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.


Waste Free Christmas

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

Christmas is a fun time of year but it can also be very wasteful, there are many items that get used only once and are then thrown out for example wrapping paper, disposable cups, plates and cutlery. I'm sure we can still have a lot of fun but cut back our waste at the same time!
 

Decorations:

social-media-Candles-239Of course using what you already have is a good start but if you need a refresh on Christmas decorations how about ribbons, material bunting and folding paper decorations, stay away from unsustainable decorations (plastic and tinsel). Homemade items are always really good but if you don't have time for that you might find more sustainable decorations from websites like felt.co.nz.  I brought a fantastic 'Merry Christmas' bunting make of out woollen blankets on Felt a few years ago that will last for decades, I love it.  Beeswax candles make a lovely feature on the table.  And remember that the garden has lots to offer, not just flowers but foliage, pine cones and berries can look good as arrangements or placed on the table. And once used they can go to the compost!

Go rummaging around in 2nd hand shops and choose colourful candle sticks, vases, serving dishes, table cloth and cloth serviettes for the table. 
 

Crockery

It's best to avoid using disposable plates and utensils all together, but if you need disposables choose home compostable ones. You will need make it easy for your guests to know where to dispose scrap food and their plates and utensils, so a waste station that is clearly labelled is going to help.

If you don't have enough of your own crockery or utensils then ask friends and family to bring their own plates and/or utensils and take home afterwards. Or just borrow from friends or hire bits and pieces from a hireage company.
 

Cleaning up

Having a wash up station is a great idea. You can ask folk to wash 10 plates or get the kids on board to help. If the wash area is well set up people are happy to help, just keep an eye out for the very diligent helper and make sure you drag them out of the kitchen. You want everyone to have a turn. Make sure there are some special drinks and food nearby so they all get spoilt too!

We have a pretty complicated waste system with chicken, worm farm and compost scraps, paper, soft plastics and other recycling.  When we have gatherings at our place (and they can be be quite big with Martin being one of seven) I label were all the different things go so we don't add to the landfill.
 

Gifts

Try to avoid unhelpful gift buying and receiving by having lists, telling people you don’t need a gift, and discouraging secret Santa.  Sometimes we don’t need stuff but enjoy experiences and help.  We can take people on a little adventure, give them a massage, offer to do a chore, cook a special dinner or go on a picnic, there are so many ideas that you and your family could enjoy. You can create redeemable vouchers.  

Instead of secret Santa how about an alternative for example the exchange of favourite recipes, or even jokes, life hacks, fun facts, a favourite saying or piece of poetry, or even a compliment if you know the recipient - you might need to choose a theme so everyone is on board.  Our your could all donate to a special charity.

I've got loads of sustainable gift giving & wrapping ideas in my other blog post.
 

Catering

social-media-waste-free-celebrations-726Try to make dips, hummus and pate instead of the prepacked versions.  Make your own drinks instead of fizzy drinks in plastic bottles.  We use a soda stream that uses the same bottles over and over and add Barkers fruit concentrate to flavour them.  Barkers is in glass jars and use real fruit instead of flavours and colours.

There are shops that will fill your own containers like Hamilton Beer and Wine Co or the Good George. Of course there is the traditional beer swappa crate as well.

Get a little organised and try to make a salad rather than buy salads prepackaged at the supermarket.  Use a tried and true one to avoid stress or maybe you need some motivation and want to try a new recipe.  Remember when buying your salad greens avoid the ones in plastic!  

If you're taking a plate to someone else's house take it in a nice platter and cover it with an extra large Honeywrap, not only is it better for the environment, it looks great and you can leave the wrap behind as a gift for the host. 

It's a great time to start thinking outside the square and see what sustainable options you can bring into your Christmas celebrations this year.  Enjoy!
 

Get more tips on sustainable gift giving and wrapping
Check out Sweetree's sustainable gift range

Topics: Enviromental
 

Sustainable Gift Giving This Christmas

Written by Stephanie on November 17th, 2018.      0 comments

It's so hard to believe that we are nearly at the end of November and Christmas is just around the corner!  It can be a stressful time of year with everything winding up, buying gifts, planning Christmas day and holidays.  But once that's all out of the way it is a special time of year, time to spend with loved ones, time to put our feet up and take a well deserved breather after a busy year. 

Christmas is my favourite time of year but it can also be a very wasteful time of year and I'm going to be much more mindful of that wastage this year and minimise it as much as possible!  Here's a reminder on some tips I blogged about earlier in the year on gift giving and wrapping, I will be writing another blog shortly on waste free celebrations...

