using their brush they can put the handle in their compost bin and it will eventually turn back into soil!
Do Gooder Mt Richmond Special School Toothbrushes-688
 

This batch headed off to Whanake Youth and the Wicked Tooth Fairy, an amazing scheme run by volunteers to get kids to the dentist for their free dental care. These are youth who would otherwise not be able to get there themselves.  Sweetree just love these initiatives are keen to spread the world, hence we sell the Do Gooder Eco Toothbrushes on our website.
 
Do Gooder Toothbrushes donation-452


To those that have purchased an Eco Toothbrush thanks for supporting New Zealanders in need! 
 

Find Out More About the Eco Toothbrushes:


Here is Some Customer Feedback:

"I love the tooth brush I got from you.  It feels great in your hand, the bristles work well, and don’t seem to come loose like the other brand I have purchased.  In fact I am on a subscription for a monthly tooth brush, but still purchase one from you (this is my second one from you), as I think your ones are a better all-round brush.  I will be purchasing more in the future."
Lee-Ann, Tokoroa


 
Topics: Products
 

Conservation Week 15 - 23 Sept

Written by Stephanie on September 14th, 2018.      0 comments

Conservation Week is run by Department of Coservation (DOC) to encourage people to get involved in nature and help to take care of it.  It’s a nationwide celebration of kiwis pitching in to help our native plants and animals.

This year conservation week is aiming to raise awareness of the biodiversity crisis that New Zealand is facing with more than 4,000 of our species threatened or at risk, and what we can all do to help.  DOC says "The species at risk include those that people know, like the Māui dolphin, and those that aren’t well known including fungi, snails, insects, lizards and fish. All of these species are part of what makes New Zealand unique. When we lose a species, we lose part of ourselves".

Thousands of New Zealanders are already involved in conservation activities. DOC says "When we pull together we can make a big difference".

DOC and other conservation groups are organising events around the country, these provide opportunities to join in, get active and show your love for our nature. They also showcase our special species and the things  we can do help conserve them.


What Can We All Do?



 
Topics: , Enviromental
 

Supply Water for Bees

Written by Stephanie on September 6th, 2018.      1 comments

Summer is an important time of year to ensure the bees have plenty of water to drink.  Help the bees in your garden this summer by creating some water stations for them.  The trick is to create stations that are not too deep and allow the bees to drink water without falling in.  Here's some ideas:
 
  • Create a shallow pond in your garden where bees can land on the edges to collect water
  • Place pebbles or twigs in a saucer of water so bees have something to stand on and drink
  • Fill a bucket, pail or trough with water. Cover the top of the water with wine corks, this gives the bees a landing pad to drink from
  • Wet sand is another great option, pop it near flowering plants and water regularly.

Drinking-Bees
Topics: , Bee Facts
 

Feed The Bees - Plant Bee Friendly Plants!

Written by Stephanie on September 6th, 2018.      2 comments

As you may know this month is 'Bee Aware Month' and with spring upon us it's a great time to focus on making sure our Kiwi bees have plenty of food to keep them buzzing!

Bees forage on flowers for nectar, which provide carbohydrates, and pollen, for protein. These are important for growth and energy. Well-nourished bees are more capable of fending off disease and parasites.  And you may be aware there are more and more diseases and parasites that affect bees in New Zealand.
But what can we do?  There is plenty we can do, we can plant bee friendly plants, not use bee harmful chemicals in our gardens and supply water for them.  I'll be covering these aspects in blogs this month.  First I'll cover what you can plant at your palce to feed the bees.

 

How to Encourage Bees To Your Garden

 

  • Planting in large clusters of the same species of flower will attract bees into your garden
  • Plant flowers for each season, a steady source of nectar and pollen all year round will help ssustain the bees


Here’s a list of some plants to get you going:


wildflower panarama
 

Herbs:

Basil Chives Lavender Rosemary
Bergamot Coriander Lemon Balm Sage
Borage Dill Marshmallow Spearmint
Calendula Echinacea Oregano Tarragon
Caraway Garlic Chives Parsley Thyme
Catnip Lamb’s Ears Rocket Verbena
 

Wildflowers:

Wildflowers are naturally organic—they are not susceptible to bugs or diseases, can help control garden pests and they attract bees and beneficial insects into the garden. We sell a wildflower seed mix with all the following flowers included, and the great thing is all proceeds go to the National Beekeepers Association for research into helping our NZ bees.
 
Calendula Plains coreopsis Toadflax Baby Blue Eyes
China aster Forget-me-not Blue Linum Corn Poppy
Mixed cornflowers Blanket flower Sweet Alyssum Sweet Mignonette
Farewell to spring Globe Gilia Virginia Stock  
 

Other Plants / Shrubs / Flowers:

Abelias  Foreget-me-nots  Lavender  Seaside Daisy
Balsam  Fuchsias  Marigolds  Sumacs
Begonias  Geranium  Michaelmas daisy  Summer phlox
Butterfly bushes  Giant Hyssop  Nasturtiums  Sunflower
California Bluebell  Gladioli  Penstemon  Sweet Alyssum
Carnations  Globe thistles  Petunias  Sweet Peas
Cornflowers  Gorse  Phacelia  Wild Lilac
Cosmos  Hebe  Poppy  Wild & Old Fashioned Roses
Crape myrtle  Hollyhock  Salvia  Zinnia
 

Trees:

Australian Gum Hazelnuts Napaka Three Finger
Alders Heketara NZ Jasmine NZ Tulip tree
Bottlebrush Kanuka  Oaks Tupelos
Cabbage Tree Kohuhu Pohutukawa Viburnum
Camellia Koromiko Rata Weeping Kowhai 
Cotoneaster Lacebark Rewarewa Willows
Five Finger Lemonwood Sycamores Wisteria
Harakeke, NZ Flax Manuka  Tawari  

bee in vege-945-485-507

Vegetables:

Buckwheat Cucumbers Spinach
Capsicums Eggplant Sweetcorn
Carrot Pumpkins, squash Tomatoes
Courgettes Silver Beet Zucchini

Please note: growing flowers among your vegetables is a great way to encourage bees and discourage pest insects.  Find out more about companion planting.


