The FLOWHive Is NOT the “Bee-all and end-all” of beekeeping


Sorry, the Brit in me just couldn’t resist that pun.

The Flowhive is absolutely viral on Facebook these days and one can easily see why. To strip it down to its nuts and bolts, it is basically fresh honey on tap. Sounds lovely to most people, myself included, until I read an article that completely changed my mind. Especially when it mentioned one of the most repulsive terms in the English language: factory farming.

As Italian photographer and beekeeper Renée Ricciardi writes on and ,

“Beekeeping involves respect, patience, and attention to the natural world. After years of beekeeping you become attentive to humidity every time you step outside, you start noticing which flowers bloom first,  you stop hating pesky dandelions, and when it rains you think of the bees.”

The author of the article goes on to say:

Actually many hobby beekeepers will tell you that honey is not the main attraction. Stewardship is. And that entails checking on the health of the colony, observing brood patterns, examining the queen, making sure there aren’t any parasite or pathogens, and observing the honey flow so you know what to leave behind.

With an automatic honey appliance, you get none of that. So even though there’s a window and you can see the bees, you are clueless as to what is going on with the hive. As a friend recently stated, flow hive promotes the emotional detachment of factory farming.

And this is the best part:

There’s nothing like peeking into a hive, slowing down with reverence and care, observing these virgin sisters of toil. Bees work themselves to death why should we have their food so easy?

Reading this article absolutely changed my mind about the Flowhive and I must admit I see it very negatively now, especially with that association to factory farming. Because that is exactly how someone could market battery hens – don’t bother with the fuss of collecting eggs all over the garden, stick them in a cage and the eggs will roll down into a container every day for you.

Many vegans hate beekeeping, they feel we should not eat any animal products but I differ in this regard. I think that a lovely bond can develop between Humanity and Nature, a symbiotic relationship built on respect and care. But all too often we forget that, we either go from one extreme of not caring one bit about Nature, to mental self-flagellation and hatred for our cruel selfish species.

But the Flowhive? Let’s think carefully about this one.


Lara Whybrow

Lara Whybrow

Executive Director at Ethical Suppliers (Pty) Ltd
Lara Whybrow is the founder and website developer/content writer at Ethical Suppliers. She loves growing all manner of things, particularly rare plants or edibles and used to keep a small flock of free range chickens. She is passionate about getting more people to grow organic food for themselves and selling the excess or giving it to those less fortunate.
Lara Whybrow
Posted on: April 26, 2016, by : Lara Whybrow

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