Why Wine & Beer Shops Buzz for Bees
Meanwhile, here’s an interesting question: Why is it, since by-and-large, grape vines don’t need honeybee pollination to set fruit, are honeybees so incredibly vital to strong wine production? Winemakers and wine-grape growers, whose livelihoods depend on weather, location and great rootstock, already know the answer to this one.
It’s the environment. That simple. Easily said. But what does it mean?
If a grower or winery operator doesn’t pay close enough attention to the quality of the soil on which his or her grapes are grown … year round … year in and year out, the rootstock, vines and harvest will weaken. A good environment begins with soil health.
Cover crops, including buckwheat, crimson clover and the famed Northern California waves of bright yellow mustard blossoms that self-seed prodigiously (and which honeybees positively dote on), enhance soil tilth (look it up, if its meaning escapes you at the moment) for root health, it absorbs moisture during the rainy season, and when tilled under between the rows of vines each year, supplies needed nitrogen that will be taken up by the hungry grape vines in the next crop season.
Then there’s the diversity of insect populations to keep an eye on. If an imbalance occurs between good bugs, which happily like to eat the bad guys, such as mites and mealy bugs, the whole wine business is in jeopardy.
So, a good grower maintains a diversity of seasonal plants that will attract good bugs and be the winery’s friends during the growing season, busily reducing or eliminating the urge to use nasty (and overhead cost-inflating) pesticides.
This knowledge of the year-round environmental mix that supports sustainable, on-going health from the ground-level up and across the plant-insect-pest-human consumption matrix is why, although few varieties of grapes depend on honeybees for pollination, we can all thank wise winemakers and wine country land managers for ensuring that a honey bee is never far away from a well-tended vineyard.
Bottom line: Honeybees are good citizens and active participants in sustainable wine-country agriculture.
And that’s why Wines Buzz for Bees. And Wine Shoppes as well.
When you buy a $25 Buzz for Bees Sweeps entry, you have a one-in-a-hundred shot at receiving $150 credit at your favorite local Plan Bee Partner wine shoppe. You could also choose to get a Life’s Work Amulet, beekeeping equipment or other stuff. But, since you love wine, and now know how important honeybees are in the Grand Scheme of Winemaking, we’re hoping you’ll start a Trend of Win-Win Understanding Among Wine Lovers and Purveyors.
Tell your regular wine shoppe owner – Friends of Honeybees purchases $150 in store credit from the Plan Bee Partner wine shoppe chosen by the winning entrant.
It’s a win-win deal, which we like because it’s the honeybees’ own business model.
A win for bee research. A win for wine sellers, and a win for every hundredth wine lover.
Friends of Honeybees has a goal of contributing over $1 million annually to honey bee research, as well as supporting an increase of small-scale beekeeping, community-by-community across the U.S. and around the world. Every little bit helps.
Tell us who and where your favorite wine shoppes are in the form below. If you’re a wine shoppe owner interested in becoming a Plan Bee Partner, let us know. We’ll send details. Get a Buzz for Bees entry. We’ll start communicating, have fun comparing notes on wines we’re both tasting, and Buzz for Bees, while we’re at it.
Thanks for stopping by and for your interest in wine and bees.
To see an example of how Friends of Honeybees supports its wine-and-beer-loving friends …
Submit your favorite wine shop.