This Author Bought a Flow Hive: What Happened Next Will Amaze You!

Have you guys seen that Flow Hive thing? The cool-looking beehive where you just turn the spigot and honey comes out?


I saw it, and it looked cool, and so I thought to myself that it might be cool to have a hive of bees. My own honey. Plus I get to support a cool innovation. SCIENCE!

And so I jumped on it. Why the fuck not, right? I have some disposable income. Plus, wouldn’t that be a fun project to do with Oot? Look at bees? Learn about the natural world? Father-son bonding?

Also, (I continued to think to myself) when I finally get around to building my house in the country, the house I dream about that’s half sybaritic pleasure dome, half Winchester Mansion, and half apocalypse bunker, it would be nice to have a hive of bees there, too. Because after civilization collapses, I would still have honey. Magical easy-to-access innovation honey.

What’s more, I could also give this hive it away as a gift to someone who would actually use it and enjoy it. Then they could give me some honey. That was really the most realistic scenario here. After I bought this, it would make a fun present after I came to grips with the fact that I was never going to ever fucking keep a hive of bees.

So I bought one. It’s so easy these days. Watched a video. Got excited. Clicked. It showed up at my house. 

Not only did I buy it, but I felt *good* buying it. I was supporting innovation with my money. I was rewarding someone for moving forward arcane technology that had been stagnating for ages. Good for them. And good for me, too. We were working together to make a better place.

Right now it’s actually sitting on my porch, and has been for a couple days.


Part of the reason it’s still sitting there is that I’m super lazy. But the other reason is that I stumbled onto this article on facebook a while back:

My Thoughts on the Flow Hive™

It’s a really good read, even if you don’t care much about beehives. It’s a great example of someone calmly, rationally, dismantling someone else’s bullshit. It’s a great read, and I wish I’d done my due diligence and read it *before* ordering my hive.

So. That’s the end result. I now have a beehive that not only will I not use, but I don’t even feel good about giving away as a gift. I could sell it to someone to re-coup some of my money, but honestly, from what I’ve learned in that article it looks like using could lead to bad shit in terms of the local bee ecosystem.

Why tell this story? I dunno. Maybe so you don’t buy a flow hive. Or maybe to balance the scales a little bit in terms of the stories I tell. Usually when I write a blog, I’m talking about a convention I went to. Someone cool, I met. A fun story.

So this is a story of me just being regular dumb and impulsive. Take it for what it’s worth.



This entry was posted in day in the life, my dumbness, Science, small adventures. By Pat77 Responses


  1. MRK
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 1:37 AM | Permalink

    Thank you! You posted years ago (can’t find it now) about not having any good stories to tell and generally feeling kind of down; specifically sharing that your life isn’t all excitement and rays of sunshine.

    This post made me relax in the same way, kind of like a booster shot of A Slow Regard of Silent Things. It’s nice to be reminded that people I really admire are still human, just like me. So thanks :)

    • Posted September 14, 2016 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

      100% pure human here. Maybe more than that, as I’ve been putting on weight lately….

  2. arachnid
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

    Caveat Emptor is a valuable lesson. Less than a week ago I was telling someone about this “cool beekeeping innovation” and showing them the flowhive; thanks to this I’ll now tell people to stay away.

  3. Sandhya
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    And yet, I still love you.

  4. vaydaangel
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    I can’t believe you had a chance to say “beecosystem” and you didn’t take it!

    • Posted September 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

      Now that you point it out, it does seem like a huge missed opportunity….

  5. AllisonR
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    Well I bought a Flow after doing my due diligence and seeing that the hype was not coming from the inventor, but from the press. I went on the Flow forums and learned from beekeepers who were explaining that the Flow is only a way of harvesting honey, and all the rest was the same as beekeeping.
    I love my bee colony – have been able to teach my nephews about bees – and this year I will be able to make mead directly from my own honey rather than buying from another local supplier.

