ProtectBee, Australia and Canada

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Episode 85 of the Bees with Ben podcast is co-hosted by Dr Anna Carrucan, a second-generation beekeeper and botanist.

The driving force behind Buukaar Waaruung boutique apiary and artisan honey.

Also, along for the ride (but taking something of a back seat on this occasion) is Simon Mildren from The Hive Buddy, a website dedicated to bees and beekeepers.

In this podcast, Ben and Anna discuss the merits of the ProtectaBEE all-in-one adjustable hive entrance that is currently exceeding expectations on the crowd-finding site Indiegogo.

Not only can the ProtectaBEE apparently exclude pests like wasps, hornets, robber bees, mice and other predators from the hive.

But it can also be used to deliver treatments for varroa mites, diseases and pesticide poisoning.

Maximising Bee Movement

The Protectabee’s conical inserts are claimed to maximise bee movement while establishing an effective physical barrier against predators.

Traffic in and out of the hive can be conveniently enhanced (in times of growth), reduced (to aid in winter warming) or even eliminated (when moving hives) by the use of a variety of inserts.

The promotional material cites the research of Dr Peter Kevan, from the University of Guelph, who more than twenty years ago came up with the concept of using bees to carry fungal powders to plants to fight pests and diseases.

Bee vectoring has since been used to improve the health of crops such as strawberries and blueberries. Likewise, Dr Kevan hypothesized that bee vectoring could be effective in combatting pests and diseases inside the hive.

Normally, if powders are placed in a hive, the bees will simply carry them out.

However, research has evidently shown that ProtectaBEE facilitates treatment inside the hive, and that the device has potential to reduce varroa mites, as well as effectively treating foulbrood and other pests and diseases.

ProtectaBEE has been designed to fit both Langstroth and Flow hives; it has been featured in Bee Culture magazine, and is simply and easy to install, as well as being relatively cost effective.

The first production run is scheduled for delivery in June 2022, and discounted prices are available for prepurchase via Indiegogo.

So, what do our experts think? You’ll have to listen to the podcast!


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