Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be one of the primary people America to receive a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary setup for years, along with a recent move from downtown San Francisco to your house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy a real possibility. As an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done plenty of reading, he knew thered be work involved in maintaining healthy bees, and that he figured the latest-fangled hive which had been well-publicized on social media marketing channels could be just one more tool he could use while he got started.
On their site, the flow beehive ended up being advertised by their inventors to offer honey on tap in a fashion that was less stressful for the bees than traditional methods. Made with parts that might be included in a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it contains plastic frames thatwith the insertion of a giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be moved to extract honey through special tubing. For quite a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity throughout the Internet thanks to a relevant video, built to promote the newest invention and raise money due to its development, that went viral, racking up a lot more than two million thoughts about YouTube.
But it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive on the beekeeping social websites site that he or she realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were in regards to the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. People were emotionally purchased this.
Some beekeepers worried the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-medical problems at one time when bees have 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 if the new plastic frame-splitting design can be unhealthy for your bees, crush worker bees since they filled honeycomb cells, or get rid of the babies, known as brood.
About the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as Flow Hive an alternative looking for a challenge and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that this new hive might encourage a sort 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 the post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is a living thing, not a machine for our exploitation. Im an all-natural beekeeper and believe honey harvests must be carried out with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the danger of sounding a bit melodramatica sacred vocation. Our company is in relationship with the backyard hive, and feel our role is to support them, and also to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we should get we consider precious, and use 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 work inside whenever.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames on the inside of beekeeping equipment. At the bottom, channels may be uncapped for releasing honey without eliminating the frames.
It didnt help that 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 company that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed that much cash. Critics complained that the money might be better used on academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings about the new hive design questioned why a firm that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed so much cash.
At the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. Like a beekeeping instructor, columnist for the British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director of the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well known on her behalf sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. And once the Flow Hive video went viral, family and friends kept sending her links, asking what she thought of it. She planned to ignore the whole thing, but after a while couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the past especially, the Flow was marketed in order to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or the killing the bees, or perhaps handling bees, Burlew says via email. The idea they conveyed was you simply bought this thing, place the bees inside, then 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 demand a beekeepers vigilance along with a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the present US environment. Leaving these people to combat new pathogens and pests alone, its argued, can be similar to getting a new puppy instead of feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, among the inventors in the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear within a day approximately of going public, and immediately changed just how the product was marketed on the website. He hadnt meant for his invention to encourage anyone to be irresponsible.
That response helps 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 a number of other add-ons currently out there for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything you could do making it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives as opposed to extracting their honey, I feel thats a very important thing.
I believe lots of the those who bought the Flow will transform into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There can also be people who decide bees are far too much trouble and they can abandon the entire project. But you do anyway. Possibly the percentages of those that stay with it and those who quit wont be very different from people who begin beekeeping in any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it in action yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks that the Flow Hive might be a good thing, when it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the primary researchers to distinguish and document Colony Collapse Disorder 10 years ago, and it has worked extensively on honeybee health from the years since.
The whole process of extraction becomes type of arduous, particularly for small-scale beekeepers who only require a few jars of honey from the hives each year, he says. Anything that you can do to really make it easier in order that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I feel thats the best thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and yet-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Way back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no more has got to go underground regarding his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, placed in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, has been doing well, and hes hopeful theyll help it become with the winter and that hell be capable of 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, as well as the president from the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to obtain a close up consider the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to that particular of the early adopter; he thinks you will find some things that may emerge as the Flow Hives get dedicated to use, and the company must hivve those and keep improving their design, their marketing, along with their product. But really, he asks, is different from those working together with some other type of technology?
In case you are assuming that most new beekeepers are going to be bad beekeepers, I feel thats a hazardous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres basically no good reason why we wont end up with a whole lot of fantastic beekeepers.