The Deeper Message of the Flow Hive

About the flow hive. Expresses my misgivings about it better than I could. Bee-keeping is about a lot more than mere honey.

Natural Beekeeping Trust - Sun Hive Bees

Very lovely

Living with bees is not about hardware, hives and management techniques any more – it is ultimately about the survival of life on earth.

In the last few days, the media worldwide have become positively besotted with a new invention that has a powerful lure: it makes removal of honey from a hive so easy that, in the words of a press release, ‘there is … the potential for remotely activated or automatic honey extraction’.  There is also the implication that it helps bees, by allowing the beekeeper to ‘harvest in a bee-friendly way’. That’s what we all want, is it not: to be bee-friendly and less disruptive?

Let us pause for a moment: does taking honey need to be disruptive? Responsible beekeepers have long found that sharing genuinely surplus honey is one of the many ways in which they can sensitively interact with the bees in their care.  It need…

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2 thoughts on “The Deeper Message of the Flow Hive

  1. Thanks for sharing this article. I had heard of flow hives but didn’t know what was meant by the term. It seems like other commercial farming that focusses mainly on the end product.

    Jonathan Powell’s quotes in the article are interesting …
    Cells have wall thicknesses of just 0.07mm, and are made from over 300 different chemical components. Wax removes toxins from the honey. The resonant frequency (230-270 Hz) of the comb is matched to the bees’ vibration sensors and acts as an information highway between bees on opposite sides of the comb. Bees manage the temperature of the cell rims to optimize transmissions of these messages. Wax holds history and memory via chemical signals put into it by the bees.

    • Yes, as a beekeeper I have felt strongly that the hive is a kind of memory system; it discombobulates the bees each and every time you open a hive. They’re a lot more complex than mere honey factories.

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