With over a week of fundraising time left, a new beekeeping technology called the “Flow Hive” is already the most successful Indiegogo campaign in history—surpassing its $70,000 goal to garner a remarkable $9,353,856 and counting. Australian father-and-son team of Stuart and Cedar Anderson have earned 13,363% of their original goal thanks to over 25,000 donations for an idea that’s sweet and simple: honey on tap.
At first glance, the Flow Hive looks sort of like a tall wooden doghouse with a tap at the front. It’s been a decade in the making for the Andersons, who thought there must be a better way to harvest honey without disturbing the bees and going through the painstaking process of extracting the combs. The basic idea rests in a new technology called the “Flow Frame,” which has incomplete combs designed for the bees to finish with their wax and then fill with the goods. The frames are clear at the end, allowing for a beekeeper to see when they’re reading for reaping. At that point, a turn of a handle opens up the combs and creates a channel for the sweet stuff to flow out. Turn it back, and the combs are reset. You’re left with pure, unprocessed honey.
In the age of the homegrown, DIY, farm-to-table aesthetic, it makes sense that the Flow Hive has people buzzing. For $600, a backer can be one of the first to own a “Complete Full Flow Hive” (bees not included). Along with its hordes of supporters, the project has raised some questions along the way from apiary experts and beekeepers who worry that the Flow Hive detrimentally separates the beekeeper from the bees, oversimplifies beekeeping or disrupts the important bee communication system—essentially that it’s result-driven, which might not be the best thing for the insects.
Time will tell, but with a groundswell of support to the tune of over $9 million, it seems the world will be seeing a lot more from the Flow Hive enterprise, which is good news for honey fans.