Two Australian inventors are changing the way honey is harvested and the world can’t get enough of it.
Father and son Stuart and Cedar Anderson spent a decade creating a revolutionary system that allows beekeepers to harvest honey on tap, without disturbing the hive.
After a decade of research and development, the Andersons launched their idea on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo today. Within two hours, they’d sold $830,000 worth of beehives. Their initial target was $70,000. Within three hours they’d sold more than $1 million of products.
The first 500 top-of-the-line beehives, costing $US600 ($A765), sold out within an hour. They’ve now released a further 1000 hives, along with a range of cheaper options.
The Andersons has some idea how how intense interest was when they posted a video of their invention on YouTube and it attracted nearly 1 million viewers within two days. This morning they had interest from 80,000 people before the launch, and were forced to switch from Kickstarter to Indiegogo as the crowdfunding platform at the last minute realising that they needed to cater for the US market, find an American manufacturer and charge in USD (which Kickstarter doesnt allow) to overcome exchange rate fluctuations.
The initial run of Flow honeycomb cells will be made in Brisbane.
The pair came up with the idea on the New South Wales north coast, near Byron Bay, wanting to find an easier way to extract honey than the time-consuming and elaborate current system of dismantling the hive.
It was a combination of bee stings through his protective suit and his distress at squashing bees as he put the hive back together that had Cedar thinking there had to be a better way.
“So my Dad and I set to work on a decade-long task of inventing the beekeepers dream,” he said.
His solution was to design plastic honeycomb frames that split in two with the turn of a handle, allowing the honey to drain down and out without opening the hive or disturbing the bees. It then locks back in place for the bees to reset with wax and refill. A perspex window into the hive allows you to see when the honeycomb is full and ready to be harvested.
“This really is a revolution. You can see into the hive, see when the honey is ready and take it away in such a gentle way,” Cedar said.
The Andersons have called the system Flow. Aside from being kinder on the colony, it saves hours of work and the strain required, as well as the mess, from traditional honey harvesting. It also promises to revolutionise the growing trend towards amateur beekeeping at home, who won’t need to suit up in protective equipment with smokers, extractors and the mess when they want to grab the honey.
For more details, visit their website.
And see below for how it all works: