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Flow hive: a revolutionary new invention for bee keeping.

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  • Flow hive: a revolutionary new invention for bee keeping.

    Love to hear what Jedidiah thinks of this!

    Some friends of mine have for the last few years been involved in development of a new kind of bee hive. I don't know the actual inventors, but I do know their brother, and also another local bee keeper who has been involved with trialling prototypes. I didn't actually know about their work, however. It's been under wraps until just last week. What has happened since then is staggering.

    Here's the story. For the last ten years, a father/son team of inventors have been designing, testing and prototyping a bee hive in which the honey can be tapped straight from the hive; with no apparent stress to the bees; it's as easy as turning a tap and letting pure clean honey flow straight out from the hive.

    Now they are ready to go into production; and let the invention go public. To do this, they needed funding. They figured $70,000 should be enough. So they launched a kickstarter, and produced a video to introduce the idea to people.

    Then things got REALLY crazy. The video went viral. Bee keepers all over the world have been intrigued, and fascinated, and keen to jump on board. They raised their $70,000 in the first eight minutes. Within 30 minutes, they had raised half a million. The total is currently over $4,400,000. Cedar and Stuart Anderson, the inventors, were gobsmacked. Clearly they had underestimated the interest; but they are now gearing up to deal with the demand.

    Not all response has been positive; though it seems to me that most criticism is either misplaced; or else are general criticisms that apply to any hive in which there's a "brood box" or "queen excluder". Perhaps Jed can tell us more about this? The biggest issue to my amateur eye is that it might make bee keeping look too easy, and lead to a rush of people who think this gets away from any need to interact closely with the hive or the bees -- just put the box in the backyard and tap honey when you want it. The inventors have tried to be clear this is not the case -- you still need to care for the bees and get into the hive from time to time for usual bee keeping tasks for keeping bees happy and healthy. The recommend anyone joining their local beekeeping society. This could perhaps have been said more prominently on the fund raising page; but it's certainly there.

    One thing I can say for sure. The inventors were not in this for the money; they are passionate about bees and about sustainable lifestyles.

    Rather than explain it in detail myself, here are the places to look. (Just google "flow hive" if you want to look yourself; it's all over the internet and has lots of popular print press coverage as well; the record breaking fundraiser makes it a widely interesting story for almost anyone!)

    The video to explain it:


  • #2
    sounds pretty cool.

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    • #3
      Neat!

      I wanna raise bees someday...

      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


      "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sylas View Post
        Love to hear what Jedidiah thinks of this!

        Some friends of mine have for the last few years been involved in development of a new kind of bee hive. I don't know the actual inventors, but I do know their brother, and also another local bee keeper who has been involved with trialling prototypes. I didn't actually know about their work, however. It's been under wraps until just last week. What has happened since then is staggering.

        Here's the story. For the last ten years, a father/son team of inventors have been designing, testing and prototyping a bee hive in which the honey can be tapped straight from the hive; with no apparent stress to the bees; it's as easy as turning a tap and letting pure clean honey flow straight out from the hive.

        Now they are ready to go into production; and let the invention go public. To do this, they needed funding. They figured $70,000 should be enough. So they launched a kickstarter, and produced a video to introduce the idea to people.

        Then things got REALLY crazy. The video went viral. Bee keepers all over the world have been intrigued, and fascinated, and keen to jump on board. They raised their $70,000 in the first eight minutes. Within 30 minutes, they had raised half a million. The total is currently over $4,400,000. Cedar and Stuart Anderson, the inventors, were gobsmacked. Clearly they had underestimated the interest; but they are now gearing up to deal with the demand.

        Not all response has been positive; though it seems to me that most criticism is either misplaced; or else are general criticisms that apply to any hive in which there's a "brood box" or "queen excluder". Perhaps Jed can tell us more about this? The biggest issue to my amateur eye is that it might make bee keeping look too easy, and lead to a rush of people who think this gets away from any need to interact closely with the hive or the bees -- just put the box in the backyard and tap honey when you want it. The inventors have tried to be clear this is not the case -- you still need to care for the bees and get into the hive from time to time for usual bee keeping tasks for keeping bees happy and healthy. The recommend anyone joining their local beekeeping society. This could perhaps have been said more prominently on the fund raising page; but it's certainly there.

        One thing I can say for sure. The inventors were not in this for the money; they are passionate about bees and about sustainable lifestyles.
        Well,it is a bit more than a week since it became public. I learned of it about a month ago when my baby brother sent me a link.

        My only concern is for the details. It is very expensive to buy. One of the new beekeepers in our Southcentral Alaska Beekeepers Association bought three frames just for fun. He won't be able to use them until next year.

        From what I understand this is a system that will be useable for warm climates, and will never be sustainable in our climate. Useable but not sustainable is my opinion. It works by having two part frames that separate a little at the flip of a lever allowing the honey to drain from inside the frame and not accessible to the bees. This will be big news for a while, but my personal expectation is that it will be used by a lot of hobbiest beekeepers. I do not see any commercial application for this. I could be wrong - I was once before. (When Elvis first appeared as a guest on the Ed Sullivan show my response was, "We won't be seeing this guy again."

        Not sure what the criticisms relating to brood boxes or queen excluders might be. The brood box is always on the bottom of the stack - the bees insist on that - and queen excluders are between the brood box or boxes and the honey supers.

        If there are questions I will try to answer but I don't know off hand what else I can say.
        Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
          Neat!

          I wanna raise bees someday...
          My interest in bees is the bees. When I get the wintering thing reliable I will only harvest enough honey for my family and friends. I sell honey now only to pay for my bees as I can not yet be sure to have bees alive come spring. Anyone interested in this I will respond.
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Jedidiah! I was interested to see what someone knowledgeable would think. Yes; it's pricey! One suggestion has been to wait for a year after which there should be second hand ones available from people who took it up on a whim and didn't stick it out or appreciate all the other details involved in keeping bees!

            I don't think the queen excluder issue is a real issue; I was just recalling some objection someone had, but apparently it can be used with or without. Mike Bush (author of "The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally") has been using one for a while as part of the trialling process, at the request of the inventors. He's had some useful measured responses -- and he agrees with you on the price! Otherwise he's mostly positive. He's used it without the excluder, and says the queens won't use the flow hive cells by choice since the cells are too deep. So I think I pickup up on a small non-issue without understanding it.

            Mike is in Nebraska; he's said he'll pull the flow frames in winter, I think.

            Thanks for responding. I'll be hearing more about this as time goes by; if anything interesting crops up I may post again. My brother's family are planning to take a share in a suburban hive using this technique. They have good access to experienced bee keepers, including one who has been testing the flow hive; and they know the family who invented it. My brother's family also has a long standing interest in working with friends and community for sustainable living. I think I posted in the old TWeb about Kid's Vegies on the Verge, where they start a community vegetable garden for all the kids on their street. They recently started keeping chickens as well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sylas View Post
              I don't think the queen excluder issue is a real issue; I was just recalling some objection someone had, but apparently it can be used with or without. Mike Bush (author of "The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally") has been using one for a while as part of the trialling process, at the request of the inventors. He's had some useful measured responses -- and he agrees with you on the price! Otherwise he's mostly positive. He's used it without the excluder, and says the queens won't use the flow hive cells by choice since the cells are too deep. So I think I pickup up on a small non-issue without understanding it.
              Yeah. Queen excluders are an issue all by themselves. Some beekeepers won't keep bees without them, and some won't have them on their hives. Depends a lot on your local conditions, and on the strain of bees you have.
              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

              Comment

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