The method used to collect honey from beehives has changed very little over the centuries, but this innovative invention from an Australian father and son team may be about to change that. And the good news is that this new method allows the honey to be collected without disturbing the bees – good news for both bees and beekeeper alike!
The Anderson family have been keeping bees for generations and when Cedar Anderson suggested to his father Stuart that he may have worked out a better way of collecting honey, Stuart was a little skeptical. After a decade of refining the idea however they now have a working prototype and are currently running a crowd funding campaign, which has already raised $2.7million against an initial $70,000 target.
Here is how the Anderson’s describe their prototype:
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 which resets the comb into the original position and allows the bees to chew the wax capping away, and fill it with honey again.
And here it is in action:
So basically, we end up with a tap which pours out honey on demand. Pretty neat huh?
As the current method of collecting honey is undoubtedly stressful to bees, it is no wonder that the world of science is buzzing about this new innovation. What do you think? (h/t IFL Science)