Here is one comment/thread that lead to this post
Just walk away. Do yourself and the bees a favor and just walk away from this. If you want I can give you the long version but for now, trust me when I say, this is a parlor trick and more detrimental than good.
lease share the details, because so far, I have seen several that are working beautifully, and the only negative things I’ve seen or heard, is that people think that by using the Flow, the bees will be neglected. If that is the only argument, I find it a faulty argument. If someone is going to be lazy, they are going to be lazy. But just by making the job easier, does not make someone lazy.
Their followup response:
The flowhive is plastic. It relies on bees to build comb on top of plastic. Plastic off gasses and can disrupt hormonal balance in bees. Wax cells are made from over 300 different chemical components which help remove toxins from the honey. The resonant frequency of the bee produced wax comb is matched to the bees’ vibration sensors and acts as an information highway between bees on opposite sides of the comb. Bees manage the temperature of the cell rims to optimize transmissions of these messages. Wax holds history and memory via chemical signals put into it by the bees.
The best honey is fully capped. Bees ripen nectar by removing the moisture and sealing it off with wax. Honey that has been harvested with a moisture content above 20 per cent and isn’t capped is considered unripe and may ferment. Polypropylene does not accomplish this and the moisture levels are not compensated for. Traditional beekeepers slice honey caps off with a knife and use a spinner which removes honey from wax frames. They then reuse the wax in their hives once more. It allows them to review hive health as well by seeing what the bees are doing. The higher moisture content in colder regions may freeze and or cause crystalline composition in the honey making it necessary to heat it ruining the health qualities of the honey and or clogging the flow hive mechanism.
The automation, never need to enter the hive is also counter productive to bee health. You have to go into the hives to monitor hive activity and health. Look for mites, do mite infestation counts (sugar rolls), check for wax moths, wax beetles etc. It allows you to look for queen cells, possible pre swarm activity and to generally keep your eye on the bee population and to look for any problems with diseases etc. When are good times to make splits and that things are continuing to be in good condition.
There is also a more philosophical aspect of the bees. By going into hives, there are communications between bees and humans. My wife regularly goes in to her hives and has no issues with the bees. I go down there with less frequency and usually end up stung more than a few times. The bees don’t know me like they do her. We see it a little differently than many do. Our bees help with our pollination of plants and have results have led to higher yields in fruit, vegetables and flowers in our garden, orchards and fields. The honey and wax are a byproduct of that. The bees are not here simply for our consumption of honey. They have a job here on the farm. We have a good relationship with them and they for the most part (again more my wife than me) with us. After mid summer pull, they get all the honey they produce after that to help them through the later summer when there is a dirth and less flowering and to get them through the winter. (we will also supplement them to help them through).