For sustainable society


A beehive helping protect the environment of bees

 According to the announcement of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), 70% of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world’s food are pollinated by bees. The number of bees is decreasing year by year due to the effects of agricultural chemicals and environmental destruction even though bees are an important environmental resource that helps protect the natural environment.

Some beekeepers have begun to take action to protect the comfortable environment for bees. An Australian beekeeper Stuart Anderson and his son, Cedar Anderson, have developed a breakthrough hive from which you can get honey without killing bees and breaking hive like the traditional way. The hive, named “Flow Hive”, contains “Flow Frame” instead of a thick plate called hive frame that is placed in a beehive. The inside of the frame is in the shape of a beehive, in which bees grow larvae and store honey.

 When collecting honey, Flow Hive proves its value. Honey is usually collected from the beehive on a hive frame using a machine such as a centrifuge; however, this way may break the hive. On the other hand, with Flow Hive, you simply insert the tube into the Flow Frame and turn a key 90 degrees, and then you can collect honey flowing out of the tube.  With this innovative Flow Frame, you will never break beehives, be stung by bees during collecting honey or kill bees.

 Cedar would develop this new beehive when he was six years old because his older brother who helped his father was stung by bees. Stuart and Cedar Anderson spent ten years developing the beehive and finally completed the system in 2015.

 However, Anderson had no funds to commercialize it at that time and solicited funds through a cloud funding site.  Once the campaign was started on the site, the groundbreaking beehive was flooded with applications of $150,000 (approx.16 million yen) within 15 minutes. It eventually reached $12.2 million (approx. 1.325 billion yen), making it the most successful campaign on the site. Four years have passed since then, and now as many as 65,000 Flow Hives are used in 130 countries around the world, which has made the number of beehives worldwide increased by 10%.

 In 2019, the Anderson family released the “Flow Pollinator House,” which is made with Flow Hive offcuts. This beehive is useful for the hive-building of wild bees without a hive. Wild bees are currently declining in numbers worldwide due to habitat loss and pesticide effects, and the Anderson family is considering donating all the profits from the Flow Pollinator House to an advocate for bees. Flow Hive is contributing to the propagation of bees while improving the efficiency of collecting honey. We expect that the innovation of the beekeeping industry will spread all over the world.

Photo:Flow Hive