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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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Honey bee health free smartphone app update

The free Vita Bee Health honey bee health smartphone web app has just been updated and refreshed. Ideal for use in the apiary, the app helps beekeepers to quickly identify any health issues in their colonies.

The web app, suitable for nearly all smartphones and tablet devices, can be accessed free from www.healthybeeguide.com.

Detailed photographs show the visible symptoms of the main bee diseases and pests so that beekeepers concerned by what they see during a colony inspection can immediately check them on the app. Typical effects of the varroa mite, European and American foulbrood (EFB and EFB), Nosema, chalkbrood, wax moth, tracheal mites and viruses can be viewed within a few clicks. Keys to the identification of the Asian hornet and small hive beetle are also included.

Amongst the many app features, beekeepers can read about the treatment options, where to obtain treatments, and if and to whom they should report serious diseases and pests.

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Vita Photo Competition Winners 2017

Photo: Leka Huie

An international panel has selected the bees and beekeeping photographs for the 2018 Vita Calendar and voted for Leka Huie from Hong Kong as the overall winner for his colourful action photo of a honey bee in-flight approaching a flower.

Entries will appear in the limited edition 2018 Vita Calendar distributed to Vita’s global network and the competition winners. Some of the photos are below and a pdf file of the full calendar is available for free download to users of the Vita Gallery www.vita-europe.com/beehealth/gallery.

The 2018 Vita Calendar monthly line-up of winning photographs is:

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ApiShield defence against the Asian hornet

ApiShield Asian hornet trap

Following a sighting of an Asian hornet and the discovery of a nest in Devon, England, this week, British beekeepers are being urged to be on the alert for the invasive and destructive insect. ApiShield, an easily fitted and low-maintenance trap from Vita Bee Health, not only protects honey bee colonies from Asian hornet attack, but it also acts as an early warning of the Asian hornet’s arrival in an area.

The Asian hornet is native to China but arrived in a pottery consignment in Bordeaux, France in 2004. Since then the Asian hornets have spread at about 75 km per year across Europe, killing off many honey bee colonies and other native insect pollinators which have no defences to cope with the new predator.

ApiShield, Vita’s patented Asian hornet trap, has been rigorously tested in France and Greece and fools hornets and wasps attacking honey bee colonies into using unguarded underfloor ‘entrances’ not used by the colony’s honey bees. Beekeepers simply inspect the trapped dead and dying predators and look particularly for the Asian hornet.

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After 20 years, it’s Vita Bee Health

On its twentieth anniversary, the honey bee operations of Vita (Europe) Ltd will be known as Vita Bee Health. The new name – with new logo – emphasises the company’s ongoing commitment to beekeeping and healthy honey bee populations.

Launched in 1997 with a single product, Vita is now the world’s leading dedicated honeybee health specialist with a range of products, subsidiaries in Italy and Russia, and an extensive global distribution network.

Jeremy Owen, sales director, recalled: “Back in 1997, some thought that setting up a company dedicated to honeybee health with only one product – Apistan – was, to put it politely, a considerable risk.  However, my fellow director, Max Watkins, and I felt strongly that there was a need for healthy honey bees that would not be diminishing. Beekeepers were very supportive of our aims and, I’m grateful to say, still are.”

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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 gallery@vita-europe.com. 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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