Will the honey flow for you?

Everyone who uses the internet has probably heard about the ‘Flow’ hive by now – www.honeyflow.com, “It’s Literally Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive!”. As I’ve never made a poll before, I thought this post would be a good chance to learn how to do one, so I’ve made one about the Flow Hive.

EDIT: And it’s launched! $300 USD for six frames fitting a Langstroth super, $350 for eight frames, $600 for a full hive: indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive

Flow Hive frames

How does it work?

See the FAQs section of the Flow website: “The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells.  The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual.  When you turn the tool, a bit like a tap, the cells split vertically inside the comb forming channels, allowing the honey to flow down to a sealed trough at the base of the frame and out of the hive, while the bees are practically undisturbed on the comb surface.

When the honey has finished draining, you turn the tap again in the upper slot which resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.” – http://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/p/22 

My thoughts on it: Having read through the patent, I do believe it will work, at least with uncrystallised honey… but with oil seed rape or ivy honey that has set hard in the combs? – we shall see. I probably won’t be rushing in to buy one, but I shall be interested to see how other English beekeepers find it and then perhaps consider buying one, depending on how much they cost. Here’s an email written by the famous Michael Bush about the design, he seems mostly positive about it: http://www.honeyflow.com/letters/p/24.

I don’t have any objections to the product itself, but I do have some worries about the way it’s being marketed. Their website says “In our area it is normal to inspect the brood nest of each hive twice a year for disease. In some areas beekeepers check more frequently.” Twice a year is not enough to notice diseases and stop swarming, so this could give people the wrong impression of how much work keeping bees involves. Let’s say you check in April – no sign of disease – then you check again in September – perhaps now your colony shows signs of American Foul Brood (AFB). Well, all that time your bees could have been infecting other colonies, all of which under UK law would have to be destroyed.

Not such a problem in rural areas with no other hives around, but not good practice in cities or densely populated countries such as the UK. Their patent also makes some odd claims – for instance, “traditional hives leave spaces for pests and diseases.” Well, most diseases spread in the brood combs, so since it seems this product is used to replace the super combs, I don’t see how it will help. Or what they have in mind by spaces causing diseases either. Perhaps more details on this will follow.

Some of the comments written on Facebook by non-beekeepers about it are a bit disturbing – people seem to think that easy extraction of honey will benefit the bees, e.g. “I sure hope this keeps the world’s honey bee populating flourishing!!” and “You may have singlehandedly saved the world’s bee population: this invention is poised to bring beekeeping to the masses, exponentially increasing the bee population.

The problem facing most bees in the world – and there are roughly 19,300 species of them, so this device affects a teeny weeny percentage – is a lack of habitat and flowers. Being able to easily take honey from honey bees is going to do absolutely nothing to help that. Arguably, if we have too many honey bees that could actually mean the wild bees, such as bumbles and solitary bees, lose out because there aren’t enough flowers to go round. Plus a high density of hives kept by people only inspecting twice a year would be a recipe to spread disease.

Anyway, that’s enough of me ranting on! I’ll get off my box now. What do you guys think?

Honey buckets

Honey extraction – the labour intensive way

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper living in Ealing, west London. I have been keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary since 2008 and created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully - future successes. Busy taking the British Beekeeping Association module exams too!
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85 Responses to Will the honey flow for you?

  1. I can’t see how it works as, if you split the plastic central foundation you might get a trickle but the wax cappings will make a vacuum so there won’t be much of a flow.

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      It must work with some honeys at least as experienced beekeepers have reported trying it with success. I won’t pretend to understand these matters but perhaps as the vacuum is broken when the cells are split then gravity does the work?

      Like

  2. disperser says:

    With most things I do, I prefer to avoid shortcuts. Regardless if it works or not, me getting into beekeeping would not be primarily to get honey (although that would be a side benefit).

    If I just wanted honey, I would do what I do now. I buy it.

