Not just honey. By now, it is well-known how bees, though tiny, are essential to the survival of our ecosystem and of life on earth. According to figures issued by Greenpeace, one third of the food we eat comes from the pollination carried out by these little beings that work for us for free, thus enabling us to save 264 billion euros per year, which would be the financial investment required to pollinate our crops artificially and laboriously. The extinction of bees would have a devastating impact on food production and would seriously threaten not only the wellbeing of the environment, but also human life.
Why the bees are dying. Since the beginning of the 1990s, colonies of bees have sharply decreased in number for several reasons. Besides climate changes, diseases and the devastating action of alien parasites, the major cause is the massive use of pesticides in monocultures, which mercilessly destroys the natural habitats of insects and turns delicate biodiversities into barren deserts. Moreover, some chemicals are very dangerous for the health of pollinators, including bumblebees and butterflies.
Rescuing the bees. Even though protecting the bees is a matter of both environmental and economic interest, it is not easy to reverse course. Each of us, however, can put in place small strategies to help our little striped friends. In the old times, the bees did not have man-made hives but found shelter in hollow tree trunks, and the farmers collected their nectar in a precious coexistence.
Today, the pace of life has radically changed and it is not easy to sustain good habits, especially for city-dwellers. Yet, there are many projects that support natural beekeeping, which people can help through donations or by adopting a hive.
Some small actions can make a difference; there are, for example, some flowers that are particularly yummy for the pollinators, which can be planted in the soil or in containers to create a happy, welcoming environment.
Natural honey for a sustainable breakfast. It is not enough to eat good and healthy food. It must also be sustainable food, because coexisting with nature and its inhabitants means respecting natural resources and not misusing them.
At Le Zitelle di Ron, the honey that you can spread on crispy bread in the morning is a totally kilometre 0 honey – it is put into jars about one-hundred metres from the picturesque little square in front of the B&B.
Mario – the owner – fell in love with beekeeping through his grandfather who used to bring him, from the time he was six years old, to the countryside to take care of the bees in his hives. Natural beekeeping fosters the wellbeing of the insects, as it takes into account their instincts and needs, by planning healthy, suitable hives that are not chemically treated. The family business has approximately 30 hives and has been producing honey since 1998, by using the natural blooming typical of the region. In spring, there are the dandelions, the acacia and, in autumn, the chestnut – which is very common in the area of Valdobbiadene, so much so that it yields the chestnut of Combai, certified by the high quality PGI label. In addition, a charming mountain hut in Pianezze is the backdrop to our production of the fragrant Millefiori mountain honey.
A sweet way to start the day off, right?
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