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Everyday beekeeping stories from Flow customers
Co-inventor, Stuart Anderson's StoryOnce my kids could walk it... Stu Anderson. NSW AUS Read Full Story
Co-inventor, Stuart Anderson's Story
I’m the oldest of four brothers, we grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne and Canberra. I didn’t see ourselves as particularly wild but my uncle told me that he and my aunt would spend hours tidying away precious things, bracing themselves before us boys descended on their house.
My dad first got bees when I was about 13, he was being pestered by my younger brother who really wanted a beehive.
I remember the wonder of opening the hive, the chaos of busyness over the combs. It was a foriegn yet beautiful world and I sensed that what to me was random craziness was, in reality, very purposeful activity. Bees were but one of many varied interests for me and my brothers.
Luckily in those days there were fewer bee pests and diseases as we were pretty haphazard in our inspections. We did try to make our own ‘spinner’ of 5 gallon cans, bicycle parts and timber. Frames of precious comb were secured in the cans. I wound it up to speed using pedals as the crank.
You can guess what happened; with a lopsided crash the whole thing flew apart leaving honeycomb and bike bits sprayed around our garage.
Once my kids could walk it was time to introduce them to bees. My mother sewed netting onto hats for our veils and then it was gardening gloves secured with elastic bands around the wrist.
Sharing honeycomb that you have harvested together is one of those very special times for families.
- Stu Anderson
Byron Bay, Australia
Life just feels better with bees!I have been studying bees...
- Toni W., SA AUS Read Full Story
Life just feels better with bees!
I have been studying bees and beekeeping on and off for a year.
I was gifted a Hybrid Flow Hive for Christmas from my husband.
I opted to paint my hive as we are in the Adelaide Hills in quite an exposed site and personally I like the character and individuality it will give each colony.
I also made some Nucs from scratch on the off chance that my hive will swarm or I will find one and I will have nothing to house them in.
The day I got my bees my eyes were immediately opened up to my surroundings like never before.
I was searching for what was blooming, letting my weeds stay until the flowers had finished and am constantly searching for new flowering trees and plants to add to my orchard.
I am loving watching the bees fly in with their pollen sacs full and have even found Blue-banded bees and Cuckoo bees in my garden that I wasn’t even aware of before.
Life just feels better with bees!
- Toni W.
Forest Range, SA Australia
Precious memories rediscoveredAs a kid, one of my...
- Pattie A., NSW AUS Read Full Story
Precious memories rediscovered
As a kid, one of my precious memories was watching my Uncle extract honey from the hives in our backyard.
Straight from the hive to our little mouths, we would devour this liquid gold and laugh as we chewed on the honeycomb.
This fascination with bees has therefore always been with me, so I jumped at the chance to set up my own hive when I discovered the wonderful Honey Flow system.
The journey of becoming a beekeeper has been a captivating and rewarding one.
From learning to use the smoker to watching in wonder, bees alternating from one flight path to another when a new discovery of pollen has been made. Most satisfying has been learning how to successfully keep those little hive beetles and moths away from MY precious bees.
As for the Queen and her protective brood, well they are just simply mesmerising.
Watching her newly born babies acquire their navigational skills is fascinating.
So after our very first successful harvest recently, the end result is SEA BEEZ Honey. A sweet & smooth blend of native and Paperbark flavours from Umina Beach NSW.
The name comes from the street I live in, Sea Street.
- Pattie A.
Umina Beach, NSW AUS
My grandfather introduced me to beesMy experience with bees...
- Ian H., ACT AUS Read Full Story
My grandfather introduced me to bees
My experience with bees began with my grandfather, who was a coal miner in the NSW Hunter Valley.
He would take me with him into the bush, where he would observe bees coming from a water hole and follow them back to their hive, climbing trees to take the colony home with him (and frequently being stung in the process)….
In the 1970’s I completed a beekeeping course at technical college under the able direction of Bruce Ward and subsequently began actually keeping bees.
I accumulated a number of 10-frame hives. However, the pressure of professional life meant I gave the hives away.
Now in retirement, I was delighted last spring when a swarm hive settled in my back yard. My rationale was that I didn’t choose to resume bee-keeping; rather the bees had chosen me.
Previously I had seen a segment on television about the invention of the Flow Hive process and checked it out on the web. I opted for the hybrid package, partly because my wife loves honeycomb, and partly because I could use a small bit of my previously acquired equipment, the steam-heated comb knives, the Flow Hive had made unnecessary.
The Flow Hive process provides for caring beekeeping, with minimal trauma to bees and beekeeper. It eliminates the need for costly extractors, wax knives, embedding boards etc. In summary, I am delighted with my Flow Hive experience.
- Ian H.
Weston, ACT Australia
Beekeepers over honey producersI am a second generation...
- Jolaina H., AB Canada Read Full Story
Beekeepers over honey producers
I am a second generation beekeeper and grew up on a large scale certified organic commercial bee farm.
I spent every summer working in the extracting room with my dad and whoever we could get to help us out. Long days of hot, hard, back-breaking work!
We sold everything when I was in high school as it got to be too much work. I always missed the bees and knew I would run my own hives when I could.
That time finally came when my husband and I moved onto an acreage 4 years ago.
The goal of the new Bee operation was to make it as simple and seamless as possible for maximum enjoyment! And to first and foremost be beekeepers over honey producers!
