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.

Newsletter - November 2015

Written by Stephanie on November 27th, 2015.      0 comments

It's so hard to believe we are already at the end of November and Christmas is looming up fast!   It's been a very busy spring so far... in fact its nearly over!  Almost every hive has been split and most have been re-queened with breeder queen cells.  In general most of our sites are going reasonably well and despite the splits, bee numbers are satisfactory. There has been particularly good spring nectar flows in and around Hamilton so that's great.

In this newsletter you will see some great Christmas gift ideas, find out about purchasing the Sweetree range over the holiday period and receive a yummy 'Sweetree Honey & Fresh Blueberry Mille Feuille' recipe.

Read the latest newsletter here!

Newsletter - June 2015

Written by Stephanie on June 28th, 2015.      0 comments

Thanks to Martin's hard work, increasing hive numbers and favourable conditions we had a bumper crop of 9 tonnes of honey this year!!  That's our best ever harvest, quite a bit for a part time business!  The bees are all wintered down now.  They are taking a well deserved rest and clustering to keep warm (read what they do below).

Find out in our latest newsletter what bees do over the winter and what we could plant on our properties ready for the bees in spring.  Read about how we can help Nepal after the earthquakes and how we can help the environment this 'Plastic Free July'.  Take the Lemon & Honey Drink Challenge and check out our new Hamilton City honey, 'Kirikiriroa'!

Read our latest newsletter here.

Newsletter - December 2014

Written by Stephanie on December 19th, 2014.      0 comments

It's December already!  That time of year has rolled around very fast!  If you looking for ideas for gifts this Christmas look no further.  We have great gifts on our website so check them out in our online store.

After what looked to be a promising start in September, October and November has been very tough on the bees.  But in the last week we are starting to see honey come into the hives and the bees are looking much happier.  Cross fingers it continues, so our bees can collect more of their great honey from existing locations and our new ones!

In a partnership with the Hamilton City Council Sweetree beehives now have homes at Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo and Taitua Arboretum!  This is an exciting opportunity to produce a honey that reflects the flora of Hamilton and which we hope will turn out to be something very special.

Something special happened to our son last week!  He was interviewed on Campbell Live because his chicken is mothering a little kitten. It's a great story!

Read more in our newsletter


Newsletter - May 2014

Written by Stephanie on May 14th, 2014.      0 comments

Have you tried this season's honeys yet?  Remember each season our bees create a slightly different honey depending on the floral sources available, so the flavours will be slightly different to last season.

The chilly tendrils of winter are now upon us and I'm pleased to say our bees are in very good shape having come off a great summer.  Most of our hives have at least one good full box of honey stores and our varroa treatment has worked well. No sign of any nasty bee diseases which is also pleasing.

The temperatures have dropped, the wind is wild and it is feeling like winter all of a sudden!  Great time to sit in by the fire and keep away from those winter bugs.  No one likes getting colds and flu's, but you can protect yourself against them with natural immunity builders.  Since earliest civilization, Bee Hive products such as Propolis, Bee Pollen and Honey have been used for their nourishing, healing, protective and rejuvenating qualities.

Read more of the newsletter here

Newsletter - December 2013

Written by Stephanie on December 8th, 2013.      0 comments

It’s hard to believe we are in December already!  Where has this year gone?  It has been a year of ups and downs for Sweetree Honey.  We lost a large number of bee colonies in May due to varroa mite and its taken a lot of effort to build up hive numbers for this season. But fortunately we have had a great Spring and we look to be back on track with the prospect of a good season ahead, cross fingers! 

Winning several National Beekeepers Association honey awards was a high point and having such wonderful stockists and customers makes this business a joy to run.  We really appreciate your positive feedback and continued support this year!

Read more of the newsletter here

Newsletter - September 2013

Written by Stephanie on September 18th, 2013.      0 comments

Spring has arrived!  Well at least the bees think so!  It's all go here at Sweetree getting organised for the new season ahead.  The long summer resulted in high levels of mites in our hives and despite treatments to kill the varroa mite, we had a larger than usual loss of beehives. But don't worry that won't stop us!

Spring brings more daylight hours, flowers blooming and birds singing.  More time to spend in the garden and playing outside with the kids.  But for hay fever sufferers spring can be a dreaded time!  Find out how bee pollen can help.

Thanks to those that purchased Bee Friendly Wild Flower seeds, Sweetree raised $490 for the NBA to help NZ Bees. 

Read more of the newsletter here

Newsletter - June 2013

Written by Stephanie on June 22nd, 2013.      0 comments

In this newsletter you will see how Sweetree can help support you over the winter months.  We have bee pollen to build your immunity, Active Manuka honey to fight bacteria and inflammation and a Propolis Tincture to invigorate the immune system and fight infection and viruses!

To help you avoid or get through the nasty bugs over the winter we recommend:
  • Regular consumption of bee pollen to build your immunity.  
  • Take vitamin C every day
  • Eat lots of fresh fruit and veges
  • Get some fresh air and exercise
  • Get outside everyday to get vitamin D
  • When you feel a sore throat coming on eat teaspoons of active 5+ Manuka honey
  • When you feel a cold or flu coming on have some drops of Propolis tincture and/or try the 'Cold and Flu Remedy' below.

