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.


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. 
 
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Topics: Products
 

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

 
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Topics: , Products
 

Christmas Gifts for Everyone!

Written by Stephanie on November 7th, 2019.      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
 

Honeywraps Are Set Apart From Other Food-Wraps

Written by Stephanie on October 2nd, 2019.      0 comments

HoOrganic Cotton Honeywrap-288neywrap food wraps are set apart from other food-wraps, the most important difference is that they are made with certified organic fabric, and always have been. If you are serious about protecting the planet, as we are - then organic cotton is a must. Why would you choose non-organic for the same price? 

Normal cotton has one of the highest pesticides in the world - poisoning the soil, water ways and impacting the health of local communities. GOTs certified organic cotton uses no pesticides, thus is much better for the planet, local farmers, communities and us.

Another great difference is that the fabric is designed in collaboration with NZ artists and charities.  We love everything about Honeywrap food wraps!
 

Purchase honeywraps 

HoneyWrap XL Citygarden Bread-30-508-719
Topics: , Enviromental , Products
 

Sustainable Product Labels

Written by Stephanie on September 25th, 2019.      0 comments

At Sweetree honey we are passionate about sustainability, we take good care of our bees, we are careful about wastage, we don't use plastic anywhere through the honey process and we pack our honey in the most sustainable form we know, glass.
Hakarimata-Close-up
We do our best to be sustainable in all areas of our business but unfortunately there’s no such thing as perfection. Product labels have been a tricky one.  We initially chose our labels because we loved them, they were simple, clear and sophisticated.  We have recently carried out a review of our labels and have been advised by many label companies that our current labels are the most environmentally friendly currently available in New Zealand.  They are 100% plastic and therefore the label and the backing can be recycled in soft plastics recycling, where as other labels are usually multi material labels and difficult to recycle.

Paper labels would be more desirable and yes there are paper labels and we have investigated these but have been advised these aren't as eco-friendly as you may think.  What dictates the eco friendliness of labels, the recyclability or compostability of the label, is both the adhesive (the layer that sticks it to the jar) and the coating (the layer over the top, like a varnish), which protects the paper from staining from product (eg honey dripping down the jar or deterioration from moisture).  Also the backing paper of these labels is currently un-recyclable in NZ, due to the silicon in the backing paper which allows you to peel your label off the roll.  No label is 100% green in NZ yet but we will continue to look for better options.

Sweeetree's current label supplier has a good system for managing waste, has reduced emissions, does not use solvents in plate making, supports many local causes and has a good chain of custody in place.  Both our label and backing of the label can be recycled in soft plastic recycling and turned into something else.  If you have trouble getting our label off the jar, just warm it up with a hairdryer or something similar and pop it in soft plastics recycling!
 

Check out Sweetree honeys

Topics: , Enviromental, Products
 

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
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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
 

Sweetree's Favourite Honeys

Written by Stephanie on August 9th, 2019.      0 comments

Four-Brothers-&-HakarimataSweetree's all-time favourite Waikato honeys are currently in stock!


Four Brothers Reserve derives its name from our apiary's location near the beautiful bush-clad deviation linking Hamilton and Raglan. On the horizon, wind turbines produce renewable power while our bees gather nectar from pasture flowers, Kanuka and other natives.  It's a lovely soft, buttery honey with a delicious caramel taste is sure to please!  Sweetree Four Brothers Reserve honey is featured in Simon Gault's Homemade cookbook.

Check out this Brushetta recipe using Four Brothers Reserve honey.


Hakarimata honey is collected from the Hakarimata Range which forms part of the western rampart of the Waikato Basin, in behind Ngaruawahia.  Nestled in the foothills and near the Waikato River, our bees feast themselves on the copious sources of nectar from native flowers above and pasture flowers below.  This honey has a delicious caramel taste leading into mild butterscotch, yum!  Our Hakarimata honey has won many awards over the years.

Try these oatcakes using Hakarimata honey.
 

Purchase Four Brothers Reserve or/and Hakarimata honey



 



 
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Sensational Waikato Honeys

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

With its wonderful diverse floral sources the Waikato produces some sensational honeys!  Sweetree Honey is a true reflection of the Waikato's flora. Much like a great wine reflects the terroir of where the grapes have grown, Sweetree Honey’s different varieties reflect the area and season the bees worked their magic. From the light and creamy coloured honey of the Four Brothers Reserve with an almost caramel flavour to the more peppery Marokopa Summer - there is a Sweetree honey to suit all tastes and occasions.