    Then again, I’m not a beekeeper. I suppose if one is still conscientious about the inspection thing, they could use this . . . but it seems to me you still have to clean it occasionally, and that opening and closing bit seems like it would leave a residual mess that might quickly hamper the intent of the design. Then again, I’ve not explored it in detail nor am I a beekeeper. What do I know?

    Like

  3. Simon says:

    Hi, nice thread and they were my thoughts immediately – what a great idea- but it gives the impression that you don’t have to do anything apart from take off the honey and I think the information about the two brood inspections has been taken from somewhere that possibly States that 2 specific brood disease inspections should be carried out usually one at the start and one at the end of the season. As beekeepers we are checking for any irregularities within the brood on each inspection so anything nasty is picked up early, this displays a good sense of husbandry and community beekeeping. Although this new trendy hive will put the bees and beekeeping in the Spotlight careful marketing needs to support its introduction. I can’t wait to see one in action.

    Like

  4. cindy knoke says:

    I knew none of this! Fascinating~

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tam says:

    Hi Emily, thanks for taking the time to read through the patent and share your thoughts. I have reservations (2x a year checks notwithstanding) about it as well.
    1) the system will necessitate the use of queen excluders or keepers will run the risk of crushing brood. Ensuring healthy brood is far more important to me than harvesting honey.
    2) harvesting in or near the apiary seems to run the risk of a robbing frenzy and exchange of disease and pests.
    3) their comments about spaces make me go lolwut. Honeybees are wax and propolis building fiends. I’m not even sure what they mean. The bees will quickly gum any moving parts.

    It’s interesting, but I’ll wait for more reviews and case studies before I spend money from my apiary budget on one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Emily Scott says:

      Hi Tam,

      Thanks for your comments. The queen excluders don’t worry me as I use them anyway. As the cells are deeper than usual brood cells perhaps the queen would not lay in them though? Michael Bush made a comment suggesting that.

      Perhaps it is possible to seal up the equipment well enough that the pests cannot get in. I have no idea what they mean about the spaces either!

      Like

  6. Phillip says:

    I don’t like the marketing (the video) for the Flow Hive. It’s deceptive. It will likely appeal to people who idealize beekeeping and don’t understand what they’re getting into.

    I would tell new beekeepers to stay clear of the Flow Hive or any beekeeping invention that hasn’t been proven. It’s more important to learn the fundamentals of beekeeping first. A device that makes harvesting honey easier won’t help you if you don’t already know how to maintain a healthy colony to produce the honey in the first place.

    As beekeeper who has a pretty good handle of what he’s doing (I hope), if I knew it worked, I’d try it out in my urban backyard. If it allowed me to harvest honey without disturbing the bees as much — and disturbing my neighbours as much — I’d be wiling to try it out, if the price is right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily Scott says:

      That’s how I feel, keeping the bees healthy enough to produce more honey than they need is the hard part. That takes time and an understanding of how much they need. But if it can extract the honey a jar at a time and filter it well, without the need for an extractor, that would be nice.

      Like

  7. lynbickley says:

    My issue, is that it implies that disturbing the bees is the worst thing a bee keeper can do to a hive. Rather, it should be promoting good bee husbandry and using their product as part of a annual plan. To remove honey without inspecting the health of your hive, or even the amount of honey within the hive, is, well, simply crazy and likly to lose you the hive.

    I like the idea behind the device, just not the spin they are putting on it. It is obviously being aimed at new (or yet to be) bee keepers, who want a turn key solution, to a problem that does not exist.

    Extracting honey is easy, keeping and looking after your bees, is less so, If you care about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily Scott says:

      Yes, I feel the same way. They might actually be better off aiming the product at commercial beekeepers, who have the knowledge to use it properly and would buy it in large quantities if it works for them.

