One major global issue that could have many major repercussions on the health of both the planet and humankind is the pandemic of honeybee colony loss. One company, BeesVita believes it has developed a scientific breakthrough to mitigate and possibly solve this rapid, looming crisis.
Why Are Bees Important?
Bees are a crucial component to the world’s ecosystem. This hardworking insect is Earth’s most important pollinator of food crops. They pollinate approximately 80% of all flowering plants including 70 of the top 100 human food crops. Many of the fruits and vegetables that are consumed in a normal diet, such as broccoli, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, and almonds, depend on the pollination from honeybees. In fact, approximately 1/3 of food is pollination dependent. Additionally, the pollination from bees is also vital for foraging crops, such as field beans and clovers, which is used to feed the livestock we raise for meat. Even crops that are used in the fabrics we wear, such as cotton, are reliant upon bees.
What is Happening to the Bees?
Honeybees are actually disappearing worldwide at an alarming, worrisome rate. It all started in the winter of 2006-2007 when beekeepers started reporting that they were experiencing unusually high losses from 30%-90% of their hives.
However, the beekeepers were perplexed because though the honeybees had suddenly disappeared, their bodies were nowhere to be found. However, the queen bee and the young bees remained.
This pandemic is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is defined as, “the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.”
There are many theories as to why this pandemic is occurring. A single cause has not been determined for this significant, continuous loss. Theories include the invasive varroa mite (a pest of the honey bee), new or growing diseases such as the Israeli Acute Paralysis virus and the gut parasite Nosema, stress from complex hive management practices, changes in the habitat where bees forage, poor nutrition or foraging conditions, or pesticide poisoning through exposure to pesticides applied to crops that spread to the flowers bees pollinate.
Government agencies worldwide are giving much needed attention to CCD. In the United States, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have established a committee called the CCD Steering Committee. This committee dedicates itself to collecting data, analyzing bee samples, conducting research, and developing/instituting preventative measures.
However, as CCD remains a significant cause for concern, many new innovations are developing in the private sector. One company, Healthy Bees, LLC, believes is may have discovered and developed a solution.
What is BeesVita Plus?
BeesVita Plus is a scientific breakthrough developed by Healthy Bees, LLC. This innovation is a nutritional supplement for honeybees. According to the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association and government and university researchers in five different countries (including the United States), the supplement has shown signs of strengthening the immune system of bees, detoxifying contaminants, improving resistance to pesticides, and bolstering overall health.
According to the website of Healthy Bees, LLC, BeesVita Plus is, “a revolutionary nutritional system for honey bees that organically strengthens their natural defenses. It protects them from pathogens and the detrimental effects of well-known maladies such as CCD, bad nutrition from monocultures in pollination services, and pesticides. BeesVita Plus is a science-oriented combination of natural ingredients that is showing concrete results.”
BeesVita Plus is 100% natural and organic. It is sold in a simple, prepackaged 800 gram patty form or a water-soluble powder mix, which is not at all labor inductive for beekeepers and is consistent with current beekeeping practices. It does not require any USDA approval in order to be sold in the United States, so the benefits of this breakthrough could be realized fairly soon.
Studies, including a study conducted by the USDA Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland, have found very promising results. One finding is that bees consuming BeesVita Plus produce more honey.
Moreover, the honey shows no traces of the ingredients within the nutritional supplement. The honeybees have shown high levels of attraction and consumption of the supplement. Additionally, usage of BeesVita Plus has been correlated with hive growth and development, fewer queen losses, and protection against pesticides.
The president of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Assocation, Philip McCabe stated, “In BeesVita Plus, we now have a scientific formulation that provides us with a fighting chance to combat environmental and man-made forces that are destroying colonies.”
What is Healthy Bees, LLC?
Healthy Bees, LLC is an international company headquartered in Miami Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida, but was co-founded by an Italian beekeeper and scientist, Francesca Del Vecchio, PHD. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Vecchio explains:
“I invented BeesVita Plus out of necessity; when bees in the agricultural community where I live in Italy started dying in multitudes. I am a scientist and so I started looking for answers in my laboratory. The result led me to create the exclusive BeesVita Plus formulation that I am now bringing to the world to help save honey bees.”
Vecchio spent several years testing and re-testing hundreds of natural plant extracts. She now is the Chief Scientist at Healthy Bees, LLC and is the beekeeper at the company’s laboratory and apiary in Tuscany, Italy.
Healthy Bees, LLC produces the BeesVita Plus nutritional supplement in St. Paul, Minnesota. Many beekeepers are excited to use the product. One beekeeper, David Hackenberg represents the desperation and hope that accompanies this product:
“When I started my beekeeping business more than 40 years ago, my honey bees lived for two months, now they don’t even live for two weeks… That’s why I’m experimenting with BeesVita Plus. Initial indications show that bees are attracted to BeesVita Plus, unlike other feeding products that we have previously tested.”
This product is filled with expectation and promise. If it delivers, it could be a truly revolutionary and impactful innovation not only for beekeepers, but also for the world.