We all know that harvesting honey and keeping an efficient beehive is no easy task, and it’s one that’s stressful on both the bees and the beekeeper.
After all, the typical honey harvesting process is one that disturbs bees, and can sometimes even result in them getting crushed or hurt. Meanwhile, harvesting is no easy process for the beekeeper, because they risk getting stung.
On top of that, they have to spend a lot of time at this risk. So what’s the solution?
Well, an Australian beekeeping family known as the Andersons have come up with an answer of their own – and that answer is Flow Hive.
Flow Hive is a specially designed type of beehive that allows beekeepers to harvest honey easily from their bees, without disturbing the hard-working insects. But how does it work? And what do customers think of it?
In our handy guide below, we’ve got everything you need to know about Flow Hive. You’ll find an in-depth breakdown of what it is and the features it offers, as well as look at all the different iterations of the Flow Hive that are on sale.
In addition to that, we’ve also got reviews of Flow Hive, giving a clear indication of how this revolutionary beekeeping product has gone down with the customers. Read on!
What Is Flow Hive?
To begin with, it’s worth explaining just what Flow Hive actually is. Flow Hive is a special sort of beehive that’s been cleverly designed (after almost a decade of trial and error) to offer beekeepers a honey harvesting process that’s better for everyone.
The bees themselves benefit from Flow Hive (see also: Best Paint For Bee Hives)because they get disturbed much less, and there’s no risk of them getting crushed, and the beekeepers benefit because there’s no risk of them getting stung and their bees are much happier and healthier.
This was an idea that clearly resonated with beekeepers all over the world, because the father-son team of the Andersons behind the Flow Hive started an online Indiegogo funding campaign in order to raise money for their project.
Within just 15 minutes, the campaign attracted $250,000 in the form of pre-orders – a figure well beyond the Andersons’ goal and a feat that remains the most successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign ever.
Clearly, beekeepers wanted a honey harvesting process that was easier on the bees. Additionally, there was also worry about declining bee populations around the world, and this new system offered hope to some that things could be different.
The campaign ended in 2015, and the business has been expanding ever since. In 2020, there were around 75,000 Flow Hivers being used in over 130 different countries, and there have been all kinds of variation models of the Flow Hive designed and sold.
How Does Flow Hive Work?
The Flow Hive offers a revolutionary new way of getting honey from Langstroth-style European honeybee hives, with a honey-extraction process that’s easier on both the bees and the beekeepers.
It’s important to stress that it doesn’t make beekeeping a completely easy process that anybody could do without the proper training and knowledge.
No, the brood box with the queen bee and her eggs is still an integral part of a successful beehive, and a beekeeper will still need to take care of their bees properly.
However, the Flow Hive certainly makes the process of extracting honey much easier, and that’s thanks to their Flow Frames. These are artificial foundations made of plastic that the bees can build their honeycomb on.
Plastic artificial foundations aren’t new, but the Flow Frames differ in that their cells are nearly complete – the bees simply fill them and then cap them off.
Better still, the Flow Frames have a clear end-frame view that lets the beekeeper see them, and the side observation window also helps with that.
This is essential, because it means that beekeepers will be able to know when their honey is ready without having to disturb the bees by removing the hive lid and looking in.
Once the honey is ready, the beekeeper inserts a Flow Key, which splits the honey cells. With the help of gravity, the honey then flows down into the trough, then through the tube and directly into your jars.
Easy! The bees are left undisturbed and the beekeeper’s life is kept simple.
Of course, you may be worried that the bees could be in harm’s way when the honey is flowing down and out of the hive. Thankfully, the Flow Hive has anticipated this too, and there are small gaps deliberately put in place that the bees can seek shelter in until all the honey has flowed out.
What Does Flow Hive Offer?
Flow Hive offers a handful of different versions of their hives, as well as Flow Frames, protective wear, accessories, brood boxes, and much more.
We’re going to take a look at the Flow Hives themselves, and the differences between them.
Flow Hive Classic
This is the signature, classic product from Flow Hive. Ideal for beginner beekeepers and experienced ones alike, the Flow Hive Classic offers Flow harvesting technology that makes honey extraction easier than ever before.
The hive includes the company’s patented Flow Frames, a slope for easier harvesting, and observation windows to allow beekeepers to keep an eye on the honey without disturbing the bees.
Better still, the Hive works in all climates, and you’ll be able to harvest as much as 21 kilograms of honey when the super is full.
Flow Hive 2
This is Flow Hive’s best-selling hive, and it’s easy to see why. It has a range of features, and some important improvements over the previous iteration.
For example, it has two observation windows this time, allowing even easier inspection for the beekeepers. It also has a unique Flow Super base, which has ventilation control and an inbuilt multipurpose tray.
Additionally, the hive also has a pest management system to help you keep the hive well-maintained and healthy. Once again, the hive will allow beekeepers to harvest as much as 21 kilograms of honey when the super is full.
Flow Hive 2+
The Flow Hive 2+ takes things one step further than the Flow Hive 2, improving upon the formula and packed with innovative features that will allow you to easily extract honey and take good care of your bees.
These various features include things like a Flow Super, an entrance reducer, an innovative base, the Flow harvesting shelf brackets, and more. Customers can even pay for an optional hive stand that has ant guards.
Flow Hive Hybrid
The Flow Hive Hybrid allows beekeepers to get a perfect combination – pure honey and fresh honeycomb. If you’re a beekeeper that also wants to collect some delicious honeycomb, while also collecting plenty of pure, unfiltered honey, then this is the Flow Hive for you.
The Flow Hive Hybrid achieves this thanks to combining Flow technology with the Flow Super’s traditional wooden frames, and the hive is also the company’s most affordable complete setup.
Flow Hive also has a dense collection of online forums, which help to educate beekeepers around the world in how to do their job even better.
It may not be a product that they sell, but we thought it was worth covering Flow Forums since it’s such an invaluable resource for beekeepers and a great place to share tips and advice.
For example, there are forum sections to connect with local beekeepers. On top of that, there’s a forum to discuss equipment and accessories, share advice on catching swarms, find buyers and sellers of honey-related goods, and plenty more categories.
Flow Hive Reviews – What Do The Customers Think?
When it comes to what the customers have thought of Flow Hive, the response is largely positive.
Much of this positivity is to do with how revolutionary the Flow Hive invention is, because it allows you to harvest honey without disturbing or hurting the bees. This is incredibly important, especially with the risks of colony collapse disorder.
Additionally, customers love the amount of educational materials that Flow Hive makes available, particularly when it comes to their online forums, where beekeepers can share important tips.
On the other hand, not every single customer is happy. For one thing, some customers don’t like the fact that you have to assemble the Flow Hive yourself, which can be difficult for inexperienced people.
Additionally, some customers misunderstood that you still need plenty of beekeeping knowledge to properly run your hives. Flow Hive might make honey extraction easy, but it’s not something that anybody can just use without prior experience.
Pros VS Cons
- Revolutionary new hive design.
- Allows for honey extraction without disturbing or harming the bees.
- Easier for beekeepers – less risk of being stung.
- Assemble hive yourself.
- Still need beekeeping knowledge.
Is It Worth It?
We believe so! Bee happiness and health is essential, and the Flow Hive keeps your bees undisturbed and well-protected, while still allowing you to extract loads of honey.