    There’s nothing weird really about the Flow, beekeepers have been using plastic for decades and EVERYTHING about beekeeping is unnatural unless you are chopping honey out of trees or knocking them off cliffs. Each to their own, but every issue that was raised before Flow was released has been shown to be hype of its own. (oh and the argument about people not knowing anything about bees getting bees…yeah everyone starts out with no knowledge, something old beekeepers forget ;))

    • Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

      Agreed. Give it a try Pat. Also, I know a guy that you should talk to about this. Also also, at this point I’d wait till next spring to start it. As winter is coming.

  6. hobbs
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    I started keeping bees this spring. Have two colonies….then went out and bought lumber and built two more hives. My five year old loves it. It was all great until the dog stuck his nose into the entrance yestrday. I’m not sure how many time’s he got stung but he did run around the yard foaming at the mouth. Then sat at the back door and wouldn’t come near me until I was away from the hive’s. Further I have read both pro and con of flow hives. They seem to be fine as long as you check your bees regularly. I was going to try one next year. Enjoy pat and thanks for being human. We, your readers appreciate it.

  7. defytheworld
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    I’m hesitant to place one in my backyard. Since I live in New York, people here may be using all sorts of pesticides. I’d probably be endangering bees or eating heavy metal with my honey. Any thoughts?

    • kekluth
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

      Find out if you have a local beekeeping association to talk to. Urban hives are a thing, but you might be more prone to local laws regarding the legality of keeping a hive.

  8. Lemnos66
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Con te partido.

  9. Knightrous
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    When I saw the link to this on Facebook, I thought, “Uh-oh, someone’s going to get a lecture!” glad that you’d already found out the problem with this system, though sadly it was after you’d bought it.

    A woman in my office has started keeping bees, so when I saw a story about the fundraiser for this I sent the link to her. Wow, did I learn how wrong I was!

    One thing she made abundantly clear to me, she isn’t keeping bees to harvest the honey. At all. No, she’s doing her bit to help with bee colony die-off, to that end, she sees harvesting honey as weakening of the colonies. Whilst we love the sweetness of honey, the natural antibacterial properties it has, by harvesting honey we’re denying bees of their natural food and that protection afforded by it, something which sugar-water just doesn’t replace as the alternative that we give them.

    So, yeah, Flow Hive bad.

  10. ayers.bpa
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    I’m a (relatively novice) beekeeper, but I have 5 hives. I agree that’s it’s gimmicky, but don’t see anything inherently dangerous about using them as long as you realize that it doesn’t change anything about how you should manage your hives. If you’re still interested in keeping bees, I think you should do it, with or without the flow frames, especially if you bought a whole hive.

    Also, I built a top bar hive last year that I’m really enjoying. Easier for me to manage without the stacked langstroth boxes, and fun to watch the natural comb being built through the window. What’s more, I’m willing to bet that it’s an adaptation of the kind of hive that Heifer international distributes and teaches, as it was designed as a low cost method for developing countries. Google it.

    • Posted September 16, 2016 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

      I’m a new beekeeper, with a top bar hive. I installed a swarm of (some rather grouchy) bees in March and they’ve been going like gangbusters ever since. The only thing I’ve done for them beyond providing them a dry home (in multiple layers – I am a huge advocate for keeping your hive under a roof, sort of a bee hut) is to suit up and go in there to move the backer board all the way over, giving them the run of the 4 foot long hive after they were well established. No pesticides, no miticides, just standing back. I live in Portland, Oregon, so the wet and damp are their main enemies, although we do get ice and snow sometimes as well.

      Next spring I plan to suit up and steal some honey, but I’m going to let them use their own stores to get through the winter. Like the woman referenced above, I’m not in it for the honey, or at least not primarily. I’m a little bummed my bees are so tetchy (I’ve been stung a few times, including just for being too close to their hive, which seems uncharitable) but I think their super strong drive is what made the original colony ready to swarm so early in the year. Very hard workers. I’ve learned not to wear headphones when gardening near the hive. They do warn you before they send in a kamikaze.

