Jason Allen-Rouman was excited as he learned hed be among the first people The United States to get a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary put in place for many years, and a recent move from downtown San Francisco into a house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy possible. For an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done a great deal of reading, he knew thered be work associated with maintaining healthy bees, and the man figured the brand new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social networking channels would be only one more tool he could use as he got started.
On their site, the flow hive had been advertised by their inventors to supply honey on tap in ways that was less stressful to the bees than conventional methods. Designed with parts that might be integrated into a conventional stacked Langstroth hive, it includes 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 throughout the Internet as a result of a video, made to promote the latest invention and lift money for 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 with a beekeeping social media marketing 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 the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health conditions 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 towards the bees.
Many wondered in the event the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy to the bees, crush worker bees as they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, known as brood.
About the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as Flow Hive an alternative 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 idea that a beehive is sort of a beer keg it is possible to tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes in the post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is actually a living thing, not just a machine for your exploitation. Im a natural beekeeper and believe honey harvests has to be carried out with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the risk of sounding a little bit melodramatica sacred vocation. We have been in relationship with this backyard hive, and feel our role is always to support them, as well as to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey Everything we get we consider precious, and use for medicine a lot more than sweetening.
This kind of the Flow Hive includes a built-in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at your workplace inside whenever.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames on the inside of self tapping beehive. At the bottom, channels can be uncapped for releasing honey without taking off the frames.
It didnt help that this Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records simply by making $12.2 million dollars within just three months. At beekeeping events round 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 that much cash. Critics complained that this money could be better suited for academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings concerning the new hive design questioned why an organization that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed so much cash.
At the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was among the skeptics. As a beekeeping instructor, columnist to the British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, along with the executive director of the Native Bee Conservancy, shes become well-known on her behalf sometimes caustic opinions on beekeeping trends and fads. So when the Flow Hive video went viral, family and friends kept sending her links, asking what she thought about it. She wanted to ignore the whole thing, but eventually couldnt resist checking it out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed in order to harvest honey without harming the bees, or bothering the bees, or maybe the killing the bees, and even working with bees, Burlew says via email. The idea they conveyed was you simply bought it, placed 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 need to have a beekeepers vigilance and a certain time commitment so that you can thrive in the present US environment. Leaving them to battle new pathogens and pests alone, its argued, would be similar to obtaining 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 approximately of going public, and immediately changed how the product was marketed online. He hadnt designed for his invention to encourage someone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften a number of the criticism; Burlew, for instance, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply a pricey device for collecting honey, not unlike a few other add-ons currently in the marketplace for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything you could do making it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I do believe thats the best thing.
I feel lots of the those who bought the Flow will develop into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There may also be individuals who decide bees are extremely much trouble and they can abandon the full project. But you do anyway. Most likely the percentages of people who stay with it and people who quit wont be not the same as individuals who begin beekeeping in virtually any other way.
Although he hasnt seen it actually in operation yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks the Flow Hive could be a great thing, if it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was among the first researchers to identify and document Colony Collapse Disorder ten years ago, and has worked extensively on honeybee health within the years since.
The whole procedure of extraction becomes sort of arduous, specifically small-scale beekeepers who only need a few jars of honey using their hives annually, he says. Anything that can be done to make it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I feel thats a very good thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new and yet-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
In D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he no longer must go underground along with his self harvesting bee hive. His first package of bees, installed in a standard Langstroth hive last April, does well, and hes hopeful theyll allow it to be throughout the winter and this hell be capable of incorporate the Flow Hive in the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, and the president of the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to get a close up consider the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to that associated with a early adopter; he thinks there will be some problems that may emerge as the Flow Hives get placed into use, along with the company need to hivve those whilst keeping improving their design, their marketing, in addition to their product. But really, he asks, is the fact that distinctive from those working together with any other form of technology?
If you are assuming that every new beekeepers will probably be bad beekeepers, I think thats a dangerous assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres absolutely no good reason that we wont end up with a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.