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Ingenious New Beehive Design Taps Honey without Disturbing the Bees

Stuart and Cedar Anderson are a father and son team of professional beekeepers. They've developed a new type of beehive that they call Flow. The Flow hive is built with partially formed cells. When bees take up residence in it, they make use of this pre-existing cell network. With the turn of a spigot, the cells split open, dumping their honey down a channel. There's no need to open the hive and scrape off honey off individual frames. They can fill two large jars of honey very quicky using a Flow hive.

-via Colossal


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The history of modern beekeeping started with the Langstroth hive, patented by L. Langstroth. He noticed that bees will fill in a space with resin or combs unless that space is about 3/8 inch. This is called the "bee space", and is the space left between the hive frames after combs are built in them. Because the combs of a hive will be built in a predictable way, the hive can be opened and maintained without destroying honeycombs or brood chambers. Previously, bees were kept in inverted baskets or wooden boxes or barrels, with combs built in a haphazard way, making it necessary to destroy the entire hive to harvest wax and honey. Today's beekeepers can remove honey frames and replace them with fresh frames, backed with a sheet of embossed wax that forms a 'comb foundation'. A hive can be forced to produce honey all summer long, making more honey than they normally would.
The queen excluder allows a beekeeper to isolate the queen in the lower part of the hive, ensuring that the upper combs have honey and no larvae.
So, in the thousands of years of bee cultivation, the real killer innovation was the observation of the 'bee space'
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Today, I learn something new: queen excluder, a barrier inside the beehive that allows worker bees to go in and out but not the larger queen bee.

I thought that the best hive innovation would be the bee smoker. Y'know, so you don't get stung by bees.
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