How does a beehive — yes, an actual beehive, that’s not the name of yet another San Francisco tech startup (or is it?) — raise $70,000 in 477 seconds? Apparently all you needed was a tap.
The Indiegogo campaign to bring the Flow Hive to honey enthusiasts around the world raised a whopping $12 million before it closed on April 19.
The concept comes from a family of bee harvesters, Cedar Anderson and his father Stuart. These inventors have been working on the hive for the better part of 10 years.
How the Hive Works
On the company’s campaign page they say, “Flow is the most significant innovation in beekeeping since 1852. Flow is a revolutionary beehive invention, allowing you to harvest honey without opening the hive and with minimal disturbance to the bees.”
Since Flow doesn’t disturb the bees, reports CNN Money, it’s “great for beginners — there’s no need to wear protective gear, smoke the bees to sleep or take apart the hive to harvest the honey. It’s all done by flipping a switch, which activates a mechanism inside the hive, and fresh honey pours out of the tap.”
Stirring Up Controversy
But as with many big advancements, traditionalists have popped up to argue the case for the old ways. Andrew Cote, founder of the New York City Beekeepers Association, explained that it’s not quite that simple. “One does need to do hive inspections, check for disease, check for virility of the queen, and make sure that things are going well in the hive,” he told CNN. Cote’s family has been beekeeping for generations, and he uses the traditional method that dates back 150 years.
Cedar Anderson responded by recommending that even though the Flow Hive can make the hobby more accessible, buyers should still “link up with local beekeeping groups to learn how to properly care for their bees.” A great place to start is through Bee Culture.
What’s Next for Flow
Now that the Flow team has raised its capital, the company’s focus is now on getting the company up and running as well as actually manufacturing and delivering the thousands of hives and frames campaign backers ordered. In case you’d like a Flow Hive of your very own, it sounds like they’re working on setting up an online store.
Your Turn: Can you believe how much money this crowdfunding campaign earned? Would you want one of these beehives?
Marian Schembari is a writer, blogger and community manager based in San Francisco.