Sustainability: It All Starts Here, with Bees

The Consorzio della Finocchiona IGP is committed to new initiatives dedicated to sustainability. These initiatives aim to raise awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinating insects and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. In recent years, the Consorzio della Finocchiona IGP—supported by the technical partner 3Bee—has mapped out a path closely tied to the Tuscan territory to highlight these issues.

Due to pollution and pesticides, the number of bees has drastically reduced, causing severe imbalances in the ecosystem and local agriculture. Placing the bee at the centre, the queen of biodiversity and a natural barometer of our ecosystems’ health, has led the Consorzio to undertake initiatives aimed at raising awareness of these issues, monitoring their health status with the help of technology from 3Bee, the climate tech company working to protect biodiversity and the quality of life of pollinators and bees.

In 2021, the Consorzio unveiled the “Polly House” for Sentinel Bees in the picturesque Tuscan countryside. This unique structure, featuring wooden shelters, attracts foraging bees drawn to the bright yellow of wild fennel, a crucial ingredient that gives Finocchiona its unmistakable aroma. The Polly House, equipped with sensors that analyze the presence of pesticide residues on the pollen that bees bring in, is a significant step in Consorzio’s mission to maintain the territory’s health and pollinators’ proliferation.
Verifying the land’s health and pollinators’ presence is crucial, as their proliferation ensures the territory’s good health.

In 2022 and 2023, the Consorzio della Finocchiona IGP continued its sustainability by adding three hives equipped with technological sensors for remote monitoring of data recorded by the honey hive, such as weight, temperature, wind, and sound frequency. The goal is to increase pollination and the frequency of pollinators visiting flowers, thus ensuring better health for the bee colony. The protection of bees and biodiversity becomes a central goal of the Consorzio della Finocchiona IGP’s awareness program, which is also essential for respecting and recovering typical regional production and enhancing crops. Adopting these hives is not solely linked to honey production (also used in some recipes created in collaboration with the Unione Regionale Cuochi Toscani). Still, thanks to 3Bee’s Hive-Tech technology, the impact generated is more significant. With biomonitoring, it has been possible to check the health status of bees through a dedicated application.

In the coming months of 2024, the Consorzio plans further strategic interventions to advance its sustainability commitment with the project “L’oasi della Finocchiona,” an area dedicated to protecting local biodiversity that will be created in the fennel cultivation fields of “Sapori della Toscana.” New hives will be installed in collaboration with the beekeeping company “Golden Eyes,” increasing the number of colonies present, and these will be complemented by releases of ladybugs in the crops. The tiny red-spotted insect is an excellent ally of fennel plants as it feeds on aphids that would otherwise attack and damage the plants, causing them not to flower and dry up. In addition to bees and ladybugs, the Consorzio will create its Oasis by planting nectar-bearing trees and shrubs, providing food and shelter for wild pollinators and the Consorzio’s bees. In the Oasis, technology will allow us to collect valuable data on the surrounding ecosystem’s health throughout the year with the tools deployed and with beekeepers biomonitoring the hives and correlating the data collected with the health of the territory and its biodiversity, measuring the environmental impact and the number of pollinators recorded by the devices in the field, and, over time, absorbing more and more carbon dioxide thanks to the breath of the Oasis of the Finocchiona IGP.

Follow the link to monitor the health status of our hives.