CORVEZZO on 12-06-2016
ORGANIC PROSECCO AND MORE: are bees farmer's best friends?
If there is an animal that has been silently working for human well-being since the dawn of time, that’s the bee.
Various studies have shown that this bug’s existence is crucial for agriculture and that somehow all of our survival on this planet is tied to the survival of them.
However, the global number of bees is falling and this is a big problem for us.
Man and bee relationship
The special relationship between our specie and the bee is as old as human’s history.
It has been proven that early hunter-gatherer tribes stole honey form bee’s nests. Furthermore, researchers found that when the Neolithic man developed agriculture and breeding, more than 9,000 years ago, he also developed bee-keeping in order to get honey and wax.
Bee’s part in agriculture
However, bees are not just important for their golden nectar, but also because they play a key role in plants reproduction process.
In fact, bees are called ‘pollinators’ because they carry pollen from a flower to flower.
According to FAO researches, the absence of bees in the environment would remove a lot of fruits and vegetables from our diets (link un).
Bees could boost agriculture without hurting the environment.
FAO researches have shown that improving pollinators in agricultural areas has a positive impact on crop’s yields.
Scientists compared more than 300 plots in Africa, Asia and Latin America and discovered that during flowering season plots with lower population of bees had crop yields too.
Improving bees density and diversity can rise food security of 2 million smallholders worldwide, especially in developing countries.
Bees: ecological indicators
Today bees are constantly threatened by pesticides and global warming, struggle to survive.
The number of these bugs tells us more about environment health and helps us to monitor the quantity of pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminating particles in the ecosystem.
Unfortunately, the facts suggest that our planet is suffering: USA’s beekeepers lost 44 Percent of bees in 2015-16, the worst date since 2013.
What farmers should do to help bees?
Bees are priceless treasure and it is everyone duty to protect them.
Farmers can play a key role in this by maintaining the ecological balance in the agricultural areas: FAO suggest to plant several varieties of flowers and trees in order to attract bees.
But the most important thing is to reduce the use of pesticides.
Organic farming can help in this?
Organic farming surely can fight bee mortality increase.
I know this because I am an Organic Prosecco producer and I work hard to keep my vineyard full of bees.
The techniques that I prefer to achieve this are:
- Green manure: thanks to this technique (link) the vineyard is full of flowers in spring.
- Sexual confusion: this technique helps us to control the number of pests in the vineyard without the use of pesticides (find out more!)
Habitat management the vineyard
Bees are bugs that are essential for farming.
However, we need to attract more and more different types of insects to the vineyards: it is also possible that other species have an important role in the wine production process, we just don’t know yet.
For example, did you know that yeast that transform the must in wine comes from hornets?
What will happen if hornets disappears?
Who knows, maybe I will switch my Organic Prosecco production to Organic Beer production.
The Happy farmer