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.


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.
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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
 

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.
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Check out T Leaf Loose Tea and Canisters

Topics: , Products
 

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

 

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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


 
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Waste Free Travelling

Written by Stephanie on August 26th, 2018.      0 comments

I usually get a bit slack with reducing my wastage when I'm travelling.  How about you?  I've always carried my reusable water bottle in the car but that's as far as it went, until recently.  When travelling or eating out on the run it can be very hard to avoid single-use plastic.  But I've found a bit of prep and forward thought can really help reduce this sort of plastic wastage.  

I knew I needed to get my act together and get a little car kit together but I kept procrastinating.  My final breaking point was taking the boys for sushi in the food court during the school holidays and there were no other options but single use plastic, and we were eating in the food court.  I was pretty wild they didn't have other options (especially since we were eating in the food court).  And I was upset with myself for not being prepared and bringing something with me.  I started working on my kit that afternoon!  

So I finally now have a great kit in my car that includes: cups, reusable stainless straws, cutlery, fabric napkins, stainless steel containers with lids for our sushi, leftovers, etc. I went a bit fancy and picked up a flax kete from Go Eco for $16.  It's hand made by a local woman in Kawhia, you may have seen her on Seven Sharp a few weeks ago.  I love it, it makes it feel pretty special!  

I always have a reusable drink bottle in the front of my car and a JOCO coffee cup in my glovebox and I keep the kit in the boot of my car ready for when we need it.
 
Meals-on-the-go-kete


 

We love these 'meals on the go' products so much we now sell them:

Topics: , Products , Reducing Waste
 

Honey for Allergies

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

MSprg-2-spoonWe have many customers that find buying the Sweetree honey variety produced closest to their home beneficial for reducing hay fever symptoms. If you are one of these customers you may find that your normal honey variety is unavailable (due to a very poor honey harvest this season). I would recommend that you try one of our other honeys we have in stock, even if it is a long way from your home. 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.

Another option is to take small amounts of bee pollen each day (especially leading up to spring), this can also help descensitize your body against hay fever.
 

Buy Sweetree Honey with high pollen counts here

Buy Sweetree Bee Pollen here

Topics: , Products
 

A Poor Honey Harvest

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

You may have heard that honey harvests were poor this season. It is fair to say we had a pretty shocking season. We have harvested about two thirds less honey that we would normally harvest. The Waikato was hit the hardest. Apiary sites that we would typically harvest about 50 boxes of honey from, we harvested just 2-4 boxes. So I'm afraid to say we will not have these honeys available this year - Horsham Downs, Four Brothers, Hakarimata (apart from the batch from last season we still have in stock) and Kirikiriroa.

The good news is that it was a reasonable season at Marokopa so we have Marokopa Spring and Marokopa Manuka and will shortly have Marokopa Summer available. The Marokopa Summer and Marokopa Manuka honeys didn't come easy as there was a freak weather event in Marokopa that swept a huge amout of water through the valley and there were several slips on the sheep station we have our hives on. A lot of the farm tracks collapsed so it made it very tricky getting the honey out, but we did it!

 

Why Such A Bad Season?


The variable weather at the end of last year and early this year have interrupted the honey flow, and added to this was the severe weather patterns (storms, cyclones,) and then extreme heat. Bees can't fly in strong winds or rain so during those times the bees stay in the hive, therefore reducing their nectar collecting time. The severe weather can strip flowers from trees/plants leaving less flowers for the bees to forage on as well.

The very wet spring appears to have affected clover flowering and nectar production. Even though you may have seen clover flowers this summer, little nectar was produced. Very hot weather can burn summer crops and honey flow virtually stops. The bees end up gathering water, instead of nectar, to try and cool down the hives.

Despite the challenges the bees have come out of the season very healthy and strong, they just haven’t been able to collect a surplus this year. With the season officially over, some of our bees have been treated to a late nectar flow which will keep them going over the winter quite nicely.

 
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Marokopa-Track-103
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One of the many slips in Marokopa The track had collapsed in many areas Walking up to check the hives and move by trolly if needed.


Check out what's in season in our honey store

    
Topics: , About Sweetree, Products
 

New Season Honey Extraction

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

The extraction of our first honey harvest for the season has started!  Have you ever wondered how honey gets from the hive into a liquid form?

The boxes of honey come in from the hives and the wax cappings are cut off the outside of each frame to allow the honey to flow out.  Manuka honey frames are need to be pricked because the honey is a lot thicker and jelly like, therefore harder to flow out of the cells without a little help.  The frames go into a spinner and all the honey is spun out and then coarsely filtered.  The beeswax is separated and the honey is then drummed off ready to be packed into jars.

frames
Marokopa Spring honey frames wanting for extraction

spinner
Honey frames in extractor ready to be spun

Fast-spin
Honey frames having honey spun out of them


Check out what's in season in our honey store
Topics: , Bee Facts , Products
 

Honey Harvest has started!

