Meeting Our Most Valuable Helper, The Ladybird


There is a debate as to what might be the most important bird, insect, beetle, animal or other living organism in a wine growing agricultural land such as ours at Vinya Son Alegre in Santanyí (Mallorca). There is no doubt that we could not do without the honeybee (Apis mellifera), the ant (Formicidae) or the earthworm (Hormogastridae), but truthfully, we would be out of business or rather, out of grapes if it were not for the Ladybird or Lady beetle (Coccinellidae). Honest.

Ladybird Coccinellidae (John Hinde)

You see, at a farm where the land is cultivated under biodynamic principles and where the fruit, in our case the grape, is grown under organic conditions, you will suffer, like it or not, from certain pests, such as lice, moths, parasites or similar. That’s why most vineyards in Mallorca, or certainly a great many of our competitors employ pesticides or other chemical agents to combat such potential harm or mischief.

ladybird (John Hinde)

We, instead, employ an army of Ladybirds or, as we call them here, Mariquitas (Spanish) or Marietes (Catalan). Our little helpers actually eat these harmful pests, or rather, eat their eggs before they even hatch. Each single Marieta can eat up to 200 eggs of small lice or moth or other parasites. 200 eggs, imagine. Assume a figure of 1,000 Ladybirds in our army and you’ll have 200,000 unborn lice, per day. No wonder that our vines are doing so well, lately; we can’t complain.

For more information about our wines, please visit our new website, Vinya Son Alegre. It is ready now in English, and about to be completed soon in German, Spanish and Catalan. It’s a lot of work, doing a website in four languages simultaneously, but there you go. Our little Ladybirds never complain, so, we’ll refrain from making a fuss, just the same.

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