Of bees and vines

Unlike wasps, bees are considered by winegrowers to be precious allies. This is no surprise considering the part they play in vineyards. We take a closer look at the link between bees and vines.

What role do bees play in vineyards?

The occurrence of bees in vineyards is often viewed as a blessing by winegrowers.

Unlike wasps, which make a hole in the grapes, bees do not cause any damage to vineyards. Ultimately, the fruit produces little nectar and does not act as a magnet for bees.

As pollinating insects, bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the plant world. They therefore play a very crucial role in the reproduction of vine flowers and ensure biodiversity in the vineyard.

Within a vineyard, they do not need to travel long distances to perform this function, which makes them particularly effective.

Also, winegrowers have reported that the presence of bees in vineyards increases crop load by 10%.

However, in order to tap into the benefits afforded by the presence of bees in vineyards, winegrowers must ensure that they create a healthy environment for them. This entails significantly reducing the use of insecticides and other chemicals that are harmful to honeybees.

Lastly, and importantly, as they go about their work, bees in vineyards do not change the aromas of the wine in any way.

What are the health benefits of honey?

In addition to the beneficial effects of honeybees on vines and the environment in general, they also produce honey. Commonly referred to as the nectar of the gods, honey is made from the nectar of flowers collected by bees.

Honey can be used as a natural sweetener, but it can also have therapeutic uses due to its numerous health benefits, which include:

  • antioxidant effects;
  • the power of healing;
  • anti-inflammatory effects.

It is often used in mixtures used to ward off sore throats, due to its soothing effect.

Due to its healing powers, it is also used as a dressing to heal wounds or burns. 

Similarly, some hospitals use honey for cancer patients who are receiving treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy that damage the skin and dry out the mucous membrane in the mouth.

Bees are therefore beneficial for vineyards and the environment in general, but also for human beings thanks to the honey they produce.

Bees and vines therefore make perfect bedfellows – in fact they form a winning duo. Winegrowers are increasingly introducing beehives close to the vines to protect this endangered species and to capitalise on their beneficial effects on vines.