Go with the Flow
The commitment to raising awareness of how crucial bees are to human survival is real and unwavering, along with a broader message of sustainability, recognition of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth and the broader message of treading as lightly on the planet and with as much love and as little cruelty as we can.” Stuart Anderson
There’s a new and innovative way to extract fresh, natural honey; and it’s called the Flow™ Hive. I bought one the day the Indiegogo crowd funding campaign launched, did you? It was so exciting seeing the number of supporters go up and up and up. With over $12 million raised, it is now the most successful crowdfunding venture ever launched outside the US, with contributions from 116 countries. It really felt like you were part of history and even better it was created by Australians (!)
Developed by father and son duo Stuart and Cedar Anderson of rural NSW, this revolutionary honey harvesting system allows honey to flow directly from the hive into containers, without opening the hive or disturbing the bees. For the past three years they have been field testing their Flow™ Hive design, with other beekeepers around the world trying it out and offering their feedback. It is being touted as the most significant technological leap in beekeeping since 1852!
So how does the Flow™ Hive work?
A honeybee hive is usually made up two boxes: the brood box where the queen bee lays eggs, and the “super”, which has honeycomb for the storage of honey. The Flow™ Hive has a standard brood box with one or more “Flow Supers”, or frames, for honey storage and extraction.
“Traditional extraction of honey is very time consuming and sometimes backyard beekeepers neglect to harvest their honey because they just don’t have the time for all the work involved… This system changes that. We hope it will attract young people and those in urban and suburban areas to take up beekeeping and, in turn, increase the bee population around the world.” Stuart Anderson
Two simple doorways are cut in one end of the box to allow access for honey collection, end frame observation and tool access for operation. Each frame consists of partly formed honeycomb cells which the bees complete with their wax, fill with honey then cap as usual.
When the frame is full, you simply remove the cap and insert the tools to turn the tap for a delicious flow of natural honey. Quite often, the honey is drained without the bees even noticing.
How long does it take to make honey?
How quickly the bees create the honey depends on the amount of nectar available, how strong the colony is and the season. It could take a week during peak times of flowering seasons to a month or more. Draining the honey can take 20 minutes to two hours depending on the temperature and viscosity of the honey.
The Flow™ Hive is now available for purchase online.
For more information about the Flow™ Hive or honey flow, see the website.
Are you a beginner beekeeper?
There are many local community classes hosted by experienced beekeepers who can teach you the basics. Try searching “beekeeping” on online course websites such as weteachme.