Honey On Tap
About the only thing I use honey for is a Hot Toddy, and I’ve never really given much thought to how that honey gets from the beehive to to my drink. Apparently, it’s a pretty involved process:
- Put on a bee suit to protect against stings
- Fire up a smoker to sedate the bees
- Crack open the hive
- Lift all sorts of heavy boxes and move them around
- Pull out frames individually, being careful not to squash any bees
- Brush the bees off the comb or blow them off with a leaf blower
- Doff bee suit
- Take the frames to a processing shed
- Slice the wax capping off each frame with a heated knife or an automatic uncapping machine
- Place the frames in an extractor to spin out the honey
- Filter all the wax and dead bees out of the honey
- Clean up the mess
- Get back into a bee suit
- Put the hive all back together again
Cedar Anderson, a beekeeper, knew there had to be a better way, so he and his father spent the past decade inventing the Flow Hive. It is an ingenious beehive design that makes harvesting the honey as simple as turning a tap.
This is possible because the Flow Frames are made up of honeycomb cells that are split vertically. When the tap is turned, one half of the honeycomb column shifts up, transforming the comb into a vertical channel perfect for draining all the honey out the bottom.
This method of honey extraction is much easier on the bees and much, MUCH easier on the beekeepers. Check out this video to see this really incredible beehive design in action. (A good explanation of exactly how it works starts at 2:05)
The Andersons are currently seeking funding for their Flow Hive on IndieGogo. Their campaign started Feb 22, 2015, and so far, they’ve only raised 4,992% of their original $70,000 goal.