Stuart and Cedar Anderson have created a beehive that won’t scare away most want-to-be beekeepers. The duo, a father and son from Australia, have designed the Flow Hive, which allows honey to be harvested directly without bothering the bees. Usually, a beehive must be opened up, and the bees home completely disturbed. The design for this revolutionary hive uses a unique honeycomb frame that makes harvesting simpler for bees and beekeepers.
The designers are multigenerational beekeepers, Cedar being the youngest and having been working with bees since he was a young child. Father and son joined forces to design the Flow Hive, and it has been in process for more than ten years, used in testing for three, and crowdfunded on Indiegogo to begin production of their innovative design. The crowdfunding raised great awareness and interest in their product worldwide. The pair met their fundraising goal in 8 minutes and in total raised over $12 million US dollars.
To use the Flow Hive you simply place a jar under the spout, turn the handle, allow the jar to fill, and turn it off. The bees will then be able to get back to work and make more honey in the frame. You don’t have to open the frame at all. Simpler than traditional beekeeping practice!
Patented technology to create channels or cells inside the hive where the channels can let honey be poured out, and then closed again to allow for more honey making. The bees stay on the comb side, and are not interfered with during honey harvesting.
No heating required to harvest the honey, which reportedly then gives the honey different tastes as it is less processed. 7 lbs of honey per frame!
There are some veteran beekeepers who are not in support of the Flow Hive, concerned that while this is a simple method, it neglects to educate new beekeepers on other aspects of beekeeping and the needs of the bees. They also are heavily invested in the interaction and care of their bees, and are concerned that an “automated” system will result in loss of that relationship. Bees require more care than just their hives, they maintain. There is some concern about the plastic frames, that they may reduce the ability of the bees to communicate throughout the hive, as bees naturally make their own wax combs, while this system provides a start on the comb frame.
Adrian Iodice, from Beekeeping Naturally, has also expressed his doubts:
“People have no idea about bees and honey and they’re so excited about this bee hive. They don’t really understand the complex society of a bee organism. They don’t know the plight of bees. At a time when bees are dying in their billions around the world, the last thing we should be focusing on is the honey. I feel it’s just another nail in the bloody coffin.”
The Flow Hive designers are hoping with more dissemination of their product they will get more information and feedback from a great deal of locales and climates. You can learn about the Flow Hive and watch a video on it at www.honeyflow.com.