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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
With the help of local beekeepers, Vita (Europe) Ltd has opened a test apiary near its Basingstoke headquarters to complement its other test apiaries across the world.
The apiary, on a large allotment (community garden plots for fruit and vegetables) within easy foraging distance of Vita’s offices, will be managed by some beekeepers from Basingstoke and Paulo Mielgo, Vita’s technical manager.
The Basingstoke beekeepers, who are experienced in allotment beekeeping, have constructed an apiary perimeter fence, for security and to ensure that the bees fly well above head height on foraging trips, as well as a small apiary shed to hold beekeeping essentials.
Groups of beekeepers are invited to apply for Vita’s 2017 award for honey bee health initiatives. The Vita Bee Health Initiatives Award highlights the vital work of voluntary beekeeping groups to combat the ongoing health threats to honeybees. Vita will help publicise their work for the benefit of other beekeepers.
Anyone can nominate a group. The entry form is short and straight-forward, the closing date is 31 July 2017 and results will be announced at Apimondia in September 2017.
The overall winner of the inaugural competition in 2015 was the Devon Apicultural Research Group in the UK. The group is researching the apparently increasing number of drone-laying queens. The project is ongoing and the drones are being examined with the help of a high quality microscope provided by Vita.
A new feed for honey bees from honey bee health specialist Vita (Europe) Ltd will help boost colony health and increase honey production. VitaFeed Nutri is a rigorously tested, GMO-free nutritional supplement that can be used at almost any time of year to promote controlled colony growth.
Packed with easily digestible proteins, VitaFeed Nutri can make up for nutritional deficiencies in honey bees’ diet, thereby stimulating egg-laying, extending bees’ lifespans and ultimately increasing honey production.
Dr Max Watkins, technical director of Vita (Europe), explained “Honey bees need protein, but not all pollen has the same protein content. VitaFeed Nutri ensures that bees have sufficient protein to enable healthier colony development and thereby increased honey production. The year-round suitability and simplicity of applying the feed in syrup make it an ideal product for any beekeeper wanting to keep healthier and more productive bees.”
A New Year resolution for bees – use the Gym!
Bee Gym helps bees control their number-one enemy, the varroa mite
The Bee Gym provides a low-cost, chemical-free and sustainable way of helping honeybees groom themselves to get rid of varroa mites.
The Bee Gym is a simple device that is placed inside any hive to encourage bees to groom varroa mites off their bodies. It has wires, flippers and scrapers on its small (11 cm by 11 cm) plastic frame that bees voluntarily rub their backs and abdomens against to groom themselves of varroa mites. The mites then fall through a normal varroa mesh floor onto a sticky insert or to the ground from where the varroa mites cannot jump back into the hive. The sticky insert should be regularly refreshed and the Gym should regularly be cleaned with washing soda.