The honey tap; kickstarter. Interesting!
having some top bar hives an experience i had was a winter loss from what can be assumed to bee the cluster migration followed stores to one end of a 4' TBH. when the stores were exhausted on that end the cluster died. they were only a few feet from sufficient stores, ie at. the other end of the hive.
we're mostly medium frame langstroth foundationless. I use 20# mono filiment running thru the frame on any new hives to help them get the idea. this helps during extraction, (I think) second year comb is never a problem. there have been comb collapses during extraction (centrifugal) if hot and young wax. i've moved brood comb up a super before, the nurses raise brood then draw comb in the empty lower story frames. stores are soon secured in the former brood frame/comb and it is sufficient stregnth for extraction etc.
this typing is hard
ps TBH's are a product of more equatorial beeks
My mason bees are proven to out-pollinate honey bees, don't sting (without undue stress) and are great friends of the garden.
Gentle but maniacally industrious… but they don't make honey…
kind of like Henry Rearden without the bling – ha!
The videos are very nice and polished. They make the product very appealing. However, I have some reserves.
Honey, when ready to harvest, have between 16.5 and 17.5% of moisture in it. This honey doesn't flow as readily as it look in the videos. This is why we need centrifugal extractors. You can take an uncapped frame, turn it upside down and no honey will flow. The size of the cells and the honey viscosity will make it stick right in the cell.
If the moisture level is higher, then the honey flows. However, it will rapidly ferment (There are a lot of yeast spores) and spoil unless you freeze it. It won't preserve at room temperature.
If the moisture level is lower, then there is no practical way to extract the honey. Especially with this mechanism. You can still press beeswax frames to force extract honey. Another potential issue I see is that the force required to move the mechanism could be higher than the strength of the material: it will be broken.
I see this system more for hobbyists than for professionals.
I will wait until enough people will try it and provide feedback. Its too soon now to say anything good or bad.
Australian weather is a lot different from the Canadian one (temperature, length of the hot season, etc…). This system may not be usable in Canada.
My wife was just WWOOFing at a permaculture property in Victoria and the asked the owner his opinion on this. I was amazed to hear they got on Kickstarter hoping to raise $75k and pulled in over $4mm! They're apparently working through the backlog of people they owe product. The guy who owned the property my wife was at said he thinks people who think this will be a turn-key / no-maintenance solution will be in for a rude awakening since it could help immensely with the honey extraction but all the other aspects of bee keeping will still be there. He's waiting to see what people say once it's more commonly used before he buys it himself but that he thinks it's a very promising idea (albeit not the "push-button" system some people might take it to be).
"As a beekeeper with approximately thirty colonies at any one time, and as president emeritus of the Ontario-Finger Lakes Beekeepers Association, I’ve been almost overwhelmed by the Flow Hive™. Specifically, I’ve been tagged, e-mailed, shared with, tweeted at, shared with, tagged, tweeted at, shared with, tagged, shared with, and tweeted at to the point where I should feel grateful that so many people value my opinion on this topic, but all it really makes me want to do at this point is slap people just to make it stop.
"But that’s not really fair, because they don’t realize the extent to which every beekeeper with anything even approaching a public platform has been barraged by news of and questions about this interesting gimmick. (Did he just call it a gimmick? He totally just called it a gimmick!)"
When out to check the chickens this afternoon and discovered an epic honey raid in progress. I had left an empty hive set up with a variety of mixed and partial deep frames, perhaps 20 to 30 pounds of fermenting honey, and pretty much forgotten about it. Today dozens of yellow jackets and hundreds of honey bees are locked in a pitched battle all over the hive. I'll be very curious to see how much honey is being stripped from the hive.
I purchased one, it arrives next month.