Jason Allen-Rouman was excited when he learned hed be one of the primary individuals The United States to acquire a Flow Hive for his backyard. Hed been dreaming about getting an apiary put in place 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 real possibility. As being an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done lots of reading, he knew thered be work involved in maintaining healthy bees, and that he figured the brand new-fangled hive that was well-publicized on social websites channels would be just one more tool he could use as he got started.
On their site, the flow beehive ended up being advertised by their inventors to provide honey on tap in a way that was less stressful to the bees than traditional methods. Created with parts that might be included in a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it includes plastic frames thatwith the insertion of the giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For quite a while last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity throughout the Internet thanks to a youtube video, created to promote the brand new invention and lift money because of its development, that went viral, racking up over two million opinion of YouTube.
Nevertheless it wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive on the beekeeping social media marketing site he realized how angry some veteran beekeepers were concerning the topic. Oh my God, the hostility,he says. Everyone was emotionally purchased this.
Some beekeepers worried the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health conditions at the same 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 in the event the new plastic frame-splitting design will be unhealthy for the bees, crush worker bees since they filled honeycomb cells, or kill the babies, referred to as brood.
About the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen known as the Flow Hive an alternative in search of an issue and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns the new hive might encourage a kind of greediness among new beekeepers.
Conceptually, the notion that a beehive is like a beer keg you can tap is troublesome, Knutzen writes in the post from February 23, 2015. A beehive can be a living thing, not much of a machine for our exploitation. Im an organic beekeeper and feel that honey harvests should be completed with caution and respect. To us, beekeeping is, at the risk of sounding a little bit melodramatica sacred vocation. Our company is in relationship using our backyard hive, and feel our role would be to support them, as well as to very occasionally accept the gift of excess honey What we should get we consider precious, and use for medicine more than sweetening.
This type of the Flow Hive incorporates a built-in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at your workplace inside any moment.
Side take a look at the see-through plastic frames on the inside of flow frame set. At the end, channels can be uncapped for releasing honey without removing the frames.
It didnt help how the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records by making $12.2 million dollars in just three months. At beekeeping events throughout the country, 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 very much cash. Critics complained that this money might be better applied to 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 on the list of skeptics. Like a beekeeping instructor, columnist for that British Beekeepers Association magazine Bee Craft, and the executive director of your Native Bee Conservancy, shes become popular on her behalf 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 everything, but before long 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 the killing the bees, or even handling bees, Burlew says via email. The idea they conveyed was you just bought it, placed the bees inside, and then turned the crank once you wanted honey. She was not impressed, and wrote posts on the blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees require a beekeepers vigilance and a certain time commitment as a way to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving them to protect against new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, will be similar to getting a new puppy and not feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, among the inventors from the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in just a day roughly of going public, and immediately changed the way the product was marketed on the website. He hadnt created for his invention to encourage someone to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften some of the criticism; Burlew, as an example, says she now thinks of the Flow Hive as simply an expensive device for collecting honey, not unlike other add-ons currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything you could do to make it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives instead of extracting their honey, I do believe thats the best thing.
I believe most of the those who bought the Flow will turn into competent and caring beekeepers, she says. There can also be those who decide bees are extremely much trouble and they can abandon the whole project. But that happens anyway. Possibly the percentages of those people who remain with it and people who quit wont be not the same as those who begin beekeeping in virtually any 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, when it works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was the first researchers to determine and document Colony Collapse Disorder 10 years ago, and possesses worked extensively on honeybee health in the years since.
The complete procedure of extraction becomes sort of arduous, especially for small-scale beekeepers who only require a few jars of honey from their hives each year, he says. Anything that can be done to make 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 and yet-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Way back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he will no longer needs to go underground along with his flow frame kit. His first package of bees, set up in a standard Langstroth hive last April, is performing well, and hes hopeful theyll make it through the winter and therefore hell be capable of incorporate the Flow Hive in to the set-up next spring. Hes gotten some shouts of support coming from a Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, along with the president in the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to obtain a close up look at the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to that particular associated with a early adopter; he thinks you will have some issues that may emerge as being the Flow Hives get dedicated to use, and also the company will need to hivve those and keep improving their design, their marketing, as well as their product. But really, he asks, is distinct from those dealing with some other kind of technology?
If you are assuming that all new beekeepers will probably be bad beekeepers, I do believe thats an unsafe assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres absolutely no good reason why we wont get a good deal of fantastic beekeepers.