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Vita launches 2013 international beekeeping photo competition

Entry from Nick Gibson to the 2012 Vita Photo Competition

Vita (Europe) Ltd is calling on beekeepers internationally to enter its 2013 photographic competition.

There will be cash prizes and beekeeping products for the winners, and the best pictures will feature in the Vita 2014 Calendar. The entries will also be added to the hundreds of honeybee-related photos in the free, online Vita Gallery (www.vita-europe.com/beehealth/gallery) which is proving highly popular with beekeeping speakers looking for photographs for their presentations and with beekeepers wanting to learn more about beekeeping experiences across the world.

Entrants can submit up to four photos (up to 1mb each) 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 deadline for entries is 20 October 2013.

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Vita launches smartphone app about keeping healthy bees

The first-ever smartphone app about keeping healthy honeybees has been launched by Vita (Europe) Ltd, the world’s largest dedicated bee health company. The web app is free and gives beekeepers easy mobile access to information and photographs about honeybee disease identification and treatment.

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Vita’s swarm lures give new insight on honeybee behaviour

University researchers have clearly demonstrated the success of Vita’s swarm lures and revealed a fascinating new aspect of honeybee biology.

Introduced in 2011, Vita’s Honeybee Swarm Attractant Wipes are a simple and low cost way of attracting of honeybee swarms to specific locations. They help beekeepers manage their bees, increase the prospects of bigger honey harvests and can help prevent swarms occupying inconvenient locations. The lures resemble cleansing wipes in sachets and are impregnated with natural oils.

Vita swarm lure in action for secondary swarms in a hive and prime swarms on a branch

Vita swarm lure in action for secondary swarms in a hive and prime swarms on a branch

The researchers showed that the Vita swarm lures are highly effective and succeeded in attracting between 60% and 90% of swarms in a test apiary of 40 healthy colonies. The lures were effective when placed just a few metres from the original colonies.

The researchers also discovered a fascinating difference in the behaviour of primary swarms (headed by an old queen) and secondary swarms (headed by one or more virgin queens). Secondary swarms were attracted to empty hives containing the lure and immediately started setting up a permanent nest. In contrast, the primary swarms were attracted to the lures pinned to the branches of trees and only then would they start looking for a permanent nest site.
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Vita starts registration process for green varroa control treatment


Harvesting hops - not all for beer!

Vita (Europe) Limited has begun the pan-European registration process for HopGuard®, a varroa control treatment that uses natural food-based compounds and is suited for year-round use. The registration process for Europe is expected to be complete in early 2016 and beekeepers should then have a new, highly effective, versatile weapon against the varroa mite which has taken such a toll on honeybee colonies.

HopGuard will be the first registered varroa control treatment in Europe that can be used at any time of year, even during a honey flow. The food-grade ingredients, based on natural hop compounds, are entirely safe for bees, brood and humans, and have proven to be highly effective in controlling varroa mite populations.

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2012 Vita Photo competition: the winners

The 2012 Vita Photo Competition has been won by Mark Gullick of the UK with his very atmospheric shot of foraging bees. Mark will receive a cash prize as well as sufficient Apiguard and Apistan, Vita’s world-leading varroa medicines, to treat 10 hives.

Photo: Mark Gullick

Other winners of a 2013 Vita Calendar and a box of Vita swarm lures for next season are:

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