Beehives- A New Invention- A Humble Opinion

capped honey
capped honey

We have a very small apiary on our farm & are relatively new to the art of beekeeping. Admittedly we are totally smitten with honey bees & their world. Recently there has been quite the buzz (sorry) about a new beehive called the ‘Flow Hive’. It is an invention being launched by 2 beekeepers from Australia. It seems the hive does the honey harvest for you, with photos showing sparkling clean honey running directly out of the hives into mason jars for the honey lover to consume.

I have heard many excited comments & gotten multiple questions about this ingenious new bee hive invention. What do I think? I must admit that this whole ‘Flow Hive’ thing makes me a bit cranky. It does have great marketing, eye-catching photos & seems to appeal to many folks. But I’m not convinced of the concept.

We humans have a propensity for things that are, or seem to be, easy. The Flip-A-Switch and Ta-Dah syndrome! Minimal input, maximum gain. This makes me cringe on so many levels.
First- It is called beekeeping, not honey extracting. What about the bees? I didn’t find any mention of caring for the bees, only excitement about crystal clear honey flowing from a hive into open mason jars outside the hive. Hmm- not a good practice, ask any beekeeper.
Second- Like so many other animal products for human use or consumption, the emphasis is on the product not on the care of the animal. Which is just wrong. This exploitive attitude is what has brought us CAFO’s for beef, pork & fryers; gestation crates for sows & battery cages for egg layers. Minimal input for maximum gain & the animals are the ones to pay the price in these systems.

Collecting sparkling clear honey directly from a beehive for your morning toast sounds too good to be true, and probably is. Does it work? -insert shoulder shrug-. Most of the comments I have heard or read have had nothing at all to do with the bees themselves. Only about honey, which by the way, they do not make for us, they make it to feed their colony. Well this hive sell? Probably. Is it a great idea? The jury is still out on that. Is it the next great beehive invention? Probably not.

If you want honey without the ‘bother’ of the bees, go to a farmers market or buy directly from a local beekeeper. Let the beekeepers, who enjoy working with bees, who understand bees, who care about bees, produce the honey for you. If you are interested in starting a hive/hives of your own. Read, study, educate yourself about honey bees. Join a bee club, take a class, find a mentor to help get you started in the art of beekeeping. There is so much more to honeybees than just their honey.

Everyone has a right to their opinion, this is simply mine.

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2 thoughts on “Beehives- A New Invention- A Humble Opinion

  1. I agree with you that it doesn’t sound like the flow hive makers have the bees best interests in mind despite all of the hype out there – which I think is is mainly because they raised so much money on Kickstarter in such a short period of time. It’s indicative of the “want more faster now” mentality. I’m not sure many people that supported the kickstarter did extensive research before participating – it sounded like a good idea and of course we all want to save the bees. I thought you might be interested in this post on the flow hives – I agree with them wholeheartedly that bees don’t want to use plastic comb. http://www.milkwood.net/2015/02/26/going-flow-flow-hive-actually-good-idea/
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

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