The world has been waiting for major innovation in beekeeping for a long time and it seems it has arrived with the invention of the Flow Hive.
I’ve been fortunate to be part of the buzz about the Flow Hive for some time, but only on the condition that I keep my involvement and details of the invention confidential. (This is the way the world works when patents and trademarks are involved). The Flow Hive website has some great videos and photos and you can find out more by clicking here. You can find out about their crowdfunding on the Indiegogo platform by clicking here
I spent some time with the Flow Hive family (the Anderson family) and it was fascinating to be on the fringe of another innovative beekeeping family. The way they worked together felt familiar to me and I realised it was “the beekeeping family” tradition that I had grown up with. I saw an intricate tapestry of generational knowledge that’s been adapted over decades. The generational knowledge was woven with family traditions and a family culture that has supported Stuart and Cedar in a way that maybe only beekeepers would understand.
Cedar and his father Stuart have been working on their invention for over a decade and the sense of excitement within the family was palpable. We can only imagine the hardship they’ve overcome to get their invention to the point it is today.
I feel quite proud that the Flow Hive has come from an Australian beekeeping family.
The Flow Hive itself really is as remarkable as it seems and it’s incredible to see how the invention works by splitting the internal aspects of the frame. My mind races when I think about how 3-d technology has made it possible and how it could make life easier for beekeepers, especially in the area of taking honey off and extracting the honey.
The hive flow mechanism – the frame splits
The most exciting part of the invention is the opportunity it will give beekeepers to focus on their bee husbandry rather than fussing with the sticky situation of honey removal and extraction. The decision as to WHICH tap to turn and WHEN to turn the tap (so the internal mechanism in the plastic frames separate and the honey flows out) won’t be any different to other beekeeping. That decision requires some skill and there are many things that contribute to that decision. I don’t believe the Flow Hive is going to make beekeeping easy, but it could make it whole lot less sticky.
If the Flow Hive means I have more time to devote to the health of my bees and the queen of my hives – then I’m all for it.
I can imagine the Flow Hive will give beekeepers all over the world more time to experience the truly wonderful world of bees. If this invention creates a buzz about beekeeping and more people link in with their beekeeping associations, get training and spend more time focused on the health of their bees, then that’s an excellent outcome. It’s good for sustainable cities, regional and rural food production systems and most importantly, it’s good for bees.
Anything that supports more passionate and engaged beekeepers on a global scale is good for everyone.
-- Mitchell Pearce
Sounds like a fabulous initiative Mitch… so pleased that you have been involved… and anything that gives you more time to concentrate on your bees is a good thing indeed xo
Thanks Lizzy. It.s been awesome. A very exciting day.
I have been beekeeping in Canada for 20 years I have been tracking your startup congrats on obtaining your goal. I must admit that I was a sceptic when someone introduced me to the video, it seemed to good to b true,now seeing the frame I’m intrigued. Cheers, sheldon hill
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I have been waiting for this launch with avid interest and am so pleased for the boys. It is a fantastic invention. My only concern is the use of plastic for the comb/frame …does the resultant honey taste of plastic ? Or have residual plastic in it by way of chemical compounds ? …I wish the boys the best with the sale of this and I saw that they had raised well beyond the original amount they wanted to ! That’s fabulous !
The FAQ on the Honey Flow site says: “Are the Flow frames made from BPA free plastic? Yes, the Flow™ frames are made from high quality, food-grade, BPA-free plastic. They are designed to be used for a lifetime.” So there shouldn’t be any plastic taste or chemical compounds. Pretty cool invention, I want to get into beekeeping now.
I ordered one. I cannot wait!
I couldn’t say it any better than this lady … “It is hard to keep saying it in the noise of frenzied applause; there is nothing good in it, no redeeming feature at all, and any increased attention on the bees, that one might find positive, will be to their detriment because they idea of the honeymaking machine TOTALLY leads away from an understanding of the whole. Lest we get to understand the bees in their wholeness, we have few prospects, I fear.” – Heidi Herrmann, Natural Beekeeping Trust (promoters of the Sun Hive, a natural and biodynamic beekeeping hive)
A great idea that might work well in a warm climate but it is being marketed internationally and this means people in cooler climate might find the honey does not flow so readily in a cooler climate. Some honeys in the UK, for instance, granulate very quickly after capping – Oil Seed Rape and Ivy honeys are notorious for this. Will the plastic mechanism be able to cope with granulated honey? The other concern is the sheer scale of the success of the crowd funding – they wanted $70,000 to improve their tooling and they’ve so far got $4 million. The scale of the manufacturing enterprise will be needed is immense, otherwise there will be customers who don’t get their Flow Hive until 2017. Let’s hope it does not all end in tears! CVB
@Ignatius, I had a chance to review the Sun Hive site, and it is very informative. However, I don’t think their arguments will convince my 12-year old who’s quite excited about working with established professionals in the Western NY area with his Flow Hive. The concept of eventually creating the Flow Frames out of organic substrates via 3-D printing came to his mind immediately, courtesy of modern 6th grade science classes. If more people worldwide are excited and interested in this field, I cannot but think that this will be for the betterment of the bees. There will always be detractors, but thank God for their concerns as that can only improve the approach and project.
Hi We have been looking at the flow hive as where we are living the bush firers around the area have affected the bee population. We are finding fewer bee’s around our veg and flower gardens and we thought it would be a help to increase of the bee’s around our area. We know nothing about bee husbandry and are just looking at helping the bee population which in turn will help us. Any guidance would be appreciated and are we looking in the right direction to help.!! Regards John
[…] that we’ll get bees so we invested in the Flow Hive scheme. Mitch gives his take on Flow Hive on his blog (and if you don’t know about Flow Hive you clearly aren’t fanatical about where honey […]
This is a lie. This is temporary. If this product is used incorrectly, you will lose all your bees
This is a lie? This is Temporary? Sorry but what exactly are you referring to? Everything in this blog is speculation from a first hand demo. I haven’t used the Flow Hive yet, but when I do I plan to write a more informed blog about the beekeeping comunities fears, which I share. As for if you use this product incorrectly you will lose your bees… Couldn’t the same be said for any type of hive? If you mistreat your bees in anyway shape or form you risk losing them regardless of what box they are in. And to flip what you said, if you used this product correctly wouldn’t the bees thrive? Thanks for your comment, Mitchell Pearce – Managing Director, Canberra Urban Honey
I AM VERY INTRIGUED with this new way of haarvesting honey. I HAVE TRIED TO order the complete boxes from there website but there seems to be some glitches…… unable to process the order.Are there any Canadian or U S distributors that I can contact? Thanks for any help you can provide. GERRY
Hi Gerry, Im not sure if they have any Canadian or US Distributors yet. Id direct you to try and contact them :) http://www.honeyflow.com Cheers, Mitch
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