Australian beekeepers now have honey on tap

Australian beekeeping father and son have spent a decade inventing every beekeepers dream: a device that enables them to harvest honey on tap.

From the Series

Australian father and son Stuart and Cedar Anderson have been beekeepers for generations. Together, they have spent the last decade developing a design that would enable beekeepers to harvest the honey straight from the hive with minimal effort and minimal disturbance to the bees. After 10 years of development and three years of prototyping, their final product – the Flow Hive – is finally on sale. Their unique Flow Frames allow beekeepers to drain the honey from the honeycomb straight into jars through a tap.

Traditionally, honey harvesting is quite an ordeal for the beekeeper and the hive. It involves smokers and bee suits, dismantling and opening the hive, brushing off the angry bees and separating the honey from the wax honeycombs. The flow hive, however, means no mess, no fuss and no expensive processing equipment. Plus, the honey extraction causes very little disturbance or stress for the bees in the hive.

Flow Frames are made using a patented split-cell design. The partially-formed cells are completed by the bees out of wax, and then filled with honey. When the frame is full (the beekeeper can check by looking through the frames' transparent ends) the cells are split to create channels inside the comb, which allows the honey to flow out of the hive without disturbing the bees on the surface of the comb. The comb is then reset into the original position, and the bees can fill it with honey again.

Commercial beekeepers are able to harvest more honey than ever in a radically simple way. Beekeepers will still need to take the hive apart to provide care and maintenance to the hive. 

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