This week, we start our multi-part series on hive types other than the standard Langstroth. We start with the Flow Hive. In this episode, we talk with Stewart Anderson, who, with his son Cedar imagined and then created the Flow Hive,...
This week, we start our multi-part series on hive types other than the standard Langstroth. We start with the Flow Hive.
In this episode, we talk with Stewart Anderson, who, with his son Cedar imagined and then created the Flow Hive, certainly the most cosmic jump in the technology of honey harvesting developed since the first mechanical honey extractor conceived by Major Franz Elder von Hruschka in 1865.
It started on a hot summer day 16 years ago when Cedar had spent a long day cranking his extractor harvesting his honey crop. Cranky bees, humid tropical weather and lots of work made Cedar ask his dad if there was some way to harvest honey without having to open a hive. So that evening they spent a couple of hours trying to figure out the equation that would change honey harvesting forever.
They actually figured out that to make that happen they needed to make the honey flow vertically in the hive to be collected at the bottom, somehow. That simple discovery had to overcome opening ripe honey cells, dealing with the cappings, reclosing the cell, removing the now disrupted capping wax, and seeing if the bees would reuse the cells. Or even abscond.
Their website photos show how they made that work and work well, with plastic frames inside the Langstroth deep hive body that could be offset with a crank on the outside of the box, offsetting the cells in the frame so the honey drained to a pipe below, to empty into honey bottles outside. Harvesting honey without opening the hive.
But getting there took them a score of years, figuring out how to manufacture the frames needed, to make them fit, how to make it all fit, and how to market this. Their first intentions were to make this a tool for commercial beekeepers in their home country of Australia. But it turns out, it was the perfect tool for the hobby market, and, to their surprise, these customers wanted the whole hive, not just the deep super with all the gadgets inside. Life then got interesting for them.
Listen as Stu talk with us about his and more!
Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:
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This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!
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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott
Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC
Inventor, Owner Flow Hives
Stu Anderson is the co-inventor of the revolutionary honey extraction system, the Flow Frame. This invention was inspired by his son Cedar who said “There must be a better way. I wonder if we could get honey out of a beehive without opening it or disturbing the bees”. Together they took on what became a ten-year journey of designing and testing.
Since its launch in 2015, the Australian-made Flow Hive has inspired tens of thousands of new beekeepers around the world, with over 85,000 hives now flowing in 130 countries. Founded from a love for bees and the natural world, Flow is about more than just harvesting honey in a gentle way—it’s about creating community, educating people about the importance of bees, and supporting beekeepers to be environmental stewards.
As a certified B Corp, Flow is committed to doing business in a regenerative, ethical and sustainable manner, whilst also generating a positive impact for pollinators and communities through its research and impact projects. In addition, Flow provides a high-quality beekeeping course, showcasing the world's bee experts through the online education platform TheBeekeeper.org. This initiative supports new beekeepers to become responsible stewards of their bees while raising funds to protect pollinators.