  11. oaktreemama
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    oh Lordy. great story, Pat. when you’re ready to truly embrace the beekeeping lifestyle (imagine the possibilities of wondering around town in a beekeeper suit), be sure to look up Buzz Vahradian. he has facilitated some workshops at Farmshed and is a great guy. plus, the name.

    • Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

      That is the best of all possible names. Especially for a beekeeper.

  12. ChrisStenger
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    No need to add caveats to this stuff, Pat. I like you, and I like to read the stuff you’re thinking about. I’m pretty sure we’re here more for that, than for the stuff about your silly (but wonderful) books.

  13. UrsulaK
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    Doesn’t Neil Gaiman keep bees? I bet he could give you good advice. (I imagine there is a Super Writer Telephone network where you ring each other directly.)

    • pacifist
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

      Best Seller’s hotline

      • UrsulaK
        Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

        3am phone call:

        Pat: Hey Neil, can I get your input on this scene I’m writing?
        Neil: Sure, I’d be happy to h…
        George: KILL THEM ALL

  14. Rob C.
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat. When you are ready I can help you convert that “gimmick” into a real hive. It won’t be as pretty but it can still make honey the right way. Beekeeping is a daily, ok more like weekly, adventure of terror. Nothing says exciting like a cloud of angry bees buzzing around you knowing that one of those little buggers WILL find a way inside your suit. My new suit keeps them out (ask me about the advantages of not skimping on a cheap bee suit!) but now they lie in wait for the suit to come off. Even luckier for me, I am mildly allergic so while I won’t go into anaphylactic shock, I do swell up nicely and itch like crazy for days. All for the joy of a small amount of sweet, sweet metha—, err, honey at the end of it. Ahhhh good times!

  15. khil1
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    How about you just forget about that whole Kvothe guy’s book* and just write the “Stupid and wonderful life of Pat” stories like this are awesome, thank you! I appreciate you passing on the knowledge.

    *maybe don’t actually

  16. kekluth
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    Hi, Pat! Beekeeping is such a great hobby. The bees themselves are fascinating, and they’re worth having just for the environmental benefit. I could see young children loving a hive. Extracting honey is great, but not necessary if you don’t want to have to do a lot of managing of the hive. :) Continue researching and look into a regular Langstroth hive.

  17. Alphonse
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    One of my favorite blog entries so far :
    A strong, interesting case from Pat Feivald.
    A good, interesting story from Pat Rothfuss.
    Pat combo \o/

  18. PHXDale
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    I started hauling bees commercially about 20 years ago. I’ve hauled billions of our buzzing buddies from the almond orchards of southern California, the apple farms of Washington State, clover fields across Texas, bee summer homes in Nebraska, the Dakotas, Minnesota and all the way down into the sweet citrus yards of Georgia and Florida. I met some wonderful people over the years in the beekeeping community, and thought I’d enjoy having a few hives of my own. In spite of all the knowledge I’d gained hauling bees, I’m still a sucker for innovation, and like yourself got suckered into the slick marketing presentation of the flow hives – until a savvy beekeeper warned me of their shortcomings and pitfalls. I didn’t buy a hive, still haven’t, but I can offer you a small consolation prize. In every load I hauled, a few stragglers always made their way into the cab of the truck – hazard of the job. Those that did enjoyed listening to “The Name of the Wind” and “Wise Man’s Fear” repeatedly as we trekked across the nation. So know this as you spread honey across your biscuit this morning: some of those little buzzers who add to your caloric intake were no doubt influenced by Kvothe and his travails, and if you close your eyes, you’ll no doubt taste the Sympathy seeping through the sweetness.

  19. Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    Thank you Pat. Just…thank you.