But let me tell you the honey did flow! And with such a huge surplus of honey, I had to build my brand and markets!!
People have responded so well that I now sell out every year but am unable to run more hives as my dad and I cannot physically do it.
Until Flow Hive ?
This new technology fits in so perfectly with our vision. Not only is going to reduce the labour but be gentler on the bees and hopefully in a few years as we build up to run more hives!
My dad and I are so thrilled. We can't wait to see the difference it is going to make.
- Jolaina H.
Grande Prairie, AB Canada
"Bee Bob" a retirement home's BeemasterIn 2017, the operators of...
- Retirement Village, QLD AUS Read Full Story
"Bee Bob" a retirement home's Beemaster
In 2017, the operators of Ormiston Retirement Village, located in a beautiful natural bushland setting in the bayside suburb of Ormiston, purchased four Flow Hives for the residents to build, stain, decorate and take care of.
The residents took to the idea like Bees to a honeypot. Meetings around the Community garden and Men’s Shed followed.
Family members including grandchildren were involved in the design and artwork on the hives.
After the construction and setting up of the hives our residents at Ormiston Rise have embarked on a little venture to produce their own honey for sale within the village.
The Bees and hives have become quite a talking point amongst visitors and the neighbours as our Ormiston Rise 100% Pure Natural Honey is very well priced for sale. About 70kgs of honey has been produced so far and though production now slows over the winter months it will be all systems go when spring arrives.
One of our residents Bob has taken particular interest in this Bee project and is now known among friends and residents as “Bee Bob”.
Bob has taken on his role of Beemaster with great gusto. He has taken to the study of beekeeping by following the Flow Hive Facebook page which contains many hints and useful information for the amateur beekeeper. He has also completed some online study and the registering the hives with the Government to enable the produce and sale of the honey.
If you are planning on dropping into the village, make sure you check out the beehives and the honey display. Free sample upon request!
- Retirement Village
Ormiston, QLD Australia
Bees are part of our family nowWe have 100-acre block...
- Cathy T., NSW AUS Read Full Story
Bees are part of our family now
We have a natural healing business that we run from home and homeschool our three children.
We work on gaining self-sustainability wherever we can and having bees in our backyard was definitely part of the plan.
The Flow Hive has made that so easy and simple for us.
We feel like the bees are part of our family now. Alongside our beehive, we have 2 milking cows to provide our milk and we make our own cheese, grow our veggies and working on building up our fruit and nut trees over the coming years. :)
Thank you Flow Team for the amazing flow hive product. Ours was a Christmas Present to our family.
We put our colony in at the end of January and harvested our first honey 2 months later.
Thank you for being there for us when we needed advice about opening the frame to get the honey to flow.
- Cathy T.
Inverell, NSW Australia
Garden is thriving with the help of our beesWe started beekeeping...
- Kimberly D., Maryland USA Read Full Story
Garden is thriving with the help of our bees
We started beekeeping in May of this year, so a whole two months now. My husband Mark has been talking about beekeeping for YEARS.
We moved here two years ago, so last year was our first year gardening, growing our own vegetables.. he planted fifty to sixty fruit trees, and then we had – not a lot of pollinators! And... we were like, "well, it's time to look seriously into beekeeping".
Kids love honey, we need pollinators, so... let's see if we can make a go of this.
We're trying to do more of the organic gardening, and the general beekeeping practices of tearing the combs apart, in order for us to harvest the honey, seemed just very disruptive to them. So Flow definitely was our push to go actually into beekeeping. I don't know that we would have, otherwise.
Chasing little ones, and time and everything, are in short supply around here, so Flow Hive enables us to enjoy the bees, without the harm to them, and monopolising the time when we need to harvest.
I didn't quite buy into organic and all the different food movements. You know - it's all well and good, but we gotta be able to afford to feed our family, and, it seemed kinda like a luxury. As we've more grown our own, and then added the bees, it's like "No... it's not a luxury, it's a necessity".
Our zucchini are doing a lot better this year, with the bees... Mark needed to mow the lawn last week so that the garden looked presentable, and it's like, "...But the dandelions will be coming soon", so we gotta watch the yard and let it just go!
The kids love them, they'll wander up there barefooted, and so far only Mark and I have been stung... so... they keep begging to be the extra person that gets to suit up, and go up there and help us open the hive. Only our eldest has, so far. But they love em!
- Kimberly D.
Meyersville, Maryland USA
Love Kimberly's story? Watch her Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
Best invention since the iPodI quit beekeeping when I...
- Geoffrey M., VIC AUS Read Full Story
Best invention since the iPod
Fantastic product. The quality of materials, the ease of assembly, and the success of my bees in this hive has all been a source of joy.
I quit beekeeping when I lost my hive 10 years ago. The Flow Hive 2 in cedar was a birthday gift.
I enjoyed putting it all together, installing a nuc, and watching my colony prosper. Just 9 weeks from installation of the 6 frame nuc in the brood box and I'm now ready to harvest all 6 flow frames and have had to put on a third super to give them more room and work.
Awesome system. The girls obviously love it. The windows make it so fun to watch and show visitors and kids. Game changer. The number of new bee hobbyists taking up beekeeping thanks to this system might just save the bees.
- Geoffrey M.
Melbourne, VIC Australia
Bringing back Cornish Black BeesI have been a beekeeper for..
