WORLD BEE DAY: What’s buzzin, Angels?
Published by Bianca Wilshin - 20th May 2019
International Wolrd Bee Day celebrates the birth of Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping. She was born on the 20th of May, 1734. The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the importance of bees and other pollinators have on our ecosystem.
Pollinators allow plants, including crops such as grapes, to reproduce. They not only contribute directly to the security of food, but they are vital to conserving biodiversity which is essential for Sustainable Development. They also mitigate environmental risks by signaling the health of the ecosystems.
Naked winemaker Ben Gould from Blindside is a strong advocate when it comes to preserving bees. In fact, he has several hives located around the Margaret River region! Here’s Ben, sharing a bit of background about his beehives:
Taking inspiration from our minimal intervention approach to wine we looked for the most natural way of keeping bees. Warré bee-keeping (known as ‘Natural’ bee-keeping) follows similar methods using no chemicals in our hives or honey production, and also the elimination of foundation wax from our frames.
We currently have 18 hives located throughout the Margaret River wine region including on our own Certified Organic & Biodynamic vineyards. We believe we are producing Western Australia’s only Warré hive natural honey & honeycomb.
Production of honey is much lower than in conventional hives, as the bees have to make both the comb and the honey each year. The biggest impact of our approach is felt in years like 2019 where there has been little to no blossom in the native Marri & Jarrah trees, resulting in no harvest of honey this year.
Our honeycomb is also recognisable due to the darker colour of the comb. In a Warré hive, the queen is free to roam, therefore the honeycomb may have been used to bread bees in a previous season. The darkest colours of the honeycomb contain traces of royal jelly, propolis & pollens that give the honeycomb not only a rich flavour but added health benefits.
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- Follow winemaker Ben Gould from Blindside on his Naked winemaker page for more updates from his Margaret River winery.
- Like what you’ve read and want to support independent, Australian and New Zealand winemakers like Ben? For more information visit our website.
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