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Blog – bees, beekeeping & other sticky subjects

Local college takes to beekeeping

On a rooftop less a few hundred metres from Vita’s HQ, Basingstoke College of Technology has installed two hives. We went to visit them this week.

Heater bees or hygienic bees?

Heads down, bottoms up, these are heater bees, not hive-cleaners. If they could channel their energy into a light bulb, they could light up their dark hive world. More from the observation hive …

Do bees go bananas?

Ripe bananas give off isoplentylacetate, the main component of the honeybee alarm pheromone. So do bees react in the presence of a ripening banana? Here’s a little test!

The empty cell

Bees, huh! After yesterday’s activity around the queen cell, I said I expected the queen to emerge in the next few days. They thought otherwise and she emerged overnight.

Paying right royal attention

The one remaining queen cell in the hive is being paid great respect as the small colony works hard collecting nectar for their eagerly awaited royal.

The bees are back

The bees have returned to the office and are thriving as the summer nectar flow has just started. The colony is queenless, but a sealed queen cell is in prime position and we await her emergence.

Bees with pretensions

A swarm takes over a pheasant’s nest. The swarm is now happily installed in a more conventional home, but the pheasant is nowhere to be seen! Were the bees trying to go up or down market?

Vita swarm lure in action in Greece

A video from a professional Greek beekeeper who used Vita’s swarm lure hung in a olive tree to attract a swarm in very quick time. The short video is in real time!

Varroa alert after mild winter

With very high levels of varroa mite being reported so early in the season, Vita outlines a smart use of Apistan to test infestation levels and to reduce the varroa mite population during swarm management.

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