Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be among the first individuals North America to obtain a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary create for a long time, as well as a recent move from downtown San Francisco to your house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy a reality. As an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done plenty of reading, he knew thered be work involved with maintaining healthy bees, and that he figured the newest-fangled hive that had been well-publicized on social media channels could be merely one more tool he could use as he got started.
On their site, the flow beehive was advertised by their inventors to offer honey on tap in a fashion that was less stressful for the bees than conventional methods. Developed with parts that could be included in a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of a giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For a time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity all over the Internet due to a video, created to promote the brand new invention and raise money due to its development, that went viral, racking up over two million opinion of YouTube.
But it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive over a beekeeping social websites site he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were about the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Everyone was emotionally purchased this.
Some beekeepers worried that the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health issues at any given time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions to the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic towards the bees.
Many wondered if the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy for that bees, crush worker bees while they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, known as brood.
On the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen known as the Flow Hive an alternative in search of a problem and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that the new hive might encourage a kind of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the concept that a beehive is sort of a beer keg you are able to tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes within a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is really a living thing, not just a machine for our exploitation. Im an all natural beekeeper and feel that honey harvests must be done with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the danger of sounding a bit melodramatica sacred vocation. We have been in relationship with our backyard hive, and feel our role is usually to support them, and also to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Whatever we get we consider precious, and use for medicine more than 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 the office inside any time.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames inside of beekeeping equipment. At the bottom, channels can be uncapped for releasing honey without taking out the frames.
It didnt help how the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records through making $12.2 million dollars in just 3 months. At beekeeping events around the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings regarding the new hive design questioned why a firm that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed much cash. Critics complained that the money could possibly be better applied to academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings about the new hive design questioned why a firm that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed very much cash.
At first, writer Rusty Burlew was on the list of skeptics. As being a beekeeping instructor, columnist for the British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and also the executive director in the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well known on her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. And once the Flow Hive video went viral, family and friends kept sending her links, asking what she thought about it. She planned to ignore the whole thing, but after a while couldnt resist checking it out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed in order to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or maybe the killing the bees, and even coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The idea they conveyed was you just bought this thing, put the bees inside, and after that turned the crank when you wanted honey. She was not 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 so that you can thrive in the current US environment. Leaving these people to combat new pathogens and pests on their own, its argued, will be akin to obtaining a new puppy and not feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of several inventors of your Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in just a day roughly of going public, and immediately changed how the product was marketed on the website. He hadnt created for his invention to encourage someone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften several of the criticism; Burlew, for instance, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply a pricey device for collecting honey, not unlike a few other add-ons currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything you could do making it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as opposed to extracting their honey, I think thats the best thing.
I believe many of the people who bought the Flow will develop into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There may also be those that decide bees are extremely much trouble and they can abandon the full project. But that occurs anyway. Possibly the percentages of those people who stay with it and people who quit will not be not the same as individuals who begin beekeeping in almost any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks the Flow Hive can be quite a good thing, whether it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to determine and document Colony Collapse Disorder a decade ago, and contains worked extensively on honeybee health in the years since.
The entire procedure of extraction becomes type of arduous, specifically for small-scale beekeepers who only desire a few jars of honey off their hives each year, he says. Anything you can do to really make it easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as opposed to 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 D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no more must go underground regarding his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, set up in a standard Langstroth hive last April, is performing well, and hes hopeful theyll help it become from the winter and therefore hell have the capacity to incorporate the Flow Hive to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from your Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, as well as the president of the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to acquire a close up glance at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience for that of any early adopter; he thinks you will find some problems that may emerge as being the Flow Hives get put in use, as well as the company need to hivve those and maintain improving their design, their marketing, and their product. But really, he asks, is the fact different from those dealing with some other kind of technology?
Should you be assuming that all new beekeepers are going to be bad beekeepers, I feel thats a hazardous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres simply no good reason that we wont end up with a whole lot of fantastic beekeepers.