Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be the first folks America to get a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary set up for many years, along with a recent move from downtown San Francisco to some house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy possible. For an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done a lot of reading, he knew thered be work linked to maintaining healthy bees, and the man figured the newest-fangled hive that were well-publicized on social websites channels could be only one more tool he can use because he got started.
On their website, the flow hive was advertised by their inventors to offer honey on tap in a way that was less stressful for your bees than traditional methods. Developed with parts that may be incorporated into a conventional stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of a giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be moved to extract honey through special tubing. For some time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity throughout the Internet as a result of a relevant video, created to promote the brand new invention and raise money for the development, that went viral, racking up a lot more than two million views on YouTube.
However it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive on a beekeeping social websites site that he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were regarding the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. People were emotionally invested in this.
Some beekeepers worried that the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health issues at the same time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for your Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic to the bees.
Many wondered in case the new plastic frame-splitting design will be unhealthy for your bees, crush worker bees as they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, generally known as brood.
On the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen called the Flow Hive an answer looking for a problem and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that the new hive might encourage a sort of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the concept that a beehive is like a beer keg it is possible to tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes in the post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is actually a living thing, not much of a machine for our own exploitation. Im an all natural beekeeper and feel that honey harvests should be finished with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the risk of sounding just a little melodramatica sacred vocation. Our company is in relationship using our backyard hive, and feel our role is to support them, and also to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Everything we get we consider precious, and employ for medicine over sweetening.
This type of the Flow Hive contains a built-in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at the office inside any time.
Side look at the see-through plastic frames on the inside of beekeeping supplier. Towards the bottom, channels might be uncapped for releasing honey without taking off the frames.
It didnt help that this Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records simply by making $12.2 million dollars in only three months. At beekeeping events around the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings about the new hive design questioned why a company that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed that much cash. Critics complained the money might be better utilized on academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings about the new hive design questioned why a business that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed that much cash.
In the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was one of the skeptics. Being a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, as well as the executive director from the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well-known on her behalf sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. Then when the Flow Hive video went viral, friends and relations kept sending her links, asking what she thought of it. She wished to ignore the whole thing, but after some time couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed so as to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or even the killing the bees, as well as dealing with bees, Burlew says via email. The thought they conveyed was you merely bought this thing, position the bees inside, then turned the crank once you wanted honey. She had not been impressed, and wrote posts on the blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees need to have a beekeepers vigilance along with a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the present US environment. Leaving those to battle new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, can be akin to receiving a new puppy and never feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, among the inventors in the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in just a day or more of going public, and immediately changed how the product was marketed on the webpage. He hadnt designed for his invention to encourage someone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften several of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply a costly device for collecting honey, not unlike a number of other add-ons currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything you can do so it will be easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I do believe thats a good thing.
I think lots of the people that bought the Flow will transform into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There will also be those that decide bees are way too much trouble and they will abandon the whole project. But that occurs anyway. Most likely the percentages of those who stay with it and those that quit will not be not the same as those who begin beekeeping in almost any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks how the Flow Hive might be a great thing, when it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was among the first researchers to identify and document Colony Collapse Disorder 10 years ago, and it has worked extensively on honeybee health in the years since.
The full process of extraction becomes type of arduous, specifically small-scale beekeepers who only desire a few jars of honey from their hives annually, he says. Anything you could do making it easier in order that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as an alternative to extracting their honey, I feel thats a good thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new but still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Back D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no longer needs to go underground along with his bee hive kits. His first package of bees, positioned in a standard Langstroth hive last April, is doing well, and hes hopeful theyll allow it to be with the winter and this hell have the capacity to incorporate the Flow Hive to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, along with the president of your DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to obtain a close up check out the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to this of the early adopter; he thinks you will see some things that may emerge as the Flow Hives get placed into use, and also the company will have to hivve those and keep improving their design, their marketing, and their product. But really, he asks, is not the same as those dealing with every other form of technology?
Should you be assuming that new beekeepers will probably be bad beekeepers, I believe thats an unsafe assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres virtually no reason why we wont get a whole lot of fantastic beekeepers.