- Tony N. Cornwall, UK Read Full Story
Bringing back Cornish Black Bees
We have a restaurant in Polperro. I have been a beekeeper for about one and a half years now. We're in Cornwall, which is in the very southern part of the UK.
We're right in the centre of the village - we don't have a garden, but we have a rooftop. So, the only place we could put bees, obviously, is on our rooftop.
We got the Flow Hive - and then we thought, "Well hey! while we're doing this, why don't we do our native Cornish Black Bee, which has been struggling and needs to be reintroduced to Cornwall?"
So that is when we looked around to find somebody that could give us a nucleus of Cornish Black Bees. You know, we're doing our bit for nature really. As well, as a bit of a bonus, we'd have some honey left over.
The Cornish Black Bee is more tolerant to poor weather. They're more tolerant to Varroa. Cornish Black Bees are suited to Cornwall. We're famous here for our Cornish Mizzle mizzle, which is a mixture of mist and drizzle and my bees will go out and fly in that weather. So the whole idea is to bring back the Cornish Black Bee, and not import bees from overseas.
We do use the honey in the restaurant - we don't buy honey any more - so the only honey we have on the premises is our own honey and that's it.
Favourite part of the beekeeping is basically every day, just watching what they're doing. It is just amazing, every day there's something interesting going on.
And learning why they're doing it. I think you can spend your whole life just learning, and you won't know everything, coz it's different every day.
At the end of the day, you're only doing something good if you're breeding bees, coz we need bees. Simple as that really.
- Tony N.
Love Tony's story? Watch his Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
I still get excited the night before checking my beesMy Flow Hive is on a...
- Corey B., California USA Read Full Story
I still get excited the night before checking my bees
My Flow Hive is on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles.
I still get excited the night before I'm gonna check the bees – it feels like Christmas a little bit. Even though I've been doing this for years now, I still have this feeling of like "What's it gonna be like?! What am I going to see? What have they been up to?"
It's fun! I mean, I've always loved rooftops, and even like in college I would get in trouble for climbing up on top of university buildings... so this is an excuse to be on a rooftop, in LA, and downtown – you get to see this distance, you get a sense of where you are in relation to the mountains... and you can't quite see the ocean, but it gives you a sense of geography as well – it's great!
I got into the Flow Hives because I've been doing more traditional beekeeping for a while and every time I harvested I was killing a lot of bees. The type of harvesting I do involves walking back and forth between a bucket and the hive – and every time I would walk back and forth I would see more and more just poor bees stuck in their own honey, that I was stepping on, and that made me sad because it's not what I really got into this for.
A big resource for me is Michael Bush. He has a website that I just really like the way he treats everything.. and... it's interesting, it seems to be a "back off" approach, which I believe in too – I'm not checking my bees every week. I would say to all people who are slightly interested in it – just go for it... because that's what happened to me, I ended up leaping before I looked, and I really am grateful for that.
It's so cool that, I think bees work in a five or six-mile radius from their hive, and in downtown LA, to six miles out, is a crazy variety of flora – and just driving around LA, you see these meadows filled with wildflowers...
Yeah, I have people asking me, "what are they getting into?" And actually, there's so much around here, and the flavor of honey changes throughout the year. Every time you harvest it's different... different color.. urban beekeeping honey has this variety to it and depth that you continue to taste – ah, I love it!
- Corey B,
Los Angeles, California USA
Love Corey's story? Watch his Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
Happy Bees = Happy Peoples!We have had the Flow Hive..
- Sally M., NSW AUS Read Full Story
Happy Bees = Happy Peoples!
We have had the Flow Hive 2 and our bees for about 4 months now. My partner and I are both beginner beekeepers and this is our first hive.
It is so well designed and also beautiful to look at. It sits in our garden like a little temple and I love it - and our bees - so much. Our bees seem very happy and have been thriving from the start in their new home.
Yesterday we had our first harvest of honey!! OMG! It really was the easiest thing in the world. We harvested from just one of the flow frames for now because I want to leave plenty of honey for the bees. It took about 10mins to fill a 3-litre jar!
The thing I loved about it the most (apart from the thrill of having fresh honey directly from the hive!) was that we didn't have to disturb the bees at all.
The whole thing took about 30mins to set up to close up. During this time the bees hardly seemed to notice us. They just continued going about their business at the front of the hive. And minutes after we closed the flow frames back into position I saw bees getting into the cells and starting to refill them!
The other thing I really love about the Flow Hive 2 is the catcher tray in the bottom of the hive. We seem to have a lot of small hive beetles in our area and I fill the catcher tray with sunflower oil - as full as it can be without overflowing. This collects hive beetles as the bees herd them out of the hive and they fall through the slotted screen at the hive base and get stuck in the oil. This seems to be working well to keep the hive beetle numbers down to a manageable level for the bees, so the hive remains healthy... Since doing this I rarely see hive beetles in that area and I'm finding significantly less hive beetles in the oil in the base tray. I used to change the oil weekly, but now only fortnightly to 3 weekly seems sufficient.
I would like to commend Stuart and Cedar for their beautiful and wise design. They should be very proud of their groundbreaking achievement making beekeeping so accessible and inviting to a wide range of people.
Flow Hive has inspired me to venture into the world of beekeeping and I am so happy to be able to make a small contribution towards supporting healthy bees on our planet.
- Sally M.
Mullumbimby, NSW AUS
Changed my life!I love my Flow Hive and so..
- Kari E., NSW AUS Read Full Story
Changed my life!
