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.


Sweetree Honey, Local Hamilton Honey

Written by Stephanie on February 20th, 2021.      0 comments

Sweetree honey is as local as you can get, we even have beehives at Claudelands Events Centre (150 metres from the Hamilton Farmers Market barn)! Our Kirikiriroa honey comes from the Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo and Taitua Arboretum and from this seasons harvest will include nectar from around Claudelands Events Centre.  Our other raw honeys come from surrounding areas of Hamilton such as Four Brothers Reserve, Hakarimata ranges, Horsham Downs and Ohinewai (coming soon).  Every honey has its own unique nuance depending on what is flowering in the area at the time and are finely granulated making them very easy to spread.  

Come and see us at the Hamilton Farmers Market this weekend and have a taste of our honeys.  They are a true taste of the Waikato!
 

Check out our delicious range of honeys

Sweetree-Local-Hamilton-Honeys
 

How to Store Honey Over Summer

Written by Stephanie on December 30th, 2020.      0 comments

With summer officially here you may want to know the best way to store honey now the temperatures are starting to rise. The best place to store honey is in a cupboard or your kitchen pantry. It's usually cooler in a cupboard and will keep the honey out of direct sunlight.  Keeping it in the fridge will crystalise the honey.

If it has been sitting in an area that is too warm the honey can darken and it may start to separate but it's still completely fine to eat.  Honey never goes off, it's be found in Egyptian tombs after centuries and it's still edible.  But to keep the goodness in the honey and to keep its consistency it's best stored between 10 and 20°C.

Just make sure you screw the lid on tight and if you do drip some down the side the jar rinse it in water, or you may have a visit from ants!
 

Purchase our yummy Sweetree honey
 

Sweetree honey range-63


 

 

What's Special About Sweetree Bee Pollen?

Written by Stephanie on November 6th, 2020.      0 comments

Sweetree 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.


Enjoy the benefits of increased energy & enhanced performance with Sweetree Bee Pollen!

Find information on research carried out on bee pollen for certain health aliments and for sport nutrition.


Purchase Bee Pollen

 
Bee-Pollen-Sweetree
 

What's the Buzz About Bee Pollen?

Written by Stephanie on October 27th, 2020.      0 comments

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.

Read more on bee pollen benefits!
 

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

 
Bee-Pollen

 

 

Do You Sweeten Your Tea With Honey?

Written by Stephanie on October 16th, 2020.      0 comments

Many people love to sweeten their tea with honey.  The main reasons are because it tastes delicious and it's so much better for you than sugar!  Honey sweetens without adding any unhealthy ingredients to your drink, it adds goodness instead.  Raw honey in your tea can soothe, heal sore throat and coughs and revitalise you at the same time.

An added benefit is that honey tastes sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. One teaspoon of honey per cup of tea is a good rule of thumb. Be sure to add the honey after the tea has steeped and the water has cooled a little.  If the water is too hot it takes the goodness out the honey and can make the honey taste a little bitter.

Check out the loose TLeaf tea we love, it's plastic-free (not like tea bags) and reduces waste, it's also organic so it's better for the bees and us!  
 

Purchase loose tea
Purchase honey

 
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What Do The Manuka Honey Ratings Mean?

Written by Stephanie on June 28th, 2020.      0 comments

Manuka rating labels can be so confusing! But to ensure you purchase real manuka honey you do need to understand them. Look for the following ratings, just having 'active' or 'bioactive' on a label is not a true indication it is pure manuka honey.


Non-Peroxide Activity (NPA)

Only manuka honey has NPA. This non-peroxide activity is rated to signify the level of antibacterial strength. The higher the rating the higher the activity and therefore the greater the healing power (just like SPF in sunscreen is an indicator of sun protection). Generally, a rating of 0-4 is undetected, 5-9 is used for maintenance, 10-14 for therapeutic usage and 15+ has very high activity levels for therapeutic usage.
 

Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)

Unique Manuka Factor is a branding that is generally affordable for large commercial operators and provides an assurance to overseas customers that testing for activity meets international requirements. The test for this rating is NPA (as discussed above), for example a 5+UMF is the same at 5+ NPA.

