Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be the first people in Canada And America to acquire a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary put in place for several years, and a recent move from downtown San Francisco to a house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy possible. As an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done plenty of reading, he knew thered be work involved in maintaining healthy bees, and that he figured the brand new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social websites channels could be merely one more tool he could use while he got started.
On their website, the flow hive have been advertised by their inventors to supply honey on tap in a manner that was less stressful for that bees than traditional methods. Created with parts that may be included in a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of your giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be moved to extract honey through special tubing. For a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity over the Internet due to a video, built to promote the latest invention and lift money due to its development, that went viral, racking up a lot more than two million views on YouTube.
However it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive with a beekeeping social websites site he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were concerning the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Individuals were emotionally committed to this.
Some beekeepers worried how the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-medical problems at the same time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic to the bees.
Many wondered when the new plastic frame-splitting design can be unhealthy for that bees, crush worker bees because they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, known as brood.
On the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen known as the Flow Hive an answer trying to find a challenge and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that this new hive might encourage a kind of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the notion that a beehive is like a beer keg you are able to tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes in 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 honey harvests should be carried out with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the potential risk of sounding a little melodramatica sacred vocation. Our company is in relationship using our backyard hive, and feel our role is always to support them, and to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we get we consider precious, and use for medicine over sweetening.
This style of the Flow Hive incorporates 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 inside of flow frame set. In the bottom, 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 through making $12.2 million dollars in just 90 days. At beekeeping events across the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings regarding the new hive design questioned why a company that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed so much cash. Critics complained how the money might be better suited for academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings in regards to the new hive design questioned why an organization that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed that much cash.
At first, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. Like a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and also the executive director of your Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well-known on her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. Then when the Flow Hive video went viral, friends and relations kept sending her links, asking what she considered it. She wanted to ignore everything, but eventually couldnt resist checking it.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed in an effort to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or perhaps the killing the bees, and even coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The idea they conveyed was you merely bought this thing, place the bees inside, and then turned the crank whenever you wanted honey. She had not been impressed, and wrote posts in her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees demand a beekeepers vigilance along with a certain time commitment in order to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving these people to battle new pathogens and pests independently, its argued, could be similar to getting a new puppy instead of feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of the 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 on the webpage. He hadnt created for his invention to encourage a person to be irresponsible.
That response has helped to soften a number of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply a pricey device for collecting honey, not unlike a number of other add-ons currently available on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that you can do to really make it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I do believe thats the best thing.
I believe lots of the people who bought the Flow will turn into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There will also be those that decide bees are way too much trouble and they will abandon the complete project. But that happens anyway. Possibly the percentages of those people who stick with it and those that quit will not be very different from individuals who begin beekeeping in virtually any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks that this Flow Hive may well be a good thing, whether it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was the first researchers to identify and document Colony Collapse Disorder ten years ago, and it has worked extensively on honeybee health in the years since.
The entire process of extraction becomes sort of arduous, specifically small-scale beekeepers who only desire a few jars of honey off their hives each and every year, he says. Anything you could do to really make it easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I think thats a very good thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new yet 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 along with his flow frame set. His first package of bees, set up in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, does well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is throughout the winter and this hell be able to incorporate the Flow Hive to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from the Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, as well as the president of your DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to have a close up consider the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to that particular associated with a early adopter; he thinks you will find some problems that may emerge since the Flow Hives get put in use, and the company will need to hivve those and keep improving their design, their marketing, in addition to their product. But really, he asks, is the fact different from those working together with any other kind of technology?
When you are assuming that most new beekeepers will likely be bad beekeepers, I believe thats a hazardous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres virtually no good reason that we wont end up with a whole lot of fantastic beekeepers.