I love my FlowHive and so does everyone who sees it!
It makes beekeeping so much easier.
My neighbour who has a traditional hive cannot believe how much calmer my bees are compared to his.
Happy bees! Happy life!
- Kari E.
Eden, NSW Australia
Best thing I’ve ever doneI purchased a Flow Hive 2...
- Jon D., Michigan USA Read Full Story
Best thing I’ve ever done
Best thing I’ve ever done.
I purchased a flow hive two in October last year, on Australia Day we harvested 12L of the best honey I have ever tasted.
The hive is so easy to maintain, and the bees look after themselves.
The flow hive really has made Bee-Keeping more accessible to the average person!
- Jon D.
Our grandkids love itWe bought it in September..
- Veronica M., QLD AUS Read Full Story
Our grandkids love it
Hi - absolutely love our Flow Hive!
We bought it in September and homed a four frame nuc in it. We put the super on a few days before Christmas, with no real thought of harvesting before March or April, but instead, we harvested four kilos of honey just two and a half weeks later - and that was only some of what was there!
We did take some advice and had the frames sprayed with wax prior to putting them in, and our busy bees were on the frames within hours, busily building them out.
Our Grandkids were totally fascinated and would go down and watch the bees with no fear at all - it is truly every bit as awesome as your videos make it out to be.
Can't wait to order more. :-)
- Veronica M.
Kobble Creek, QLD Australia
It's inspired my familyWhen I researched...
- Jason S., QLD AUS Read Full Story
It's inspired my family
Flow as an organisation are just fantastic.
When I researched becoming a beekeeper I spent hours looking into the best and cleanest way to be able to keep bees.
The flow hive stood out way above the rest and now having the Flow Hive 2 I could not be happier. With your helpful assistance, online chats, fantastic videos and ongoing guidance my bees are working hard filling the flow frames and I should be able to harvest some beautiful honey soon.
My family & friends enjoy being able to open the sides and back to view the bees hard at work.
We have had a Small Hive Beetle problem, but being able to utilise the bottom tray has worked a treat in ensuring they are now kept to a minimum of one or two.
I now have family and friends looking into keeping bees as well.
- Jason S.
Coorparoo, QLD Australia
The start of something beautifulWe've had the Flow Hive 2...
- Amy G., NSW AUS Read Full Story
The start of something beautiful
We've had the flow hive 2 up in the garden since early December. We had the bees dropped in just in time for Xmas.
They are just amazing to watch. And it's a great way to start the day with my 3 1/2-year-old...
We go out every morning and say hello to the bees and watch which direction they are going for the morning.
We'll be putting the Flow Super on top at the end of January and can't wait to watch the bees at work!
The hive is beautifully put together and whilst it took a little longer to assemble than first anticipated (my son wanted to get in and help) it was worth it and much more meaningful to have assembled and painted it ourselves than to have anything pre-made.
- Amy G.
Freshwater, NSW Australia
A great introduction to beekeepingI bought my first Flow Hive...
- Michael A., NSW AUS Read Full Story
A great introduction to beekeeping
I bought my first Flow Hive three years ago. It was such a wonderful way to start beekeeping.
I've become obsessed with beekeeping and I thank Stu and Cedar for coming up with such a brilliant product to kick start that obsession.
If you're on the fence and you're prepared to put in the time and effort to properly learn beekeeping, take the plunge now. You'll love it.
- Michael A.
Kurrajong Heights, NSW Australia
The Flow extraction process was so easyMy interest in honey goes...
- Graham H., Nova Scotia Canada Read Full Story
The Flow extraction process was so easy
My interest in honey goes back to my work as a microbiologist at the government Health Protection Agency in the UK.
I was the first in Europe to evaluate the antimicrobial effects of Manuka honey with Professor Molan from NZ. The results were staggering and I wish there was a central honey lab we could all send samples to and find out their antibacterial spectrum.
Moving to Nova Scotia, Canada gave me the opportunity to explore beekeeping myself but the traditional methods seemed so antiquated and daunting and not bee friendly at all.
The Flow Hive has been fantastic in letting people like myself get involved with the social life of bees…and get great honey.
I continue to experiment and am looking for the answer to varroa…someone will!
Thanks to the Flow team for their continued input and help for us beginners smooth out the learning curve. Getting my bees through a Nova Scotia winter was a great start.
Although we have very hot summers we can get to -15 Fahrenheit in winter, not often, but this year we had a week, almost zero snow, and late frosts.
My bees have survived, thrived, and I will be heading for a second harvest. The Flow extraction process was so easy, I cannot recommend enough.
- Graham H.
Nova Scotia, Canada
Something I've always said I'd doOne of the great things...
- Edward H., Kent UK Read Full Story
Something I've always said I'd do
I work in the pharmaceutical industry. One of the great things, since I went independent, is I've had a bit more flexibility to deal with the bees, so that was one of the things that allowed me to start doing something that I'd always said I'd do, but never got round to it.
So I was always aware of honey bees being under threat, and thought, "Well, it'd be nice to have my own" and, I have got a garden here, and yeah it would be good to help with pollination.
I started last year with a local beekeeping association and started the lessons every fortnight, and I ordered my Flow Hives, and then got hold of a couple of nuclei towards the end of the season, got them into the hives and fed them up for the winter - and that's really how I got started.
