Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be the first people in The United States to obtain a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary create for many 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 plenty of reading, he knew thered be work associated with maintaining healthy bees, and he figured the latest-fangled hive which had been well-publicized on social websites channels will be merely one more tool he can use while he got started.
On their website, the flow beehive was advertised by their inventors to offer honey on tap in a manner that was less stressful for that bees than conventional methods. Made with parts which can be integrated into a conventional stacked Langstroth hive, it provides 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 all over the Internet as a result of a video, designed to promote the brand new invention and lift money for its development, that went viral, racking up over two million views on YouTube.
However it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive with a beekeeping social media marketing site that he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were about the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Individuals were emotionally invested in this.
Some beekeepers worried that this Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health conditions at one time when bees are receiving tremendous declines. Others were offended by promotions to the Flow Hive, feeling they depicted honey harvesting as disrespectful and antagonistic for the bees.
Many wondered in the event the new plastic frame-splitting design will be unhealthy for your bees, crush worker bees as they filled honeycomb cells, or kill the babies, generally known as brood.
Around 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 how 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 within a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is actually a living thing, not much of a machine for the exploitation. Im a natural beekeeper and feel that honey harvests has to be finished with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the risk of sounding a little melodramatica sacred vocation. We are in relationship with our backyard hive, and feel our role is to support them, and to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Everything we get we consider precious, and utilize for medicine a lot 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 time.
Side view of the see-through plastic frames within flow frame set. At the bottom, channels could be uncapped for releasing honey without eliminating the frames.
It didnt help that this Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records by making $12.2 million dollars in just three months. At beekeeping events across the country, even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings regarding the new hive design questioned why a firm that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed that much cash. Critics complained how the money could possibly be better utilized on academic bee research.
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 very much cash.
Initially, writer Rusty Burlew was among the skeptics. Like a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director in the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become popular for her sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. Then when the Flow Hive video went viral, relatives and buddies kept sending her links, asking what she thought of it. She desired to ignore everything, but after some time couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed in an effort to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or even the killing the bees, as well as coping with bees, Burlew says via email. The concept they conveyed was you just bought this thing, put the bees inside, and then turned the crank if you wanted honey. She had not been impressed, and wrote posts in her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees call for a beekeepers vigilance plus a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the present US environment. Leaving them to protect against new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, would be akin to getting a new puppy rather than feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of many inventors of your Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in a day or so of going public, and immediately changed just 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 a few of the criticism; Burlew, for example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply a pricey device for collecting honey, not unlike several other accessories currently out there for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything you can do so it will be easier to ensure beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I think thats a very important thing.
I do believe a lot of the people that bought the Flow will become competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There will also be those who decide bees are far too much trouble and they will abandon the complete project. But that happens anyway. Probably the percentages of those who stick with it and those that quit will not be quite different from people who begin beekeeping in every other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks that this Flow Hive might be a good thing, if this works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to recognize and document Colony Collapse Disorder decade ago, and possesses worked extensively on honeybee health within the years since.
The whole technique of extraction becomes kind of arduous, specifically small-scale beekeepers who only require a few jars of honey from the hives each year, he says. Anything you could do to make it easier in order that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I do believe thats a very important thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new yet still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
In D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no longer has got to go underground together with his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, placed in a standard Langstroth hive last April, is doing well, and hes hopeful theyll ensure it is through the winter and this hell be capable of incorporate the Flow Hive to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support coming from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, as well as the president in the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to acquire a close up glance at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience for that for any early adopter; he thinks you will have some conditions that may emerge because the Flow Hives get put in use, and also the company will have to hivve those while keeping improving their design, their marketing, and their product. But really, he asks, is the fact that different from those working together with some other form of technology?
When you are assuming that every new beekeepers will be bad beekeepers, I believe thats a dangerous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres simply no good reason why we wont end up with a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.