Flow Hive takes the hassle out of honey harvesting

Jun 11, 2019 by

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Stuart and Cedar Anderson come from a long line of beekeeping, but the father and son duo are revolutionizing the beekeeping world with their own invention, the Flow Hive. The innovative beehive lets beekeepers reduce stress on their bees by harvesting fresh honey without opening the beehive, instead letting the honey flow freely on tap.

wooden bee hives in a row

woman getting honey out of a wooden bee hiveAs many beekeepers know, harvesting honey is a long, arduous process that not only disturbs the hard-working bees and their homes, but is also back-breaking work for the beekeeper.

colorful bee hive made out of wood

colorful bee hive made out of wood

Related: BEEcosystem observation hives can be installed inside or outdoors

Coming from three generations of beekeepers, Stuart and Cedar Anderson knew that there had to be a better way to reap the rewards from keeping hives. According to the father and son team, “It all started because Cedar felt bad about bees being crushed during the honey harvest. He was sick of being stung and having to spend a whole week harvesting the honey from his small, semi-commercial apiary.”

colorful bee hive with honey jars on a shelf

Putting down their protective veils and putting on their designer hats,  Stuart and Cedar designed a new beehive, built with an integrated honey harvesting system that eliminates the need for removing honey cell frames.

wooden bee hives in a row

The Flow Hive is a compact timber structure made out of laser-cut sustainable Western red cedar. The apiaries come with a pitched roof with sliding observation windows on both sides and a front window that sits over the honey shelf. The hives can contain three or more frames, which are comprised of a partially completed honeycomb matrix. The bees fill the remaining cells with nectar, which eventually evaporates into honey.

man holding beehive brood frames

Once the honey is ready to be harvested, the beekeeper only has to insert a Flow Key into the top of the frame. When turned, the wax runs down a trough and into a tube, eventually flowing like liquid gold into jars.

beehive with shelf of jarred honey

The process is much less stressful for all of the parties involved, but especially for the bees, who, after the harvesting process, realize that the comb is empty and begin to repair and refill the cells once again.

+ Flow Hive

Images via Flow Hive

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The new Flow Hive 2 snags a whopping $13.6 million on Indiegogo

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The Flow Hive is a groundbreaking beehive that offers honey on tap. Over 50,000 Flow Hives have gone out to 130 countries around the world, and now the Australian father-son team behind the design are back. The pair redesigned their groundbreaking hive, drawing on customer feedback and adding brand new features, and they took to Indiegogo again with the Flow Hive 2 for a campaign that was 18,983% funded.

Flow Hive 2’s design is simple: inside a body comprised of laser-cut sustainable Western red cedar rest Flow Frames, which Stuart Anderson and Cedar Anderson, father and son, describe as “the most revolutionary beekeeping invention since the Langstroth hive was designed in 1852.” The frames are partially built honeycomb: add bees to do their thing — covering the honeycomb in wax, completing the cells, filling them with honey, and capping with wax — and then, when it’s time to harvest the honey, beekeepers insert and turn a handle to allow channels to form inside. The honey flows down into a waiting jar with minimal disturbance to the bees, who “are left to be, still standing on their wax capping.” A few hours later the bees realize the honeycomb is empty and they get right back to work, busy as bees.

Flow Hive, Flow Hive 2, Stuart Anderson, Cedar Anderson, beehive, hive, beekeeping, beekeepers

Related: How a simple honey harvester demonstrates the sweet success of viral crowdfunding campaign

The Flow Hive 2 features an adjustable hive stand making it easier to set up on uneven ground. A multi-functional tray helps beekeepers trap pests. Deeper handles, a ventilation control system, a harvesting shelf, and observation windows on both sides are among the other upgrades to the hive. Beekeepers can obtain around five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half-pounds of honey per frame. The Flow Hive 2 costs $932; earlybird backers snagged it for $699.

The Indiegogo campaign is over, raising an incredible $13,662,173. But it seems Flow Hive’s journey is really just beginning. You can find out more on the campaign page or their website.

+ Flow Hive

+ Flow Hive 2 Indiegogo

Image via Flow Hive

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