A simple, low-cost adjustment to any honey bee hive entrance helps bees protect against wasps (yellow jackets), robber bees and other would-be intruders. By creating a tunnel from the entrance of the hive to beneath the cluster, HiveGate not only confuses intruders, it also seems to help bees to regulate the temperature and humidity of their nest much more precisely, thereby potentially boosting their health and productivity.
This year’s overall winner of the Vita Bee Health international photographic competition is Vincent Hakzimana of Rwanda for his photograph of a hand-held swarm showing pollen glistening from the pollen baskets of the bees.
Featured photographers – in calendar month order – are:
Jan Ainars Millers
Feb Grace Madden
Mar Lewis Turner
Apr Holli Kircher
May Richard Cherry
Jun Peter Jones
Jul Dave Charnley
Aug Grace Madden
Sep Karen Rennie
Oct Ainars Millers
Nov Vincent Hakzimana
Dec Simon White
Sebastian Owen, commercial director of Vita Bee Health, said, “As ever, the photo competition has highlighted the diversity of beekeeping across the world. The 2022 calendar shows that clearly as Vita prepare to celebrate its 25th anniversary researching, developing and producing products to help beekeepers across the world keep their honey bees healthy and productive.
“We warmly thank everyone who entered and the judging panel. Please feel free to download the pdf of the calendar.”
Winners will shortly be receiving the beautifully printed limited-edition desk calendars.
Vita Bee Health is calling for entries to its international photo competition, now celebrating its tenth year. Winning entries appear in the sought-after limited-edition calendar, which is sent to the Vita distribution network across the world. The closing date is 24 October 2021.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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