Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be among the first folks North America to receive a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary set up for years, along with a recent move from downtown San Francisco into a house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy an actuality. As an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done plenty of reading, he knew thered be work involved in maintaining healthy bees, and he figured the newest-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social networking channels will be merely one more tool he can use because he got started.
On their site, the flow hive had been advertised by their inventors to deliver honey on tap in a fashion that was less stressful for that bees than traditional methods. Made with parts that could be included in a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of a giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For a time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity across the Internet due to a relevant video, made to promote the brand new invention and lift money for the development, that went viral, racking up more than two million opinion of YouTube.
Nevertheless it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive over 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 invested in this.
Some beekeepers worried that this Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health conditions at a time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic on the bees.
Many wondered in the event the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy for the bees, crush worker bees because they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, called brood.
Around the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as the Flow Hive a remedy searching for an issue and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns the new hive might encourage a sort 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 a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is a living thing, not a machine for our own exploitation. Im a natural beekeeper and believe that honey harvests needs to be carried out with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the potential risk of sounding a bit melodramatica sacred vocation. We are in relationship with this backyard hive, and feel our role is usually to support them, and also to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we should get we consider precious, and make use of for medicine more than sweetening.
This type of the Flow Hive incorporates a built in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at work inside any time.
Side look at the see-through plastic frames within beekeeping supplier. In the bottom, channels might be uncapped for releasing honey without taking off the frames.
It didnt help how the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records if you make $12.2 million dollars in just 3 months. At beekeeping events throughout the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings concerning the new hive design questioned why an organization that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed so much cash. Critics complained that this money could possibly be better applied to academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings concerning the new hive design questioned why a business that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed very much cash.
At first, writer Rusty Burlew was on the list of skeptics. As being a beekeeping instructor, columnist to the British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director of your Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well known for her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. When the Flow Hive video went viral, relatives and buddies kept sending her links, asking what she considered it. She planned to ignore everything, but after some time couldnt resist checking it.
In the past especially, the Flow was marketed so as to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or even the killing the bees, or perhaps dealing with bees, Burlew says via email. The theory they conveyed was you merely bought it, place the bees inside, and after that 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 call for a beekeepers vigilance as well as a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the present US environment. Leaving these to combat new pathogens and pests alone, its argued, could be akin to receiving a new puppy instead of feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of several inventors from the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear within a day or more of going public, and immediately changed the way the product was marketed on the website. He hadnt intended for his invention to encourage anyone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften a number of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply a high priced device for collecting honey, not unlike a few other add-ons currently out there for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything you can do to really make it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as an alternative to extracting their honey, I feel thats a very good thing.
I do believe lots of the individuals who bought the Flow will transform into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There may also be individuals who decide bees are too much trouble and they will abandon the full project. But you do anyway. Most likely the percentages of those who remain with it and those who quit wont be very different from those who begin beekeeping in virtually any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks that the Flow Hive may well be a great thing, whether it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was among the first researchers to recognize and document Colony Collapse Disorder decade ago, and contains worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The complete procedure of extraction becomes sort of arduous, particularly for small-scale beekeepers who only want a few jars of honey from their hives each year, he says. Anything that can be done to make it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as an alternative to extracting their honey, I feel thats a good thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new but still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Back D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he not any longer must go underground regarding his bee hive kits. His first package of bees, positioned in a regular Langstroth hive last April, has been doing well, and hes hopeful theyll help it become throughout the winter and this hell have the ability to incorporate the Flow Hive in the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from your Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and also the president in the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to acquire a close up consider the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to that particular of any early adopter; he thinks you will find some conditions that may emerge because the Flow Hives get put into use, along with the company 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 form of technology?
Should you be assuming that every new beekeepers will likely be bad beekeepers, I do believe thats an unsafe assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres virtually no good reason why we wont end up with a great deal of fantastic beekeepers.