flow hive

Flow Hive Gives Honey Like a Tap

The Flow Hive – probably the biggest buzz among beekeepers worldwide now.

Many of you are asking if we have read the news that is shaking the beekeeping world – the launch of the Flow Hive by an Australian father and son team and are keen to know what we think of it.

Well, here our thoughts which do not quite flow with mainstream.

Frankly, as someone who doesn’t keep bees, I have to say I am really not sure how great this invention is.

I have no idea about the ingenuity it takes to achieve it. But as a honey lover, the gadget sounds totally incredible and too perfect. “Honey on tap directly from your beehive”, “harvest honey without opening the hive and with minimal disturbance to the bees”, “most significant innovation in beekeeping since 1852” were just some of the most exciting claims that immediately caught the attention of beekeepers world-wide. I was very tempted to place an order for the hive, but at the same time many questions swirled around my head and made me step back to ponder about the idea of the Flow Hive as a habitat for the bees.

flow hive that gives honey like a tap

But first, for those who have never heard about the Flow Hive, here is an extract of what is published in the Flow Hive website: (Ref: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive)

I am not sure if I am being too critical here. But I wonder if plastic beehives would actually benefit the bees. I would assume bees would naturally want to make their own wax comb. Isn’t building the comb part of bees’ very innate preference and behaviour? Many of you would agree that one of the most amazing works of honeybees as a superorganism is their creation of hexagonal comb cells. As we know, the honeycomb is literally constructed from the wax bees produced from their bodies. Bees have a special wax-producing gland in their abdomen that converts sugar from the honey into wax. How these little creatures communicate and work together in perfect harmony and in an extraordinary orderly manner to build thousands of wax cells of the same size and shape for shelter, storing honey and pollen and raising larvae is magical. In a way, their ability to create and build also defines what they are as part of Mother Nature, doesn’t it? Also, if you enjoy biting into fresh cuts of honeycomb or simply admire blocks of intricately orchestrated hexagons of the comb, this Flow Hive cannot supply you with any.

I am just imagining if I were a bee, how thrilled I would be to settle for plastic tubes as home. Would I be happy to be homed in a plastic matrix or would I be confused? Bees spend much of their time and energy engineering, building and repairing their wax comb, and what the Flow Hive now seems to suggest is they will now have a great deal of time foraging and filling cells with honey.

Also, I have always felt that beekeeping is such a cool and noble pursuit. The role of beekeepers – how they painstakingly care for their bees and check on their health, carefully open the hives, pull out the frames, examine the bees at different stages and the formation of the honeycomb, look out for any diseases, etc, gives the job a very warm, nurturing appeal. Call me naïve, but I just love hearing stories of beekeepers “going through their bees”, their relationship with their bees and even their messy, laborious process of extracting honey. Now with this new hive, getting honey that flows like a tap is just crazy awesome but somehow not so inspiring. There is also a sadness about abandoning the spirit of traditional natural beekeeping, losing that personal connection with the bees and respect for traditional beekeeping skills.

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A hive made of plastic tubes just doesn’t help in making its bee product appear as pure and organic as honey lovers would like to imagine it to be. It almost sounds like bees working and making honey in a plastic factory. Am I being too skeptical? This invention must be deemed so revolutionary for it to be able to raise 2 million dollars of funds online in just one day and sell thousands of the units in just a few days. But, I still have my reservations and doubts about how much the bees are going to embrace it. We are already losing bees worldwide from the colony collapse disorder, would such beekeeping practices make things worse than now? Well, let’s wait and see. We shall give it some time to see how the Flow Hive performs as it gets implemented by thousands of beekeepers from all over the world, perhaps I am wrong. I am sure in time to come, we will be hearing more from beekeepers who have purchased and experienced it for themselves. What do you say?

Ruth Tan

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Postings on What You Think of The Flow Hive

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         Wil, United States     21/03/2015 @ 20:27:10

Hello Ruth, I can tell from what you state that you know a great deal about honeybees. I am a certified Master Beekeeper from the Young Harris Institute; University of Georgia, USA. I have been a keeper of bees for nearly 40 years and enjoy immensely working with Apis mellifera, the honeybee. Honey is truly a marvelous substance and has many uses in medicine, especially for burn victims, and as a healthy food. I am always troubled when I see ‘false’ claims that pollen is nutritious for humans when we do not have the necessary enzymes to digest it. To me this is the great modern hoax to fleece the public of their monies. Bees can tell the difference between the nutrition of nectar and they will choose the most valuable; but they cannot tell the difference between healthful pollen and pollen that has no nutrition for them. I have doubts as to the system of the flow hive being all that wonderful.

Sincerely, Wil M        

Betty, United States     04/03/2015 @ 05:48:50

I agree with you!        

Alice, Kenya     04/03/2015 @ 04:04:07

This to them is a good invention and achievement but how will bees embrace the temperatures living in plastic. will the plastic tubes moisture temperature be regulated. I love chewing honey directly from the combs with the plastic we will completely lose it.        

John A., United States     03/03/2015 @ 22:22:25

I will be very surprised if this invention even comes close to working. Bees are much smarter than we are and they will find ways around this procedure.        

Ruth, Benefits of Honey     03/03/2015 @ 14:10:20

Hey Christine, love how you put it, “If the bees find their job messy, we won’t have any honey to talk about.”        

Christine Brown, United States     03/03/2015 @ 13:13:43

Hi Ruth, I must say, BRAVO for bring your thoughts to light. I was one of those who was jumping up and down when I saw this on the crowd funding site. Being a new beekeeper, I find harvesting honey tedious and messy. Now I get it after reading your comments. If the bees find their job messy, we won’t have any honey to talk about. I agree with you. It is one more UN-NATURAL thing we are introducing to the bees and we have the audicity to ask why they are all dying. Because we humans are greedy for more and more honey with less work. We are not concerned about the bees but more for ourselves. That is so wrong on so many levels. I am going to post your link on my beekeepers site. Many people have already talked about this and there are many that don’t like this “revolutionary” bee invasion. I have now become an ANTI FLOW person thanks to Ruth. By the way, you don’t have to be a bee keeper to have common sense and thanks Ruth for sharing your always un-biased thoughts.

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End of “Flow Hive Gives Honey Like a Tap”. Back to Awesome Roles of Bees in a Hive.