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Beetle Blaster to combat new threat to European honeybees

Low-cost, green Small Hive Beetle trap now available for European beekeepers

Beetle Blaster

Beetle Blaster

Beekeepers across Europe now face the threat of a new pest, the Small Hive Beetle (SHB), but a tool to combat the pest is already available from Vita (Europe) Ltd.

The Beetle Blaster is a low cost, simple and very environmentally friendly device that can alert beekeepers to the presence of SHB and help to control its numbers. A plastic trough filled with food grade oil is inserted in the hive and SHBs present will be attracted to it as a hiding place and trapped. The beekeeper can then dispose of the trapped beetles. Since the beetles tend to first attack the periphery of a colony, the 23 cm long traps are designed to hang between outer frames in the brood box and thereby have minimal impact upon normal honeybee activity.

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The 2014 Vita international beekeeping photo competition

Beekeepers and honeybee fans are invited to enter the 2014 Vita international photo competition.

Winners’ photographs will appear in the 2015 Vita (Europe) Ltd Calendar and they will each receive a copy of the limited edition calendar. There will also be a cash prize plus beekeeping products for the best as judged by an international panel of beekeeping journalists and suppliers.

All suitable entries will also be added to the Vita Gallery, a free online resource of hundreds of honeybee-related Bee_and_bubblephotos which is used by beekeeping lecturers and associations across the globe.

Entrants can submit up to four photos (preferably each about 1mb in size) relating to honeybees or beekeeping by emailing them to . Photos can be on any relevant topic: from honeybee behaviour, to beekeeping practices, foraging honeybees and honeybee produce.

The outright winner of the competition will receive a €50 cash prize, plus Vita anti-varroa products for 10 colonies. Runners-up will receive a special package of Vita products. There is also a special prize for the winner of the under-16s category.

The deadline for entries is 19 October 2014.

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Asian hornet trap launched to combat honeybee pest

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)

Beekeepers now have a weapon to counter the Asian hornet, a new invasive honeybee pest that is threatening honeybee colonies across Europe.

ApiShield, just launched by Vita (Europe) Ltd, has been designed specifically to trap the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina). The trap doesn’t require any bait or chemicals and beekeepers can easily incorporate it into existing husbandry routines.

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2013 Vita Photo Competition Winner

The winner of this year’s Vita Photo Competition is Trevor Fiddy with his image of honeybees lined up at the hive entrance apparently asking «Who’s first?»

Overall winning photograph by Trevor Fiddy

Other winners whose photographs will appear in the Vita 2014 calendar are:

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2000 bees travelling 2000 miles in a flying beehive

Help Alex spread the word about honeybees to young people throughout Greece

A flying beehive is set to educate young people across Greece about the value of honeybees. Support for the extraordinary venture is being sought through crowd-funding on the internet and there are already plans to extend the project to other European countries.

Alexandros Papachristoforou, Vita’s research collaborator at Greek and Cypriot Universities, is raising funds so that he can fly an observation hive of 2000 bees over 2000 miles to schools in remote parts of Greece. His aim is to spread the word to the next generation about the importance of honeybees to our planet. After Greece, he plans to extend his project to other EU countries.

Honeybee health specialists Vita (Europe) Ltd is one of the first companies to make a substantial contribution to the venture and urges anyone with an interest in honeybees to support the venture through the crowd-funding website: The crowd-funding campaign closes on 23 November 2013.

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