Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be one of the primary people in America to obtain a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary set up for a long time, and a recent move from downtown San Francisco to some house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy an actuality. Being an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done a great deal of reading, he knew thered be work associated with maintaining healthy bees, and that he figured the brand new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social networking channels could be just one single more tool he can use while he got started.
On their site, the flow beehive have been advertised by their inventors to supply honey on tap in a manner that was less stressful for the bees than conventional methods. Made with parts that might be integrated into a conventional 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 some time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity all over the Internet because of a relevant 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.
Nevertheless it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive on a beekeeping social media site that he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were in regards to 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 conditions at a 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 the event the new plastic frame-splitting design will be unhealthy for that bees, crush worker bees while they filled honeycomb cells, or get rid of the babies, known as brood.
On the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen called the Flow Hive a remedy trying to find a difficulty 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 concept that a beehive is like a beer keg you can tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes inside a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is actually a living thing, not much of a machine for the exploitation. Im an all-natural beekeeper and believe honey harvests must be finished with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the chance of sounding a little melodramatica sacred vocation. We have been in relationship with the backyard hive, and feel our role is usually to support them, as well as very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Everything we get we consider precious, and make use of for medicine over sweetening.
This type of the Flow Hive features a built in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at the office inside at any time.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames inside of beekeeping equipment. Towards the bottom, channels can be uncapped for releasing honey without taking out the frames.
It didnt help the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records through making $12.2 million dollars within 3 months. At beekeeping events throughout 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 much cash. Critics complained how the money might be better applied to academic bee research.
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 so much cash.
In the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. Being a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, as well as the executive director in the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become recognized on her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. So when the Flow Hive video went viral, friends and family kept sending her links, asking what she thought of it. She wished to ignore everything, but after a while couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed in order to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or the killing the bees, or perhaps dealing with bees, Burlew says via email. The thought they conveyed was you merely bought this thing, placed the bees inside, after which turned the crank when you wanted honey. She had not been impressed, and wrote posts on the blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees require a beekeepers vigilance plus a certain time commitment in order to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving these to combat new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, could be akin to receiving a new puppy and not feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of the inventors of the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear within a day roughly of going public, and immediately changed exactly how the product was marketed online. He hadnt designed for his invention to encourage anyone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften several of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply a costly device for collecting honey, not unlike a number of other add-ons currently available on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that you can do making it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as an alternative to extracting their honey, I believe thats a very good thing.
I feel many of the people who bought the Flow will turn into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There may also be those that decide bees are far too much trouble and they will abandon the full project. But that takes place anyway. Most likely the percentages of those who stick with it and people who quit will not be not the same as those that 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 great thing, if this works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to recognize and document Colony Collapse Disorder ten years ago, and contains worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The full technique of extraction becomes sort of arduous, specifically for small-scale beekeepers who only require a few jars of honey off their hives each and every year, he says. Anything that you can do to really make it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as an alternative to extracting their honey, I believe thats a very good thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new yet still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Way back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no longer has to go underground with his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, positioned in a standard Langstroth hive last April, does well, and hes hopeful theyll allow it to be throughout the winter and that 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, and the president in the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to have a close up glance at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience for that associated with a early adopter; he thinks there will be some issues that may emerge since the Flow Hives get dedicated to use, and the company will have to hivve those whilst keeping improving their design, their marketing, along with their product. But really, he asks, is that distinct from those dealing with some other kind of technology?
Should you be assuming that every new beekeepers are going to 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 end up with a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.