Author Archives: Stephen Fleming

  • Pollen-rich diets help combat varroa

    New research shows how “social immunity” of bees to varroa infestations is boosted by pollen-rich diets.

  • Vita’s 2017 International Photo Competition

    Last year’s winning photograph by Lester Quayle

    Send us your best honey bee-related photographs to enter the sixth annual Vita international photo competition. The overall winner receives a cash prize and eleven others will appear in the Vita 2018 limited edition calendar and feature in Vita’s monthly email newsletters. All winners receive a copy of the calendar.

    The deadline for entries is 22 October 2017. Entrants may submit up to four photos (preferably each 1-2 MB in size) by emailing them to Photos can be on any relevant topic relating to honeybees and beekeeping. Please ensure that photos are of high enough resolution for printing. The competition will be judged by an international panel of beekeeping specialists and suppliers.

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  • Asian hornet predictions in the UK

    With the ability to spread at the rate of 70-80 km per year, what are the prospects for the Asian hornet in the UK?

  • IMYB DCA Hunt

    Woodborough Hill - the mysterious Treasure Island

    Woodborough Hill – the mysterious Treasure Island

    Did the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers find a drone congregation area (DCA)?

    Video coming soon.

    Woodborough Hill, sometimes known as Treasure Island, in the Vale of Pewsey is a mysterious place! Twenty-five years ago, a group of midnight UFO spotters were terrified when they reported a craft “80-100 feet (30m) wide”. They flashed at it – it flashed back! Two years later, another group heard what they interpreted as the sound of a ghostly hunt – hunting horn sounds and all!

    Well, they did indeed find a DCA. It was still at first and the queen pheromone lure on the end of a fishing rod was attracting nothing. But then a breeze sprang up – and the noise of drones was clearly to be heard, though nothing could be seen!

    With eyes looking skyward, they appeared – not huge numbers, but very convincing.

    The drones even chased small objects thinking they were queens on the wing.


    Eyes up!

    Keep watching this url for more photos and the video currently being edited!

  • What Rev Gilbert White heard?

    To celebrate the 225-year anniversary of Gilbert White hearing a drone congregation area, we revisit Selborne Common to listen again.

  • Test apiary on Vita’s doorstep

    The test apiary in a secluded part of the allotment

    With the help of local beekeepers, Vita (Europe) Ltd has opened a test apiary near its Basingstoke headquarters to complement its other test apiaries across the world.

    The apiary, on a large allotment (community garden plots for fruit and vegetables) within easy foraging distance of Vita’s offices, will be managed by some beekeepers from Basingstoke and Paulo Mielgo, Vita’s technical manager.

    The Basingstoke beekeepers, who are experienced in allotment beekeeping, have constructed an apiary perimeter fence, for security and to ensure that the bees fly well above head height on foraging trips, as well as a small apiary shed to hold beekeeping essentials.

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