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.


Drone Bee

Written by Stephanie on October 28th, 2018.      0 comments

The Drone Bees

Drones are the only male bees in the hive, their role is to mate with the queen.  They seem to have no duties in the hive and do not forage. They do not have pollen baskets, wax glands or stingers, so therefore can not sting.  

Once sexually mature, around 12 days old, they fly out of the hive looking for queen bees and will either mate with their queen or another queen from another hive.  Once mating is complete the drone will, as the penis is torn from his body after he falls away from the queen.  Any drones that do not mate live for a few weeks but if conditions get tough and food storage starts to dwindle the drones are kicked out of the hive, as they have no purpose once the queen has been mated and are just taking up space and resources.
 
Types of Bees (from Britannica
Types of bees from www.britannica.com
Topics: Bee Facts Bee Friendlyee Facts
 

Worker Bees

Written by Stephanie on October 25th, 2018.      0 comments

The Worker Bees

The worker bees are all females and they are called worker bees for a reason, they are hardest worker creature I can think of!  The worker bees carry out all the jobs in a hive, except laying eggs.  The job they are allocated will depend on their age.  There are so many jobs to be done including carrying away waste, cleaning out cells and preparing them for new eggs, feeding larvae, tending to and feeding the queen, building wax, guarding the entrance of the hive, collecting pollen and nectar, fanning honey to dry it, capping honey cells, etc.  

Worker bees generally live for 15-38 days in the summer, 30-60 days in the spring and longer in the winter.  There main job in the winter is to keep the queen alive and warm but clustering around her.  The colder the temperature the more compact the cluster becomes.  The worker bees create heat by shivering and they also move back and forth between the inner part of the cluster and the outer part.  In this way no bee will freeze in very cold climates. 

Here's a photo of our hard working worker bees on a frame of honey.

worker-bees


 
Types of Bees (from Britannica
Types of bees from www.britannica.com
Topics: , Bee Facts , Bee Friendlyee Facts
 

Queen Bee

Written by Stephanie on October 20th, 2018.      0 comments

The Queen

The queen is fascinating!  As a growing larvae she is feed exclusively royal jelly.  Royal jelly, with it's special proteins, is responsible for giving the queen bee a long, long life plus an elegant and large body, which make her very fertile.

As a new queen her first job will be to fight and kill any other queens in the hive.  There could be an old, weak queen or one or two new queens hatched around the same time.  The worker bees create queen cells when the pheromone of their existing queen is getting low, therefore at the end of her life.  

The young queen will then take her virgin flight, mating with an average of 7-17 drone bees in mid air, she may take about 1-3 flights.  She will have enough sperm (about 5-6 million) stored in her sperm pouch to fertilise all the eggs she will spend the rest of her life laying.  She will not leave the hive again, unless she swarms, and will lay about 1500 eggs per day over her four to five year life.

The queen will determine how many worker and drone bees the hive needs. She will lay unfertilised eggs for drone bees and fertilised eggs for worker and queen bees.

Here's a photo of one of our queen bees, see how long her abdomen is compared to the worker bees?
 
queen-bee

 
 
Types of Bees (from Britannica
Types of bees from www.britannica.com
Topics: , Bee Facts , Bee Friendly Facts
 

Now You Can Have Your Tea and Sweeten It Too!

Written by Stephanie on October 18th, 2018.      0 comments

Many people love to sweeten their tea with honey so we've decided to sell tea, now you can have your tea and sweeten it too!  We've chosen loose tea because there is plastic in many teabags and there is less wastage with loose tea.  We love the T Leaf T brand of teas and have chosen the organic range because it's better for the bees and us!  


Here's a little bit more about T Leaf Teas


Fifteen years ago tea lovers John and Amanda Van Gorp noticed a gap in the market. People, including themselves, were just putting up with bad tea. The quality option wasn’t there.  Over several years John and Amanda traveled all over the world, visiting exotic tea gardens and creating relationships within the global tea trade to bring the world of tea back home to New Zealanders.  Fast forward to 2018, they have more than 160 teas and infusions packaged and hand blended at their HQ in Petone Wellington. 

They select their teas and infusions from around the world with strict quality requirements from their suppliers. T leaf T operates an audited HACCP based Food Safety Program registered with MPI as per current Food Laws. 

We are pleased that they now offer an increasing selection of BioGro Certified Organic teas. Having this range of organics certified gives tea lovers the assurance that from plant to cup the chain of custody maintains its organic integrity.  Keeping our bees and our bodies healthy!
 
