Bee Friendly Farming for Oregon Wine Grapes

Project Overview

OW22-371
Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2022: $74,902.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Oregon State University
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Andony Melathopoulos
Oregon State University

Commodities

  • Fruits: grapes

Practices

  • Crop Production: beekeeping, cover crops, pollinator habitat, pollinator health
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: agritourism
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, indicators, wildlife

    Proposal abstract:

    The expansion of vineyards in the Pacific Northwest has the potential to negatively impact semi-natural areas rich in biodiversity that are key to pollinators and other organisms. This impact however, may be offset by vineyards willing to make investments in providing on-farm habitat vital for bees. While bee-habitat may not contribute to overall production, vineyards in the Western U.S. have shown a high level of adoption of farm practices of conservation concern, particularly when coupled to environmental certification initiatives. There is growing interest among vineyards to incorporate bee friendly farming into their practices, but relatively few acres certified to date. Our project looks to bridge the gaps between bee friendly vineyard practices, bee biodiversity, and public recognition of the efforts being made to protect bees through a mix of research and targeted outreach. Our team proposes to do this by evaluating existing on-farm habitat using new plant inventory and bee monitoring tools, promoting bee-friendly vineyards at wine tasting rooms through new Extension and outreach tools, and aiding the adoption of our habitat evaluation and bee friendly farming promotion tools beyond the project team through an on-farm Bee-Friendly Viticulture Field Day.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The project has two research objectives:

    Objective 1: Evaluation of nectar and pollen resources in Oregon vineyards and compare it to top bee-plants found within the American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) where the vineyard is located. 

    Objective 2: Native bee monitoring on vineyards to establish a baseline for bee biodiversity from which to evaluate restoration efforts. 

    The project has three education objectives:

    Objective 3: Developing a bee-friendly farm management plan for each cooperating vineyard based on the findings of objectives 1 and 2. 

    Objective 4: Create public outreach material and host public events on bee-friendly farming practices at the tasting rooms of cooperating vineyards. 

    Objective 5: Host Oregon's first Bee-Friendly Viticulture Field Day.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.