Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be one of the first individuals Canada And America to receive a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary setup for a long time, and a recent move from downtown San Francisco to 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 associated with maintaining healthy bees, and the man figured the newest-fangled hive that had been well-publicized on social media marketing channels can be just one single more tool he can use as he got started.
On their website, the flow frame was advertised by their inventors to supply 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 conventional stacked Langstroth hive, it provides plastic frames thatwith the insertion of your 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 as a result of a youtube video, made to promote the new invention and raise money because of its development, that went viral, racking up over two million opinion of YouTube.
However it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive over a beekeeping social media site that he or she realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were concerning the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Everyone was emotionally dedicated to this.
Some beekeepers worried the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health problems at any given time when bees are experiencing tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions for that 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 would be unhealthy for the bees, crush worker bees since they filled honeycomb cells, or kill the babies, called brood.
In the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as Flow Hive a remedy searching for a difficulty 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 concept that a beehive is like a beer keg you are able to tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes inside a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is really a living thing, not much of a machine for our own exploitation. Im an all natural beekeeper and think that honey harvests must be completed with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the potential risk of sounding just a little melodramatica sacred vocation. We are in relationship with the backyard hive, and feel our role is usually to support them, as well as to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Whatever we get we consider precious, and make use of for medicine more than sweetening.
This kind of the Flow Hive contains a built-in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at the office inside at any time.
Side view of the see-through plastic frames inside of flow frame set. At the bottom, channels may be uncapped for releasing honey without removing the frames.
It didnt help that the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records by making $12.2 million dollars in only 90 days. At beekeeping events round the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings regarding the new hive design questioned why a business that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed much cash. Critics complained that the money might be better utilized on 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 that much cash.
At the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was on the list of skeptics. As a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and also the executive director from the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become recognized on her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. So when the Flow Hive video went viral, friends and family kept sending her links, asking what she thought about it. She desired to ignore the whole thing, 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 maybe the killing the bees, or perhaps working with bees, Burlew says via email. The concept they conveyed was you just bought this thing, position the bees inside, then turned the crank when you wanted honey. She had not been impressed, and wrote posts on her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees require a beekeepers vigilance and a certain time commitment to be able to thrive in the current US environment. Leaving them to combat new pathogens and pests on their own, its argued, could be similar to receiving a new puppy and not feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of the inventors of your Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in just a day roughly of going public, and immediately changed exactly how the product was marketed on the site. He hadnt intended for his invention to encourage someone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften some of the criticism; Burlew, for example, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply a costly device for collecting honey, not unlike a number of other add-ons currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
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.
I do believe lots of the people that bought the Flow will transform into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There can also be people who decide bees are way too much trouble and they can abandon the entire project. But you do anyway. Possibly the percentages of those that stick to it and those who quit wont be not the same as those that begin beekeeping in virtually any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it in action yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks how the Flow Hive may well be a good thing, when it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to distinguish and document Colony Collapse Disorder ten years ago, and contains worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The entire technique of extraction becomes type of arduous, specifically small-scale beekeepers who only need a few jars of honey using their hives each and every year, he says. Anything you can do so it will be easier in order that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as opposed to extracting their honey, I believe thats a very important thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
In D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no more needs to go underground along with his flow frame kit. His first package of bees, installed in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, is performing well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is through the winter which hell be capable of incorporate the Flow Hive in to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support coming from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and also the president in the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to obtain a close up look at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to this of any early adopter; he thinks you will have some things that may emerge since the Flow Hives get dedicated to use, and also the company must hivve those while keeping improving their design, their marketing, as well as their product. But really, he asks, is the fact that not the same as those working with some other sort of technology?
In case you are assuming that all new beekeepers are going to be bad beekeepers, I do believe thats a dangerous 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.