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.


Looking For Kanuka, Rewarewa or Rata Honey?

Written by Stephanie on September 11th, 2019.      0 comments

Are you looking for a Kanuka, Rewarewa or Rata honey?  Sweetree has it!  As you know Sweetree honey produces honey from specific areas of the Waikato and we name the honey after those areas.  But of course in our bush apiary locations there is normally a dominant flower source for the honey.  If you are looking for a particular floral source in our honeys here's which honeys to look for:

Kanuka - Four Brothers Reserve
Rewarewa - Marokopa Spring
Rata - Marokopa Summer
 
Kanuka-Rewarewa-Rata
Topics: Products
 

Why Eat Local Honey?

Written by on September 5th, 2019.      0 comments

You Can Purchase Raw Honey

You can purchase raw/unpasteurised honey directly from a beekeeper that still retains its natural vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and other important nutrients.  By buying honey directly from the beekeeper you know where your honey comes from, how it's collected and processed, and how well the bees are looked after.  


Sweetree-Honey-PyramidYou Protect The Environment

Since local honey doesn’t have to travel far, you save energy and reduce your carbon footprint.  Great for the earth!


You Can Alleviate Allergies

Eating local honey leading up and during the hay fever season could help your body desensitise against air borne pollens.  Read more on honey and allergies

 

You are Supporting Local Agriculture

One third of our food is pollinated by bees.  By eating local honey you are helping local growers pollinate their crops. And remember, when you buy local food you strengthen your local economy.


You are Supporting a Local Beekeeper

Small beekeeping businesses are passionate about bees and their environment and are often family run.  When you support local businesses you're supporting local families.
 

Thanks for supporting your local beekeepers!


Check out Sweetree's Local Honey Range

Topics: , Enviromental, Products
 

Local Honey For Allergies

Written by Stephanie on September 4th, 2019.      0 comments

Did you know that eating local honey leading up and during the hay fever season could help your body desensitise against air borne pollens?  Research shows that it works like a vaccination does against childhood diseases.  This desensitisation is based on the idea that the small amounts of pollen in the honey will cause the body to produce antibodies that will cancel out the effects of the air borne pollen when the person is exposed to it again.  

Many of our customers find that eating a Sweetree honey variety produced closest to their home beneficial for reducing hay fever symptoms. Our honeys are not finely filtered, therefore still retaining a high pollen count, which will help with hay fever. Give it a try and let us know how you get on.
 

Find Your Local Honey

 

Here's some feedback from a regular Sweetree honey customer:


"We use Sweetree Honey for allergies. I use to live on a antihistamine a day during the pollen season and tried local honey when I first discovered Sweetree. I originally started with a teaspoon a day of the Horsham Downs one as was our closest until you started making Kirikiriora.  As I worked at the zoo at the time and also my two boys were at daycare on that side of town thought this was our most local and so started my two boys on a teaspoon a day also. We saw a huge difference in both their itchy nose/eyes and also they did not seem to have as many respiratory illnesses (which thinking back now where probably allergy induced respiratory issues).

I now only take when I feel pollen is bad so think it must of allowed me to build up some sort of immunity. The boys especially the 5 year old lines up for teaspoons of honey whenever the honey jar is visible and I give them both a teaspoon a day during bad pollen times or if they sound sniffly.  We also use it for coughs as a teaspoon seems to soothe the throat quickly and stop the cough."

Haley McLaughlin, Hamilton

 

Which is your local honey?
Sweetree-Local-Hamilton-Honeys


Read more on what you can do for seasonal allergies

Here's some other reasons for buying local honey

Topics: , Health Articles, Products
 

Supply Water for Bees

Written by Stephanie on September 3rd, 2019.      1 comments

Summer is an important time of year to ensure the bees have plenty of water to drink.  Spring is a great time to prepare water stations to help the bees in your garden this summer.  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-557
Topics: , Bee Facts
 

Avoiding Insecticides that Affect Bees!

Written by Stephanie on September 2nd, 2019.      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”  They have a range of bee friendly products and you can also purchase natural based insect controls 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, there's loads of recipes online.  
 

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
 

Feed The Bees - Plant Bee Friendly Plants!

Written by Stephanie on September 1st, 2019.      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
 
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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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