 

Methylglyoxal (MG or MGO)

is disagreement within the industry on the consistent reliability of NPA results and therefore methylglyoxal testing is now required. Methylglyoxal is the active ingredient responsible for the non-peroxide antibacterial activity in Manuka honey. It is a naturally occurring and stable compound that can be consistently and reliably tested. Methylglyoxal does correlate to NPA, the higher the MG rating the higher the NPA rating.
 
Active Label-16mm-F-12 -241-107-170  

This label shows an example of the NPA and MG ratings on one label, the 12+ is the NPA rating.
 

 
Here's an example of some comparisons:

 
Methylglyoxal (MG) Non Peroxide Activity / UMF, approx equivalent
83 5+
146 7+
356 12+
829 20+
1200 25+

Methylglyoxal is the new industry marker for antibacterial activity, so you will see this on most manuka honey labels, or UMF for those that pay for the UMF branding.
 
 

What's the Difference Between Mono-Floral and Multi-Floral Manuka?

Written by Stephanie on June 25th, 2020.      0 comments

Manuka labels can be so confusing!  But I'm going to try and demystify that for you.  Let's start with mono-floral and multi-floral manuka.


Mono-Floral MMonofloral ManukaMG139-167-126-554anuka

Mono-floral honey comes from a single flower source. Mono-floral manuka honey means that the bees predominately foraged on manuka flowers, therefore it's a more pure manuka honey.


 

Multi-FlMultifloral ManukaMG104-775-236oral Manuka

Muti-flora honey is from a mix of flower sources. For a manuka honey to be labeled as 'multi-floral manuka it means that there are other floral sources in the honey as well as manuka.


This year our bees feasted on manuka and kanuka at our Four Brothers Reserves apiary site and the honey has been tested as a multi-floral manuka with an MG104 activity.  Check it out.

We also have a mono-floral Ohui Manuka honey with an MG139 activity.  Check that out.

More on what the 'activity' ratings mean in my next blog post.

 

4Bros MultFloral Manuka-940-314-184-805

 

 

What's So Special About Manuka Honey??

Written by Stephanie on June 22nd, 2020.      0 comments

Honey is one of the oldest known sweeteners.  It has been an essential part of our diet since the earliest times and there is increased interest in its culinary and health properties.  Not only is it delicious to eat, but honey is also hailed for its medicinal properties – it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and packed with highly valuable nutrients.

manuka flower-507All honey has some naturally occurring antibacterial qualities (peroxide activity).  This is due to the high levels of sugar in the honey, therefore fewer water molecules, which makes it hard for bacteria to grow. Hydrogen Peroxide can easily be damaged by light and heat.  This is one of the reasons why at Sweetree Honey we are very careful not to damage our honey with heat, so all our honey retain some antibacterial properties.

Some Manuka honey has a special healing quality that occurs when the bee takes manuka nectar and adds a honey ripening enzyme as they are storing the honey in the hive.   This healing quality has a special antibacterial activity, it gives a wider range and greater antibacterial power and allows the honey to absorb deeper into human tissue.  This special component is only found in NZ Manuka and Australian Jellybush honey.  In New Zealand it's been know as 'active Manuka honey'.
 
Manuka honey is a truly amazing natural, therapeutic food that can be used to heal internally and externally.   It is highly effective in treating wounds, burns, acne, ringworm, and other skin conditions. Consumed regularly manuka honey can help relieve joint pain, improve sore throats, coughs, colds, relieve stomach ulcers, lower blood pressure, nourish & heal skin, and increase immunity to sustain great health, naturally.
 

Read more about Manuka Honey

 

Check out Sweetree's manuka honey


 
 

Wash Your Face with Honey!

Written by Stephanie on January 18th, 2020.      0 comments

Are you like me and have a daily routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising your face?  Or is it your new years resolution to start taking care of your skin?  Either way why not give honey a go!  You can save a lot of money and look after your skin at the same time by cleansing your face with honey.
  
Pop about a teaspoon or so of Sweetree Honey into the palm of your hand, add a touch of water and massage it over your face, then let it sit for a while.  Of course it is sticky so you need to make sure you pull back your hair!  Then rinse it off.  It's quick and easy to do and feels great afterwards!  

