Wrapping Things Up for Winter!


Author: Heather Broccard-Bell, Ph.D., Honey Bee Health Researcher

It’s that time of year again. In many areas, temperatures have started to dip below freezing at night, and the first snowflakes have begun to fall. If you’re in the prairies, you’re almost certainly well past these preliminary stages of winter. But before you hunker down with a book in front of your fireplace, you need to ensure that your bees are ready for the season!

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Formicpro™ European Distribution Partners


Your Newest Tool to Combat Varroa

Formicpro™ is an all-natural Veterinary Medicine that targets Varroa destructor mites. Formic acid is the active ingredient, which penetrates the brood cap to kill varroa mites where they reproduce—targeting the root of your infestation, and protecting developing bees when they’re most vulnerable.

Formicpro Distribution Partners & Authorised Countries

Formicpro is authorised in: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (RMS), Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom. Additional regions coming soon — see our current Distribution Partners in Europe:

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Feeding Honey Bees: What, When, Why?


Author: Heather Broccard-Bell, Ph.D., Honey Bee Health Researcher

Feeding is one of those controversial honey bee topics that might best be avoided in polite company. A lot of different beekeepers have a lot of different (often extremely passionate) opinions. Some of those differences come down to living in different areas of the world. Others are personal preferences and simply what has worked (or at least what hasn’t not worked) in the past.

The goal of this post is not so much to tell you exactly what you should or should not be doing. Rather, it is to give you an appreciation of why you might (or might not) need to feed your honey bees, and to provide you with some general guidelines.

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Oh Honey, Honey: Considerations for New Beekeepers


Author: Heather Broccard-Bell, Ph.D., Honey Bee Health Researcher

Humans have been gathering honey from honey bees in one form or another for millennia. For most of that time, “management” was as simple as harvesting honey from wild bee colonies wherever they could be found. Apiculture has been transformed over the last couple of centuries by advances in technology. The invention of modular hive systems and moveable frames has greatly improved productivity, mobility, and the welfare of the bees themselves. Ultimately, most of this has been done in the service of one goal: to produce honey.

Now that we’re well into fall honey season (at least in Ontario, Canada), it seems like an opportune time to discuss some of the main considerations of modern honey harvesting. I realize that beekeepers around the world deal with many types of hives these days, but I am going to focus on the most common in North America: the 10-frame Langstroth.

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What Makes Formic Acid So Special?


Author: Heather Broccard-Bell, Ph.D., Honey Bee Health Researcher

Not all miticides are created equally—and no two apiaries are the same either. Yet, there are some common factors all beekeepers should carefully consider when deciding which product to use in their operations to control Varroa destructor.

Whether you have a few backyard hives or run a large commercial operation, regularly monitoring for mites (video) and developing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program will help ensure your colonies get the right treatment, at the right time. We encourage beekeepers everywhere to think critically about their treatment plans ensuring the health of their colonies—and honey bees worldwide.

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What is it like to be a bee? (Part 2)


Author: Heather Broccard-Bell, Ph.D., Honey Bee Health Researcher

It’s safe to say that how honey bees experience the world is quite different from how humans experience the world. While we will always be influenced by our specific sensory systems, we can aim to better understand the honey bee by studying their senses. Knowing more about what the world is like for honey bees can help us to decipher their remarkable behaviour.

In our last blog, we took an in-depth look at how the honey bee uses its unique visual capabilities for navigation, foraging, and more. Like us, bees rely heavily on their vision, but what about the other senses? We’ll now explore beyond sight to further grasp what the world is like from the honey bee’s perspective.

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What is it like to be a bee? (Part 1)


Author: Heather Broccard-Bell, Ph.D., Honey Bee Health Researcher

In 1974, the American philosopher Thomas Nagel published an essay called, “What is it Like to Be a Bat?” [1]. In it, he argued that we can never really know because everything about how we perceive the world is coloured by the specific way in which our sensory systems operate. Even if we try to imagine what it might be like to be a bat, we unconsciously and unavoidably do so from our own biased perspective as a human, with human-type senses. For example, many of us think in words and/or pictures, neither of which a bat can do, even if it wanted to. Nagel argued that one can only truly understand what it is like to be a bat if one is actually a bat—and the same goes for knowing what it’s like to be a honey bee, or any other kind of non-human creature. In effect, Nagel’s essay really just expanded on the old saying, “you never truly know what it’s like for someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.”

Why would we want to know what it’s like to be another creature anyway? We encounter bee behaviours all the time that seem mysterious. Knowing why bees do the things that they do would certainly be helpful, and this starts with understanding what the world is like from their perspective.

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Why Are Honey Bees Such Great Pollinators?


Author: Heather Broccard-Bell, Ph.D., Honey Bee Health Researcher

The Western Honey Bee is a Pollinator Pro

Happy Pollinator Week! As I am sure you are well aware, there are a whole lot of different kinds of pollinators out there: from the familiar bees to other insects, like flies and beetles, to birds, and even bats! Each is important, and each has a role to play. Within this diverse group of animals, however, the Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera, stands out – especially when it comes to the pollination of food crops, like fruit and nut trees[1]. Interestingly, the Western Honey Bee (hereafter referred to as the honey bee, even though there are actually several other species of honey bee*) is somewhat of a “perfect storm” of factors that, combined, make it a powerhouse pollinator.

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Press Release – Formicpro® obtains Marketing Authorization in 23 European Regions


May 10, 2021 (Dublin, Ireland) — Beekeepers across Europe now have a new tool to combat the devastating Varroa destructor mite. NOD Apiary Ireland Ltd. is pleased to announce that the HPRA and 22 other European Regional Authorities have granted Marketing Authorization to NOD’s newest extended shelf-life Veterinary Medicine: Formicpro™.

Sustainable and Extended Shelf-Life

Formicpro features a 24-month shelf-life that doesn’t require temperature-controlled storage. These key advancements in bee protection technology provide distributors and beekeepers with an additional effective treatment for Varroosis that’s safer and easier to use.

Formicpro is an all-natural product manufactured in ready-to-use polysaccharide gel strips that are fully biodegradable. Its eco-paper wrap is designed to provide a slow release of the active ingredient: formic acid. During the 7-day treatment period Formicpro causes mortality to a significant number of mites under the brood cap, as well as adult mites on the bees, with an average efficacy of 83-97%.

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Press Release – NOD Apiary Products Ltd. Brings on New Honey Bee Health Researcher


Ontario, Canada NOD Apiary Products Ltd. is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Heather Broccard-Bell to the NOD team as Honey Bee Health Researcher, effective immediately. As head of research activities, Dr. Broccard-Bell will contribute to NOD Apiary Products’ commitment to innovation, quality and education for the betterment of the global beekeeping community. 

Dr. Broccard-Bell joins the NOD team with an impressive education (B.A. in Psychology, M.Sc. in Neuroscience and Ph.D. in Behaviour and Evolution), as well as research experience specific to beekeeping, honey bees and animal health.  

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