Just about everyone I know has been asking me what I think about the Flow Hive. If you haven’t checked out the video, do it. It’s a nice video with some beautiful scenery. It describes a hive system that seems to allow honey to be extracted without pulling frames out of the hive.
I will admit that I haven’t seen the gear first hand or even talked to anyone who has. I’ve only seen the 5 minute video. From the looks of it, the system is pretty clever, but there are enough scenes of idyllic lazy honey dripping (directly onto food nonetheless) without the interest of any other bees that make me wonder what else is amiss with the system. Who knows? I think wider comments from people having experience with the hive system will help determine how useful it really is.
With the unknowns of how it really performs aside, I’m still a bit amazed by the perception of the problem it solves. Really all this system appears to do beyond any other hive system is make the honey harvest easier, less messy, and more mellow. Personally, I really enjoy the honey harvest time of year. For my handful of hives, the whole process takes about a week from the time I start getting hives prepped, have the honey frames removed, get the honey extracted, settled, put into jars, and gear cleaned up by the bees. Yes, the whole process takes a while, but the smell is delightful, the mess is delicious, I get cappings wax out of the process, and I find I am even more connected with my food. Honey harvest, as a process, is a good reason why I keep bees in the first place.
Ive been amazed at the people who suggest that an easier honey process would be the one thing that would get them into keeping bees. While there is the potential for significant convenience during a week of the year, the honey harvest is not the hard part of keeping bees. It’s not even the scary part. Keeping bees happy and healthy throughout the season, then through the winter, seems the be the challenging part of beekeeping.
I love seeing new people get into beekeeping, and I love seeing healthy happy hives of bees. I’ll remain hopeful that this new honey flow hive performs as advertised and addresses the right problems that people have making bees a bigger part of their lives.