Fruit & Berries:

Apple  Crabapples  Lemons  Peaches
Berries  Elderberries  Limes  Pear
Blackberries  Flowering quinces  Melons  Persimmons
Blueberries  Grapefruit  Oranges  Plub
Cherries  Kiwifruit  Passion Fruit  Strawberry

Cosmos flower and bee-74-912Of course there are many more, so do some more research for plants in your area.  Garden catalogues often make note of which plants attract bees.  Here’s some tips for choosing plants:
  • Look for flowers with single layers of petals instead of doubles or triples
  • Select simple traditional flowers that are not highly modified
  • Choose flowers that have big open ‘bowl’ type flowers, that give bees easy access to the nectar and pollen
  • Choose sunny spots with shelter from the wind, over shade.

Remember that bees are attracted to abundance & quality of pollen and nectar, density of flowers, size of plant, fragrance and easy access to the flower's insides.  So choose plants carefully, plant in large clusters of the same species of plants together.   Include different sized and shaped flower.  Try to plant flowers for each season so bees have a source of nectar and pollen all year round.
 
Read more on what else you can do to help the bees in NZ
Where would we be without bees
Helping our NZ bees
Avoid insecticides that affect bees
What else can we do to help NZ bees?
 
Topics: , Bee Friendly
 

Avoiding Insecticides that Affect Bees!

Written by Stephanie on September 6th, 2018.      0 comments

One of the biggest threats to bees is the use of insecticides in home gardens, farms, orchards and market gardens.  They are designed to kill good and bad insects, including bees so please avoid them.  Sprays and coated seeds containing neonicotinoids are linked to bees disappearing around the world.  Unfortunately they persist in the environment for a long time, so keep on affecting bees.  The European Union have banned neonicotinoid insecticides for two years until further studies have been carried out.  This is fantastic! 
 

neonicotinoids food chain-392-696Avoid products that contain these:

  • Acetamprid    
  • Imidacloprid  
  • Thiacloprid   
  • Thiamethoxam


Tui, one of New Zealand's gardening suppliers, says that “the solution is to reduce the risk of insect attack, by keeping plants healthy, well watered and well fertilised to maintain a strong plant. Insects are more likely to attack weak plants. If insect problems do occur, choose one of the natural based insect control options available”  In NZ you can purchase natural based insect controls such as Tui Natural Plant Protection Range  or go to your local Palmers Garden Centre , who sells a range of bee friendly pest solution such as Easy Trap, Kiwicare and Yates products.

Or you can make your own all-purpose garden spray by using ingredients from your kitchen cupboard.  
 

If you have to spray:

  • Spray carefully and spray in the late evening with bee friendly sprays after bees have gone to bed.       
  • Don’t spray while plants are flowering.
  • Don’t spray insecticides for a fortnight before flowering.      
  • Avoid spraying plants that bees are feeding on.

One major problem is that there are many pest controls, including neonicotinoids, used on produce and as a seed treatment, there seems to be no restrictions in place.   How can we stop this happening?  We can:
  • Grow our own fruit and veges    
  • Preserve your own food    
  • Buy from your local farmers market and ask the producer how they handle pests
  • Eat organic produce and food.  Hopefully this will then increase the supply of organically grown food and decrease the amount of sprays being used in crops.
 

Read more on looking after our NZ bees here:

Topics: , Bee Friendly, Enviromental
 

Bee Aware Month!

Written by Stephanie on September 1st, 2018.      0 comments

Wow can you believe it's September and 'Bee Aware Month' already!  Time to celebrate our New Zealand bees!  This year's focus is on bee health and how we can all help protect our NZ bee population.  The most important things we can all do are to provide food and water for them and to be very careful when spraying on our properties.  Here's some great tips to look after our bees this season:
 

Feed the Bees

Bees forage on flowers to collect nectar (a source of carbohydrates) and pollen ( a source of protein) to help them grow and provide them with energy for their busy work.  A well-nourished bee is more capable of fighting disease and parasites.

The easiest thing we can do to help the bees is to provide bee-friendly flowers in our gardens, no matter where we live.  Follow this link to get some ideas of what flowers to grow in your garden.

 

Providing Water for Bees


Just like us bees need water to survive.  Providing them witBee getting a drink-772h a source of fresh water, especially in summer when puddles are scarce, will be a huge benefit to them.  There are a few tricks to providing them water, it needs to be shallow and have something for them to sit on so they don't fall in.  Have a look at these great ideas!
 

Spray Safe and Consider the Bees

One of the biggest treats to bees is the use of insecticides in home gardens, farms, orchards and market gardens.  They are designed to kill good and bad insects, including bees so please avoid them if at all possible.  If you really need to use them please read these great tips first - 
We've got lots more information on sprays if you follow this link.



 
Topics: , Bee Friendly Facts
 
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