The bee plays a key role in maintaining the biological balance in our ecosystem and its extinction would represent a catastrophic event. It can be considered the “integral” animal bioindicator par excellence as it is able to explore the three environmental dimensions: air, water and soil. Unfortunately, for years we have been talking about a drastic reduction of this extraordinary “life carrier” and “integral environmental sensor” due to the overall quality degradation of our ecosystems. Cantina Orsogna has been applying the principles of organic farming since 25 years. Today, the organic agricultural area represents about 80% of the total cultivated area, we therefore feel that BEES ARE SAFE AROUND US, away from pesticides and herbicides. Vola Volè – Gioielli della Regina – is a line of wines of Cantina Orsogna dedicated to bees and in particular to the Queen bee. The queen bee reigns on the hive adapting harmoniously to the needs, the laws and the intentions of its colony, regulating its life and guaranteeing its survival. The queen bee is born from an egg fertilized by the worker bees fed until the end (15 days) with royal jelly in royal cells. The virgin queens in their royal cells emit a sound called the queen’s song, a cry of war for the opponent queen and an invitation to the drones to fly (wedding flight). The queen comes out of the hive only once in her life with a procession of worker bees protecting her from all sides. On that occasion, she flies as high as possible (up to 30 meters) where only the strongest drones can reach her. This Swarming can be interpreted as a process of ending the old colony and a preparation for the birth of a new one. The virgin queens prefer to match with drones coming from different families and different areas reducing the risk of consanguinity
related to their own hive. However, the drones die just after the reproduction falling on the ground. The new queen just coupled will keep inside her all the drone’s sperm ones up to five years, the maximum life span of a good queen Each young queen receives the sperm from many males. It will be needed for all her life: as she lays eggs and she decides to
fertilize them to generate worker bees or not to fertilize them so that they will be born as males (drones). During the production peak she can lay up to 1500 eggs per day. A queen
can produce up to 250,000 eggs per year and perhaps more than a million in her life. When the queen is no longer effective in fertilization and its proliferation begins to degenerate, the workers are prepared to replace her, starting to breed a new one from fertilized eggs or larvae with no more than three days of life.
The Queen marking
The abdomen of the queen bee is visibly longer than that of the workers who surround it, and despite this it can be difficult even for an experienced beekeeper to trace it in a family of 60-80,000 bees. In order to facilitate the search for the queen bee in a beehive, beekeepers have adopted a marking system that consists of impressing a drop of indelible paint on its thorax. The periodic series of 5 colors (blue, white, yellow, red and green) has international value and allows the beekeepers to know the age of their queens.
Vinification and ageing
The grapes used for the production of “Queen’s Jewels“ wines are selected from vineyards dedicated to the production of high quality red grapes. From these grapes we obtain a wine very
rich in color, extract and aromas, the maceration can even last 15-20 days. The fermentation is carried out following the rules of organic wine. The Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “riserva” wine is subjected to an aging period for no less than two years, of which at least 9 months in wood. The aging takes place both in barrique and in large casks for about a year, followed by a subsequent ageing in the bottle.