    I had a very rewarding 9-month internship at Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in Virginia, studying under the pioneer of natural beekeeping (here in America), Gunther Hauk. Spending time with this man, his family and his bees changed my life in so many ways. People come from all over the world to study with him, to learn how to cultivate a truly intimate, supportive and healing relationship with the bees. Check him out:

  20. gratehouse5
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, Texas beekeeper and Flow Hive owner here. I’ll agree that the hype surrounding the Flow system was a little misleading about the simplicity, but getting into the literature on the website and in the boxes, they Flow guys are pretty clear that any new beeks should learn everything they can about beekeeping. These guys aren’t just selling a gimmick, the product works, you just have to have an established system to get the most out of it–it isn’t plug-n-play by any means. My wife and I took classes with a knowledgable and prosperous beekeeper and quickly determined that the flow hive would have to wait until we’d established a working system with healthy hives and excess honey supply. The tone of this article needs to be taken with a grain of salt–it’s hyper cynical and unnecessarily critical of a new technology that does work. New tech is always met with cynicism by followers of the old ways. The author is partially correct in his assessment, that there are practices that cannot and should not be neglected, but once you’re educated, the flow system is a neat and different way to engage in the honey harvesting process–especially for kids because they can see what’s happening without needing a suit and a large centrifuge and knives. It by no means replaces the required effort and practice of beekeeping but it can help foster a sense of wonder and interest in a practice that so badly needs new people to learn and perpetuate. My advice is open the boxes, set it up, delight in it a bit, then find a class with a local apiarist and learn real beekeeping. You’ll eventually get to add the flow hive into your system and then delight some more in the investment.

  21. Posted September 14, 2016 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    I think you need to be in politics. Imagine if all politicians owned their mistakes… What a beautiful world they would make.

  22. bobholderman
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Pat, please don’t give up yet.

    Firstly, The Flow hive is just for the honey super. If you ordered a brood box to go with it, should be the same as a standard langstroth hive. This is where the queen hangs out at where brood hatches. Nothing special going on. Use wax foundation if you like.

    Secondly, the FLOW hive is made to fit the langstroth standard. You can order regular frames and just run a couple flow frames for ease of use. Run them all, or none of them, it’s entirely up to you.
    At the end of the day, bees are going to do what they do. And when it comes down to it, all a beekeeper is REALLY doing is giving them a place to be productive. Either way you are doing a good thing because…

    Everybody knows bees are important, but everyone benefits from beekeeping, not just the beekeeper.
    If you decide you want to keep bees, the mechanism used really becomes irrelevant. If the bees are kept warm and disease free, you are helping everyone for about a 2 mile radius. It’s already a net positive, even IF Flow supers shorten the lifespan of your bees.

    So please don’t just give up on the flow hive because of one article. Find out yourself. If I may offer some advice… Get two hives, compare and contrast.

    Obvious things you probably already know.
    Allergies are a thing, take appropriate precautions.
    Smokers are a thing, practice lighting it and have a safe space to extinguish it.
    You are going to get stung.

  23. annabear
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    You should still try beekeeping! Just because you have a flow hive doesn’t mean you have to use the flow hive features. Just put some bees in the box and let them have at it. The bees will know what to do:)

  24. Posted September 14, 2016 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat
    I hope you aren’t put off keeping bees. The flow hive isn’t necessarily the hands-off option it is sold as but provided you do proper inspections etc there’s no reason why you (r a friend) couldn’t use it.

    Beekeeping is absolutely fascinating as well as helping maintain bees and pollination. You don’t (local laws permitting) need a huge amount of space.

    Definitely worth your checking whether there is a local beekeepers group so you could get a bit of experience and so you have a mentor to help out when you need advice. (or moral support!)

    I’m a little envious. I finally got my own hive and bees this spring, after having wanted them for years, but I am having to give up as I have developed a severe allergy to bee stings, and decided that one trip to the hospital with anaphylactic shock was enough!

  25. RainMonster
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    It looks like it could be converted into a pet bed, toy storage, or puppet theatre. Maybe not very easily, and I don’t know what you’d do with the frames, but the structure itself is attractive.

    • Posted September 14, 2016 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

      I like the way you think.

