Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding sustainable living activities you can take part in. There’s nothing like putting your hands in the soil that will nurture the food that will later nurture your body. Gardening has often been referred to as a sort of meditation for many people.
Sustainable living buzz
When I see honey bees buzzing around my garden, I get a huge smile in my heart because I know my plants are being pollinated. Without bees, the act of gardening would be futile because your plants would never bear fruit. Sustainable living simply isn’t possible without bees.
Bees are dying off at a startling rate. In some areas, close to 40% of invertebrate pollinators are going extinct. That’s bad news for the food system. Crops that are pollinated provide the world’s vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and oils – all things we need as a species to survive. In fact, one of three bites of food that goes into your mouth is the direct result of pollination.
More and more evidence is pointing to neonicotinoids as the culprit for colony collapse disorder – where an entire colony of bees dies or simply disappears. This insecticide is used on large conventional farms to stop the spread of pests, but it’s stopping the bees too.
Is there hope for the bees?
So, what can we do to help? Beyond growing our own organic produce, we can also step up and keep bees on our property that can pollinate our neonicotinoid-free food.
For years, beekeeping has been a hobby that only few dare attempt. However, there’s a new way of beekeeping that’s making it much more accessible to the average person – the Flow™ Hive .
The inspiring story behind the Flow Hive
Founded by father-son inventing team Stuart (Stu) and Cedar Anderson, Flow™ is changing the way average people look at beekeeping. The initial idea was to design a hive that made it less stressful on the bees and less painful on the beekeeper during honey harvest, but the concept turned into much more along the journey.
It took the Andersons nearly a decade of toying with ideas, designs and prototypes before they were happy with their results. Even then, they refined the prototypes for several more months; then had other beekeepers test the designs.
The results were phenomenal – the frames worked. The Andersons knew they had something that would change the history of beekeeping, but they didn’t have the capital to go beyond getting patents.
So they decided to try crowdfunding to raise the $100,000 they thought they’d need to get molds made and start manufacturing the plastic parts of the frames. They started their campaign in February 2015 with a goal of $70,000, which was met within minutes of the campaign going live.
In a mere 15 minutes, they had raised $250,000 in pre-orders and continued to break crowdfunding records such as:
- The fastest to reach $1 million
- The fastest to reach $2 million
- The most successful campaign ever launched on Indiegogo
- The most successful crowdfunding campaign ever launched outside the US
- The sixth-most successful crowdfunding campaign of all time
The crowdfunding campaign was proof of concept. People wanted – and needed – the Flow Hive. People wanted to be part of the solution, and the Flow™ Hive gave them the opportunity to walk down that path. In all, 20,000 Flow Hive kits were ordered from 140 countries during the crowdfunding campaign.
A year later, all of those orders have been fulfilled as well as another 10,000 kits that have been ordered from the Flow website.
How does the Flow Hive work?
Now that all of the backorders have been filled and the rush of the crowdfunding campaign has settled a bit, the Andersons and their team can continue to be an advocate for bees, and for sustainable living .
“The commitment to raising awareness of how crucial bees are to human survival is real and unwavering, along with a broader message of sustainability, recognition of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth and the broader message of treading as lightly on the planet and with as much love and as little cruelty as we can.”
You can be part of this movement by keeping bees in your own backyard to pollinate your garden – all while giving you a truly local source of honey. Owning and operating a Flow™ Hive is quite simple, actually. Much simpler than the picture of beekeeping you likely have in your head.
When you order a Flow™ Hive , you get everything you need to get started – except for the bees. You’ll have to supply those yourself.
Once you get your bees all set up in your Flow™ Hive , you can sit back and let your honey bees do their work. The Flow™ frame includes partly formed honeycomb cells. The bees complete the honeycomb with their wax then fill the cells with honey. When that’s done, they cap off the cells.
All you have to do is sit back and wait for this process to be complete. Once the frame is full, you’re all set to harvest your delicious honey. The Flow Hive comes with a tool that you’ll insert into a slot and rotate. This process will split the cells, which creates channels for the honey to flow down.
Unlike traditional methods for harvesting honey, the bees are not disturbed and remain on the surface of the honeycomb. Even if a bee does happen to wind up in an empty cell, it won’t get injured because there is plenty of space between the comb walls.
Having a Flow™ Hive quite literally allows you to have your own humanely harvested honey on tap right in your very own backyard. This means less waste by virtue of the honey source being, well, right at your home. That’s sustainable living at its best!
Seeing is believing
It’s quite easy for you to read how easy it is to keep bees as part of your sustainable living plan with a Flow Hive, but seeing is believing. If pictures are worth a thousand words, videos must be worth a million. This video gives a great visual demonstration of exactly how the Flow™ Hive works.
Would keeping bees in your backyard with a Flow Hive support your sustainable living plans?
Feature image credit: Flow™