Humans have been tending bees for thousands of years and along the way we have learned many things about our wonderful, winged friends. Let’s put aside the volumes of discoveries we have made about how amazing these small creatures are, how integral they are to the survival of man, or how they manage to survive while the odds are ever increasingly stacked against them; and talk about how we currently house or honey bees.
Many cultures use many ways to “host” the honey bee. Ancient hives were found in hollow logs and then transported to hive structures made out of straw and clay. Honey comb has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and Israelite and Canaanite ruins. Skeps have been used for over 2000 years in Europe and Bee Gums in the United States until 20th Century. In 1852, Lorenzo Langstroth patented his hive design and that design has been the basis of what our modern day beekeepers most often use.
So when new technology comes along, we beekeepers have mixed emotions. I have found the best way to know if something works or not is to experiment. Currently, one of the most talk about hive technologies has been the Flow Hive from Australia. Many of our new beekeepers are interested in this hive design, so we contacted the lovely Flow Hive people down under and began a partnership to test how their invention holds up in the wilds of North America, specifically Deer Park, Washington!!
We received our Flow Hive test subject this Spring and the Association went to work assembling the unit. Lead by Vaughn Hochhalter, our members had the hive equipment ready for it’s new host colony in no time!
Once assembled, the Flow Hive was taken to the Region 9 Mead Fire District’s Demo Day and many people where interested in this new way to house honey bees.
We are still in the infant stages of our Flow Hive experiment, but as time goes on and we learn more, we will be posting our findings. If you are interested in learning more about the Flow Hive, how to purchase a Flow Hive or the people who invented it, please feel free to contact the Backyard Beekeepers Association @ firstname.lastname@example.org.