My oldest son has been begging me for bees for a while now. How could I, a beeswax candle maker, deny such a sweet (literally) request? Well, the thought of bees swarming into my neighbors yards has been a slight deterrent. Today may change all of that. After reading about the Flow™ beehive, the notion of going out to my backyard with a stack of pancakes and simply turning the tap on my beehive to watch the fresh honey flow onto my plate, is really too good to resist much longer.
Yes, that's right, honey on tap, straight from the beehive! Not just any honey but unprocessed honey straight from the honey comb. The kickstarter campaign for Flow™ starts today. Before I tell you more, watch this video.
Amazing right? The Flow™ hive is good news for both the bees and the beekeepers. The hive does not have to be opened to access the honey. Less mess for the beekeeper and less stress for the bees. Win-Win! For those of you who know anything about beekeeping, you know what hard work goes into harvesting the honey. First you don your beekeeper suit to protect yourself from any possible stings, prepare the smoker to calm the bees before opening their hive (which they rightfully want to defend against you), pull out the frames and carefully brush the bees off of the honeycomb trying not to hurt them (talk about stress for both the bee and the keeper), remove the wax capping before you can even get to the honey and finally return the frames to the hive of now angry bees (again squashing more bees when putting the hive back together). The founders of the Flow™ hive, Stuart and Cedar Anderson, thought there must be a way to harvest the honey without harming the bees. After all, why should a bee have to give its life just so you can enjoy its honey?
Unless you really like your bee suit (although a veil is still suggested and the suit is a good idea until you get to know your bees), I think that this is the beehive of the future. Turn the tap and watch the honey stream out. As of today, you can order an entire hive with everything but the bees for $600 here. This set includes 6x flow frames, brood box (bottom box, where the queen bee lays her eggs) with standard frames, top box (super, where the honey is stored), roof (I love this roof), 3 tubes to drain three frames at once, key to open the flow frames and the manual. Harvesting just one frame will give you approximately 3kg of honey.
I still don't think I would categorize a honey bee as a pet. But the see-through frames may just give you that feeling. You can actually watch the bees turn nectar into honey. My son may just get his wish sooner than he thinks. And because I don't have to disturb the hive to get at the honey, my neighbors shouldn't be disturbed either.
We need the bees. And without beekeepers, we wouldn't have enough bees to support our ecological system. I think that the Flow™ hive is a huge step in getting more people interested in bees. Be honest, all of you who never dreamed of having or wanting bees are now thinking about it, aren't you?