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The Bee Boys! Good Vibrations help age fine French wine

' Honey I've warmed the wine!' (Photo: Andy Hay/Flickr)

Winemakers could use bees to accelerate the ageing of wine, according to two English researchers, who could have hit upon an interesting new sideline for the insects’ keepers.

Our sister site Harper’s Wine & Spirit reports that label designer and beer keeper Neil Tully (Amphora Design) and winemaker Justin Howard-Sneyd have perfected an ageing method using the insects.

They explain that beehives maintain a constant temperature even during the harshest of winters, while the constant vibration of thousands of pairs of wings works to mellow wine stored in a hive.

Comparing bottles of Southern French wine stored in a conventional cellar alongside those stored in a beehives, an ant colony and termite mount, the pair found that wines ‘buzzed’ by the bees were “softer, more mellow and ready to drink”.

Having patented the maturation technique as ‘Bee-o-dynamics’, Howard-Sneyd and Tully plan to conduct further tests.

They will also start selling wine aged using this process, with Howard-Sneyd’s Domaine of the Bee ‘Hum Mani Padme Hum’, 2012, due to go on sale in April at £833 a bottle.

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