I’m not a keeper of bees (though maybe someday would like to be). It requires so much attention and knowledge. Especially in this time of colony collapse, it’s a sacred task you need to do with all your heart and mind. A wonderful friend of mine who has tended for years to bee-hives remarked that now it’s a kind of scientific job, whereas in the past it was “wild-crafting.”
But I’ve been peripherally following the phenomenon Flow™ Hive, and feeling the enthusiasm and relating to the critiques alike. Flow™ Hive offers a plastic comb that can be turned from outside a box for the easy release of honey in a manner that does not seem to upset the bees.
Reading this article this morning — “Don’t Go With the Flow™, Go With the Wax” — however, my enthusiasm has vanished. This to me so far has been the most compelling argument against Flow™ Hive, something about the objectification of the comb– so many lessons I’ve learned from Feminist critiques of body representation should have alerted me to this as an ecological issue.
“One must realize that a hive and its honeybee population is essentially a superorganism, and that the wax comb that the bees build via extrusions from their body isn’t simply a widget that can be nonchalantly replaced, but is rather an essential part of the wholeness of the hive.”
This is just a quick post. Wanted to share this article. Read it.
and PS: My friend Sarah Nelson at Killer Pickles has written a multi-part article on the state of bees in the US, not just honeybees but native bees as well. May I recommend it? She’s very smart indeed. Here’s Part 1, and you can follow from there.
24 April 2015 Just read the following from Permaculture Magazine, a very balanced approach that places Flow Hive within conventional beekeeping, and objects to it only insomuch as he objects to conventional bee-keeping.