Honey is one of nature's most delicious elixirs, but it's a pain to collect. One father-son duo came up with a solution to the normally painstaking process. Professional beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson invented the Flow Hive, a beehive tap that extracts honey through a specially designed frame with minimal disturbance to the bees and significant reduction in labor. The Andersons won't launch their product until the end of the month, but there's already a lot of... buzz.
The Flow Hive began as just wishful thinking about a decade ago, when Cedar Stuart grew fed up with the regular process of harvesting and extracting honey, which would often agitate and even injure the bees. He describes his experience on Flow Hive's official site:
The hive was packed with bees and it was near impossible to get the honey out without squashing lots of them. I really don’t like squashing bees.The bees got more grumpy and started to sting me through my bee suit. They weren't happy..... I put the hive back together, squashing more bees as the lid went on and ended up running away across the field thinking there has to be a better way! So my Dad and I set to work on a decade long task of inventing the beekeepers dream.
If you're not familiar with the process of extracting honey (I'm going to guess that's most of us), it's quite complicated and involves using a heated knife to unseal frames from a beehive and an extractor machine that uses centrifugal force. Even once the honey has been extracted using the regular method, you have to sieve out the impurities before pouring it into a container. It sounds labor-intensive and exhausting.
According to testimonials on its official site, the Flow Hive cuts this labor by 95 percent. This is how the site describes the Flow Hive process:
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 resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.
To summarize, you connect the Flow Hive to a beehive, turn it on, and watch the golden liquid pour out of the spigot. It's that simple.
According to the site, Michael Bush, author of Beekeeping Naturally, said:
Mind Blowing... It's not very often something is so revolutionary as to blow my mind...Saving 20% of harvest labor is not trivial, 40% is amazing, 60% is revolutionary. But 95%, that’s Mind Boggling.
The Andersons plan on launching a Kickstarter campaign for the Flow Hive on February 23, but judging by the glowing praise they're already receiving, the father and son are going to see some sweet, sweet success with their invention.