Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be among the first individuals Canada And America to get a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary setup for years, along with 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 a great deal of reading, he knew thered be work involved with maintaining healthy bees, and then he figured the newest-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social media marketing channels can be just one more tool he can use while he got started.
On their website, the flow beehive have been advertised by their inventors to supply honey on tap in ways that was less stressful for your bees than traditional methods. Made with parts which can be integrated into a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of your giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For some time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity throughout the Internet due to a youtube video, built to promote the brand new invention and raise money due to its development, that went viral, racking up more than two million opinion of YouTube.
Nevertheless it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive over a beekeeping social media marketing site that he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were regarding the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Everyone was emotionally dedicated to this.
Some beekeepers worried that the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-medical problems at a time when bees are receiving 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 in case the new plastic frame-splitting design would be unhealthy for your bees, crush worker bees since they filled honeycomb cells, or get rid of the babies, known as brood.
Around the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen called the Flow Hive an answer trying to find a challenge and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns how the new hive might encourage a kind of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the idea that a beehive is like a beer keg you are able to tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes inside a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is a living thing, not much of a machine for our own exploitation. Im an organic beekeeper and believe honey harvests has to be completed with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the potential risk of sounding just a little melodramatica sacred vocation. We are in relationship with this backyard hive, and feel our role would be to support them, and to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Everything we get we consider precious, and use for medicine a lot more than 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 self tapping beehive. At the end, channels can be uncapped for releasing honey without eliminating the frames.
It didnt help the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records simply by making $12.2 million dollars within just ninety days. At beekeeping events across the country, 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 so much cash. Critics complained that this money could be better used on academic bee research.
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 so much cash.
Initially, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. As a beekeeping instructor, columnist for your British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and also the executive director from the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become popular on her behalf 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 considered it. She wanted to ignore the whole thing, but after a while couldnt resist checking it out.
In the past especially, the Flow was marketed in order to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or perhaps the killing the bees, or even coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The thought they conveyed was you merely bought it, place the bees inside, and then turned the crank when you wanted honey. She was not impressed, and wrote posts on her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees call for a beekeepers vigilance and a certain time commitment in order to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving these people to fight off new pathogens and pests on their own, its argued, could be akin to receiving a new puppy rather than feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, among the inventors of the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in a day roughly of going public, and immediately changed the way the product was marketed on the site. He hadnt created for his invention to encourage anyone to be irresponsible.
That response has helped to soften a few of the criticism; Burlew, for example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply an expensive device for collecting honey, not unlike a few other add-ons currently available 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 rather than extracting their honey, I feel thats a very important thing.
I think lots of the those who bought the Flow will turn into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There is likewise those who decide bees are extremely much trouble and they can abandon the complete project. But you do anyway. Likely the percentages of those who stick to it and those who quit will not be quite different from people who 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 could be a good thing, when it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the primary researchers to recognize and document Colony Collapse Disorder ten years ago, and it has worked extensively on honeybee health from the years since.
The entire procedure for extraction becomes sort of arduous, specifically for small-scale beekeepers who only require a few jars of honey from their hives each and every year, he says. Anything you could do to really make it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as opposed to extracting their honey, I feel thats the best thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new but still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he not any longer has got to go underground regarding his flow frame kit. His first package of bees, set up in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, is doing well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is throughout the winter which hell have the ability to incorporate the Flow Hive into the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from your Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and also the president from the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to get a close up glance at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to this of the early adopter; he thinks there will be some issues that may emerge because the Flow Hives get placed into use, and the company will need to hivve those while keeping improving their design, their marketing, as well as their product. But really, he asks, is distinct from those working together with some other sort of technology?
When you are assuming that most new beekeepers will probably be bad beekeepers, I think thats a hazardous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres virtually no reasons why we wont get a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.