The Flow Hive is taking beekeeping to a new level, and it's the largest international crowdfunding campaign ever.
The Flow Hive wants to introduce an alternative to traditional beekeeping. Stuart and Cedar Anderson are the father-son duo behind the Flow Hive. They've been in the beekeeping business for decades. Cedar noticed some bees kept getting crushed during traditional harvesting. Almost a decade of pondering and tinkering led to the Anderson men coming up with the Flow Hive.
Cedar began keeping bees at just six years old. He combined his engineering skills to build prototypes for his father Stuart. They decided on a design that would split the cells horizontally without harming the bees. The honey would fall and collect into a tap on the end to make extraction easier.
After designing the prototype and trying the samples with different beekeepers, they decided to create a fundraiser. They used Indiegogo to collect $100,000 USD necessary to manufacture the plastic parts and molds for the frames in February 2015. Within 15 minutes, the campaign crowdfunded $250,000 USD in pre-orders and reached $13,251,025 USD total funds raised.
For nearly 8,000 years, humans used honey as a medicine, sweetener and home remedy. Collecting honey has had an equally long history. Cave paintings in Valencia, Spain indicate people were gathering the sweet stuff as early as 6,000 BC. However, none of them had a system quite as extensive as this.
How Does it Work?
The Flow frames fit into a standard Langstroth and have two simple doorways that reach the end of the box.
Frames are consisting of partly-formed honeycomb cells. Those cells end up being covered by the bees' wax and filled with honey and capped.
When beekeepers are ready to harvest, the cells are split and turned into channels. The honey within those individual cells are funneled into the tap without disturbing or killing the bees due to the increased space between comb walls.
Simply turn the tap, place a jar underneath to catch the honey, and enjoy!
Flow offers three different sizes of the system: Flow Hive Classic, Flow Super, and Flow Frames. Prices range from $259 to $699 depending on size.
Not everyone is a fan of the Flow Hive's technology. Some beekeepers say bees don't like the plastic cells given that their wax is better for than honey. Others say it removes the human element from beekeeping entirely. However, there's no doubt of the Flow Hive's popularity, particularly among urban beekeeping proponents. The systems can be installed in a backyard, or even on a terrace or balcony.
Via: Flow Hive
Written by Tamar Melike Tegün