    • toastslayer
      Posted September 21, 2016 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

      Came here to post something similar. Maybe a bird house. Puppet theatre is brilliant!

      And Pat, thanks for introducing me to the word “sybaritic”. I’m going to have to work this into a conversation today.

  26. terriblesecret
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing.

    I also saw the flow hive and thought it might make beekeeping a fun, low effort hobby to engage in.

    Perhaps I will try a backyard chicken coop instead. I eat more eggs than honey and chickens will mostly fend for themselves if they have food, water and shelter.

    • ayers.bpa
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

      I keep bees and chickens, chickens being the more useful of the two, but I would mention that beekeeping has been a fun, low effort hobby since long before the flow hive came around! So don’t write it off too soon.

    • Posted September 16, 2016 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

      If you want a low effort beekeeping experience, look into top bar hives. YMMV, but my bees (not purchased, but collected from the yard of a fellow top bar beekeeper) haven’t required much of my time at all. I know I’m not a “real” beekeeper in many people’s minds, because I’m not suiting up and puffing smoke and inspecting everything regularly, but my bees are doing great, they are filling up my four foot long hive with brood and honey. I don’t plan on any treatments, if these bees die, I will get back on the swarm list and try again. I think of it as natural selection – I’m sheltering disease resistant bees.

      All that said, I had chickens before I had bees and chickens give you more. They also don’t sting.

  27. Posted September 14, 2016 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    Even with a normal hive beekeeping is pretty low key – you mostly only need to check on the bees about once a week even in the summer.

  28. grat
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    Ok I laughed out loud several times while reading this. Bees aren’t my favorite creatures of late. I was working outside, had a glass of beer sitting on a table. Several minutes pass. Took a swig without looking… honey bee, swimming in my beer! Stung the end of my tongue! Great waste of beer spitting it all over my deck. I even had to pull the stinger out. Not recommended. You are wise not wanting these creatures around you Pat. (Token validation there if you didn’t catch that) They’ll make your tongue go numb for days!

  29. Keith
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    Take a few frames out, cover up that window, install it in a tree – instant bat house!

  30. Karissima
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    The title though ^_^

  31. Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    Jeez, Pat, you just bought the greatest TAK box ever.


  32. kristerj
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    Everybody has this purchase (or 2..or 3…or 10) socked away in the basement somewhere. I applaud your courage in sharing yours. Mine was a baby synthesizer. ‘merica!

    • kristerj
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

      Clarification: that is a synthesizer that is small. A baby synthesizer is something else. Those are dark forces I don’t recommend playing with.


      • MRK
        Posted September 16, 2016 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

        LOL! I was wondering about that…

  33. gweber
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Patrick, it was just ordered and delivered, and I assume it remains unopened. Is returning it not an option?

  34. colinthom89
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    Whenever I peek under the lid, things aren’t what they seem. For example, the glasses to make colorblind people see colors. Looked into this and it’s complete BS, doesn’t stop the hype though (millions of view and 99% thumbs up on youtube:

    • arachnid
      Posted September 16, 2016 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

      What makes you think they’re BS? As a dichromat myself, I’ve considered them.

    • mrflibbles
      Posted September 17, 2016 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

      I am colorblind(deutan) and was just recently gifted a pair of Enchroma glasses this past July. I can say that they are not BS. I have the lowest strength version(the indoor lenses) of the filter with a very mild prescription as well. I work in my county 911 center and have several monitors for EMS/Police/Fire units that are displayed with different colors for their status(responding, on scene, available). When they are dispatched they show as pink but I always see it as grey. I have been told it is pink but I can not distinguish this to my colorblindness(as well as confusing blue/purple and green/brown a lot). With the glasses on(after using them for about a week or two first) I can clearly see the pink now which I never could before. My color perception has also improved drastically while wearing them pointing out distinctly things I perceived as brown that are actually green.

      I will say that your mileage may vary depending on your severity of colorblindness and type. Also which type of lense you get can make a difference. They do not work for everyone, but I am quite pleased with them and see things in a brand new light…or color.