This year has been very good for the bees, and it's been very good for the garden, and certainly for the fruit. The apples, that were a bit sparse last year – this year I got a lot more apples, and the plums have been amazing.
It's all been a very good year for the garden and I'm sure the bees have had a part to play in it. They've certainly been very, very active. I think since I've started keeping bees, I'm more aware of the flowers and the garden, and you know, certainly the planting, particularly for the start and the end of the season.
And I think also, it makes you aware of the weather a lot more. I've always been interested in the natural world so it just added to that.
I've got an older brother who used to keep bees where I was originally brought up in Suffolk, and he had a couple, and he had a fairly low-tech approach to it, but I used to really like watching the bees go in and out, and I thought well, that's something I'd like to do.
It was always there in the background, but I think for me, it was sort of partly the question of how do I do it all, but also partly finding the time to do the lessons, because clearly, you have to know what you're doing and with the Flow Hives, it helped to make collection easier, but it doesn't remove the requirement to actually understand the bees.
I mean, the brood is exactly the same as any other system, so yeah, absolutely, you've got to know what you're doing.
When I started working for myself, it certainly allowed me to do a number of things that I had vaguely meant to do throughout my adult life and never got round to it.
Part of the work-life balance that one always wants. Yeah, I certainly feel it's one dimension of a much richer life.
- Edward H.
Hawkehurst, Kent UK
Love Edwards story? Watch his Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
I’m a founder!I got my first Flow during..
- Renee and Chris, North Carolina USA Read Full Story
I’m a founder!
These two frames of honey were taken from my second Flowhive. I decided not to wait till all the frames were filled as my wife and I were taking a trip and I wanted to share with my family and 4 sons.
The honey tasted awesome - sweet wildflower.
I got my first Flow during your initial offering - I’m a founder!
I found it strictly by accident – or more likely because of a little “universal shove”.
I always was interested in bees, and you all provided the “reason” to start.
Later when you ran a sale, my wife said…you probably should get another! Did I mention I love that girl??
The extraction process is a dream. It really is as simple as turning the key.
The bees don’t bother you and it is kind of mesmerizing watching the jars fill up!
I have 3 other traditional hives as I like to make lip balm and other products with the wax.
- Renee and Chris
Minnesott Beach, North Carolina USA
It's been 30 years...Hello Cedar and team I am...
- Simona B., SA AUS Read Full Story
It's been 30 years...
I am very new to beekeeping on my own.
It's been 30 years since I helped my father in law with his bees. I never knew the ropes myself, just working under instruction.
I got bits and bobs of info which I thought at the time was interesting. Now I am on my own having to learn it all.
This new Hive 2 is every bit as glamorous as it looks. It was easy to put it together thanks to very good instructions. I have transferred my bees from my Langstroth hive and they are happily buzzing around and are well settled in their new home. That means I haven't lost my queen in the process!
I am looking forward to seeing honey in the super. It is only early days. I have a lot of questions still like a new mother, but it is growing on me and the scared feeling of the beginner starts to change into pleasure.
Thank you for the support you offer and all the info provided on the website and on the phone. Excellent!!! Now, this I call customer service with a difference.
Thank you and bless you all at the Flow. Working for the girls.
- Simona B.
Strathalbyn, SA Australia
Beekeeping in bear countryWe've been here for...
- Vicky B., New Jersey USA Read Full Story
Beekeeping in bear country
We've been here for almost fifteen years, and we raise bees, and we raise coy fish, and rabbits, and chickens. I've always wanted to do good for the community, and I thought bringing bees into my backyard would make my neighbors happy.
We could pollinate plants, and they could be just another extension of our little backyard farm here. We LOVE to eat honey so... that was a big plus, having honey of my very own!
I just started, this season, I found out about the Flow Hive when you did the crowdfunding, and I ordered one right away, and I said, now I've got to get set to doing my research and find a local bee club to learn all about it so, I did!
I found the Suxxex County Bee Keepers Association, and I got two nucs from our local club members and installed them about mid-May, and it's been going strong ever since. And I have a mentor who only lives a few miles from here, and one who lives a few more miles from here, and I've already been to their houses, to see how they work their bees.
I took their beginners course in January, and it was a two full-day course that told us everything we needed to know to start beekeeping. We get hands-on, we see what's active and what problems there are in their hives, and we take that knowledge back to our hives and we learn. And I wouldn't know anything about American Foul Brood or Chalk Brood if I hadn't seen it first hand in their hives. So, it's all learning, and it's been great.
First thing that the club talks about, this is bear country up here in northern New Jersey, we get a lot of black bears wandering through our neighborhood, mostly, they've stayed on the other side of our wooden fence... but, they said, "Put up an electric fence! You will not be sorry." So, we are triply protected; we have our wooden fence around the property, we have our guard dogs, and we have our electric fence!
I don't pay attention to any negative anybody says, and I don't think there's any reason to be negative about it, it's something to try, something new, and I was excited about the whole process and about what Cedar and Stu were doing for the bees, and I'm so glad that it came here to America to get people excited about something like that – and I think it's gonna be a great adventure.
- Vicky B,
Oakridge, New Jersey USA
Love Vicky's story? Watch her Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
They have done great!One of the reasons I...
- Anita M. Alabama USA Read Full Story
They have done great!
One of the reasons I wanted to share with you is because here in my little Alabama town area, some of the beekeepers do not believe the flow hive would work.
I was so proud to prove them wrong!
My husband bought my Flow Hive and gave to me for Christmas last year.
