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.
Groups of beekeepers are invited to apply for Vita’s 2017 award for honey bee health initiatives. The Vita Bee Health Initiatives Award highlights the vital work of voluntary beekeeping groups to combat the ongoing health threats to honeybees. Vita will help publicise their work for the benefit of other beekeepers.
Anyone can nominate a group. The entry form is short and straight-forward, the closing date is 31 July 2017 and results will be announced at Apimondia in September 2017.
The overall winner of the inaugural competition in 2015 was the Devon Apicultural Research Group in the UK. The group is researching the apparently increasing number of drone-laying queens. The project is ongoing and the drones are being examined with the help of a high quality microscope provided by Vita.
A new feed for honey bees from honey bee health specialist Vita (Europe) Ltd will help boost colony health and increase honey production. VitaFeed Nutri is a rigorously tested, GMO-free nutritional supplement that can be used at almost any time of year to promote controlled colony growth.
Packed with easily digestible proteins, VitaFeed Nutri can make up for nutritional deficiencies in honey bees’ diet, thereby stimulating egg-laying, extending bees’ lifespans and ultimately increasing honey production.
Dr Max Watkins, technical director of Vita (Europe), explained “Honey bees need protein, but not all pollen has the same protein content. VitaFeed Nutri ensures that bees have sufficient protein to enable healthier colony development and thereby increased honey production. The year-round suitability and simplicity of applying the feed in syrup make it an ideal product for any beekeeper wanting to keep healthier and more productive bees.”
A New Year resolution for bees – use the Gym!
Bee Gym helps bees control their number-one enemy, the varroa mite
The Bee Gym provides a low-cost, chemical-free and sustainable way of helping honeybees groom themselves to get rid of varroa mites.
The Bee Gym is a simple device that is placed inside any hive to encourage bees to groom varroa mites off their bodies. It has wires, flippers and scrapers on its small (11 cm by 11 cm) plastic frame that bees voluntarily rub their backs and abdomens against to groom themselves of varroa mites. The mites then fall through a normal varroa mesh floor onto a sticky insert or to the ground from where the varroa mites cannot jump back into the hive. The sticky insert should be regularly refreshed and the Gym should regularly be cleaned with washing soda.
The latest threat to honeybees, the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) is the focus of the latest in series of free and downloadable infographics from Vita (Europe) Ltd.
This third infographic from Vita gives at-a-glance information about the Asian hornet, a growing threat as it expands across western Europe.
Sebastian Owen of Vita (Europe) Ltd said, “The aim of the infographic is to inform beekeepers about the Asian hornet’s life cycle, what to look out for and how to help honey bees defend against it. It’s a free resource for beekeepers and others to download and disseminate.”
Previous Vita infographics have focused on swarming and varroa. These can also be downloaded for free from the Vita gallery which also has lots of other useful images, videos and tips. See www.vita-europe.com/gallery