Honey bees are a critical cog in the sustainability of ecosystems worldwide. With their population under threat because of a lack of forage Boland Cellar is launching a low-alcohol wine range which will directly support the planting of trees that provide food and habitat for honey bees in South Africa.
The Boland Trees for Bees Programme, which will be implemented through the Greenpop Foundation’s Forests for Life reforestation project, has a specific focus on trees that are bee-foraging friendly to support nectar and pollen resources for honey bees.
The cellar’s Melita range, which is a first of its kind for the wine industry, is being launched in collaboration with The Bee Effect. The collaboration will also include the launch of the Boland Trees for Bees Pledge Fund which will raise funds for the planting of bee-friendly trees.
As pollinators for a variety of food crops honey bees play an important role in sustaining agriculture, a cause that is close to home for Boland Cellar.
“We operate in an agricultural environment and working close to nature has given us a heightened awareness of the need to protect our finite and fragile natural resources,” explains Boland Cellar’s Anneen du Toit.
The Melita Range
The new Melita range will include a low alcohol Chenin Blanc (8% alc. vol.) as well as a Pinotage (8% alc. vol.) and will be in-store from March 2020.
Being a cause-related brand focusing specifically on supporting honey bee foraging needs, Melita is a first for South Africa in the growing low alcohol category.
The name of the range, Melita, has its origin in ancient Greek mythology and is derived from the goddess Melissa who was regarded as the keeper of bees and honey-making.
The elegant label design was inspired by the collaboration between nature and winemaker resulting in a specific fauna and flora design representing bees’ forage flora, as well as the honey bee itself.
The Chenin Blanc and Pinotage each have their own label designs that further accentuate the wines. The labelling will also share the story behind Boland Cellar’s commitment to planting trees for bees.
The collaboration with The Bee Effect gives Boland Cellar the opportunity of having the range endorsed by the organisation – the logo of which will also appear on the label. This makes the range easily distinguishable for consumers to know that their purchase directly supports a worthy cause.
Planting Trees For Bees
In addition to a percentage of local and international sales of the Melita range contributing towards funds for the Boland Trees for Bees Programme, Boland Cellar commits to a minimum of 830 trees to be planted in 2020.
Boland Cellar’s initial pledge as well as funds derived from sales, will only be used to plant trees that are of value to honey bees.
Commenting on the collaboration Eve Puttergill, founder of The Bee Effect says they are absolutely thrilled to be part of the commitment Boland Cellar has made towards our honey bees.
“As a founding partner of the Boland Trees for Bees Programme they are supporting our target to plant 37 000 bee friendly trees by 2025 at a value of around R4.5 million. We are also encouraging other brands to pledge their support. This will allow us to ramp up our efforts to address one of the key stressors – a lack of diverse foraging – threatening honey bee populations.”