      Like

  8. We were wondering whether the design of the hive would protect the bees enough in cold weather. Envious of the lovely snowdrops blooming in UK– we are digging out after a heavy snow.❄️

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  9. Jonathan Harding says:

    Where are Health and Safety when you really want them!!
    I would be concerned that the advertising seems to be selling a utopian,rosy-tinted, non-sticky,child friendly, dream of clean honey extraction where friendly bees from a strong stock want to joyfully share their hard earned golden stores with unveiled little girls and men, from a sweetshop tap round the back of the hive.
    Where in the adverts are the guards and the robbers and where are the inevitable little bits of wax and propolis piling up inside,or are the combs all plastic bar the cappings?
    I admire the concept, but the split combs might cleanse better in an extractor,because some bees left to their own devices,love glueing everything up.especially channels.
    Thank you for the alert ,I shall watch developments with great interest but will probably wait to buy second hand rather than be stung now!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Emily Scott says:

      Yes it all seems almost too good to be true! I believe the combs are mostly plastic and the bees complete them with wax. I too wonder about keeping them clean long term, after all they are quite an investment at $300 compared with foundation!

      Like

  10. I’m an Australian Hobby beekeper and here it is pretty common to check broods only twice a year assuming the hive looks healthy upon external inspection. Last year we had a case of EFB in the apiary and we spotted that by noticing the hives were weak (reduction in field bees coming and going, hives were light when we hefted them to test). We also had a pesticide poisoning event – that was picked up by observing piles of dead field bees in front of the affected hives. Only after seeing a colony was in trouble would we open and check the brood. We avoid opening the brood unless we get a signal from the condition of the apiary that something’s amiss. If we spot disease in one hive, then we check all hives to be sure it hasn’t spread. If it’s a case of a missing queen but no disease, we requeen or provide a brood frame to allow the hive to make its own queen – in that instance we don’t open all hives, just the queenless hive and the one “donating” a brood frame.

    That said, we do do inspections twice a year, Spring and Autumn, of all brood frames in all colonies – that’s what the experts recommend here. Besides a general health/disease check then, Spring is when you would split hives (to minimise the risk of swarming) and Autumn you would requeen. Remember, we don’t have Varroa mite – maybe that makes a difference.

    Honey harvest is hot, sticky work. If this thing works, I love the idea. We get heaps of honey from every hive every year (with mild winters, the bees forage all year round) and the thought of tapping into them and just drawing out a jar at a time is intriguing. I’d like to try a couple of my hives with this gizmo (depending on price – which I guess I’ll know after their launch in 90 mins). I don’t see it as something I’d want to do to harvest a couple tons of honey (just changing the jars would be exhausting work) but for a jar to take to friends or for my kitchen, it sounds nifty.

    As for the comments about wanting more bees as pollinators vs having too many honeybees overrunning other native bees, again, I think that’s less of a concern in Australia. Except possible in the more marginal dry areas anyway.

    The problem of disease spread is possibly a real concern but since we have plenty of feral hives that survive (no harsh winters, no varroa) I don’t see backyard hives being much more of a threat.

    Getting people to understand that honey means bees and bees mean pollination is a positive thing. Honey isn’t just a sugar substitute – it’s the output of an amazing super organism that does so much to put other food on our table. Most honey eaters don’t understand this. Even most gardeners don’t. If this product encourages a few honey eaters and gardeners to give it a go, get informed and spread the word, I think food security will be the beneficiary.

    Enough ranting – thanks for starting this conversation. I’m sure it will be a topic that’s running around the beekeeping community for a long time to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily Scott says:

      As you say, it suits the way Australian beekeepers keep bees, which is fair enough.

      You have the advantage of being an experienced beekeeper with a lot of hives and being able to check on them frequently during the week. Somebody just starting off with one hive, not used to how healthy colony entrances look, might well not notice that anything was wrong from the outside. The Langstroth sized frames will encourage new American beekeepers, who may be in for a shock if they fail to treat for mites and beetles etc and then find a dead hive in their back yard. This isn’t the manufacturers’ fault of course, but I just hope their instructions encourage people to get training, both for the sake of the bees and for their wallets.

      If it does get people more involved and enthusiastic about bees, then great. I have a natural Eyorish tendency which I have to try and fight!

