After having been lambasted with the new “Flow Hive” articles over the past week or so, its time I share my thoughts on the matter. In general, I am wary of ‘new’ concepts especially in an industry where we are still using hives originally patented in October 1852.
Firstly, at the price it is going, its just not going to be commercially viable. That though wouldn’t be my concern.
Bees only have excess honey for harvesting at certain times of the year. And honey needs to be ripe before harvesting ( yes you read correctly, ripe ) So in fact, draining honey at anytime that you feel like, which I suspect is what most people envisage would be the case when owning such a hive, may be quite detrimental to the hive. And the honey may not be ripened properly.
The second selling point is “without disturbing the bees”. Well in truth, beekeepers inspect their hives to check for diseases and general health, and to determine if the honey is ripe, and to harvest the honey leaving enough surplus in the hive for the swarm to survive on. And in my experience, bees don’t mind being disturbed, if you know what you are doing.
Yes, some bees go to the happy forage grounds in the sky during an inspection or harvest. But think of a swarm as a group consciousness. Then losing a few individuals is like you shedding some bacteria through various bodily functions.
Its a fad and a novelty for the wealthy.