Read more here

Newsletter - April 2013

Written by Stephanie on April 11th, 2013.      0 comments

What a great honey season it has been!  We have a bumper crop of Marokopa Manuka this year which will make up for last year.  Samples of Sweetree honey tested have a HMF level of <4mg/kg, indicating very low levels of heating and very fresh honey! Fresh extracted honey is usually below 10mg/kg, higher levels such as 40mg/kg indicate excessive heating. Find out more in this months newsletter.

Also in this newsletter read about how Simon Gault loves our honey, about our photo competition and get a great cold and flu remedy recipe!

Read more here

Newsletter - December 2012

Written by Stephanie on December 11th, 2012.      0 comments

As 2012 is nearing an end and Christmas is around the corner we would like to thank you very much for supporting us this year.  We really appreciate it.  Thanks for your encouragement and great feedback, we love receiving them.

In this newsletter read a round up of what what exciting things Sweetree has been involved in this year, get an update on what Martin has been up to at the hives, read about Clyde Stratford's (beekeeper and founder of Comvita) elixir of life at a grand old age of 102!  Also see the delicious Panforte recipe you can whip up for Christmas!

Read more here

Newsletter - October 2012

Written by Stephanie on October 29th, 2012.      0 comments

Can you believe Christmas is only eight weeks away!  Where has the year gone!  It is a busy time of year here at Sweetree, as you will see in Martin's beehive update below.  Finally the sun has been shining here for a couple of days, so the bees are very happy.  Hopefully they will collect heaps of pollen so we can have it available ongoing soon.

A couple of weeks ago we were asked to be part of a program called 'Catch and Cook' on Choice TV.  In 'Catch and Cook' Adventure Aaron travels around New Zealand catching ingredients for wild food dishes cooked by celebrity chefs.  In the episode we were involved in Chelsea Winter (Master Chef winner) sent Aaron to catch whitebait and collect honey for a delicious meal she cooked us at the Tuakau Hotel.  We loved the experience, it was heaps of fun!

With Christmas around the corner we have a great line up of gift ideas this year.  There is something for everyone, including crayons made with beeswax for the kids!  We are also offering a great discount for businesses looking for that something special for customers or employees this year.

Read the rest of our newsletter

Newsletter - September 2012

Written by Stephanie on September 1st, 2012.      0 comments

 Spring has finally sprung!  The sun is shining, the temperature is rising, the flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing and the lambs are frolicking.  The other day I had to give way to a gorgeous family of ducks crossing the road.  Don't you just love spring!

Spring means more time in the garden.  Preparing garden beds, sowing seeds, planting out seedlings, fertilising and spraying!  Just think about the bees before you bring out the sprays this year.  Have a read of the ingredients and make sure there are none that will harm the bees.  See the article below for more details.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and would love your feedback and also let us know what sort of information you would like in future newsletters.

Read the rest of our newsletter

Newsletter - May 2012

Written by Stephanie on May 2nd, 2012.      0 comments

Hi Everyone and welcome to our latest edition of 'The Buzz'.  I plan to start sending these out every two months or so with great recipes and tips on how to use honey and bee pollen.  Hope you enjoy!

Have you voted for your favourite stallholder and market in the Taste Farmers Market awards?  We would love your vote, so remember to enter Sweetree Honey in the Your Favourite Stallholder section!

Marmite is not the only favourite spread in short supply this year!  The very wet summer we had has meant our bees had a hard time resulting in no Manuka being harvested and very little Four Brothers Reserve.  While we have a good quantity of 500g 2011 vintage Manuka in stock, Four Brothers Reserve is now in short supply.  But never fear we have two great new honeys for you to fall in love with.

We are about to pack the brand new Hakarimata Reserve, which is sure to please.  And our good old fashioned farm blend is back, renamed as Horsham Downs Country, this is an extra sweet tasting honey that kids love!

Read the rest of our newsletter

Newsletter - December 2011

Written by Stephanie on December 14th, 2011.      0 comments

Seasons Greetings

Sweetree new label  19 It is very hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner!  It has been a very busy and exciting year for Martin and I.  We have  rebranded to 'Sweetree', our honeys were judged 3rd in the Taste NZ Farmers Market Awards and we have expanded into more stores around the country.  You will also start to see our honey available in smaller jars which make perfect gifts and a proving very popular.  On the beekeeping side we lost a number of hives over the winter due to Varroa mite, so we have been very busy getting our hive numbers up again ready for the season ahead.  The bees seem happy and strong and I'm sure it will be a great season ahead  - fingers crossed for favourable weather!  Our boys (aged 9 & 7) are becoming more interested in the business now and love to be involved where they can, it is great to see their enthusiasm!

We are excited about what 2012 will bring for Sweetree Honey and we hope you will follow our journey with us!

Read the rest of our end of year Christmas Newsletter

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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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