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A food source for the bees

The bee pasture at Laces’ Monte Sole

Flowering orchards as a food source

In spring, our orchards are an important food source for the bees. During the blossoming of the apple trees our apple producers allow the beekeepers to set up their beehives in their orchards. About 5,000 bee colonies buzz through Val Venosta’s orchards during the blooming period. This corresponds to about one bee colony per hectare. The trees offer them enough nectar and pollen and the bees then pollinate their flowers in return. In this way, the harvest is guaranteed and the quality of the fruits increases.

What is a bee pasture?

Bees need food – and not just during the blooming period but until late autumn. Beekeepers describe a bee pasture as a mix of different plants producing a lot of nectar and pollen for honeybees and other insects. These bee-friendly plants are also called melliferous plants: The melliferous potential is the total quantity of nectar and pollen that the bees bring to the beehive and transform into honey. A bee pasture offers enough food in different periods thanks to the different blooming phases of the single plants.

Food for the bees

Bees can find lots of food in our orchards during the blossoming of the apple trees. After the blooming period, however, the food supply strongly diminishes and the forest still doesn’t provide enough food for the bees. We therefore created a bee pasture at Laces’ Monte Sole at the heart of our cultivation area together with our project partners where the bee colonies can find enough nectar and pollen to bridge the time between the apple blossom and the transfer of the beehives to higher altitudes.
1 ha large area
for the bee pasture at Laces’ Monte Sole.
17 species
of bee-friendly trees and shrubs with about 1,400 plants planted so far.
550 working hours
invested by the forestry workers so far to plant and take care of the bee pasture (until 2021).

1,400 bee-friendly plants

In collaboration with our partners we turned the rock fall embankments at Laces’ Monte Sole into an ideal bee pasture. The forestry workers have planted 1,400 plants of 17 different species of bee-friendly trees, shrubs and melliferous plants so far. The mainly autochthonous plants adapt to the dry climate at Monte Sole, don’t have to be irrigated and offer the bees enough food. Moreover, stones and deadwood were used to create shaded areas that offer a natural habitat to many plant and animal species.

A joint initiative

The „Bee pasture at Laces’ Monte Sole“ project that started in June 2020 with a tree party is a joint initiative with the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, the Forestry Inspectorate of Silandro, the beekeeper association of Laces and the land owner of the area, the Separate Administration of civic goods of Laces. We will support the project by conviction during the next years and contribute to the costs for the planting and maintenance of the bee pasture. The forestry workers are responsible for planting the shrubs and trees as well as for their care and reseeding.

Bee protection is important to us

Fruit production and beekeeping form a symbiosis. Both depend on each other and have to support each other. Bee protection is our common cause. In addition to the bee pasture project we also support the local beekeepers with further measures for the breeding of queen bees and the transfer of bees. Moreover, our producers comply with the production guidelines for bee protection. They therefore only carry out the necessary treatments with plant protection products in the morning and evening hours when the bees are in the beehives.

Together for the bees

Impressions from the bee pasture at Laces’ Monte Sole