We get a lot of produce from the work that bees do, and they likewise make it possible to produce the hay that feeds the animals on our farms. Here’s the sobering truth: the honeybee population in the United States is having a hard time, and in the last 70+ years, we’ve seen a dramatic loss in the number of hives in the United States. Beekeepers work to recover those losses by splitting their hives and getting queen bees for the new hives, however the reality stays that scientists are trying to figure out what’s going on.
Marla Spivak, a lead researcher on bees, says this is taking place for several factors. To begin with, as farming methods have actually changed over the last a number of years, we’ve planted increasingly more monocultures– huge crops of the exact same plant. As we’ve wiped out meadows and wildflower areas in favor of single crops, it has had a remarkable effect on bees and their food supply.
In order to produce that crop each year, over 1.5 million of the country’s hives are literally driven to the almond orchards to pollinate the almonds. As soon as the almonds are done blossoming, the bees have tobe trucked out. Since once the blossoming season is done, there’s absolutely nothing for the bees to turn to next.
And here’s another thing: when we started planting monocultures, we likewise opened the door to an abundance of bugs that eat those particular crops. So, what did we do then? Introduce pesticides, of course! And it’s not unexpected that bees would start getting some of the pesticide residue as they set about their company in a crop. That exposure either kills them, or it can tinker their brains simply enough to make it impossible for them to discover their way back to their hives. In the end, the results are the exact same: they do not make it. Our usage of herbicides has actually likewise produced problems for bees, too.
Cover parasites and crops. Cover crops assist bees prosper, and we do not plant them like we used to, and parasites are taking bees out.
Bottom line? We’ve drastically altered our practices and introduced things that, one by one, have ruined our bees. And if we do not change things around or determine how to counteract the existing trends, those implications are only going to intensify.
At this point, however, you might be wondering exactly what bees have to do with grapes and making wine. A short article by Ben Weinberg helps respond to the concern of exactly what that function is when he composes: “Bees are also pollinators for insectaries,’ discusses Justin Leigon, viticulturist at Napa-based Piña Vineyard Management. Lots of bees are therefore a good sign that you have a healthy vineyard with a varied community.”
The straight skinny is this: even though they might not be straight involved with the growth of beautiful grapes, bees definitely affect the quality and yield of grape crops, and the existence of bees in the vineyard indicates a greater variety of life.
So… if you check out all this and feel a little alarmed at exactly what’s occurring with bees and how that might potentially affect us at large, you may be questioning what you can do. If you wish to be proactive about assisting the bees, cultivating a more natural environment, and getting better wine from landscapes that are more biologically diversified, here are a few things you can do.
First, plant flowers that bees like! Feed the bees utilizing your garden, your yard area, or pots on your deck! You may consider turning your lawn into a wildflower garden that attracts bees rather of putting in green yard.
Think about transforming city areas (tops of buildings, for example) into green spaces where you can plant crops or flowers that bring in bees. If we are focused on thinking in green terms, we can make our communities and lawns more favorable to exactly what bees require.
And lest you believe we’ve forgotten about our conversation about bees and wine, did you know that we provide wine tours? These trips are a wonderful way to decrease, do some tasting, and progress familiarized with vineyards in our area. This can be specifically enjoyable for foodies! To find out more about these tours, call us today!
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