I caught this swarm and decided to put in my Flow Hive earlier in the year...they have done great!
- Anita M.
5 Flow Hives and I could not be happierBee Heaven Honey Farm..
- Michael T. Wanneroo, WA AUS Read Full Story
5 Flow Hives and I could not be happier
A big thank you to all the Flow Hive team who have been so helpful since the very beginning.
Bee Heaven Honey Farm has now 5 Flow Hives and I could not be happier with them.
The combination of this incredible invention, the completely organic property and the planting of over a thousand flowering natives allow me to produce the very best local raw honey available.
Thank you guys!!!
- Michael T
Wanneroo, WA AUS
Bees and chickens are living together beautifullyI am new to beekeeping...
- Nadyne G. Burra, NSW AUS Read Full Story
Bees and chickens are living together beautifully
I am new to beekeeping and was excited to do my first inspection on the weekend.
I obtained a swarm from a local swarm catcher and they have been going really well.
There was a bit of cross comb that had to be taken out but apart from that the girls are building well.
Two of the frame guides had dropped down and that is what caused the cross comb.
I added the Queen excluder and super. There were lots of healthy grubs observed.
Really enjoying it all. We have our hive in Burra NSW.
The bees and chickens are living together beautifully.
- Nadyne G.
Burra, NSW Australia
A veterinarian passionate about farmingI am a veterinarian...
- Leonard T. Belgium Read Full Story
A veterinarian passionate about farming
I am a veterinarian, and I live in Belgium, but I grew up in the Southern Pacific... I am an amateur beekeeper for a year and a half since I bought the Flow Hive.
We have already done two harvests, and here we are doing the third one. We bought this property at auction, it is 1.5 hectares of bush, the idea was to depend mostly on nature, to harvest the wood, to use nature as a balance. We put sheep out to take care of the meadows, and goats to clear bush.
The hive was relevant because today, we are short on bees - the death rate is high.
Most of the time, bees are quiet, and they continue their work while we harvest the honey. The Flow harvest is a super simple harvest for everyone, but by no means does it replace learning how to do beekeeping.
In Belgium, in fact, before having hives, you have to complete training which helps to explain how the bee lives. Legally it's required - it's like an authorisation to have bees.
The biggest problem when managing bees in winter, is the management of Varroa, because that's the primary reason why a bee colony can die in winter.
The presence of bees in our home probably changed part of our view of the world, because like all forms of farming, when one is used to seeing things grow from a small one and then seeing it grow, and then finally we understand that we depend on them. That is to say - that it is a cycle.
Producing honey at home gives me the same feeling of satisfaction as to produce vegetables or eventually lambs. There is something very pure about it. It gives a relationship to nature that is completely different.
Myself, as a veterinarian passionate about farming, for me it's an important step for people of today because between cities and countrysides, people do not know where food comes from, or how it is produced etc. Producing your own honey is the first step.
- Leonard T.
Love Leonard's story? Watch his Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
I've begun a new hobby and involved my wifeMy bees are from a swarm..
- Scot., Florida USA Read Full Story
I've begun a new hobby and involved my wife
I live in Lakeland, Florida, USA. My bees are from a swarm I caught with my mentor back in October. My colony is European.
I've always grown up wanting to raise bees but traditionally there's a pretty involved process which I didn't want to put on my wife when I deploy.
I've always raised livestock so farming is in my blood.
Your hive system has allowed me to begin a new hobby and involve my wife.
My friends are enjoying this ride with me and even have asked for me to share pictures and videos of me tending to the bees.
One of my friends is currently purchasing land and will be buying a few Flow Hives to put on his own property.
As you can see I could probably go on and on about my experience and those that it is impacting but it would turn into rambling so I'll cut it short.
Lakeland, Florida USA
Neighborhood full of flowersI very much appreciate...
- Casey R., Oregon USA Read Full Story
Neighborhood full of flowers
I very much appreciate getting to be a part of the beekeeping community here in Oregon now!
I have a beautiful vegetable garden and live in a neighborhood full of flowers and gardens.
We grow and eat only organic food.
My dream is to visit Australia someday soon and see your amazing continent!
Blessings to you and your family. We thank you for caring for the bees and being the kind people you are.
The positive energy you put out is why we wanted to support your awesome business.
- Casey R
Less stress for me as a beginnerThis is my 1st bee house, I...
- Susan D., New York USA Read Full Story
Less stress for me as a beginner
This is my 1st bee house, I saw your co-posting on facebook 2 years ago.
I have been waiting ever since and I was so excited when I found they are now available in the US.
Since this is my 1st home, I felt your house would be less stress for me as a beginner and give me more time for studying and learning.
Unfortunately, when I received the house it did not look rural, this is where I got the burning idea of making it a 2-floor log cabin.
As of today the experience so far has been fun, now I am just waiting for a new bee family to relocate into the new home located in Upstate New York.
- Susan D.
Upstate New York, NY USA.
Giving guests an exceptional experienceThe hives we have here is...
- Andy F. Norway Read Full Story
Giving guests an exceptional experience
Today we are at Kleivstua. It's a hotel - a conference hotel... it's in Norway, 40km from Oslo, in the mountains.
The hives we have here is Honeyflow Hives (Flow Hives) and around two months ago we got the first bees in the hives. They are standing in a perfect spot, I think, and it's fluid honey we're making. That's one of the first in Norway when we bought it.
