Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be the first people North America to acquire a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary set up for several years, as well as a recent move from downtown San Francisco to some house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy possible. As being an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done plenty of reading, he knew thered be work involved with maintaining healthy bees, and that he figured the new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social media marketing channels could be merely one more tool he could use while he got started.
On their site, the flow hive have been advertised by their inventors to provide honey on tap in a manner that was less stressful to the bees than traditional methods. Made with parts that might be included in a standard stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of any giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For a time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity over the Internet due to a youtube video, designed to promote the new invention and raise money for the development, that went viral, racking up over two million opinion of YouTube.
But it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive with a beekeeping social media marketing site which he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were regarding the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. People were emotionally purchased this.
Some beekeepers worried how the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health problems at a time when bees are receiving tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for your Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic on the bees.
Many wondered if the new plastic frame-splitting design can be unhealthy for that bees, crush worker bees while they filled honeycomb cells, or kill the babies, referred to as brood.
In the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as Flow Hive a solution in search of a problem and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that this new hive might encourage a sort of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the concept that a beehive is sort of a beer keg you can tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes in a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is actually a living thing, not a machine for our exploitation. Im a natural beekeeper and think that honey harvests has to be completed 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 would be to support them, as well as to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Whatever we get we consider precious, and utilize for medicine greater than sweetening.
This model of the Flow Hive incorporates a built in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at the office inside at any time.
Side look at the see-through plastic frames within beekeeping supplier. Towards the bottom, channels might be uncapped for releasing honey without removing the frames.
It didnt help how the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records by making $12.2 million dollars in just ninety days. At beekeeping events around the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings regarding the new hive design questioned why a firm that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed much cash. Critics complained how 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.
At the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. As being a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director from the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well-known 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 thought about it. She wanted to ignore everything, but before long couldnt resist checking it.
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, and even coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The idea they conveyed was you just bought this thing, put the bees inside, and after that turned the crank whenever you wanted honey. She was not impressed, and wrote posts on her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees require a beekeepers vigilance as well as a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the current US environment. Leaving them to combat new pathogens and pests on their own, its argued, will be similar to obtaining a new puppy instead of feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of many inventors in the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in a day or more of going public, and immediately changed just how the product was marketed on the website. He hadnt intended for his invention to encourage anyone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften several of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply an expensive device for collecting honey, not unlike other accessories currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that you can do to really make it easier in order that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I feel thats a good thing.
I feel many of the individuals who bought the Flow will become competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There will also be those that decide bees are way too much trouble and they can abandon the entire project. But that takes place anyway. Possibly the percentages of those who stick with it and those that quit wont be not the same as those who 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 can be quite a good thing, if it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the primary researchers to determine and document Colony Collapse Disorder 10 years ago, and possesses worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The complete procedure of extraction becomes form 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 making it easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as opposed to extracting their honey, I think thats the best thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and yet-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he will no longer must go underground together with his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, placed in a regular Langstroth hive last April, does well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is from the winter and that hell be able to incorporate the Flow Hive in the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support coming from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and the president of the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to acquire a close up check out the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to this of any early adopter; he thinks you will have some conditions that may emerge as being the Flow Hives get put in use, and also the company need to hivve those whilst keeping improving their design, their marketing, as well as their product. But really, he asks, is the fact that distinctive from those working together with any other sort of technology?
Should you be assuming that new beekeepers will likely be bad beekeepers, I think thats a hazardous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres simply no reasons why we wont end up with a great deal of fantastic beekeepers.