For the love of bees

“We are an organic farm and insects are our friends. One could say that we use bees instead of fertilizers,” says Maria, the gardener at Ulriksdals värdshus, in the Stockholm region.

For the love of bees

Kitchen garden, Ulriksdals värdshus, Stockholm, Sweden

Insects are amazing! They might annoy you during meals outside in the summer, but they play an important role in agriculture, ecosystem services, and biodiversity on our planet. They provide us with at least 75% of the food we consume. Without them, life would not be the same, and we would be looking at a very bleak planet.

– They are small in size, but they do so much good for ecosystems and agriculture, and yet they are often underrated. Bees are excellent pollinators for a massive variety of crops that we use on a daily basis. Especially when they make our raspberries grow big and taste delicious. A much-appreciated ingredient on the dessert menu.

Bees are often referred to as “super pollinators” due to their wide range of target plants and significance in pollinating agricultural crops. While bees visit flowers to forage on their pollen and nectar, pollen becomes attached to them and gets dropped onto new flowers at each visit. Pollination is the process required to allow plants to become fertilized and develop seeds.

At Ulriksdal, Maria and the team have one beehive. It provides 60 liters of honey a year and pollinates the whole farm.

“We love to work with nature. That is what organic means to me, to care, and to produce great taste and beautiful flowers with love.”

The kitchen garden had been sleeping for years when Maria and her team made it flourish again. Providing food and flowers to the restaurant inside the In and for other restaurants in the group located in the city. This autumn the new restaurant Emmer is opening up and the farm to fork concept, where outside blends with the inside the connection will be even more obvious. You can sit by the table and view the farm and taste the harvest refined on your plate.

– This job is different from others. Here we work with our hands in the fields and get to have close contact with the chefs and their demands as well as the guests that often come by and ask questions.

– The interest in organic farming and sustainable food production is growing among people and for me to be able to give tours and educate I hope to bring even more understanding of the importance of sustainable living. Even though the bees are small in size they are vital for our farm and provide a tasty dish that you can enjoy with the knowledge that it is produced by, and with nature.

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