Honey is also good at dissolving makeup, especially when mixed with a dash of coconut or jojoba oil and mix in a little bit of turmeric or nutmeg.  Mix this into a balm type texture that is slippery enough to slide across your face.  Massage this over your face and it will loosen up heavy makeup and moisturise your skin at the same time.

Give it a try!
Face-Washing
 

Why is Honey so Good for your Skin?

  1. It is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it is great for acne treatment and prevention
  2. It is slightly drying, so it will help soak up any pimples or oiliness.
  3. It soaks into your skin and is extremely moisturizing and soothing. It helps create a glow on your skin.
  4. Full of beneficial enzymes and antioxidants that can help with anti-aging.
  5. It’s great for acne, aging skin, normal skin, dry skin … honey loves every type of skin
  6. It is healing and helps repair sores and scars.
  7. It’s 100% natural and great for your skin!
Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Check out Sweetree's range of honeys.
 

Biodegradable Dental Care Makes Great Stocking Filler or Secret Santa Gift

Written by Stephanie on December 7th, 2019.      0 comments

Plastic free dental products make fantastic Christmas stocking or secret santa gifts!

We love that these products are biodegradable and that every toothbrush sold one is given to a New Zealand child who doesn't have one.  So you end up filling 2 santa stockings with one!

Not only does the floss do a fabulous job but it's degradable and their no plastic packaging, the glass bottle is recycled and recyclable.  But even better is the bottle is reusable, just pop in a refill and it is good to go again.

Purchase Plastic Free Dental Products

 
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Ethique Solid Bars Go a Long Way this Christmas!

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

Ethique solid bars are a great gift for someone living or wanting to live sustainably.  We LOVE these plastic free face, hair and body care products.  Zero plastic packaging with pure and natural ingredients  - full of natural goodness.  The Ethique solid bars last between three to six times longer (depending on the product) than bottled products because they’re super-concentrated.  You also receive a gift with purchase!
 

Purchase Ethique Solid Bars

xmas Ethique-482-142
 

Looking for a Gift for Someone Difficult to Buy For?

Written by Stephanie on November 30th, 2019.      0 comments

Speciality loose tea, Japanese tea canister and honey make a great gift for that person hard to buy for!


We love the T Leaf T brand of teas, they have an array of great flavours to choose from and have an organic range, which is better for the bees and us humans!  We've chosen loose tea because there is plastic in many teabags and there is less wastage with loose tea.  And what a better way to sweeten your tea than with a jar of Sweetree honey.

The Japanese tea canisters not only provide a stylish storage option they also help to ensure that your tea is stored correctly; away from light, moisture and other odours. 
 

Purchase Speciality teas and Sweetree Honey

 
xmas Teas-187
 
 
 

Honeysticks - Perfect Stocking Fillers

Written by Stephanie on November 27th, 2019.      0 comments

Honeysticks beeswax crayons are made from New Zealand beeswax and non-toxic pigments so they are natural and safe for children, and make the perfect Christmas Stocking fillers!

Purchase Honeystick Beeswax Crayons

 
xmas honey sticks-737-227
 

 


 
 

Perfect Gift for a Bee or Honey Lover

Written by Stephanie on November 14th, 2019.      0 comments

Looking for special gift for that bee or honey lover in your life this Christmas?  These books are ideal!
 

100 Years of Claude Stratford

This is a remarkable story of the diverse experiences, challenges and trumpets of Claude Stratford, our New Zealand beekeeping centenarian! If you are starting or building a business, are a beekeeper, interesting in nature's healing properties, need some inspiration or just want to read a real story about a real person with dogged determination - this is your book!
 

Honey Nature's Golden Healer

This is a wonderful book that illustrates the many ailments and diseases that honey and other bee products can help alleviate. This book is full of information, cooking tips, great remedies and wonderful photos. 
 
xmas books-281-679-108
 

Christmas Gift Hampers and Boxes - Sorted!

Written by Stephanie on November 8th, 2019.      0 comments

Now's the time to get your Christmas gift hampers and boxes sorted! If you're looking for local goodies to go into a gift basket or our looking for a unique gift box look no further!  Give a taste of the Waikato with a Sweetree honey gift box.  Each honey comes from a different area in the Waikato and has it's own distinct taste depending on the location and time of year it is harvested.  

Check out our gift box options

 
xams gift boxes-945-155-539
 
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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
Read more customer feedback