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 create for several years, as well as a recent move from downtown San Francisco into a house in Washington, D.C., meant he could finally make his fantasy a real possibility. For an aspiring beekeeper whod taken some classes and done a lot of reading, he knew thered be work linked to maintaining healthy bees, and the man figured the newest-fangled hive which had been well-publicized on social media marketing channels would be just one more tool he can use while he got started.
On their site, the flow beehive had been advertised by their inventors to offer honey on tap in ways that was less stressful for your bees than conventional methods. Created with parts that may be incorporated into a regular stacked Langstroth hive, it provides plastic frames thatwith the insertion of your giant-sized Allen wrenchcan be shifted to extract honey through special tubing. For a time last February, the Flow Hive enjoyed unprecedented celebrity over the Internet thanks to a relevant video, made to promote the latest invention and raise money for its development, that went viral, racking up more than two million views on YouTube.
But it really wasnt until Allen-Rouman posted about his new hive over 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. People were emotionally invested in this.
Some beekeepers worried the Flow Hive would promote sloppy beekeeping and encourage bee-health problems at a 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 towards the bees.
Many wondered in the event the new plastic frame-splitting design could be unhealthy to the bees, crush worker bees since they filled honeycomb cells, or eliminate the babies, referred to as brood.
Around the blog Root Simple, author Erik Knutzen referred to as Flow Hive an answer in search of a difficulty and admonished its inventors for encouraging an exploitive relationship with bees. He expressed concerns that 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 inside a post from February 23, 2015. A beehive is really a living thing, not really a machine for our exploitation. Im an organic 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. 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 Whatever we get we consider precious, and utilize for medicine greater than sweetening.
This style of the Flow Hive features a built in observation feature; by opening a side door a beekeeper can observe their bees at your workplace inside whenever.
Side look at the see-through plastic frames inside of beekeeping equipment. At the end, channels could be uncapped for releasing honey without taking out the frames.
It didnt help that the Flow Hive companys Indiegogo fundraising campaign had broken records if you make $12.2 million dollars within just 90 days. At beekeeping events round 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 so much cash. Critics complained how the money could be better utilized on academic bee research.
Even beekeepers who didnt have strong feelings in regards to the new hive design questioned why an organization that originally sought $70,000 for design development needed that much cash.
At the beginning, writer Rusty Burlew was amongst the skeptics. Being a beekeeping instructor, columnist to 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. Then when the Flow Hive video went viral, family and friends kept sending her links, asking what she looked at it. She wanted to ignore the whole thing, but after some time couldnt resist checking it all out.
In the early days especially, the Flow was marketed as a way 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 thought they conveyed was you simply bought this thing, position the bees inside, and then turned the crank if you wanted honey. She was not impressed, and wrote posts in her blog Honey Bee Suite saying so, here and here.
Bees require a beekeepers vigilance as well as a certain time commitment as a way to thrive in the present US environment. Leaving them to combat new pathogens and pests by themselves, its argued, will be akin to receiving a new puppy and not feeding or house-training it.
Cedar Anderson, one of many inventors from the Flow Hive, says he heard this feedback loud and clear in a day or more of going public, and immediately changed the way the product was marketed online. He hadnt created for his invention to encourage one to be irresponsible.
That response helps to soften some of the criticism; Burlew, by way of example, says she now thinks about the Flow Hive as simply a high priced device for collecting honey, not unlike a number of other accessories currently on the market for Langstroth-style supers and hives.
Anything that you can do making it easier to ensure that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I believe thats a very good thing.
I think a lot of the people 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 will abandon the complete project. But that occurs anyway. Most likely the percentages of those that stick with it and those that quit will not be very different from those that begin beekeeping in every other way.
Although he hasnt seen it in action yet, University of Marylands Dennis VanEnglesdorp thinks the Flow Hive might be a good thing, if this works as promised. VanEnglesdorp was one of the first researchers to identify and document Colony Collapse Disorder decade ago, and possesses worked extensively on honeybee health within the years since.
The whole procedure for extraction becomes type of arduous, especially for small-scale beekeepers who only need a few jars of honey off their hives every year, he says. Anything that can be done to make it easier so that beekeepers can spend their time managing their hives rather than extracting their honey, I feel thats the best thing.
Jason Allen-Rouman pulls out a frame from his new but still-unused Flow Hive in Washington, D.C.. Alison Gillespie
Back in D.C., Jason Allen-Rouman has decided he will no longer must go underground with his bee hive kits. His first package of bees, positioned in a conventional Langstroth hive last April, does well, and hes hopeful theyll make it from 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 from your Facebook group calling itself the Flow Hive Optimists, along with the president from the DC Beekeepers Alliance recently stopped by, eager to have a close up consider the new invention.
Allen-Rouman likens his experience to that particular of any early adopter; he thinks you will have some issues that may emerge because the Flow Hives get placed into use, and also the company will have to hivve those whilst keeping improving their design, their marketing, along with their product. But really, he asks, is that distinctive from those working with almost every other type of technology?
When you are assuming that every new beekeepers will probably be bad beekeepers, I do believe thats a risky assumption, says Flow Hives Anderson. Every beekeeper was new once, and theres absolutely no good reason why we wont end up with a whole lot of fantastic beekeepers.