Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be one of the first people in North America to get a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary create for a long time, along with a recent move from downtown San Francisco to a house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy a reality. For an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done a great deal of reading, he knew thered be work linked to maintaining healthy bees, and the man figured the new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social websites channels could be just one single more tool he could use while 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 that bees than conventional methods. Created with parts which can be incorporated into a conventional stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of the giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For quite a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity over the Internet as a result of a relevant video, built to promote the new invention and raise money due to its development, that went viral, racking up over two million views on YouTube.
Nevertheless it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive on a beekeeping social websites site which he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were regarding the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Individuals were emotionally purchased this.
Some beekeepers worried that the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-medical problems at the same time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic to the bees.
Many wondered in case the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy for the bees, crush worker bees as they filled honeycomb cells, or get rid of the babies, called brood.
Around the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen called the Flow Hive an answer in search of a challenge and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns the new hive might encourage a sort of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the notion that a beehive is like a beer keg you may tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes in the post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is really a living thing, not just a machine for our own exploitation. Im an all natural beekeeper and believe that honey harvests has to be done 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 to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we get we consider precious, and use for medicine over sweetening.
This model of the Flow Hive includes a built in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at your workplace inside any moment.
Side look at the see-through plastic frames inside of flow frame set. In the bottom, channels may be uncapped for releasing honey without eliminating the frames.
It didnt help how the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records through making $12.2 million dollars within just 90 days. At beekeeping events round the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings concerning the new hive design questioned why a business that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed much cash. Critics complained how the money could be better used on academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings in regards to the new hive design questioned why a firm that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed so much cash.
At the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. As being a beekeeping instructor, columnist to the British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and also the executive director of your Native Bee Conservancy, shes become recognized on her behalf sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. And once the Flow Hive video went viral, friends and family kept sending her links, asking what she looked at it. She wished to ignore everything, but after some time couldnt resist checking it out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed in an effort to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or maybe the killing the bees, and even working with bees, Burlew says via email. The thought they conveyed was you simply bought it, placed the bees inside, after which turned the crank once you wanted honey. She was not impressed, and wrote posts in her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees require a beekeepers vigilance and a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the current US environment. Leaving these people to fight off new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, could be similar to receiving a new puppy rather than feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of several inventors of the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear within a day approximately of going public, and immediately changed exactly how the product was marketed on the website. He hadnt intended for his invention to encourage someone to be irresponsible.
That response has helped to soften some of the criticism; Burlew, for instance, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply a high priced device for collecting honey, not unlike a few other add-ons currently in the marketplace for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that can be done to make it easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I feel thats a good thing.
I feel most of the people who bought the Flow will turn into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There can also be those that decide bees are too much trouble and they can abandon the whole project. But that happens anyway. Most likely the percentages of those that stick with it and those that quit wont be not the same as those who begin beekeeping in every other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks the Flow Hive might be a good thing, if it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was the first researchers to identify and document Colony Collapse Disorder a decade ago, and has worked extensively on honeybee health in the years since.
The whole technique of extraction becomes type of arduous, especially for small-scale beekeepers who only want a few jars of honey using their hives every year, he says. Anything that can be done so it will be easier in order that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I think thats a very important thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Way back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he not any longer must go underground along with his flow frame set. His first package of bees, placed in a regular Langstroth hive last April, is doing well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is through the winter and this hell be able to incorporate the Flow Hive into the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from the Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and the president of your DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to obtain a close up look at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to that of the early adopter; he thinks you will have some issues that may emerge because the Flow Hives get dedicated to use, and also the company will have to hivve those while keeping improving their design, their marketing, and their product. But really, he asks, is the fact that distinct from those working together with every other form of technology?
Should you be assuming that all new beekeepers will probably be bad beekeepers, I believe thats a risky assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres virtually no good reason that we wont get a whole lot of fantastic beekeepers.