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.


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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Topics: Products
 

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

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Topics: , Products
 

Waste Free Christmas

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

Christmas is a fun time of year but it can also be very wasteful, there are many items that get used only once and are then thrown out for example wrapping paper, disposable cups, plates and cutlery. I'm sure we can still have a lot of fun but cut back our waste at the same time!
 

Decorations:

social-media-Candles-239Of course using what you already have is a good start but if you need a refresh on Christmas decorations how about ribbons, material bunting and folding paper decorations, stay away from unsustainable decorations (plastic and tinsel). Homemade items are always really good but if you don't have time for that you might find more sustainable decorations from websites like felt.co.nz.  I brought a fantastic 'Merry Christmas' bunting make of out woollen blankets on Felt a few years ago that will last for decades, I love it.  Beeswax candles make a lovely feature on the table.  And remember that the garden has lots to offer, not just flowers but foliage, pine cones and berries can look good as arrangements or placed on the table. And once used they can go to the compost!

Go rummaging around in 2nd hand shops and choose colourful candle sticks, vases, serving dishes, table cloth and cloth serviettes for the table. 
 

Crockery

It's best to avoid using disposable plates and utensils all together, but if you need disposables choose home compostable ones. You will need make it easy for your guests to know where to dispose scrap food and their plates and utensils, so a waste station that is clearly labelled is going to help.

If you don't have enough of your own crockery or utensils then ask friends and family to bring their own plates and/or utensils and take home afterwards. Or just borrow from friends or hire bits and pieces from a hireage company.
 

Cleaning up

Having a wash up station is a great idea. You can ask folk to wash 10 plates or get the kids on board to help. If the wash area is well set up people are happy to help, just keep an eye out for the very diligent helper and make sure you drag them out of the kitchen. You want everyone to have a turn. Make sure there are some special drinks and food nearby so they all get spoilt too!

We have a pretty complicated waste system with chicken, worm farm and compost scraps, paper, soft plastics and other recycling.  When we have gatherings at our place (and they can be be quite big with Martin being one of seven) I label were all the different things go so we don't add to the landfill.
 

Gifts

Try to avoid unhelpful gift buying and receiving by having lists, telling people you don’t need a gift, and discouraging secret Santa.  Sometimes we don’t need stuff but enjoy experiences and help.  We can take people on a little adventure, give them a massage, offer to do a chore, cook a special dinner or go on a picnic, there are so many ideas that you and your family could enjoy. You can create redeemable vouchers.  

Instead of secret Santa how about an alternative for example the exchange of favourite recipes, or even jokes, life hacks, fun facts, a favourite saying or piece of poetry, or even a compliment if you know the recipient - you might need to choose a theme so everyone is on board.  Our your could all donate to a special charity.

I've got loads of sustainable gift giving & wrapping ideas in my other blog post.
 

Catering

social-media-waste-free-celebrations-726Try to make dips, hummus and pate instead of the prepacked versions.  Make your own drinks instead of fizzy drinks in plastic bottles.  We use a soda stream that uses the same bottles over and over and add Barkers fruit concentrate to flavour them.  Barkers is in glass jars and use real fruit instead of flavours and colours.

There are shops that will fill your own containers like Hamilton Beer and Wine Co or the Good George. Of course there is the traditional beer swappa crate as well.

Get a little organised and try to make a salad rather than buy salads prepackaged at the supermarket.  Use a tried and true one to avoid stress or maybe you need some motivation and want to try a new recipe.  Remember when buying your salad greens avoid the ones in plastic!  

If you're taking a plate to someone else's house take it in a nice platter and cover it with an extra large Honeywrap, not only is it better for the environment, it looks great and you can leave the wrap behind as a gift for the host. 

It's a great time to start thinking outside the square and see what sustainable options you can bring into your Christmas celebrations this year.  Enjoy!
 

Get more tips on sustainable gift giving and wrapping
Check out Sweetree's sustainable gift range

Topics: , Enviromental
 

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

 
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Topics: , Products
 

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

 
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Topics: , Products
 

Give The Gift of Relaxation This Christmas

Written by Stephanie on November 23rd, 2019.      0 comments

Natural beeswax candles make a great gift this Christmas!