      Like

  11. You are absolutely correct Emily, the solution for honey bees (and by extension, all pollinators) involves eradicating Varroa, planting a lot of forage in our cities and fields, going organic or at least vastly reducing pesticide use and the planting of bee toxic nectar/pollen producing crops, and only as a distant finisher making sure lots of people keep lots of honey bees. The Flow is not as good for bees as an attentive and alert beekeeper, and a society that actively promotes pollinator support programs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s up and ready for orders – $300 / hive – ETA Sept 2015. I imagine that price might come down once production is in full swing. They’ve been up for contributions (crowd funding) and have hit 450% in less than an hour. Seems there are some people out there who really believe in this thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is insane. They’re selling out of every option – I’m guessing to Aussies. I suspect nothing will be left by the time the UK wakes up. It looks like these guys will have enough money to manufacture in more than one place and ramp up as quickly as they can. They admit working out initial manufacturing problems will be a challenge – at least not a financial one! This is a product to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Paul says:

    I wish them well, anything that attracts people to beekeeping I support wholeheartedly.

    I have some unanswered questions:

    Disease control – the frames appear to be a sealed unit I wonder how you clean them if you have nosema for example. In the traditional hive you can flame the box and burn the frames or use fumigation agents such as acetic acid. It’s not clear to me how you would deal with a common problem like this.

    It assumes you don’t have crystallised honey and how can they be cleaned if they are filled with rock hard Ivy?

    Weight – from the video footage and pictures I’ve seen the frames appear to be the quite large. I know how much a standard broad weighs when it has honey. How much do these boxes weigh and are they easy to move for inspections/swarm control etc?

    Price – From the indiegogo site it looks like a full flow box with frames is $300 (£195/€265) which is quite expensive compared to the traditional methods, especially if you put two on each hive. They’ll also present a very attractive target to thieves.

    It will be interesting to see how it develops as a product.

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      Thanks for your comment Paul, you make excellent points, many of which I think are yet to be answered. Nice to see a fellow London beekeeper on here, have started following your blog.

      Re disease control, I haven’t seen any mention of how you clean the frames on their website. If you are a UK beekeeper and unlucky enough to get AFB, you would lose a heck of a lot of money if the bee inspector ordered your hive to be destroyed! That’s one reason I like wood, you know where you are with keeping it clean.

      About crystallised honey, their patent at http://patents.justia.com/patent/20140370781 mentions the possibility of heating the honey “To assist honey removal from the comb, heat may be applied. In one form heating elements may comprise part of the cell sidewall and/or rear wall, or imbedded into the side or rear wall to warm the honey. Heating could also be achieved by passing hot fluid or air through channels in the comb or by passing warm air through the honey super in such a way that the bees and particularly the brood nest are not harmed”. So that might help with crystallised honey, but possibly at the expense of the taste of the honey?

      Although the frames are larger, a 10 frame Langstroth super would only take 7 Flow frames as they are wider than traditional frames. So perhaps the weight evens out and is not much extra?

      We’re always hearing about hives getting stolen now and again; I certainly wouldn’t be putting one of these on my allotment!

      Like

  15. I voted not on your nelly, basically because I am from East Coast, USA and the strong Puritan work ethic bequeathed to me says this honey robbing should be hard work or else we may start to abuse this gift from the bees (we probably have already…). But then again, I am a hobbyist, not ashamed to admit it. I can see its benefit for commercial beekeepers. It probably doesn’t matter in the end what I think. As Laura notes, it’s selling out quickly so they are obviously onto a winner…..

    Liked by 1 person

  16. We live in NW Oregon, USA. I recently posted on this same subject and must admit I am skeptical for all of the reasons mentioned above & more. Like- Jars of honey open to the outside, robbing & contamination? Crystal clear honey straight from the hive with no debris, is that possible? The emphasis on honey harvest & little mention of honey bee husbandry is bothersome to me. Masters of marketing though!

    Like

  17. Anna says:

    I guess I don’t understand why they would chew the wax cappings again and refill the cells? They’ve capped the cells once and assume that the honey is still there. The only way they would know the honey was gone is if the cells were opened for them and the loss was discovered. Something about the idea is extremely disturbing, yet I can’t put my finger on it. Also, you still would have to pull out each frame to know if all the cells were capped and ready for harvesting. I wonder if the developers are beekeepers?

