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Maintaining quality in the new beekeeping regulatory landscape

Motti Yakubovich

Motti Yakubovich, the new senior regulatory affairs and quality manager at Vita Bee Health, aims to ensure the maintenance of product quality and regulatory compliance at a time of change.

One of Motti’s first tasks when he joined the company last year was to help manage the successful technical transfer of Vita’s Apiguard production facilities from Hampshire to Italy. He has also played a key role in the ongoing task of making Vita’s operations and products Brexit-compliant.

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Vita Bee Health international photo competition winners 2019

Photo: Ian Gregory

The overall winner of 2019 Vita Bee Health photo competition is Ian Gregory for his image of a foraging honey bee with brimming pollen baskets.

Winning entries, selected by an international panel of judges, feature in the 2020 Vita Bee Health calendar, a pdf file of which can be downloaded free of charge via the Vita gallery.

Everyone whose photograph features in the calendar will receive a free limited edition of the printed desk calendar. Outright winner Ian Gregory also wins a cash prize.

The 2020 Vita Calendar includes photographs by Tessa Milton, Ian Gregory, Geoffrey Leister, Claire Heywood, Margaret Edge, Ann Chilcott, Kyle Riley, Susan Kimber, Kathleen Suddes and Mark Baker.

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Foulbrood test kits available again

Diagnostic kits to test honeybee colonies for American foulbrood (AFB) and European foulbrood (EFB) are again available from Vita Bee Health after a short disruption to supplies.

The Vita AFB and EFB diagnostic test kits enable beekeepers and bee inspectors to test for AFB and EFB in honeybee larvae and to obtain the results easily and immediately in the apiary. They are as simple to use as pregnancy test kits and are a low cost, fast and reliable way to test for foulbrood.

The instant results mean that if either foulbrood is detected, action can be taken immediately. If no foulbrood is detected, expensive and unnecessary action can be avoided.

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Canada welcomes return of Nosema treatment

A very effective treatment for Nosema, a deadly disease of honey bees, is now available again in Canada after intensive work by Vita Bee Health in conjunction with the Canadian Honey Council.

Fumagilin-B is a tried and tested preventative and curative antibiotic treatment for Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. It first became available in the 1950s and was widely available in many countries until mid-2018, when the previous manufacturer, Medivet, ceased operations.

With the unavailability of fumagillin, beekeepers have been able to combat Nosema only by indirect methods such as protein feed supplements to boost immune defences, effective varroa control and regular comb changes. These are not always effective under harsh winter conditions. In Canada, because of the extreme low temperatures and long winters, the beehives have to be sealed and insulated from October to March – a long time for the bees to be confined and an ideal environment for Nosema to increase and spread through the colony. Canadian beekeepers were expecting severe winter colony losses if Fumagilin-B remained unavailable for this autumn/fall treatment season.

Now Canadian beekeepers again have access to fumagillin, manufactured in Canada and supplied by Vita Bee Health. The treatment should be administered with autumn/fall and spring feeds as necessary and, as ever, it is vital that beekeepers follow label directions precisely.

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Vita Bee Health Photo Competition 2019

Photo: Katrien Berckmoes

The eighth annual Vita Bee Health international photo competition is now open for entries. The competition grows in stature each year with superb honey bee-related photographs from around the world.

The outright winner will receive a cash prize and eleven others will appear in the 2020 Vita Bee Health limited edition calendar and feature in Vita’s monthly email newsletters. All winners receive a copy of the sought-after calendar.

The deadline for entries is 25 October 2019. Entrants may submit up to four photos (at least 2 MB in size and preferably as attachments) by emailing them to gallery@vita-europe.com. Photos may be on any relevant topic relating to honeybees and beekeeping.

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2018 Vita Bee Health Photo Competition

Christine Balshaw’s winning photo

The outright winner of 2018 Vita Bee Health photo competition is Christine Balshaw for her image of a worker honey bee, proboscis extended, drinking from a small pool of rainwater.

Winning entries, selected by an international panel of judges, have been featured in the 2019 Vita Bee Health calendar, a pdf file of which can be downloaded free of charge via the Vita gallery here.

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ApiProtect – protecting bees from concerted Asian hornet attack

ApiProtect, a new type of Asian hornet trap, has been launched by Vita Bee Health to protect honey bees when they are under sustained attack.

ApiProtect is effective, non-toxic and economical. It has been tested widely in France to prove its effectiveness, and when used as instructed traps few or no non-target creatures. It is designed for conditions where the Asian hornet has become established and imposes existential threats to honey bee colonies.

Max Watkins, CEO of Vita Bee Health, explains, “When Asian hornets (Vespa velutina) start a concerted attack on a beehive, urgent action is essential to prevent the death of the entire honey bee colony. The hornet has been causing great damage with serious pollination implications throughout much of France. ApiProtect, developed by bee scientists, is a sticky board which when loaded with a suitable bait attracts Asian hornets to a trap from which they cannot escape.”

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World-renowned beekeeping expert joins Vita

Internationally respected US beekeeping expert Jerry Hayes has been appointed vice president North America for Vita Bee Health to help beekeepers improve and maintain the health of their honey bees.

For almost four decades, Jerry Hayes has worked across the USA apicultural industry to promote sustainable beekeeping. As head apiarist of the State of Florida inspection service when Colony Collapse Disorder struck, he was on the front line helping Floridian beekeepers and their 300,000 plus colonies. For three decades, he has also been well-known and respected amongst beekeepers for his informative and entertaining column, The Classroom, for the American Bee Journal.

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