  35. christie
    Posted September 16, 2016 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

    A suggestion…in the spirit of limiting the spread of the hype of this item, consider including your conclusions early in the blog. Although it’s a spoiler alert of the blog, the hype of the photo and the novelty this item on twitter draws more interest and attention than the sharing of the potential drawbacks. I had never heard of or seen this item and I happened to have the time to read the full article and your entire blog in one sitting. I knew the bee situation was a challenge but I had no idea how little I knew until I read the article. Ignorance may have been blitz, but I’m glad to know and I can make informed decisions now.

    Not trying to make it worse on you. Thank you for sharing information, in my opinion that made a human moment into a bettering the world moment. Bravo.

    • christie
      Posted September 16, 2016 at 3:57 AM | Permalink

      I see the “contains shame” now.

      What a strange sententence I just wrote.

      Have an amazing weekend!

  36. granpa_jo
    Posted September 16, 2016 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never met you Patrick Rothfuss, but from the times I have watched you play DnD with Acquisitions Incorporated, and various other venues, as well as some things I have seen about you in interviews and what not, I am forced to conclude that one of the most viable reasons for you wanting to keep bees is to create some kind of vast bee army with which you can dominate your lands. I hope I have not struck too closely to your secret plans of doom, but if I have, I accept my bee related fate. Know though, I will not go without a fight.

  37. feelingfuchsia
    Posted September 16, 2016 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    It could still be a learning experience with Oot. Explain to him why it’s not a good thing, and why it often doesn’t pay to take shortcuts.

  38. slowhiker
    Posted September 16, 2016 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    Don’t give up on the idea of having a beehive Patrick. This I can tell you for sure, there is nothing in the world like being in an apiary when the world is right and the bees are happy. In the spring when the honey flow is on, I can walk into my bee yard and smell the new wax being made, the nectar being fanned, and the steady hum of the hives. The nectar falls like rain off the comb and the bees are gentle (Sympathy Personified). Since the beginning of recorded history mankind has had a relationship with this insect. It’s something very special for those with an open mind and willing to learn.

  39. maxbini
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

    That photo of the Flow Hive just reminds me of Catch 22 – the bit where the patients get freaked out when they see the nurse come in and switch the bottles around on the guy in the head to toe cast (empty IV bottle gets exchanged with full urine bottle).

  40. J2Haas
    Posted September 22, 2016 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    I’ve always been fascinated by bees, hives, and their mysteriously amazing products of wax and honey. Ah, but, I’ve never had the property or the knowledge or time or patience to actually do any real beekeeping, and after reading your post and the information you linked, I can see it’s not an uncommon fascination and that it’s exactly that which the flow hive preys on.
    I see many failed, abused, and decrepit colonies spawning out of this campaign.

  41. siriuslymoony
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    This sounds exactly like something I would have done. Including having it sit on the porch until I found an article which makes me regret buying it.

    Hence why I have yet to give in to my impulse control issues and buy a Purple mattress. Yes, the video advertisement on FB makes it look like a miracle product. But when it comes to buying things on the Internet…. if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. :/ :)

  42. Redwulf
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think you’re as bad off as you think you are Pat!

    I’ve actually been doing some research on this Hive myself for a month or so, as I’ve been planning on getting into Beekeeping after being introduced to it by some friends of mine (while I don’t have a giant love for Honey, I’m an Ale home-brewer, and would like to start brewing Mead as well).

    YES, there’s definitely more work that needs to go into maintaining this (or any) kind of Hive than their videos lead (‘enthuse’) you to believe, and you do still have to replace those expensive frames every few years to avoid pesticide build-up, but there’s still some value added here. The actual harvesting takes a good chunk of the day… you have to smoke the bees… pull the frames… scrape all the wax caps off… spin the frames in a centrifuge… put the results through a strainer… and you seem to lose a decent amount of honey with what gets scraped off or left behind on the comb (from my one time trying it at least)…. whereas this method lets you do that relatively quickly, and with no mess… so I feel like you’re basically paying for the convenience factor on that end of the operation.

