Category Archives: Pollinators

New Approach to Harvesting Honey

Via Colossal

We found this post on the Colossal blog about a new beehive design that lets you harvest the honey without pulling combs and disturbing the bees.  While this may not be the solution for commercial operations it could be just the thing for backyard beekeepers with just a couple hives.

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The Flow Hive is a new beehive invention that promises to eliminate the more laborious aspects of collecting honey from a beehive with a novel spigot system that taps into specially designed honeycomb frames. Invented over the last decade by father and son beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson, the system eliminates the traditional process of honey extraction where frames are removed from beehives, opened with hot knives, and loaded into a machine that uses centrifugal force to get the honey out. Here is how the Andersons explain their design:

The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells. The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual. When you turn the tool, a bit like a tap, the cells split vertically inside the comb forming channels allowing the honey to flow down to a sealed trough at the base of the frame and out of the hive while the bees are practically undisturbed on the comb surface.

When the honey has finished draining you turn the tap again in the upper slot resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.

It’s difficult to say how this might scale up for commercial operations, but for urban or backyard beekeeping it seems like a whole lot of fun. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine these on the roof of a restaurant where honey could be extracted daily, or for use by kids or others who might be more squeamish around live bees. You can see more on their website and over on Facebook.

UPDATE: The Flow Hive is currently seeking funding on IndieGogo. So far they’ve raised $1.8 million in 16 hours.

NEXT CLASS-Honeybees and Native Pollinators-Saturday June 14

bees on blossomSaturday, June 14, 2014
Honeybees & Native Pollinators: Free Class
Learn all about honeybees and native pollinators
Time: 10 am-12 pm
Instructor: Ken Bower
Location: Whole Food’s Community Room (St. Francis location)
RSVP to 505-983-9706 or email: homegrownnewmexico1@gmail.com

The pollination process is necessary for most of our important commercial food and nursery crops. The honeybee is the major pollinator for crops such as grapes, onions, cucurbits, almonds and fruit crops.  The honeybee is the insect most used to pollinate these crops, but New Mexico has over 500 species of wild bees other than honeybees as well as various other wild pollinators.

This class will provide an in-depth look at the pollination process and its relationship to all of the New Mexico pollinators. An emphasis will be placed on the identification and flowering schedules of the plants most visited by all of the pollinators.

Ken Bower has had a passion for growing plants and vegetables since his youth. Living in Santa Fe for the past 15 years, he and his wife created Eldorado Windy Farm. He completed the Master Gardener course in 2001, sells his lavender products and beeswax at the Eldorado Farmer’s Market and assists friends the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market.  Ken is also a beekeeper and active member of the Sangre de Cristo Beekeepers Association.  For the past couple years Ken has been actively recording the flowering schedules of plants to determine which pollens are most sought after by his bees. Suggested $10 donation or become a 2014 Member for $35 with $250 value and all free classes, potlucks and tour.