Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be one of the first people Canada And America to obtain a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary setup for many years, along with a recent move from downtown San Francisco to some house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy an actuality. As 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 he figured the new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social websites channels could be only one more tool he can use because he got started.
On their site, the flow beehive ended up being advertised by their inventors to offer honey on tap in a way that was less stressful for your bees than conventional methods. Created with parts which can be integrated into a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it provides plastic frames thatwith the insertion of any giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be moved to extract honey through special tubing. For a time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity across the Internet thanks to a youtube video, created to promote the newest invention and raise money for the development, that went viral, racking up a lot more than two million views on YouTube.
But it really wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive on the beekeeping social websites site which he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were in regards to the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Individuals were emotionally invested in this.
Some beekeepers worried that this 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 when the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy for your bees, crush worker bees since they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, called brood.
On the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen known as the Flow Hive an answer looking for a difficulty and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns how the new hive might encourage a sort of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the idea that a beehive is like 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 just a machine for our own exploitation. Im an all natural beekeeper and believe that honey harvests needs to be finished with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the chance of sounding a bit melodramatica sacred vocation. We have been in relationship with the backyard hive, and feel our role is to support them, as well as very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we get we consider precious, and utilize for medicine a lot more than 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 work inside any moment.
Side view of the see-through plastic frames within beekeeping supplier. At the bottom, channels might be uncapped for releasing honey without eliminating the frames.
It didnt help that the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records 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 business that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed so much cash. Critics complained that this money could possibly be better utilized on academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings about the new hive design questioned why a business that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed that much cash.
At first, writer Rusty Burlew was among the skeptics. Being a beekeeping instructor, columnist for your British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director of your Native Bee Conservancy, shes become recognized on her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. Then when the Flow Hive video went viral, family and friends kept sending her links, asking what she thought about it. She planned to ignore everything, but before long couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the past especially, the Flow was marketed so as 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 theory they conveyed was you simply bought it, place the bees inside, and then turned the crank whenever 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 as well as a certain time commitment as a way to thrive in the current US environment. Leaving those to combat new pathogens and pests independently, its argued, could be akin to getting a new puppy rather than feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of many inventors in the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear within a day approximately of going public, and immediately changed how the product was marketed online. He hadnt meant for his invention to encourage a person to be irresponsible.
That response has helped to soften some of the criticism; Burlew, as an example, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply a pricey device for collecting honey, not unlike several other accessories currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that you can do to really make it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I feel thats a very good thing.
I think many of the individuals who bought the Flow will develop into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There is likewise those who decide bees are way too much trouble and they can abandon the entire project. But that occurs anyway. Possibly the percentages of those that stick to it and those that quit will not be not the same as those that begin beekeeping in any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks that the Flow Hive could be a good thing, when it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to identify and document Colony Collapse Disorder a decade ago, and it has worked extensively on honeybee health within the years since.
The full procedure for extraction becomes kind of arduous, specifically small-scale beekeepers who only desire a few jars of honey using their hives annually, he says. Anything that you can do making it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I feel thats a very important thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and yet-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Way back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no more must go underground with his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, set up in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, is performing well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is with the winter and this hell be able to incorporate the Flow Hive to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support coming from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, as well as the president of 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 you will find some things that may emerge as the Flow Hives get placed into use, as well as 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 distinct from those dealing with some other form of technology?
When you are assuming that all new beekeepers will likely be bad beekeepers, I think thats a dangerous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres simply no reasons why we wont end up with a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.