Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be among the first folks The United States to acquire a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary create for a long time, and a recent move from downtown San Francisco to your house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy an actuality. For an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done plenty of reading, he knew thered be work associated with maintaining healthy bees, and that he figured the latest-fangled hive which had been well-publicized on social media channels could be just one single more tool he can use since he got started.
On their website, the flow hive ended up being advertised by their inventors to provide honey on tap in a manner that was less stressful for the bees than conventional methods. Designed with parts that could be integrated into a standard stacked Langstroth hive, it includes plastic frames thatwith the insertion of your giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For quite a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity over the Internet due to a video, built to promote the brand new invention and raise money due to its development, that went viral, racking up more than two million thoughts about YouTube.
But 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 regarding the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Everyone was emotionally purchased this.
Some beekeepers worried the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health problems at one time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for your Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic to the bees.
Many wondered when the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy for the bees, crush worker bees since they filled honeycomb cells, or kill the babies, referred to as brood.
In the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen called the Flow Hive a solution looking for a challenge and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that the new hive might encourage a sort of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the idea 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 a machine for the exploitation. Im an all-natural beekeeper and believe that honey harvests must be completed with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the risk of sounding a bit melodramatica sacred vocation. We have been in relationship with our backyard hive, and feel our role is to support them, as well as to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we get we consider precious, and make use of for medicine greater than sweetening.
This type of the Flow Hive includes a built in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at your workplace inside any moment.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames on the inside of beekeeping equipment. At the end, channels may be uncapped for releasing honey without taking off the frames.
It didnt help that the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records by making $12.2 million dollars in just three months. At beekeeping events round the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings in regards to the new hive design questioned why a company that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed very much cash. Critics complained that this money may be better used on academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings about the new hive design questioned why an organization that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed much cash.
At first, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. As being a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, along with the executive director of your Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well known for her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. And once the Flow Hive video went viral, friends and relations kept sending her links, asking what she thought about it. She wished to ignore everything, but eventually 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 even the killing the bees, or perhaps coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The concept they conveyed was you just bought this thing, position the bees inside, after which 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 demand a beekeepers vigilance plus a certain time commitment to be able to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving these to fight off new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, will be similar to acquiring a new puppy rather than feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of several inventors from the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear inside a day or so of going public, and immediately changed how the product was marketed on the webpage. He hadnt intended for his invention to encourage a person 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 costly device for collecting honey, not unlike a number of other accessories currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that you can do so it will be easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I feel thats a very good thing.
I feel lots of the individuals who bought the Flow will transform into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There will also be those that decide bees are way too much trouble and they can abandon the whole project. But that takes place anyway. Probably the percentages of those that stick to it and those who quit wont be very different from those who begin beekeeping in virtually any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it in action yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks the Flow Hive could be a great thing, if this works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was 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 entire procedure of extraction becomes type of arduous, particularly for small-scale beekeepers who only need a few jars of honey from the hives each year, he says. Anything that you can do making it easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I do believe thats the best 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 longer needs to go underground with his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, set up in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, is doing well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is from the winter and that hell be capable of incorporate the Flow Hive in to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, as well as the president in the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to have a close up check out the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to this for any early adopter; he thinks you will see some problems that may emerge as the Flow Hives get placed into use, as well as the company must hivve those and maintain improving their design, their marketing, as well as their product. But really, he asks, is the fact distinctive from those utilizing some other type of technology?
When you are assuming that new beekeepers will probably be bad beekeepers, I think thats a dangerous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres virtually no good reason why we wont get a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.