Q+A with Cenna from Local Flavour Honey Co
For this weeks blog, we caught up with our Wellington wine rep Cenna. Not just passionate about Odyssey Wines, Cenna is also big on bees. When she is not selling our wine on the streets of Wellington, she is working on her business, the Local Flavour Urban Honey Co, a Wellington based company leasing bees to local businesses, restaurants and urban dwellings.
We talked bees, honey and of course, wine with Cenna to kick off a new blog series on Odyssey Wines where we chat to our friends and local business owners so that you can learn even more about what is going on in your backyard! Enjoy!
What do you do with bees in Wellington? What do you like about it?
My company Local Flavour Urban Honey Co, places hives in urban backyards, rooftops and green-spaces to produce small batch neighbourhood specific honeys and to help rebuild honey bee numbers in urban environments. We partner with restaurants that want to use rooftop honey on their menus and with residents, community groups and public garden spaces to help with the pollination of their urban vegetable patches.
Wellington is a terrific place for bees given the amount of green-space and relatively mild winters. The honey from each apiary is kept separate so that you can see/taste the differences in the plant life throughout Wellington. We also maintain our hives organically and keep the honey raw and unheated to preserve all the beneficial enzymes and more subtle flavours that real honey can provide.
As grape plants are self-pollinating they don’t really need bees in their pollination, whats the benefit of bees for a vineyard?
The benefits are more in relation to encouraging biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem which in turn benefits everyone. Bees in the area will also compete with wasps for nectar/food source which might help keep populations in check.
And we agree with Cenna, we have clover planted in our vineyard which fixes Nitrogen in the soil, this is very important for organics as it’s one of the only ways to get usable Nitrogen into the soil. Bees pollinate the clover to make it all happen… and also make great honey!
How do we encourage bees to come onto our vineyard?
The best way to encourage pollination is to plant other nectar rich flowers in the area that bloom at a different time. This will bring more pollinators to the area. Also bee population numbers tend to wane as nectar is less available, by keeping plants flowering throughout the season you’ll keep the population strong and busy.
How is the New Zealand’s bee population?
It’s better here than in many other parts of the world but there are always new threats. People don’t realise how vulnerable bee populations are and how absolutely crucial they are to our food supply. NZ exports our bees all over the world as they healthy and are a good strain.
Whats your favourite Odyssey Wine?
That’s a tough one! Right now it’s a dead tie between the 13 Pinot Gris and the Iliad Chardonnay. The Pinot Gris is such an interesting style and I love how textural it is and that it gives the illusion of sweetness but finishes clean. It’s a great wine for tastings because it surprises people every time. The Iliad is just a generous, beautiful and balanced Chardonnay. I challenge any serious wine drinker to try it and not to fall in love.
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