New Flow Hive revolutionises beekeeping with honey taps

New Flow Hive revolutionises beekeeping with honey taps

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Many of us are lucky to have taps at home in the kitchen and bathroom that disperse water on demand but imagine a tap that drips honey. The Flow Hive is a new beehive that incorporates honey taps that extract honey automatically without disturbing the bees.

[Image Source: Flo Hive]

It features a novel spigot system that extracts honey from from specially designed honeycomb frames and then lets it drip through honey taps into jars. The system eliminates the traditional process of honey extraction where frames are removed from beehives, opened with hot knives, and loaded into a machine that uses centrifugal force to get the honey out.

[Image Source: Flo Hive]

It was invented (and developed over the last 10 years) by father and son beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson who provided an explanation of their system:

“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.”

[Image Source: Flo Hive]

[Image Source: Flo Hive]

The new method removes so many steps of the traditional process. There’s no need to protect yourself from stings with a bee suit, fire up a smoker to sedate the bees, open the hive and disturb the bees, or pull the frames out potentially squashing bees. Then you don’t have to bother transporting the frames to a processing area or using a centrifuge to extract the honey.

It’s a win-win situation!

So it may come at no surprise that they’ve already smashed their $70,000 target goal on Indiegogo and are fastly approaching $3 million. It seems perfect for beekeeping hobbyists (they’re compatible with your current hive if you have one) or small scale companies but it’s difficult to imagine how this would scale up for large scale commercial use.

There’s still 39 days left on the campaign if you fancy getting yourself some honey taps. Indiegogo backers are to expect delivery in the second half of this year.