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      Hi Anna,

      The developers are an Australian father and son beekeeping team named Stuart and Cedar Anderson. They have been testing the kit for years, so it must work. I’m guessing that the bees know the honey has gone by the loss of its smell, they are extremely scent oriented creatures.

      Re knowing when the cells are capped, the ends of the Flow frames are visible by taking the cover off one end of the hive box. The bees usually cap the centre frames first and the end frames last, so it’s a fair bet that if the ends are capped all the frames are.

      A sentence I found disturbing in the patent at – http://patents.justia.com/patent/20140370781
      “A system that allows you to rob the honey from an entire apiary at the flick of a switch”. In factory farming, generally any system that distances humans from livestock tends to lead to the livestock not being as well cared for. It’s that phrase, ‘Out of sight, out of mind’. You may be able to rob the entire apiary at the flick of the switch, but is that a good thing for the bees?

      Like

      • Anna says:

        Oh my, just what we need, more hands-off husbandry. I have no doubt that it works, but to whose benefit? When I first saw this idea, I honestly thought it was a joke. When I saw your post, I realized (with something akin to horror) that it was real. As others have said so well, there is so much more to beekeeping than just flicking a switch to get honey.

        Like

        • Anna says:

          I like what Rusty said here “Unless you can raise large healthy colonies that make honey in the first place, no amount of invention will help you remove it.”

          Like

  18. A beekeeping blogger in my area posted on the mechanics of the Flow hive:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/should-you-go-with-the-flow/

    Mechanics and probable issues aside, the Flow hive buzz (forgive the terrible pun!) is predicated on the idea that the beekeeper/bee interaction is *all and only* about honey processing. That, as anyone who has kept bees knows, is only a very small slice of the beekeeping year. The bulk of your beekeeperly time is going to be spent establishing the conditions that make it possible for the bees to bring in a big honey crop: building numbers of healthy bees via swarm control, mite control, feeding, forage planting (if you can), managing reproduction, hive maintenance and manipulation, winterizing. Those endeavours are not optional.

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      Thanks – I follow Rusty too, she’s great 🙂

      You’re so right about all the time and work it takes just to keep the bees healthy and alive, never mind getting any spare honey!

      Like

  19. Debra says:

    It is made of plastic I think? I don’t think that would be good for bee health or for human consumption. And when the novelty wears off then it goes into the landfill to take approximately forever to decompose …

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This bee vlogger gives a nice critique of the device and its marketing.

    We agree that it is probably misguided cleverness.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Emily
    You are so right, I can see this is going to be a big problem for beekeepers with out of control bee diseases. We are commercial bee farmers and we are very worried about the mess we will have to sort out when these people realise it is not as easy as they are making it out to be.

    Like

  22. What would we do without you, Emily? I saw this and I am such a sceptic that I thought it was a joke. Thank you for the explanation of the basic principal. I remain sceptical about the overall principal even now I understand it better. I must admit though I admire their inventiveness and lateral thinking, it seems the most novel idea since skeps were abandoned. Amelia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily Scott says:

      Ha, thanks Amelia! I can imagine the arguments and strikings of beards that went on when Langstroth first started demonstrating his ideas. Bet he’d be amazed by the benefits of crowd funding and social media. He hardly earned any royalties from his design because the patent was widely infringed.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Fascinating post and comments.

    Like

  24. I think it’s an interesting idea, but I’m not convinced it will work beyond the first season and it’ll be a nightmare to clean. I’m not even sure we have high enough temperatures for honey to flow easily without spinning. It won’t work with heather.

    I think there may be a glut of these frames on ebay in a year or so.

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      I’m intrigued about how to keep it clean too, no mention of that in the FAQs. Heather doesn’t work well with an extractor either… Emma and I had some thick honey last summer which seemed to share some of the properties of heather honey, in that it would only flow when stirred. It was impossible to extract in Emma’s electric extractor, nothing came out.