Unblended honeys are not new, but the fact that Sweetree’s honeys are not based on a single flower source but the local area and season make our approach unique. One of the things Martin learned as a hobbyist beekeeper is that you can deliver sensational honey from a small number of hives. It’s all about the nearby floral sources and how you process that honey. For this reason we choose our sites carefully. Each apiary location has its own special nuance and character and this is reflected in the honey when you come to taste it.  We love that on our back doorstep, the Waikato, there is a wonderful diversity and range of honey tastes to be had. 

We enjoy offering customers the ‘taste’ of a location. Customers often comment they love that our honey can bring back memories of a special place to them whether it’s Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo, Marokopa, Four Brothers Reserve or The Hakarimata Ranges. Children also love they can eat a honey from somewhere they connect to.
 

Sweetree Honey Range

Topics: , Products, Waikato
 

So Many Reasons to Love Honeywrap Food Wraps!

Written by Stephanie on March 16th, 2019.      0 comments

There are so many reasons to love Honeywrap food wraps....

  • Honeywrap is one of the only beeswax wraps that use GOTS Organic cotton.  Honeywraps mission is to protect the planet and that can't be done without choosing organic cotton.  Organic cotton is made without pesticides therefore it is better for the environment, the farmers and eventually our own health as our skin and food is not exposed to the harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process of traditional cotton.
  • HoneyWrap-Medium-11Honeywrap customers have now saved the equivalent of 11 million meters of plastic from going to landfills and oceans and encouraged people to use more beautiful, sustainable alternatives!
  • They are locally and hand-made
  • The Fabrics are collaborations with Kiwi artists such as Evie Kemp, Natty
  • Honeywraps provide work for people with disabilities with the Create Your Own Starter Kits
  • Honeywrap supported over 100 different causes in 2018 with donations
  • They can be used as a non-slip mat perfect to stop plates or chopping boards from slipping on the bench
  • They make great place-mats for little hands
  • Honeywraps' make awesome jar openers - for those really stuck lids and when you don't have any muscles about!
  • Honeywraps are fine to be posted overseas; making an awesome gift for overseas visitors- small and easy to post with a little kiwiana
  • We love that Honeywraps can be composted after they have come to the end of their life, it's recommended to cut them up so they break down faster.


Purchase Honeywraps here

HoneyWraps-group
 
 
Topics: , Enviromental , Products
 

Marokopa Spring Back in Stock!

Written by Stephanie on February 22nd, 2019.      0 comments

Our popular Marokopa Spring honey is back in stock!!


Sweetree's Marokopa Spring is collected from late September to November from the remote west coast settlement of Marokopa, south of the renowned Waitomo Caves.  Here our bees forage on hill country wildflowers, clover and native bush such as Rewarewa, Kamahi and Heketara.  This season's Marokopa Spring has a strong Rewarewa component.  It really is delicious!
 

Here are some photos of Sweetree's Marokopa Spring honey - from our beehives to your table!  

 
1Dan-in-Truck
It's great having our 16-year-old son helping out, he's enjoying spending quality time with his dad, even if it means really early starts.
 
2honey-on-hives
Fresh frames of Marokopa Spring honey, nothing like it.  Yum!
 
3Honey-on-trailer
Loading up to take the honey back to the honey house
 

5ready-for-extraction
Boxes of honey (supers) awaiting extraction
6spinner
Extraction - spinning the honey out of the frames
 


9lidding-close-up
Packing time - thanks again for our son's help, thank goodness it was Waitangi Day & he had a day off school!
 
8filling
Yummy jar of Marokopa Spring honey!
 
10labelling
Time to label all those jars!
 

 Purchase this seasons Sweetree Marokopa Spring honey


 

  
Topics: , Products
 

Where Do you Put Your Dental Floss?

Written by Stephanie on February 1st, 2019.      0 comments

EcoFloss LowWhere do you put your dental floss?  Our dental hygienist suggested in the shower!  It's been the perfect place for us to remember to floss, I'm flossing way more than I used to.  I was worried about the container collecting condensation but I keep it out of the water on a shelf in the shower and it's perfectly fine, as you can see in this photo. 

You might be able to tell we're just about out of dental floss but the great news is, with eco-floss, I can just replace the reel of floss in my glass bottle with a refill!  No plastic wastage anymore!  Perfect!
 

Check out the eco-floss and refills here


 
Topics: , Enviromental, 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.
japanese-tea-canister-canisters-airtight-storage-tins-inspiring-wholesale
 

Check out T Leaf Loose Tea and Canisters

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Read our blog to see what’s happening

Read our blog to keep up to date with what we are up to!
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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