Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be among the first people North America to get a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary setup for several years, along with a recent move from downtown San Francisco to some house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy a reality. For an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done a lot of reading, he knew thered be work linked to maintaining healthy bees, and then he figured the brand new-fangled hive that were well-publicized on social media channels would be just one single more tool he could use because he got started.
On their site, the flow beehive ended up being advertised by their inventors to provide honey on tap in ways that was less stressful for that bees than conventional methods. Made with parts that may be integrated into 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 quite a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity across the Internet thanks to a youtube video, made to promote the brand new invention and lift money because of its development, that went viral, racking up a lot more than two million thoughts about YouTube.
But it really wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive with a beekeeping social networking site that he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were in regards to the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Everyone was emotionally committed to this.
Some beekeepers worried that this Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health issues at any given 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 in the event the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy for your bees, crush worker bees as they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, known as brood.
About the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen known as the Flow Hive a remedy in search of an issue and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that the new hive might encourage a kind of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the concept that a beehive is sort of a beer keg you may 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 needs to be finished 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 would be to support them, and also to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Whatever we get we consider precious, and employ for medicine more than sweetening.
This model of the Flow Hive contains a built in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at work inside any moment.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames on the inside of self tapping beehive. In the bottom, channels could be uncapped for releasing honey without removing the frames.
It didnt help the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records if you make $12.2 million dollars in just three months. At beekeeping events throughout the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings concerning the new hive design questioned why a firm that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed very much cash. Critics complained that the money could be better suited for academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings in regards to the new hive design questioned why a firm 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 your British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director in the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well-known on her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. When the Flow Hive video went viral, friends and family kept sending her links, asking what she looked at it. She wished to ignore the whole thing, but before long couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed in order to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or the killing the bees, as well as coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The concept they conveyed was you simply bought this thing, put the bees inside, and after that turned the crank whenever you wanted honey. She had not been impressed, and wrote posts on her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees demand 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 by themselves, its argued, will be similar to receiving a new puppy and never feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, among the inventors of your Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear inside a day roughly of going public, and immediately changed how the product was marketed on the site. He hadnt designed for his invention to encourage one to be irresponsible.
That response has helped to soften several of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply an expensive 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 can be done making it easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as opposed to extracting their honey, I feel thats a very important thing.
I believe a lot of the those who bought the Flow will develop into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There may also be those who decide bees are far too much trouble and they will abandon the complete project. But you do anyway. Probably the percentages of those people who stick to it and those who quit will not be very different from individuals who begin beekeeping in any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it in action yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks how the Flow Hive could be a great thing, if it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was among the first researchers to distinguish and document Colony Collapse Disorder a decade ago, and has worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The entire process of extraction becomes kind of arduous, specifically for small-scale beekeepers who only want a few jars of honey from the hives each year, he says. Anything that 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 do believe thats the best thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new but still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
In D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he not any longer has got to go underground together with his bee hive kits. His first package of bees, installed in a regular Langstroth hive last April, is performing well, and hes hopeful theyll make it from the winter and this hell have the capacity to incorporate the Flow Hive to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and the president from the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to get a close up glance at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to this of the early adopter; he thinks you will find some issues that may emerge because the Flow Hives get put in use, and also the company must hivve those whilst 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 together with almost every other sort of technology?
When you are assuming that new beekeepers will likely be bad beekeepers, I feel thats a hazardous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres absolutely no reason why we wont end up with a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.