In the past, I’ve written rather cynically about the various kickstarter projects aimed at people who care about bees. Entrepreneurs have been sucking up cash to “Save the Bees” and to sponsor new beehive designs for quite a few years. Here’s another. I won’t go all cynical on you yet – I’ll give these people a chance to prove themselves first. Watch their video. If for nothing else, for the inspiring music, the resurrected 1960s hippies, and the three-year-old girl dipping her finger into the honey. The video is expertly (and I guess, expensively) designed to tug at your heart and your purse. But there is a fundamental flaw in the whole scheme.
If it works at all, the honey flow beehive (www.honeyflow.com) deems to separate us yet another step away from our food supply. Rather than becoming intimate with the makers of our honey, we conceal them in a magic box – the ultimate in “Black-box Technology.” No need to get your hands dirty, to become aware of the harm – or good – you may be doing to the hive of bees as their honey is being “tapped”. (In the southern USA, where I lived for ten years, it was called “robbing the bees” which helps the beekeeper remember what his role really is during harvest.) Don’t misunderstand me – I produced over a million pounds of honey from my bees, wrestling with my little colleagues for each ounce. I care about bees, I love honey, I know how to produce it, and I have done the battle. But it was hands-on. If a hive was short of honey and didn’t have what it needed for winter, I gave the colony honey. Getting your hands dirty while harvesting gives you a chance to be sure you are not hurting the bees and over-harvesting. It helps you appreciate what the bees did for you more than turning a tap ever will. This honeyflow hive allows us to be much more casual about the process. Perhaps it would be like leading a calf into a box, pushing a lever, and watching hamburgers and hotdogs drop out the other side. OK, that was a bit cynical – I think it was the soundtrack of the video that got to me. Also Sprach Zarathustra would have been more subtle. But if you’d like to support them, “Like our Facebook page, join our mailing list, and stay in the loop,” says hive maker Cedar Anderson.