Together with other wine growers of the Côtes de Thongue, the Domaine de l’Arjolle participates in the first national project for the observation biodiversity in agricultural areas.
This project, initiated by the French National Museum of Natural History and the Ministry of Agriculture aims to better understand biodiversity in agricultural areas, and to follow its evolution in relation to cultivation. The farmers participating in this voluntary action observe biodiversity on their land using standardized protocols.
At the Domaine de l’Arjolle, we have chosen the protocol « earth worms » and "solitary bees”.
A first observation of earthworms was conducted on April 5, 2011 in a vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon. After having sprayed 10 litres of water enriched by 150 g of strong mustard on three different plots of 1 m² each, the upcoming worms were counted. Earthworms actually are excellent indicators for soil quality, being also highly involved in its fertility and aeration. 10, 19 and 28 earthworms a time were counted at the three different plots – a good start.
As they were not available before, the nest boxes for the solitary bees have only been installed towards the end of May, about 1 meter high at different places in our vineyards.
In fact, the boxes are made of a certain number of small tubes, where the solitary bees can lay their eggs. The number of occupied tubes, the type of wax-closure used and the number of solitary bees observed in our vineyards will be regularly written down in the observation reports.
Another earthworm counting will be carried out this winter. Until then, we will surely keep you informed about our bee-project.
Domaine de l’Arjolle - always a little further for biodiversity !