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.