On its twentieth anniversary, the honey bee operations of Vita (Europe) Ltd will be known as Vita Bee Health. The new name – with a new logo – emphasises the company’s ongoing commitment to beekeeping and healthy honey bee populations.
Launched in 1997 with a single product, Vita is now the world’s leading dedicated honeybee health specialist with a range of products, subsidiaries in Italy and Russia, and an extensive global distribution network.
Jeremy Owen, sales director, recalled: “Back in 1997, some thought that setting up a company dedicated to honeybee health with only one product – Apistan – was, to put it politely, a considerable risk. However, my fellow director, Max Watkins, and I felt strongly that there was a need for healthy honey bees that would not be diminishing. Beekeepers were very supportive of our aims and, I’m grateful to say, still are.”
Over the 20 years, the Vita product range has been growing – slowly at first, but now steadily and focusing wherever possible on green products.
Dr Max Watkins, technical director, said: “We realised from the outset that beekeepers, bee farmers and hobbyists alike, want products that are based on near-natural ingredients and harmless to bees, humans and the environment. That’s never an easy objective, but R&D leading to eco-friendly products is core to Vita’s ethos.”
Vita’s first product, Apistan, was followed by Apiguard, a green varroa control product based on thymol that carefully releases vapours from a sophisticated gel. Since then there have been kits to use at the hiveside to give immediate diagnostic results about the presence of American or European foul brood (AFB and EFB), feeds to boost bees’ immunity to the diseases that affect them, traps to ensnare their greatest pests and lures for wayward swarms.
With a rigorous and ethical approach to research and development into honeybee health, Vita has no commercial interests in crop pesticides or crop breeding that may be harmful to honeybees. Vita invests a very high proportion of its turnover in research and development. Research partners include universities such as Thessaloniki, Cardiff, Milan, Udine and Naples and institutes such as the FERA Laboratories in the UK and the USDA in America.
In the past year, Vita has teamed up with ApiLab in Argentina to widen the product range further, and to improve access to Vita products for South American beekeepers.
About Vita Bee Health
Vita Bee Health is a mite control and honeybee health specialist. It is the world’s largest dedicated supplier of honeybee health products to the honey and pollination industries. With a rigorous and ethical approach to research and development into honeybee health, Vita has no commercial interests in crop pesticides or crop breeding that may be harmful to honeybees.
Vita researches, develops, and manufactures a range of honeybee health products. Its headquarters are in the UK, it has offices in Italy, France and Russia, and partners across the globe. These products are marketed internationally through a network of 60 distributors in 50 countries.
Vita’s honeybee health product range includes anti-varroa acaricides – Apistan® (outside the USA/Canada) and Apiguard® – chalkbrood and wax moth controls, foulbrood diagnostic kits and health-promoting feeds. Vita also supplies Asian hornet traps, Small Hive Beetle traps, a Bee Gym varroa grooming aid and swarm lures. Vita products have been registered by more than 60 veterinary authorities.
Vita promotes sustainable beekeeping through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Its treatments are designed to inhibit the build-up of resistance and wherever possible contain natural compounds and biological controls that are benign to all but the target pests.
Vita invests a very high proportion of its turnover in research and development. Research partners include universities such as Thessaloniki, Cardiff, Milan, Udine and Naples and institutes such as the FERA Laboratories in the UK and the USDA in America. Vita’s innovative research and development work has been recognised by and has received support from the UK Government.
As a result of its primary research of natural control agents, Vita is currently engaged in new projects exploring mite control in the agriculture, veterinary, and horticulture industries as well as public health and human allergen control.
Stephen Fleming at Palam Communications
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