TeaLeaf-Teas


Canisters

Not only is there great tea, but we also sell a beautiful range of tea canisters to store your loose tea in!  Blocking out light and moisture keeps your teas fresher, longer. Store your tea in style with this range of authentic Japanese Washi paper canisters. Handmade from the bark of the gampi tree; washi paper is water resistant and as resilient as cloth. With a fine selection of colour and design options and featuring an airtight insert to keep your tea fresher for longer; they are the perfect tea companion to complement any home decor.
japanese-tea-canister-canisters-airtight-storage-tins-inspiring-wholesale
 

Check out T Leaf Loose Tea and Canisters

Topics: , Products
 

Bee Swarms

Written by Stephanie on October 9th, 2018.      0 comments

Spring is the time of year when you are likely to see a few bee swarms.  For those that don't know much about swarms I thought I would explain what they are, why bees swarm and what to do if you have one turn up at your place.

Firstly, have a look at one of our beehives swarming!


 

What is a Swarm and Why do Bees Swarm?


Bee-SwarmMainly in springtime you may see a very large group of bees flying together or you may see a big clump (like a ball) of bees hanging from a branch, on a fence, against your house, or some other place.  This is a swarm of bees.  

A swarm is when a queen bee takes a large group of worker bees (usually about 50-60% of the hive) with her and leaves the hive to find a new home.  It is a natural means of reproduction for bee colonies.   A swarm of bees could consist of thousands to tens of thousands of bees.

The reason bees swarm could be due to one of these causes:
  • There are two queens in a hive so one takes half the bees out and finds another home
  • There are too many bees for one hive, a new queen is created and the old queen moves off with some of the bees
  • The bees are simply predisposed genetically to swarming (instinctive)


What to Do if You are in the Path of Moving Swarm:


Don't panic! Don't run!  Don't fling your arms around!  Just remember they will have filled up on honey before they left and will be docile and unable to sting.  But to be safe just crouch down low and stay still until they pass.
 

What to Do if you Have a Swarm on your Property:


Don't panic!  Don't touch them!  Don't spray them!  They will not harm you unless you harm them.

The best thing you can do is to get hold of a local beekeeper to come and collect it. There are hobby beekeeping clubs all around the country and they are often looking for swarms to fill new hives.

Look for a beekeeper in your area on the National Beekeepers Association website.  Or google a hobby beekeeper's club near you.  Here are some club websites:

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

There's actually a great list of hobby beekeeping clubs on the Kiwimana website, there might be one near you.  Hobby beekeepers are always on the scout out for new bee colonies!

 

Read More:

Why do bees sting?
Remedies for bee stings
 
Topics: , Bee Facts
 

Safix Dishwash Scrub Pads Help Those in Need

Written by Stephanie on October 2nd, 2018.      0 comments

Safix Indian WomenWe love to promote products that are ethical and environmentally friendly but even better when they also help those in need, like the eco toothbrushes.  We've recently come across another product that we now use everyday and love, Safix dishwash scrub pads.  Not only are they made from natural coconut fibre and easily remove residual impurities without damaging surfaces, they are also helping those in need.

The name Safix is derived from the Hindi word for 'clean'.  The scrubs have their roots in rural India where women use loose coconut fibre to clean their dishes.  These Safix scourers are made by women in rural India, and provide economic independence for over 200 women. With your support it may grow to provide ethical employment for many more.


More About the Dishwash Scrub Pads

Made from 100% coconut fibre bound together with a non-toxic adhesive, this Safix scrub pad easily removes residual impurities without damaging surfaces.  It comes from the earth and after use, it goes back to the earth - it is biodegradable and compostable.  Tough yet gentle and stays effective for several months.
 
The Safix scrub pads have the following advantages over the other scrub pads:

  • Made from 100% coconut fibres bound together with a non-toxic adhesive
  • Lasts four times longer than any scrubbers available in the market
  • Does not rust, splinter or degenerate on several uses
  • Safe and soft for hands and nails.
  • Easily removes baked on, burnt and stubborn greasy deposits from all types of utensils
  • Uses less detergent and scouring powder
  • This scrub pad is surface friendly and will not scratch delicate surfaces
  • Non-toxic. Odourless. No germs. No bacteria
  • Compostable.

Purchase Safix Dish Was Scrub Pads

 

Topics: , Products
 
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