In early May, Bee Culture magazine, a leading beekeeping periodical in the United States, hosted a webinar from Veto-pharma’s manufacturing facility in Chaillac, France. Among others, the event featured Dr. Jim Tew, Faculty Emeritus from the Department of Entomology at Ohio State University, who toured the manufacturing plant, visited the Company’s apiary where it tests its market-leading Varroa treatments, and stopped by the Veto-pharma Bee Center. Veto-pharma recently spoke with Dr. Tew to get his impressions of the various facilities and the activities conducted there.
“Looking back on the visit, I was most impressed by Veto-pharma’s commitment to absolute perfection in terms of product formulation, manufacturing, testing, and packaging . . . to the point that I’m very confident that what is in the Apivar box is exactly what’s on the label,” Jim explained. “I would be comfortable telling anyone that if they follow the instructions for application and disposal, Apivar will deliver on its promises.”
Delivering on promises is one aspect of Veto-pharma’s approach to business that is apparent in the creation and development of the EVA Bee Center, a beekeeping center and honey production operation located in the community of Chaillac, just minutes from the plant where Veto-pharma produces Apivar, its flagship Varroa control product. A collaborative effort between the City and Veto-pharma, the “EVA Bee Center” opened in 2015, not only providing space in which honey can be extracted from Veto-pharma apiary hives or hives from other beekeepers, but also serving as an educational hub for beekeepers in the region and members of the public. The facility offers educational programs to share best beekeeping practices, provides a venue for educational activities for schools and the general public, attracts new people to the world of beekeeping, and raises awareness of the importance and value of beekeeping.
“It was amazing,” Jim said. “It’s a learning center that is modern, fully-equipped, and very comfortable, and the floor plan was obviously very well thought-out, making the processing of honey, wax and other by-products as efficient and effective as possible. It is a wonderful reflection of Veto-pharma’s commitment to beekeepers and honeybee health, and I don’t know of anything like it anywhere in the world.”
That’s equally true of Veto-pharma’s plant, a unique combination of pharmaceutical laboratory, manufacturing plant and packaging facility dedicated to the development and manufacture of products serving honey bee health. With more than 7,000 square meters of dedicated, non-sterile manufacturing space, Veto-pharma operates three modern production lines to produce a wide range of dosage forms including powders; liquids and semi-liquids; and extruded pharmaceutical polymers. With an expert quality control team working from the facility’s world-class laboratory, and an innovative research and development team, Veto-pharma is operated in compliance with French national pharmaceutical standards, and all products are manufactured under the highest applicable standards of quality.
“There are a lot of bee health products in the pipeline to supplement Apivar, and it requires a great deal of time and money to develop and bring those products to market,” Jim says. “Until I saw it on this trip, I didn’t know the depth, the commitment, and the effort that Veto-pharma was investing in the quality of their products and the sustainability of honey bee health overall.”
James E. Tew, PhD, is the Beekeeping Specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University and Emeritus Professor at the Ohio State University. Jim has taught classes, provided extension services, and conducted applied research on honey bees and honey bee behavior, specifically pollination behavior. He contributes monthly articles for national beekeeping publications and has written several books, including: Beekeeping Principles, Wisdom for Beekeepers, The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver, and Backyard Beekeeping. He is a frequent speaker at state and national meetings and has traveled extensively to observe beekeeping techniques.