    TL;DR, Believe this is still a fine Hive to have (especially given that you already bought it!!), as long as the Beekeeper remains just as vigilant about Hive maintenance as though they were using a regular setup. The big Negative here is if it encourages people to think “Oh, this is cake!” and they don’t inspect and care for their hive, but instead just leave it alone and do nothing but harvest.

  43. Redwulf
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Side-note!! Just noticed that for $30, Worldbuilders/Heifer Intl can send someone Honeybees (but.. you know.. in a good way… hahaha).

    Sending a couple of flights out into the world right now actually! …and trying not to steeple my fingers and feel like Mr. Burns when I do it – they’re GOOD bees dammit!

  44. Duo3478
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    There someways to modify them to make them a little more user friendly. But it is time consuming. And when that 3 year mark comes and changing out your board’s in the hive, There is no way you will spend the money on the ” Flo hive ” crap they sale. At that point you have a REALLY expensive regular bee hive. And then the standard board’s take some modification to make them work . But it is doable.

  45. Lucas F
    Posted September 26, 2016 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Well Patrick, you seem to keep doing ANYTHING but writing book three. HEY, its in a few months WILL BE A FUCKING DECADE since you wrote name of the wind. But hey keep posting shit like this, playing D&D and going to anything with a “con” on it.

    • Lucas
      Posted September 26, 2016 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

      Sorry for that. Was fucking drunk

    • christie
      Posted September 29, 2016 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

      Password protected blog?

      I don’t know how to keep this shit out of your cereal.

      Do whatever you would tell your children to do if they were do find themselves in this situation.

      Have an amazing fall and enjoy your family!

  46. Lost_Cays
    Posted September 27, 2016 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I have bees and boys. This was not a waste. Get a hive and a big beesuit for you and a small beesuit for Oot and another for anyone who is curious about it. Keep bees. Peek at them, look for the queen. It is a blast for a little boy. Don’t treat them with any thing, just let them live with the micro-biome they generate. If you run short of time let them be. Read about “lazy beekeeping” from Michael Bush. Just google it. Great stuff.

  47. SporkTastic
    Posted September 28, 2016 at 3:54 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know whether I should feel better or worse about clicking on this link a week or so late (no, two weeks!)…and also if I should feel bad that caring about the other feeling means I care about…umm…clickbait-clicking-perception? Does this mean I’m becoming an internet opinion junkie? I think that’s a bad indication of some personal value issues. Is it always like this when you take to the internet and/or readers as a form of…existence justification?

    And the Flow Hive™ truths disappoint me so. …still gonna keep bees when I live in a place that allows me to add things to the property.

  48. aliciadelapaz
    Posted September 28, 2016 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    mmmm…I think you could easily give it away to anyone in your community who promises to build it and give you the honey. and knowing the folks in the area you’d have more honey than you could shake a stick at. it takes a community to build a bee hive afterall.

  49. MichaelJudeP
    Posted October 2, 2016 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    When I was a child my father had heard you could capture a swarm my beating 2 pieces of metal together in a slow rhythm(He used 2 hammers). It worked, the swarm landed in our Peach Tree. We called a beekeeper who showed us how to shake it into a beehive,, we bought essentials from him and from that year on we captured many hives that landed in the same spot on that Peach tree. At the Peak we had 52 hives, I got to the point where I didn’t even wear gear, just gloves. We eventually gave them all to the original beekeeper who helped us because my mother turned out to be very allergic. But to this day I have very fond memories and will hold sage flowers in my hands so I can feel the feet of bees on them.

  50. justajenjen
    Posted October 20, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    I’ve looked into this, too, because I know people who keep bees and I thought something sounded a little off. But it’s not the product, it’s not the makers, it’s the press and the talk up about it, really. You need a couple other things, and a little work to get stuff established, but the Flow can work out pretty well. I swear I saw a video of a dude who was an experianced keeper show how to integrate it into an established system awhile back.