Written by Stephanie on February 4th, 2018.      0 comments

It's that time of year again - honey harvesting!  If you didn't already know honey collection is seasonal.  Bees start to collect honey in spring time and then through to the end of summer.  We harvest Ohui honey first (around mid Jan) then not long after that Marokopa Spring (late Jan, early Feb). The other honeys are harvested later in March.  

 We've just spent this weekend harvesting Marokopa Spring honey.  The season hasn't great but we've harvested a bit more Marokopa Spring than we did last year so that's good.  Both Ohui and Marokopa Spring honeys will now be extracted and we'll be packing Marokopa Spring first, so it should be available for sale by early March.
 
Spring-Harvest-Busy-Bees              Spring-Harvest-Martin-with-frame 
Both the bees and Martin are working hard in the heat of summer
 
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Frames of honey  



Spring-Harvest-Trailer-with-boxes
Boxes of Marokopa Spring off for extraction


Check out what's in season in our honey store
Topics: , Bee Facts , Products
 

What is the White Film on Beeswax Products?

Written by Stephanie on September 14th, 2017.      0 comments

Bloom-523-718Have you ever noticed a white film over beeswax products?  It's called a 'boom'.  It develops over time due to cold air crystallizing the beeswax oils. It disappears when the wax is put into the sun for a very short time.  If it is a sunny but cold day then wait until the air gets warmer to use the heat of the sun rays or carefully warm with a hairdryer, fan heater, etc. They will then be completely back to normal! 
 

Check out our beeswax products

Topics: , Products
 

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 


Purchase Sweetree bee pollen


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

Take Bee Pollen to Build Your Immunity

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


Do you often succumb to the winter bugs?  Does your immunity need a little boost?  Try bee pollen!  It is naturally rich in protein and contains virtually every known vitamin, 28 minerals, plus numerous active enzymes and fatty acids.  It is one of nature’s best superfoods, providing a sustainable source of energy for a healthy balanced life. 

Pollen-heartRegular consumption of bee pollen aids your general health and well-being. Just some of the reported benefits of Sweetree bee pollen are sustained energy, enhanced immunity, reduced stress, relief of inflammation, more rested sleep and better skin condition.

Studies show that the white blood cell count is increased in those taking bee pollen. Gamma globulins are the “stuff” antibodies are made of, and antibodies are our only internal defense against viruses. White blood cells of various types consume harmful bacteria and other foreign matter that enters the blood or lymph stream. In short, pollen appears to boost our immune system protection.

 

Read more about Sweetree Bee Pollen
See what our customers think of Sweetree Bee Pollen

Purchase Sweetree Bee Pollen

Topics: , Products
 

Can You Take NZ Honey into Australia?

Written by Stephanie on June 20th, 2017.      0 comments

2-honey-boxWe often get asked if honey can be taken into Australia.  I've contacted Customs in Australia and here is the low down:

Honey is permitted into Australia and should be packed in checked luggage, not hand luggage. It must be declared for inspection on arrival. The import limit is 10 litres/10 kilograms or less for most Australian states and territories.

If travelling to Western Australia (Perth and all other WA ports) please let them know that stricter conditions apply. Honey or honey product is allowed into WA without an import permit as a liquid in individually packaged units with a capacity of 150 millimetres or less.
 

Check out our wonderful Waikato, New Zealand honey!




 
Topics: , Products
 

Sweetree Hakarimata Honey Back in Stock!

Written by Stephanie on May 27th, 2017.      0 comments

Hakarimata-main-946Finally our popular Hakarimata honey is back in stock!  It is truly a delicious honey, according to Annabelle White (Chef, Author and TV personality) "Hakarimata is super - intense, full flavoured and quite delicious".

Sweetree's Hakarimata honey is collected from the Hakarimata Range which forms part of the western rampart of the Waikato Basin.  Nestled in the foothills, our bees feast themselves on the copious sources of nectar from native flowers above and pasture flowers below.  This devine honey won Bronze in 2014, Gold in 2013 and Silver in 2012 in the 'Beekeepers Special Reserve' honey competition with the National Beekeepers Association Honey Show. We will enter it again this year for the first time in a few years.
 

Purchase Hakarimata honey here


Then try making Sweetree Honey Oats Cakes with Hakarimata honey.
Topics: , Products
 
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"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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