Did you know that burning beeswax produces negative ions that circulate in the room and attract pollutants and clean your air?  Many people report that burning a beeswax candle in your bedroom 30 minutes before falling asleep produces a more restful sleep.  All our beeswax products are 100% beeswax.  It's a lovely relaxing gift to give this Christmas.

Purchase beeswax candles

 
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Perfect Sustainable Gifts

Written by Stephanie on November 20th, 2019.      0 comments

Check out our great range of sustainable 'eating on the go' items, they make great Christmas gifts!  These include JOCO glass coffee cups, stainless steel straws and stainless steel containers for takeaways!
 

JOCO Reusable Glass Coffee Cups

These reusable glass coffee cups will be your barista’s and the environment’s new best friend.  They are stylish, come in great colours and easy on the environment.
 

Reusable Straws

Both the drinking and smoothy straws are made form quality stainless steel, making them reusable, durable and environmental friendly straws.  They make great stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts.

 

U-Konserve Stainless Steel Containers

These reusable bento-box-style containers are the perfect on-the-go solution for sandwiches, sushi and cut fruit. Also use for takeout, salad bars, and to store your leftovers in the refrigerator or to bring them to the office the next day. Makes the perfect gift for someone who wants to reduce their plastic use.

 
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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
 

Sustainable Gift Giving This Christmas

Written by Stephanie on November 12th, 2019.      0 comments

It's so hard to believe that we are in the middle of November and Christmas is just around the corner!  It can be a stressful time of year with everything winding up, buying gifts, planning Christmas day and holidays.  But once that's all out of the way it is a special time of year, time to spend with loved ones, time to put our feet up and take a well deserved breather after a busy year. 

Christmas is my favourite time of year but it can also be a very wasteful time of year and I'm going to be much more mindful of that wastage this year and minimise it as much as possible!  Here's some great sustainable tips on gift giving and wrapping.

Gift Giving

It can often be a struggle to find the right gifts for people.  A lot of our friends are trying to declutter and reduce the amount of 'stuff' they have and I really don't want to add more impractical, wasteful things to their lives.  And parents usually have everything they want.  Now when buying gifts I think to myself "Will this add to the world's waste problem?  Will this be useful or loved?" I will often ask if there is anything they want or need, at least then I know it won't be wasted.  Here's some good tips I've come across:

 

Gift Wrapping

I cringe at the amount of wrapping paper that is used once and then thrown out at Christmas.  Last year I came across a much better option and everyone that has received a gift wrapped this way has loved it!  Every time I go past a second hand shop I buy some scarfs and use them for wrapping gifts. It's a Japanese form of gift wrapping - furoshiki.  You can just search on Tube You for furoshiki and the item you are wrapping and get some great ideas.  There is no paper and no sellotape used and the greatest thing is the recipient can reuse it for a gift that they give!  I love it!  Here are just a few of the gifts I've given wrapped in scarfs and my basket of scarfs all ready to go.  By the way you can use any material and ribbons you like.  The world is your oyster! 

Scarf-Wrapping-1   Scarf-Basket

Check out our range of sustainable Christmas gifts


 

Topics: , Enviromental
 

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

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

It's a great time of year to get our creative juices flowing and give some homemade gifts this Christmas.  We've got some great ideas using beeswax!

 

  1. Beeswax Food Wraps

    Beeswax food wraps make great gifts, the perfect size to post, give as a secret santa gift, stocking filler or to add to another gift.  It's a great way to get friends or family away from plastic food wrap!  

    You can either buy a kit that has the main ingredients, as it can be difficult to find resins and/or propolis you require for the beeswax mix, or find your own ingredients and follow a recipe such as this one in Life & Leisure magazine.  You can purchase Sweetree plain beeswax to make your own mix.

    If you've run out of time or just not into the mess it might create you can always purchase pre-made honeywrap food wraps

    HoneyWrapXmas
     

  2. Solid Perfume

    If you want to give someone a fragrance but don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for a tiny bottle of celebrity-endorsed fragrance, these solid perfumes allow you to create your own brand of fragrance, that also moisturises and protects skin with beeswax and natural oils. The other bonus is that solid perfumes don’t spill, nor do they contain alcohol or synthetic chemicals. Check out a great recipe for solid perfume.
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  1. Lip Balm

    Everyone needs lip balm from time to time, especially if you're in the elements.  It's a great gift to make! Try this honey lip balm or Wendyl Nissen's lip balm.

