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.


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

 
xmas dental-288
 

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
 

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.
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!



 
 

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
 

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

 

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
 

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

 
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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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