Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be the first people in North America to get a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary put in place for many 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 lots of reading, he knew thered be work linked to maintaining healthy bees, and then he figured the brand new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social websites channels can be just one more tool he can use since he got started.
On their site, the flow frame was advertised by their inventors to supply honey on tap in ways that was less stressful for the bees than conventional methods. Designed with parts that might be integrated into a standard stacked Langstroth hive, it includes plastic frames thatwith the insertion of the 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 because of a youtube video, designed to promote the new invention and raise money because of its development, that went viral, racking up greater than two million thoughts about YouTube.
But it really wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive on a beekeeping social networking site which he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were in regards to 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-health problems at a time when bees have tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions to the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic towards the bees.
Many wondered when the new plastic frame-splitting design would be unhealthy to the bees, crush worker bees while they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, known as brood.
On the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as the Flow Hive a solution trying to find an issue and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns how the new hive might encourage a kind 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 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 believe honey harvests must be finished with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the risk of sounding a little bit melodramatica sacred vocation. Our company is in relationship with our 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 employ for medicine over sweetening.
This type of the Flow Hive contains a built-in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at the job inside whenever.
Side view of the see-through plastic frames within beekeeping equipment. At the end, channels may be uncapped for releasing honey without taking out the frames.
It didnt help how the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records by making $12.2 million dollars within three months. At beekeeping events round the country, 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. Critics complained the money could possibly be better utilized on academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings in regards to 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 one of the skeptics. Like a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, along with the executive director in the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become recognized 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 thought about it. She wished to ignore the whole thing, but eventually couldnt resist checking it out.
In the past especially, the Flow was marketed so as to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or the killing the bees, and even coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The idea they conveyed was you just bought it, place the bees inside, then 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 call for a beekeepers vigilance as well as a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the current US environment. Leaving these people to combat new pathogens and pests alone, its argued, can be akin to obtaining a new puppy and not feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, among the inventors of the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear within a day or more of going public, and immediately changed how the product was marketed on the site. He hadnt meant for his invention to encourage a person to be irresponsible.
That response has helped to soften some of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply a costly device for collecting honey, not unlike other add-ons currently out there 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 as opposed to extracting their honey, I do believe thats a very good thing.
I think lots of the those who bought the Flow will become competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There may also be those that decide bees are extremely much trouble and they can abandon the complete project. But you do anyway. Likely the percentages of those people who remain with it and those who quit wont be not the same as individuals who 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, if this works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was the first researchers to recognize and document Colony Collapse Disorder ten years ago, and has worked extensively on honeybee health inside the years since.
The complete procedure of extraction becomes type of arduous, specifically small-scale beekeepers who only need a few jars of honey from their hives every year, he says. Anything you could do making it easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I believe 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 in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he will no longer needs to go underground together with his flow frame kit. His first package of bees, placed in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, is performing well, and hes hopeful theyll help it become through the winter and that hell have the ability 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, along with the president of your DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to obtain a close up consider the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience for that of any early adopter; he thinks you will have some issues that may emerge because the Flow Hives get dedicated to use, and also the company will have to hivve those whilst keeping improving their design, their marketing, as well as their product. But really, he asks, is the fact not the same as those working with any other form of technology?
When you are assuming that most new beekeepers will be bad beekeepers, I do believe thats a hazardous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres virtually no reasons why we wont get a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.