      By the way, is there a way to follow your blog by email? I couldn’t see anywhere to subscribe.

      Like

  25. I can see arguments for and against – it could make life easier for the beekeeper in extracting honey but the advertising and media surrounding it is misleading in parts for non- or new beekeepers. Could it make a beekeeper’s honey harvest easier to steal, I wonder, if anyone can walk up to a hive and turn on the tap. That’s a lot easier than stealing a super full of bees…

    Like

  26. Pingback: Winter moves into spring | Ealing and District Beekeepers Association

  27. When I first saw the flow hive, I was wondering what beekeepers would think of it and whether it would work well. It is interesting you looked into it and also said it will work, but not on all types though.

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      I do think it’ll work, as they’ve done years of testing and other beekeepers have been given prototypes to try which have worked for them. Whether it’ll work with the different types of honey that exist round the world, and how long the equipment lasts, remains to be seen.

      Usually honey which is extracted is filtered at least once, to remove any bits of bees or wax, so though they show it flowing into a jar there would be more work needed to get it to a quality fit for sale.

      Like

  28. Julie says:

    Great post! It will be very interesting to watch how well it is received, how well it works and its pros and cons.

    Like

  29. Hamish says:

    I’m not convinced this will work in the UK, pretty much for the reasons that you say. Oil Seed Rape, Ivy, heather honey, would all clog up the system. Also the whole hive inspection routine makes the whole thing more hassle than it’s worth, imho.

    It’s a bit of a gimmick, and I guess that the the lack of disturbance to the bees, will be more than outweighed by the disadvantages of harder to do hive inspections, and harder to carry out varroa / disease treatments.

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      Thanks for your comment Hamish. My husband is Scottish so I have a fondness for Scotsmen! And I’m impressed by Scottish beekeepers and their bees for thriving in such chilly winters. Have started following your blog.

      Why do you think it would be harder to carry out hive inspections and do disease treatments btw?

      Like

      • Hamish says:

        Thanks Emily. Hardy things Scottish Bees. Here’s hoping for a good summer this year. Actually, I’ve had another look at the flow hive, and I was probably incorrect about the harder inspections, and treatments. The whole thing would come off like any other super.

        Like

    • I’ve been talking with quite a few Aussies about the flow hives and I have to say there are a lot of sceptics in this hemisphere as well. Many think that if it’s easy to harvest honey, people will keep bees and not manage the colony thereby unleashing a plague of bee diseases. I know I’m not alone but I do feel outnumbered. I’m still fascinated and think a flow hive would be great. I stand by my argument that getting honey and managing brood are 2 very different tasks in a hive. I don’t see why making it easier to harvest honey in any way makes it more likely that you won’t take care of the colony by controlling pests and diseases, requeening, feeding…

      To me it’s like saying that selling pre-assembled hive boxes and frames shouldn’t be allowed because then people with no understanding of bees will be encouraged to get their own hive. Of course blocking the sale of bee boxes and queen bees (why not make beekeepers catch swarms and rear their own queens?) and similar things makes it easier for novices to get into beekeeping. Yet still we all love those time saving devices. Would anyone seriously advocate that we should have to go and buy wood from the lumber yard to make our own boxes so we don’t willy nilly start keeping bees and spreading AFB? What’s the difference then if it becomes easier to harvest honey?

      Of course the arguments that in the UK the season is too short, the honey often crystalised, the harvest not guaranteed… all mean this product probably won’t work in the UK – but I think it will in Australia and much of the US. I guess we’ll all know in a decade or so. I’m just hoping that between now and then I know someone using one and maybe even own one myself.

      Like

      • Oops, this was supposed to be a general reply – not to Hamish’s comment. Obviously finger trouble on my end.

        Like

      • Emily Scott says:

        I have nothing against the frames per se either – apart from the fact that they’re expensive! With my hives being away from home, I couldn’t risk several hundreds pounds worth of sought after equipment being left out. And how easy the equipment is to keep clean has not yet been explained.

