It’s fab, it’s new, and the honey flows straight into the jar. It’s so easy. But then, powdered instant potato is easy, too. Does that make it a good idea?
Despite my mission to focus on positivistic messages of change, at Milkwood we’ve got a charter of calling it like we see it.
And to call yet another plastic beehive addition which does not benefit the bees but only the beekeeper… what it is.
We’ve seen a lot (like, a LOT) of media about the Flow Hive ™ in this last week and after a few hundred questions about what we think of it, we thought we’d spell it out.
The basic innards of the Flow Hive™ system seem to be sets of plastic half-built comb, which face each other, and which the bees then finish off and connect up, fill with honey, and cap.
Then, when the beekeeper is ready, they turn a key, the two plastic hive foundations crack apart, the honey flows out down a channel and out a spout, into the jars provided below.
Is it good for the backyard beekeeper looking for a trophy moment? Heck yeah. The effect of the honey drizzling out looks great, and has caught imaginations world-wide.
SAVE THE BEES. Because anything (like, anything) that has to do with bees, or that uses bees, is good for the bees. Right?
Actually, no. Not so much.
Bees want to build their own wax comb. It’s part of the bee superoganism. The wax is literally built from their bodies.
The comb is the bee’s home, their communication system (which doesn’t work nearly as well if it’s made from plastic rather than bee-drawn wax, as discussed in Tautz), and functions as a central organ.
The comb is the bee’s womb – it’s where they raise their brood.
And given a choice, bees do not want a pre-built plastic womb, home or larder, any more than we would.