Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be one of the first folks America to acquire a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary setup for several years, as well as a recent move from downtown San Francisco to a house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy possible. As being an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done a great deal of reading, he knew thered be work involved in maintaining healthy bees, and then he figured the new-fangled hive which had been well-publicized on social media marketing channels would be merely one more tool he can use while he got started.
On their site, the flow hive ended up being advertised by their inventors to offer honey on tap in a manner that was less stressful for the bees than traditional methods. Made with parts that might be integrated into a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of any giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be moved to extract honey through special tubing. For quite a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity over the Internet as a result of a youtube video, designed to promote the new invention and raise money due to 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 websites site that he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were about the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Everyone was emotionally dedicated to this.
Some beekeepers worried that this Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health conditions at any given time when bees are receiving tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic towards the bees.
Many wondered when the new plastic frame-splitting design will be unhealthy to the bees, crush worker bees as they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, called brood.
In the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as the Flow Hive an answer looking for 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 notion that a beehive is like a beer keg it is possible to tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes in the post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is actually a living thing, not a machine for our own 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 just a little melodramatica sacred vocation. We have been in relationship with our backyard hive, and feel our role is always to support them, as well as very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Whatever we get we consider precious, and employ for medicine 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 work inside any moment.
Side look at the see-through plastic frames within self tapping beehive. At the bottom, channels can be uncapped for releasing honey without removing the frames.
It didnt help that this Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records by making $12.2 million dollars in only three 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 so much cash. Critics complained the money may be better suited for academic bee research.
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.
In the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was one of the skeptics. Like a beekeeping instructor, columnist to the British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, along with the executive director of your Native Bee Conservancy, shes become popular 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 looked at it. She desired to ignore everything, but after some time couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed as a way to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or the killing the bees, or even coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The concept they conveyed was you just bought it, position the bees inside, then turned the crank if you wanted honey. She was not impressed, and wrote posts on the blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees call for a beekeepers vigilance and a certain time commitment as a way to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving those to battle new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, could be similar to obtaining a new puppy instead of feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of several inventors of your Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear inside a day approximately of going public, and immediately changed just 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 a few of the criticism; Burlew, for example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply a high priced device for collecting honey, not unlike several other accessories currently available on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that can be done making it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I think thats a very important thing.
I think lots of the people who bought the Flow will transform into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There will also be those that decide bees are extremely much trouble and they will abandon the complete project. But that occurs anyway. Probably the percentages of those people who remain with it and those that quit wont be not the same as individuals who begin beekeeping in every other way.
Although he hasnt seen it in action yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks how the Flow Hive can be quite a good thing, whether it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to recognize and document Colony Collapse Disorder a decade ago, and possesses worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The complete technique of extraction becomes kind of arduous, specifically for small-scale beekeepers who only need a few jars of honey using their hives annually, he says. Anything that you can do so it will be easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as an alternative to extracting their honey, I do believe thats a very important thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
In D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no more has got to go underground regarding his bee hive kits. His first package of bees, set up in a regular Langstroth hive last April, is performing well, and hes hopeful theyll allow it to be from the winter and that hell have the capacity to incorporate the Flow Hive in to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from the Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, along with the president of your DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to get a close up glance at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience for that associated with a early adopter; he thinks you will find some issues that may emerge as the Flow Hives get put into use, along with the company must hivve those and keep improving their design, their marketing, in addition to their product. But really, he asks, is the fact distinct from those utilizing some other kind of technology?
When you are assuming that every new beekeepers will likely be bad beekeepers, I believe thats an unsafe assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres simply no good reason that we wont get a great deal of fantastic beekeepers.