With the beginning of spring, life returns into the awakening vineyards. Many insects and small animals have hibernated in the ground, some even on the vines. The grower always tries to create the best possible environment for the growth of healthy grapes while keeping an eye on the biological balance.
Thus, the promotion and use of biological control agents has a tradition in our house. Old barrels can be easily set up as “insect hotels” where green lacewings, ichneumon wasps, bumble bees and many more beneficial insects may nest or hibernate. Predatory mites survive the winter beneath the bark of old vines. Some of the old wood is brought out into young vineyards in spring and so the predatory mites will find a new habitat and work as natural enemies, i.e., to spider or rust mites.
Lately, we hear and even sometimes observe brown owls and hoopoes. These endangered bird species profit from the protection of biodiversity in our wine country. Much to the pleasure of our tourists, who now also are returning to the Kamptal.
Hoopoe (c) Josef Stefan
Brown owl (c) Josef Stefan