So we're making a lot of stuff ourselves. We have our own beer, we're making coffee, Akevitts, sausage, and now we have our own honey and we have the best hives to work with. In Norway, you have to get the local beekeepers to want to work with you, and you need to take a class where you learn everything about bees and how the hives are working. How you can feed the bees... you just learn everything.
In Norway, especially in Kleivstua, it can be up to 20 minus degrees, can come up to two, three-meter snow. We made a box, we're going to isolate them in the special heating box we just put over all winter through - probably to March, maybe also to May.
There's a lot of raspberries in the woods as well, and you also have the flowers right out here, so they have thousands of possibilities to find nectar and find the food they collect and a lot of water sources right outside here.
So I think they're living in paradise right here. So the plan is, next year we have our own honey for breakfast, using in the food.
We always wanted to be different like the others, so we are a special place, we have the wonderful views... so we still wanna just keep this line, like your own beer, own coffee, own Akkavit, own sausage, now our own honey.
We're going to use everything together, to serve to the guest and give them an exceptional experience.
Love Andy's story? Watch his Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
Beekeeping changed the way I live my lifeI've been a beekeeper for...
- Kathy B., California USA Read Full Story
Beekeeping changed the way I live my life
I've been a beekeeper for about six years. I got my first hive, they were Italian bees, and they were really gentle and sweet, and from then on I've been hooked.
In our back yard there's a lot of drought-resistant plants, a lot of flowering desert plants that the bees just love, so I like making sure that we try and keep it as close to a dessert pant we could have – it's amazingly green, considering! And I also have some citrus trees, which they also really like those blossoms, and that really helps. And I'm always trying to think of things I can plant that the bees will like, specifically, coz whatever they have in their yard, that's what the honey tastes like.
When the Flow Hive started coming out, I found it amazing because, the only thing that's difficult for me in beekeeping, I don't love the honey harvest. A lot of people do, but I don't really like it, coz I feel like it disturbs the bees a lot, they get very anxious and aggressive, and they're, you know, flying around – I feel like they don't like me pillaging their hive. So, when I heard about the Flow Hive, I'm like, oh my God, this is genius, because now I can get honey, but I don't have to disturb the bees doing it. I'm just a hobby beekeeper, I didn't need a big production, you know, to get a ton of honey, I just need enough for me and my friends. I really like being able to do that without disrupting the hive itself.
Some challenges to beekeeping – the biggest challenge to me is when they turn aggressive sometimes, and I have the suit on, so it's mostly a mental thing... I know I'm safe, but it is intimidating when you have bees pinging off you. I think the biggest challenge is overcoming that instinctive fear of basically bees in general. My main thing is like, I'm ok if like I'm feeling like "Ah – this is getting a little bit too intense!" you can just sort of walk away for a while, put a little more smoke in the hive, and just kinda exhale, "..okay everything's good..."
I think beekeeping changed the way I live my life because I think about it more in terms of the plants and the bees and animals integrating. Coz we have the chickens, you know basically fertilizing the yard, we have the bees who are fertilizing plants... being aware of that, I tend to gravitate more toward bee-friendly plants, and flowers that I know that they're gonna like... and.. the chickens like em all! So it doesn't matter...
- Kathy B.
Los Angeles, California USA
Love Kathy's story? Watch her Meet the Beekeeper episode here.
At the start I had a mentor – now I am a mentorI'm a software developer...
- Arjan de H., Netherlands Read Full Story
At the start I had a mentor – now I am a mentor
I'm a software developer. I own three Langstroth hives and two Spaarkasten (that's the Dutch standard).
I was looking for a location to store my hives. My neighbours didn't like the idea of me putting them in my backyard. Then I met another beekeeper, who told me you could store the hives on top of a building. So I asked all offices in the neigbourhood if I could store my hives on their roof, and the Dutch development bank just happened to be looking for a beekeeper that week – so they were quite surprised when they heard my request! It was the ideal spot to immediately store my hives.
Most of what I've learned about bees I've picked up on YouTube. There's an abundance of good videos on the topic. I've also completed a course with the association here in The Hague. At the start, I had a mentor – another beekeeper who could answer my questions. Now I'm a mentor myself – I assist someone else who wants to learn this skill. I enjoy that as well.
Becoming a beekeeper isn't actually that hard, you just need to find out if you're allergic first. Other than that, it's rather easy.
- Arjan de H.
The Hague, Netherlands
Love Arjan's story? Watch his Meet the Beekeeper episode.
My love and appreciation for honey bees continuesIn the year 2000...
- Fred D., Pennsylvania USA Read Full Story
My love and appreciation for honey bees continues
In the year 2000, I purchased rural property in the State of Pennsylvania, in the northeastern United States.
My wife and I designed and built our own home using a gas generator for power. The plot was a hay field and it is located on a dirt road in dairy farm country.
I've always loved nature and made certain that no pesticides etc would ever be used here. We also planted over 250 trees which now, 19 years later, look like a tiny forest. I'm a photographer and cinematographer and have always paid close attention to nature. In 2006/07 I heard some "buzz" about honey bee decline. I wandered over acres of dandelion dotted grasslands in search of honey bees. I panicked when I didn't see a single honey bee where there had been many in seasons past.
I wanted to do something and also learn more about honeybees. I contacted our Dept. of Agriculture and volunteered my photographic services to document apiary conditions in my State. I learned a lot in that process and one of our State Inspectors inspired me to "get my own beehives" and really learn about them through direct experience.