Gift Giving

It can often be a struggle to find the right gifts for people.  A lot of our friends are trying to declutter and reduce the amount of 'stuff' they have and I really don't want to add more impractical, wasteful things to their lives.  And parents usually have everything they want.  Now when buying gifts I think to myself "Will this add to the world's waste problem?  Will this be useful or loved?" I will often ask if there is anything they want or need, at least then I know it won't be wasted.  Here's some good tips I've come across:

 

Gift Wrapping

I cringe at the amount of wrapping paper that is used once and then thrown out at Christmas.  This year I came across a much better option and everyone that has received a gift wrapped this way has loved it!  Every time I go past a second hand shop I buy some scarfs and use them for wrapping gifts. It's a Japanese form of gift wrapping - furoshiki.  You can just search on Tube You for furoshiki and the item you are wrapping and get some great ideas.  There is no paper and no sellotape used and the greatest thing is the recipient can reuse it for a gift that they give!  I love it!  Here are just a few of the gifts I've given wrapped in scarfs and my basket of scarfs all ready to go.  By the way you can use any material and ribbons you like.  The world is your oyster!  I'm about to go back to the second had shop and see what they have in Christmasy colours!

Scarf-Wrapping-1   Scarf-Basket

Check out our range of sustainable Christmas gifts


 

Topics: , Enviromental
 

Christmas Gifts for Everyone!

Written by Stephanie on November 15th, 2018.      0 comments

Sweetree has something for everyone this Christmas!  We have an extensive gift range including Waikato honey, gift boxes, books, honey wraps, candles, plastic free products, honey sticks and much more.
social-media-Group-all-xmad-gifts-cluttered

You can get a lot of your Christmas shopping done right here, in one spot!  Here is Sweetree's Christmas buying guide.


social-media-honey-sticks-928For the Kids:


For the Honey / Bee Lover:

 

social-media-TLeaf-Tea-blurred-xmas-tree-883A Relaxing Gift for that person always on the go:

 

For the Host:

 

social-media-JOCO-u-konserve-in-ribbon-424Plastic Free Gifts:


Social-Media-Do-Gooder-549Santa Stocking Fillers or Secret Santa Gifts:


See our full Christmas gift range here!



 
Topics: , Products
 

About Sweetree Bee Pollen

Written by Stephanie on November 13th, 2018.      0 comments

Bee-Pollen-582-504-764-329Sweetree Bee Pollen is collected from our home apiary site at rural Horsham Downs, near Hamilton.  With abundant nearby flora, Sweetree honey bees gather pollen from a wide range of flowering plants, reflected in the many different colours of pollen.  These colours indicate a highly nutritious bee pollen and we have received many favourable comments from our customers regarding its effectiveness.  We ensure that our bee pollen is kept as fresh as possible, storing no longer than the previous season.


The pollen is collected from the hive and dried in a purpose built drying room at temperatures no higher than would naturally occur in the beehive on a hot summers day, thereby still retaining its natural nutritious properties.

The flavour of the bee pollen will depend on the floral source and each granule has a different flavour.  You will receive a mouthful of many flavours including  sweet, tarty and earthy.  You may find that the colour and taste of each bag of pollen changes as the floral sources vary throughout the season.  For example early seasonal pollen may have more of a tarty flavour and not quite so many of the different coloured pollens.  Having said that, as the season progresses we try to mix the different coloured pollens into the bags so you are getting the best nutrients you can.

 

Benefits of Bee Pollen


Bee pollen is an incredible natural source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  Studies have shown that it has a nutritional composition that surpasses that of virtually any food eaten.  Regular consumption of bee pollen aids your general health and well-being.  Just some of the benefits reported of our Sweetree Bee Pollen are: Sustained energy, enhanced immunity, reduced stress, relief of inflammation, more rested sleep and better skin condition.

Studies have also shown that taking bee pollen improves prostate conditions, reduces harmful effects of x-rays and results in fewer side effects from radiation treatment.

Bee pollen is often used by athletes to improve strength, endurance, energy and speed.  It is said to help muscles recover more quickly from exercise and to increase mental stamina. Many great athletes have enjoyed its benefits and find it enhances their performance and decreases downtime due to illness.
 

How to Eat Sweetree Bee Pollen


Bee pollen is often thought of as a dietary supplement but is much more than that.  It is one of nature’s best super foods.  We recommend you start with a 1/4 teaspoon per day and work your way up to up to a dessertspoon per day (or more if you need it!).  Bee pollen can be added to food, many of our customers sprinkle it on their cereal in the morning.  Some add it to yoghurt, smoothies or ice-cream.
 

Try these ideas:

  • Add bee pollen to a dish of ice cream and hot chocolate sauce
  • Place bee pollen onto a piece of tin foil then take a peeled banana and roll it into the bee pollen and toasted coconut.
  • Add a tablespoon of bee pollen to beef casseroles or beef stir-fries
  • Add bee pollen to salsa, home-made salad dressing and sandwiches
  • Can be sprinkled on your favourite cereal, fruit or yoghurt to provide a tasty and nutritious supplement to your diet
  • You can also spread it on toast with honey.
  • Mix bee pollen, chai seeds and cinnamon together with mashed banana and yoghurt (any flavour) and spread on raisin toast.  Very yummy breakfast.
  • If you are not that fussed on the flavour you can simply take it in a spoon and chase with water or juice.


Purchase Sweetree Bee Pollen in Glasss Jar

 

Purchase Sweetree Bee Pollen in Plastic Pouch

Topics: , Products
 
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