The Flow Hive

Some of you may have seen the recent froth on the internet around a creation termed by its inventors the Flow Hive (you can check it out on Youtube).  It seems the hive contains within it plastic combs that can be split down the middle by the operation of plastic cams.  Thus, any honey contained within the comb flows out (if it hasn’t crystallized).  This honey then flows out of the hive in a channel and can be collected via a pipe.  Apart from practical questions about whether the honey thus removed is sufficiently ripened, I personally am against plastic combs and find the whole idea behind the Flow Hive quite appalling.  The wax combs of a bee hive are an integral part of the bee organism, just as are the internal organs of a mammal.  We should not mess with them.

There are some further comments on the Natural Beekeeping Trust’s blog.

Gareth, Cotswolds

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9 Responses to The Flow Hive

  1. salp111 says:

    I agree. In addition to artificial comb, I find the idea of a permanent cannula really disturbing. The more I thnk about it, the less I like it. Invasive, in spite of their claims to the contrary & a constant raid on the larder…grand theft & larceny, to add to the list of cons. Can’t think of a pro yet.

  2. johnmkubwa says:

    This idea will appeal to those who think of Bees as ‘honey machines’ but I echo Gareth’s sentiments and I find the whole idea behind the Flow Hive quite shocking. It is a pity that some ‘natural’ beekeepers like it.

    The wax combs are an integral part of the bee super-organism; its skeleton to me. To swap combs around is bad enough but to regularly break up the combs will be very stressful for the Bee. I can imagine people constantly taking honey from the Bee’s larder. This will seriously disrupt the balance between stores available, foraging activity, and brood rearing to say nothing of preparations for winter.. Non-intrusive, it will be constantly disruptive and devastating for the Bee in the hands of an ignorant (non bee aware) person.

    Appalled John H Over Wallop

  3. lindylou says:

    In the Q&A’s section from the makers of the Flow HIve are these two sentences. Both I think speak libraries full of the way that they look at bees…. Please excuse the length but I did not want to lose the context: note their unembarrassed use of the word rob….. Isn’t robbing an offence?
    In the 2nd Q&A is written the fable that using honey can spread disease. That’s only if you give honey from unhealthy sources. If you don’t take the supplies of the bees in the first place you don’t run this risk.
    Anyway this kind of reasoning both the ‘disease’ as well as the best time to ‘rob’ a hive thing make me feel so uneasy that I think this is so unnatural and a definitely bee-unworthy method. Keep as far from it as possible is the message I instinctively get from their site….
    1. Is there a best time of day to rob the hive using Flow?
    It is possible to harvest a Flow hive at any time of the day or night because the hive is not opened. There is not the concern of chilling or disturbing the bees on cold or windy days.
    We have found the bees are calmest in the late afternoon, and at this time the honey in the hive is likely to be warmest and runs easily, therefore we tend to rob at this time.

    2. Some Beekeepers do feed sugar syrup to their bees to help them get through the cold winter months. They rarely use honey for feeding as this could spread disease and is a lot more expensive than sugar.

  4. simplebees says:

    It may be helpful to consider that, at every stage, and whatever happens in the world of beekeeping, the Bee speaks to us about ourselves. Of who we are, and what we are capable of.

    Heidi Herrmann, here.

  5. solarbeez says:

    I always cringe when the heavies in the bee club talk about the best color of plastic foundation to use. How can they even consider plastic in the hive? I’m beginning to realize what I’m up against in my bee club…that is, that most people think the bees are for the benefit of mankind. It’s okay to exploit them (as well as all other animals). With that kind of thinking, what chance is there that people will think it’s wrong to steal their food and feed them corn syrup for winter?

  6. peter lead says:

    I had not heard of the flow hive. It sounds terrible, not only will it lead to an imbalance in the hive but also most likely robbing and chaos for the bees

  7. Robert says:

    With all the obstacles and issues facing bees (and ultimately mankind) do we really want to introduce another? I guess man can sit in front of the TV with the TV remote in one hand and the flow hive remote in the other and settle in for another Reality Show ignoring the beauty of sunshine, work, nature and her bees.

    • simplebees says:

      Quite so. The Flow Hive seems to about gratification of the human rather than engagement with the wonders of the Bee.

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