At a glance 2 min

The next generation beehive

The next generation beehive
The next generation beehive

Two Australians could soon be revolutionising the world of beekeeping. They recently created the Flow Hive, a beehive that enables beekeepers to harvest honey without stress or injury to the bees, and without having to open up the beehive.

Stuart and Cedar Anderson, father and son, are beekeepers. For over 10 years, they have been working on a new form of beehive that enables the precious nectar produced by the bees to be harvested by means of a simple tap. This beehive enables the honey to be harvested automatically without using traditional methods of using a smoker and handling the frames containing the honey which caused significant stress to the bees.

So, how does it work? The Flow Hive is comprised of transparent plastic frames consisting of honeycomb cells that the bees fill up with honey. Once the honeycombs are full, a turn of the tap enables the honey to run down a plastic tube directly into a pot. A single honeycomb frame can yield up to three kilos of honey. If the bees colonise every frame in the hive, the harvest can be up to as much as 20 kilos. "You no longer have to open and crack open the hive to harvest the honey. Minimal disruption during harvesting reduces the stress caused to the bees", explained the inventors. You no longer have to deal with aggressive insects, or smoke them to put them to sleep, use an extractor or even protect yourself against bee stings.

Once extraction has been accomplished, the tap is closed, the frames are put back to their original position and the bees can continue their work with no intrusion from the beekeeper inside their hive. According to the designers, the bees might not even realise that some of their honey has left the hive. They continue their work storing honey, and in particular, pollinating flowers in nature, as usual.

The two beekeepers were able to collect two million dollars on Indiegogo to finance their innovative idea and hope to deliver the first hives in November 2015.

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