VitaFeed Gold, Vita (Europe) Ltd’s product to stimulate the development of honey bee colonies, will no longer be available in the UK and Germany for economic reasons. It is still available in many other countries.
A recent decision by the British Veterinary Medical Directorate means that VitaFeed Gold must undergo the full regulatory process. While Vita is very supportive of regulatory controls of products and treatments for bees, the cost of the documentation and research required to gain regulatory approval for this particular product is uneconomic.
Technical Director, Dr Max Watkins explained: “Sadly, we have had to take a decision to cease sales of VitaFeed Gold in the UK for economic reasons. While the product has been very successful in strengthening honey bee colonies and is praised by many beekeepers, the cost of putting it through the regulatory process would mean that we would have to raise the product price to levels which we believe would not be acceptable to beekeepers. With regret, we have therefore decided to withdraw the product from the UK market. It is however available in many other countries.”
All other Vita products, including Apiguard and Apistan varroa treatments, remain unaffected because they already have regulatory approval where required.
Apiguard, the organically-approved varroa control treatment from Vita (Europe) Ltd, has just been approved for use in Australia. It is the first varroa control product to be approved by the Australian authorities.
Based on thymol and delivered in a slow-release gel, Apiguard is extremely easy to use and very effective in controlling varroa populations. It is a proven worldwide success, has been through a rigorous authorisation process and is successfully used in up to 60 countries across the globe.
Vita has created an infographic about varroa. It’s free and downloadable from the Vita Gallery. It is the second in an infographic series; the first was a Swarming Infographic.
Sebastian Owen of Vita (Europe) Ltd said: “Following the very positive response to the first Vita infographic in swarms, we’ve created another. We encourage anyone to download it, print it out and use it wherever they like. Varroa is beekeepers’ greatest pest – it cannot be eliminated, but the more beekeepers know about it, the easier it will be to control.”
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Photographers with an interest in honeybees and beekeeping are invited to enter the fifth annual Vita photo competition.
Winners’ photographs will appear in the 2017 Vita Calendar and be featured in Vita’s monthly newsletters. All winners will receive a copy of the limited edition calendar and one outright winner will also receive a cash prize plus beekeeping products. The competition will be judged by an international panel of beekeeping specialists and suppliers.
New research by Rothamsted has revealed the different gene mutations that have enabled varroa mites to become resistant to acaricides, including pyrethroids (such as the active ingredients of Apistan and Bayvarol). The findings have also helped explain Vita’s earlier observations about differing patterns of resistance across the world.
Tau-fluvalinate is a pyrethroid that can kill vulnerable mites by overstimulating their nervous systems. It interferes with sodium channel proteins that are involved in generating electrical signals in nerve cells.
Earlier research showed that resistance to tau-fluvalinate in central and southern England evolved through a mutation of a single base in the varroa’s DNA. This latest research has shown that a different mutation evolved in resistant varroa mites in the USA.
Dr Max Watkins, Technical Director of Vita (Europe) Ltd, explained: “In our ongoing studies of resistance to pyrethroids, we noticed that the pattern of resistance in the USA was different to that of the UK which was different again to that of continental Europe. We have long suspected that different mutations are responsible for these variations.