Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be the first folks North America to acquire a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary setup for a long time, plus a recent move from downtown San Francisco to your house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy a reality. As being 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 latest-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social media channels will be only one more tool he can use as he got started.
On their website, the flow frame was advertised by their inventors to provide honey on tap in a manner that was less stressful to the bees than conventional methods. Developed with parts that could be incorporated into a conventional stacked Langstroth hive, it offers plastic frames thatwith the insertion of your giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be moved to extract honey through special tubing. For a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity all over the Internet thanks to a youtube video, built to promote the latest invention and lift money because of its development, that went viral, racking up over two million thoughts about YouTube.
But it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive over a beekeeping social media site he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were about the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Individuals were emotionally invested in this.
Some beekeepers worried the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health conditions at one time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions to the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic on the bees.
Many wondered if the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy to the bees, crush worker bees as they filled honeycomb cells, or get rid of the babies, generally known as brood.
On the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as Flow Hive an alternative trying to find a challenge and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns the new hive might encourage a kind of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the notion that a beehive is sort of a beer keg you may tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes within a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is really a living thing, not a machine for our exploitation. Im an all natural beekeeper and believe that honey harvests should be done with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the chance of sounding just a little melodramatica sacred vocation. We have been in relationship with the backyard hive, and feel our role is to support them, and also to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we should get we consider precious, and make use of for medicine more than sweetening.
This model of the Flow Hive incorporates a built-in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at work inside any moment.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames inside of self tapping beehive. Towards the bottom, channels may be uncapped for releasing honey without taking out the frames.
It didnt help that the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records through making $12.2 million dollars in just three months. At beekeeping events around the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings concerning the new hive design questioned why a company that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed much cash. Critics complained how the money could be better suited for academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings in regards to the new hive design questioned why a company that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed much cash.
At first, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. As being a beekeeping instructor, columnist for the British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director of the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well-known for her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. When the Flow Hive video went viral, family and friends kept sending her links, asking what she considered it. She wished to ignore the whole thing, but before long couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the past especially, the Flow was marketed in order to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or maybe the killing the bees, as well as handling bees, Burlew says via email. The theory they conveyed was you merely bought this thing, placed the bees inside, after which turned the crank whenever you wanted honey. She had not been impressed, and wrote posts in her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees call for a beekeepers vigilance plus a certain time commitment to be able to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving those to battle new pathogens and pests alone, its argued, could be akin to getting a new puppy instead of feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of many inventors in the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear inside a day or more of going public, and immediately changed exactly how the product was marketed on the site. He hadnt designed for his invention to encourage one to be irresponsible.
That response has helped to soften a number of the criticism; Burlew, for example, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply a costly device for collecting honey, not unlike a few other accessories currently available on the market 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 believe thats a very good thing.
I do believe most of the individuals who bought the Flow will develop into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There may also be individuals who decide bees are extremely much trouble and they can abandon the complete project. But that occurs anyway. Probably the percentages of those who stick with it and those that quit will not be very different from those that begin beekeeping in any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks that this Flow Hive might be a great thing, when it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to distinguish and document Colony Collapse Disorder ten years ago, and it has worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The complete technique of extraction becomes type of arduous, particularly for small-scale beekeepers who only want a few jars of honey off their hives each year, he says. Anything that can be done to really make it easier in order that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I think thats a good thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he will no longer has to go underground regarding his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, placed in a standard Langstroth hive last April, has been doing well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is with the winter which hell have the capacity to incorporate the Flow Hive in the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support coming from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and the president of your DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to have a close up glance at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience for that for any early adopter; he thinks you will find some things that may emerge as being the Flow Hives get placed into use, along with the company will need to hivve those and maintain improving their design, their marketing, along with their product. But really, he asks, is the fact that not the same as those utilizing some other kind of technology?
In case you are assuming that every new beekeepers are going to be bad beekeepers, I feel thats an unsafe assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres basically no reasons why we wont get a great deal of fantastic beekeepers.