The overall winner of the 2020 Vita Bee Health international photographic competition is Lewis Turner of Suffolk, UK, for his stunning, head-on eyeline shot of an approaching honey bee.
Featured photographers – in calendar month order – are:
Watch short video clips of Vita Bee Health personnel speak about recent developments
When Vita Bee Health decided to begin producing Apiguard, its near-natural varroa-control treatment, in Italy, the company knew that logistical challenges were inevitable and had therefore stockpiled several month’s reserves to ensure that the supply chain would not be disrupted. Then came covid-19 and lockdowns, first in the new production centre in Northern Italy and then at headquarters in the UK. This presented a novel set of experiences, but customers knew nothing of the dramatic behind-the-scenes activity.
A podcast on revisiting the spot where the first documented drone congregation area was heard by the Rev Gilbert White, a pioneering 18th century naturalist.
The ninth annual Vita Bee Health international photo competition is now open for entries. Each year Vita invites photographs of anything related to honey bees and beekeeping – with a hint that any image that fits a particular month for the resulting limited-edition calendar is of particular interest.
The outright winner of the competition will receive a cash prize and eleven others will also appear in the 2021 Vita Bee Health limiteddition calendar and feature in Vita’s monthly email newsletters. All winners receive a copy of the desk calendar.
The deadline for entries is 25 October 2020. Entrants may submit up to four photos (at least 2 MB in size and preferably as attachments) by emailing them to . Photos may be on any relevant topic relating to honeybees and beekeeping.
Beekeepers in the USA can now save many millions of dollars each year by using B402, a new biological treatment to control wax moth. As a result of rapid and innovative development of the product by honey bee health specialists Vita Bee Health in collaboration with Valent Biosciences Corporation, B402 is now becoming available across the USA.
The new wax moth control product, B402 (also known as Certan), uses Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a bacterium commonly found in nature that selectively kills wax moths at the larval stage. The moths, which can destroy honey bee wax combs and even the structure of hives, cause widespread damage and even colony losses for beekeepers. B402 offers efficacy of up to 100% against wax moth larvae.
B402 has recently been approved for use with honey bee colonies by the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many individual states have already confirmed that registration, so stock is now being shipped to distributors across the country. B402 is safe to use and harmless to beneficial insects and pollinators. It leaves no chemical residues in wax or honey, and only a single application is necessary to provide complete protection.
A selection of pollens gathered by bees in southern England in May 2020. Can you name the sources?
Bee Gym Slim, the enhanced and lower-cost design of the chemical-free varroa-grooming aid for honey bees, has been launched following much positive feedback from beekeepers about the original Bee Gym.
Now available through Vita Bee Health distributors, the new design of Bee Gym Slim is lower cost because it uses fewer parts and is more effective because multiple gyms can be easily inserted into hives.
The new Bee Gym Slim is available in packs of three grooming strips 170mm long, 45mmwide, <5mm high, and provides many more grooming points. The strips are placed on top of the brood frames, instead of on the floor (in contrast to the older version) and fit into bee space between brood boxes or are integrated with a queen excluder. In this position, there is a lot of bee traffic and therefore more opportunity for the bees to groom – and for the beekeeper to see the grooming in action. This positioning also enables the Bee Gym Slim to be easily removed and replaced for cleaning.
The world’s video wiki, Wiki.ezvid.com, has featured Vita Bee Health’s contribution to honey bee health and conservation.
Its special video page contains lots of interesting bee facts, a TedX video talk by Elaine Evans and an anaylsis of how a bee becomes a queen.
And did you know there is a group of Moray Beekeeping Dinosaurs? Follow the link to find out …
even if you cannot visit your bees so frequently
For the 2020 season, honey bees can benefit from a range of Vita Bee Health feeds, all GMO-free, that enable feeding at almost any time of year.
The new VitaFeed Power and VitaFeed Patty feed supplements have been developed after research which has shown that if foraged pollen is low in protein, the colony suffers because foraging requirements increase disproportionately. If the pollen protein content drops from 30% top 20%, pollen consumption must increase by 50%. That extra pollen-foraging requirement can have very detrimental effects on colony development.
Paulo Mielgo, technical director at Vita Bee Health, explained, “These products aren’t simply feeds. They have been rigorously researched and tested to ensure that they perform to the highest specifications. We aren’t just selling feeds – we are selling research, experience and technology in the form of feeds.”
Studies in Italy and Greece in 2019 have shown that brood area can be increased by 25% when a combination of the new feeds is used in springtime. This results in healthier and more advanced colonies showing other all-round health benefits.