That's exactly what I did and in 2007 I started with four hives. I wanted sustainable survivor honey bees that didn't require treatment, and obtained those from Texas.
Fast forward to 2015 when I began to see promos about a new beekeeping system that was easier on the bees and was designed to reduce their stress levels and our exposure specifically during honey removal – the Flow Hive. When the Indiegogo campaign was launched, I purchased the 7 frame flow-super immediately! I wanted it to match my 10 frame equipment.
I counted the days until it arrived and in 2016 I had my flow-super together and in the beeyard! I was shunned by some established beekeepers and heartily welcomed by others. My apiary hums today, with several Flow Hives and my honey extraction equipment sits clean and idle on my honey-bench.
Today, I share about beekeeping and the Flow process at every opportunity – from the Edinboro University (AP Biology Club), the to Whole Foods Coop, to Public Schools and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center during Pollinator Week. I will not be going back to traditional extraction and my love and appreciation for honey bees continues.
Going forward, I've enrolled in the Master Beekeeper program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. I have an insatiable desire to know more about honey bees and could not be happier with the latest flow hive designs.
- Fred D.
I'm always learning new things about the beesI saw the Flow Hive in...
- Markus D., Dusseldorf Germany Read Full Story
I'm always learning new things about the bees
I saw the Flow Hive in the Kickstarter [Indiegogo] campaign, and back then I thought, "Yeah – that's exactly what I want!" The system is simple and so unique. One just has less intervention to the colony, to the bees, and it doesn't bother them as much. One collects honey much easier, you need less equipment – so it simply appealed to me very much. It's just exactly how I imagine environmentally conscious beekeeping and honey extraction. We got the Flow Hive.
Every time I come here [to the hive] it's a new moment, which is very fascinating for me. I keep seeing things, new stuff about the bees – I'm learning something new about the bees, and what the bees can achieve, or how they deal with nature, and it's just wonderful. Every time I come here there is something new and fantastic which I can experience and see. I never stop learning, always discovering something new. Whoever stops learning has only death coming up so it's just really important.
For anyone who thinks about starting to keep bees, it's the easiest – just do it! Many have far too many concerns that it would be too much work, or that you'd be afraid, it's just not like that. Just look for a club, and join the club, and then you just do it. And even if you find out for yourself, through the course or whatever that this isn't something for you, then just try supporting any local beekeeper.
- Markus D.
Enjoy Markus' story? Watch his and Julia's Meet the Beekeeper episode.
Excited to be on this journey with herMy daughter has been in...
- Lisa D., Colorado USA Read Full Story
Excited to be on this journey with her
My daughter has been in love with bees since she was 2.5.
For her sixth birthday last fall, we told her that if she could do the research and figure out what we needed and how to do it, she could have a beehive.
She's been researching beekeeping since last summer and prepared a presentation for us that detailed what she needed to get started and what she needed to do to take care of her bees.
We're looking forward to beginning this adventure with a Flow Hive.
We are very proud of her and excited to be on this journey with her.
- Lisa D.
A minimalist approach to beekeepingI grew up my entire life...
- Ryan T., Michigan USA Read Full Story
A minimalist approach to beekeeping
I grew up my entire life around bees. My Grandparents were very successful beekeepers in Northern Michigan (Stephens Apiaries) and raised 5 kids keeping bees.
As an Audio/Video contractor and business owner in the lower half of Michigan, I didn't feel I had the time, equipment or resources to start 'traditional' beekeeping. Once I saw the Flow Hive system I knew I had to try it – Flow felt like a nice minimalist approach for someone getting started or as a hobby.
I am now in my 2nd full season of beekeeping, starting last season with 2 Flow Hives and added two additional Flow Hive 2's this season. All four hives are very strong and I will be adding the Flow Supers to my new hives very soon.
Today I was able to harvest my first full Flow Frame from one of my 2nd year hives and I couldn't be more ecstatic of how easy the process was and best of all I did not have to disturb the bees in any way during the process.
Thank you to the entire Flow Hive team!
- Ryan T.
Love Ryan's story? Watch his full Facebook Live video with Cedar at Flow HQ.
Having bees encourages connection to foodSlow living movements...
- Marie B., NSW AUS Read Full Story
Having bees encourages connection to food
Slow living movements are trending with climate change prodding this focus, this live locally, create slowly, intentional kind of lifestyle. People are opting to pay more for quality and this #knowyourfood ideal, as part of a ‘vote with your money’ protest.
But what is at the heart of this trend? (Is it even a trend? It’s it just really just going back a few generations of lifestyle)... Self-sufficiency gives me a sense of purpose. It's about slowing down and getting connected with my food and my environment. Have you ever stopped to watch the bees? This micro cosmos society is a thriving system of efficiency and production.
Having bees as part of our self-sufficient homestead means that when kids (and some adults) come to visit we get to tell them about the process, we get to help them connect to their food. Having bee hives is one way to encourage this essential connection to food in our lives.
I think about this amazing web of interconnectedness around me with science finally catching up on the complex communication systems of the plant world...We know the healing properties of non-bastardised honey, we know this stuff is pure brilliance. Why wouldn’t you want to try to create it in your own backyard? Why wouldn’t you want to learn about these amazing creatures and their complex systems?
- Marie B.
Boorabee Park, NSW Australia