        I still dislike the marketing, which I think encourages novices to think that honey harvesting is the hard part, when it’s only a tiny part of the beekeeping year. It also suggests that bees are really disturbed by the traditional method of taking frames out, when the truth is that if you use a clearer board there will barely be a bee left in the super 24 hours later. I don’t remember being attacked or bothered by a single bee when taking our honey last summer.

        What does appeal to me is the idea of not needing a bulky extractor, which I have no space for in my little flat. If one day the price of these frames comes down enough that Emma and I feel secure leaving them out in our hives, perhaps it could save us some time and space with the actual process of honey extracting.

        I agree that it should work in Australia, all the videos we’ve seen indicate it does. Would be great if you manage to get hold of some so that you can let us all know how it goes!

        Like

        • The price is a killer. It is a reasonable amount if you compare it to buying a hive and an extractor but most people borrow extractors from their local club (at least around here) so it’s hard to justify the expense. One day maybe they will be cheaper – most things head that way after a couple of years.

          If I do get any hands on experience, I’ll let you know.

          Like

          • Emily Scott says:

            Yes, it compares fine to buying just one hive and an extractor – but if you get more than one hive’s worth of Flow frames then the price becomes much more. I’m sure the price will come down in a few years time and also second hand ones will become available. Looking forward to hearing how people get on when the first lot get shipped out!

            Like

  30. suchled says:

    Maybe for the professional beekeeper it would cost a lot initially. But for the home gardener who is concerned about the problem of extracting the honey from the hive I think it is magic.

    Like

  31. Željko says:

    Zanima me šta se dešava sa leglima koja pčele naprave u tim okvirima. okviri se stiskaju da med curi. Šta je sa leglima u tom momentu?

    Like

    • Emily Scott says:

      Hi Željko, if I have translated your question correctly, you said in Bosnian “I wonder what happens to the litter that bees make in this framework. frames huddle during leaking. What about the litters at the moment?”

      Nisam siguran da sam shvatio vaše pitanje pravilno (problemi u prevodu), ali ostaje da se vidi kako se okvirima može biti čisti. U nekoliko godina, kada pčelari su ih koristili nekoliko sezona, mi ćemo znati više!

      (I’m not sure I understand your question properly (problems in translation), but it remains to be seen how the frames can be kept clean. In a few years time, once beekeepers have used them a few seasons, we will know more!)

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  32. Pingback: Say, Have You Heard About That FlowHive? | The Prospect of Bees

  33. Pingback: Say, Have You Heard About That FlowHive? | The Prospect of Bees | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  34. I was talking to another bee keeper about this last night. I’m sort of interested in it as a concept but know there’s more to keeping bees than honey.
    What’s the worst that will happen? It’ll clog up with oil seed rape and people won’t inspect their bees. And what’s the worst that happens then? Neighbours get swarm after cast swarm of bees in their gardens and get cross and hate insects more than they probably already do.

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  35. Have you heard about this latest beekeeping invention? It’s supposed to eradicate varroa mite from hives. I know nothing about it but wonder if it’s making headlines in Europe and what people who deal with varroa every year think about it. http://thermosolarhive.com/en/homepage/

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    • Emily Scott says:

      I’ve seen a few people post links about it on Facebook, but haven’t heard from anyone who’s actually tried it out. I think it’s not available to buy yet. If it works and will be sold at a reasonable price then great. One thing that puts me off is that it requires buying a whole new hive!

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      • It looks like they are doing a crowd funding thing and these hives are available for sale (like the flow hive was). I agree, buying an entire new hive would be a problem. I haven’t researched it enough to know if maybe you just need a new top box or….? I really like the idea of treating varroa without chemicals. I think it might be a matter of “watch this space”.

        Whatever happens, I love that people are looking outside of the box for real solutions to varroa!

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        • Emily Scott says:

          If the hive was expensive/limited edition it could be a theft risk in our out apiary too. There are a few anti-varroa husbandry methods like drone culling, shook swarm and queen trapping that don’t require chemicals. It is interesting and I applaud the inventors for trying.

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