    I wish I could keep bees, but I don’t think they’d work on my balcony too well. Someday, I’ll get my little hobby farm and just spend all day feeding chickens and spinning yarn from my musk oxen herd.

  51. paulwheaton
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    A couple of thoughts about getting more bee enjoyment …

    1. a bee hut. Face it south east. It ends up warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

    2. I think it would be fun to have a little porch and put a hive in the porch, right next to the wall of the house. The bees would be more comfortable, plus … wouldn’t you be able to say that in the winter time your home is heated by bees?

  52. Interested in beekeeping
    Posted June 26, 2018 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    So have you ever used your flow hive? Would love to know your real world experiences. You’d be more credible having used it rather than assuming the worst from your expensive impulse. Implying this is a lazy way of beekeeping yet you yourself didn’t even use it to experience your own conclusions is hypocrisy man! What you’ve just done is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this post is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. ;)

  53. Posted July 11, 2018 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    I am another impulsive buyer when it was looking for support on Indigogo, but I am positive about the system, even though the hive itself was poorly made and cracked to shit before I really even used it. I plan to modify the super insulated high density polystyrene hive to receive the frames for the fall flow. For this season I made a quick transition board to get the 8 frame Flow HIve to sit on a 10 frame Langstroth.

    I just don’t see why this is in any way damaging to the bee ecology. I just need to find out how to clean and sterilize the frames. Dishwasher is my first thought :-)

    I treat for varroa several times a year using both oxalic acid fuming, and Formic Pro (formerly MAQS) and I feed using division board feeders and pollen patties.

    I’m 68 and hefting the 70 lb.+ boxes is not going to possible forever. Flow Hive is better than a gantry system! Give them a try, it is a blast the first time you watch the honey flow out and the bees are ignoring you. (Get a food safe extension tube to add to the supplied tube that will curve into your jar, wrap damp cloth around neck to keep bees out in cae someone notices. One frame gives about two quarts. )

    • Posted July 11, 2018 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

      PS I have 3 other regular Langstroth hives w. no Flow tops.

  54. Minnesota
    Posted August 11, 2018 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been testing the flow hives for a couple years now.

    -Nice to get honey made at specific times rather then a mix of all the frames.
    -Relatively easy to harvest honey.

    -Very Expensive
    -Plastic is easily broken, including critical pressure points where keys are inserted.
    -It takes two keys and quite a bit of strength to split the comb. Flow hive comes with one key.
    -As much as 25% of the honey will POUR into the hive during harvesting. This is VERY disruptive to the bees. Expect thousands to cluster outside the hive.
    -Drain channel not angled enough to fully drain honey. This portion can NOT be cleaned easily by you and not at all by the bees. You could tip your entire hive, that helps.
    -Difficult to realign split comb for subsequent use.
    -Much more difficult to split comb the second time, so much so portions of the comb will not drain the second time, even less the 3rd use.

    On the surface this looks like a good product, but it will rapidly loose its appeal. Its unlikely you will still be using it into your third season.

  55. John
    Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    I will take this hive off your hands! Dont have deep pockets but if you want the hive to go to someone that will appreciate it and make me tremendously happy, that would be me?

  56. soroosh
    Posted May 23, 2021 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    hello dear friend, my name is soroosh and i live in iran…..I saw your interesting idea on TV and because of my personal interest in bees and to save their lives in Iran and promote modern beekeeping to prevent bee mortality due to direct human intervention in the hive, I decided to ask your permission. I will design a sample of the hive made by you ….. Of course, before doing anything, I must get your permission to copy, and that if you have a plan of the hive design, I am really grateful to you for giving it to me, because my job is repair engineering. There is an airplane and the opportunity for miscellaneous tasks such as hive design is time consuming. If you agree and your opinion is positive, please email me your information in response. Thank you very much and thank you for your very interesting idea,,,
    my email : [email protected]

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