    Homemade-Lip-Balm-151-569-330

  2. Candles  

Candles make a wonderful gift.  Did you know that burning beeswax produces negative ions that circulate in the room and attract pollutants and clean your air?  Many people report that burning a beeswax candle in your bedroom 30 minutes before falling asleep produces a more restful sleep.  All our beeswax products are 100% beeswax.

Try this simple recipe for making candles and purchase beeswax from our store, or if you don't have the time or inclination to make candles you can always purchase them already made up.

how-to-make-beeswax-candles-2

Check out this other recipes as well:

 

Purchase Sweetree beeswax


 
Topics: , gifts , Plastic Free, Recipes
 

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
 

Bee Swarms

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

Spring is the time of year when you are likely to see a few bee swarms.  For those that don't know much about swarms I thought I would explain what they are, why bees swarm and what to do if you have one turn up at your place.

Firstly, have a look at one of our beehives swarming!


 

What is a Swarm and Why do Bees Swarm?


Bee-SwarmMainly in springtime you may see a very large group of bees flying together or you may see a big clump (like a ball) of bees hanging from a branch, on a fence, against your house, or some other place.  This is a swarm of bees.  

A swarm is when a queen bee takes a large group of worker bees (usually about 50-60% of the hive) with her and leaves the hive to find a new home.  It is a natural means of reproduction for bee colonies.   A swarm of bees could consist of thousands to tens of thousands of bees.

The reason bees swarm could be due to one of these causes:
  • There are two queens in a hive so one takes half the bees out and finds another home
  • There are too many bees for one hive, a new queen is created and the old queen moves off with some of the bees
  • The bees are simply predisposed genetically to swarming (instinctive)


What to Do if You are in the Path of Moving Swarm:


Don't panic! Don't run!  Don't fling your arms around!  Just remember they will have filled up on honey before they left and will be docile and unable to sting.  But to be safe just crouch down low and stay still until they pass.
 

What to Do if you Have a Swarm on your Property:


Don't panic!  Don't touch them!  Don't spray them!  They will not harm you unless you harm them.

The best thing you can do is to get hold of a local beekeeper to come and collect it. There are hobby beekeeping clubs all around the country and they are often looking for swarms to fill new hives.

Look for a beekeeper in your area on the National Beekeepers Association website.  Or google a hobby beekeeper's club near you.  Here are some club websites:

Waikato Hobby Beekeeping Club
Auckland Beekeepers Club
Whangarei Beekeeping Club
Christchurch Hobbyist Beekeeping Club

There's actually a great list of hobby beekeeping clubs on the Kiwimana website, there might be one near you.  Hobby beekeepers are always on the scout out for new bee colonies!

 

Read More:

Why do bees sting?
Remedies for bee stings
 
Topics: , Bee Facts
 

Conservation Week

Written by Stephanie on October 13th, 2019.      0 comments

Join Many New Zealanders from 14–22 September to celebrate 50 years of Conservation Week! 

New Zealand’s wildlife is still in crisis with more than 4,000 of our native animals and plants threatened or at risk. Conservation Week is a chance to bring everyone together to do something, big or small to create change.

Every year Conservation Week sees thousands of New Zealanders getting involved through doing conservation activities at home or attending one of many events hosted across the country. Creating change can be big or small, when we pull together, we can make a big difference.

Find out more and check out events near you
 
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Topics: , Enviromental
 

World Habitat Day

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

World Habitat Day-816Today is World Habitat Day.  What does that mean?

More than 30 years ago the United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. This year's theme is to harness frontier technologies to achieve sustainable waste management.

The UN says technology has great potential to improve how people work and live, to significantly accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change. Frontier technologies, such as automation, robotics, electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, biotechnologies, and artificial intelligence can transform the social, economic and environmental spheres. They can offer better, cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for every-day problems, including waste management.

Great news, sounds exciting!  

Find out more
Topics: , Enviromental
 
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