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"Tappable Honey" - FLOW please note, and take action

I hope that Flow’s legal team can can chase this idiot down. He’s round the corner from me selling fake FLOW hives on Gumtree, and I really do not want people around me with unmaintained hives.

He’s a bit of a cowboy, a swarm catcher, selling them as Rottnest Island bees too.

I got in touch with him and according to his “Fact Sheet” all you have to do is inspect the hive once a year, maybe twice. See attached below.

This is the fact sheet he sent me:

Operating from here:
AUS-AGRIBUSINESS
106 Vaucluse Crescent
Ellenbrook
Western Australia…6069
Mobile: 0405 225 285
Email: ausagribusiness@gmail.com

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What a rogue…20characters

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Rogue indeed Jeff. I hope someone from FLOW will take action. I also just contacted the Dept of Primary Industries about this. I hope they take notice too.

I really get worked up when I see people selling beehives as commodities if it was a beer keg. Plonk it there and turn a tap. Bees are not pets. The increase of beehives in urban areas when people do not understand how to maintain them properly is a big worry in my opinion. Spreading disease in one problem, swarms is another. People complain and shires will start to impose restrictions.

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Might be best to contact Flow direct because I don’t think there are any company reps prowling this forum.

I agree that this is a concern. Here in Perth we still have relatively disease free bees, but it’s not going to be for long with scoundrels like this guy.

Incidentally, this guy bought my original Flow plastic queen excluders from me on Gumtree last year, and he is a piece of work let me tell you. I replaced my excluders with stainless steel ones.

It’s a shame no one seems to take action against these guys. Gumtree is full of adverts for counterfeit flow hives, most end up unattended and abandoned in garden corners in metro areas.

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Last time I emailed FLOW I got an auto-reply back to tell me they are busy and referred me to this forum. That’s why I posted here.

Whether they want to pursue counterfeit products is a matter for them. I gave them all the info I had, including phone and address of the offender. My main concern is the increase of hives in urban areas and deliberately misinformed new beekeepers by sellers, which will at some point in the future become an irreversible problem with spread of disease and swarms. That is why I reported this to the Dept of Primary Industries too.

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Hi Ruttneri, I’m not sure if there’s much the DPI can do if he’s not breaking any laws or bio security rules.

I know in Qld. new beekeepers should get registered with the DPI & it’s free. When they apply apply to get registered, they fill out a form stating who they bought the bees from, stating their DPI number etc. Very few new beekeepers ask me for that information. I think I had 3 this year.

I guess what the DPI could do in the future is to get suppliers to inform them of every colony they sell & to whom.

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Not an issue for DPIRD but it does impinge the patent. I’ve reported him on Gumtree to no avail a couple of times.

It’s certainly dodgy. He buys them from the counterfeiters, then resells them. He may not be breaking any laws, however it still makes him just as bad as the counterfeiters because he’s probably telling prospective customers that they’re buying a flow hive, all set up & ready to go, which on the surface, looks pretty attractive.

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I have just reported, to Gumtree, him and another one selling same product on Gumtree. Maybe if Gumtree gets enough reports it may do something. Anyone have contacts in media. maybe a “Tonight” type show could do something.

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Yeah, I’ve reported him several times previously. Gumtree won’t care.

I thought that would be the case but I reported him anyway. It is in a way in their interest that good beekeeping husbandry is adhered to by everyone. Seriously - one inspection a year?

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This what I have received back on two people in the Perth area flogging the junk hives.

Hi Wilfred,

Thanks so much for your email and for bringing this to our attention.

The ads you have provided have been reviewed and the appropriate action has been taken based on the information you’ve reported.

If you come across any ads that do not comply with our policies, you can report them to us via the green ‘report ad’ button located within each ad so we can take a look.

As you can imagine there are thousands of ads posted on Gumtree daily and we really appreciate the community bringing these to our attention.

Please let me know if there is anything else that I can assist you with.

Kind Regards,

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I was just thinking about those plastic QEs you sold. They probably couldn’t have gone to a better bloke. At least he’ll have genuine Flow QEs to supply. However, why sell them? They should go straight into the bin… He was in the market for them, so why not?

I read his fact sheet. He says nothing about brood frames, which don’t come with the fake hives. He charges extra to assemble the boxes.

I had it in my head that he buys the fake hives, assembles them, supplies brood frames & bees with a young queen.

In his defense, he does stipulate to get registered etc. He charges $55 to come & help you which is reasonable.

Looks like they removed the ad now Wilfred. Probably because a few of us reported him. They never replied back to me when I reported an advert through their flagging system.

It is illegal here not to be registered. He also says in his google doc that one inspection a year is all it takes. It is far from the truth and of course he says that to misleading and make it more attractive to sell. You can’t really defend that.

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Gee, fellows… How easy you get cranked up.

Leaving FlowHive-related issues aside, A received free advice from B, didn’t like it and started internet campaign to destroy B’s livelihood. Good wake up call for those who give free advice here.

So its OK to sell counterfeit goods?
Advice I am not concerned about, even 1 inspection a year is not the death nell of a hive however making a living on counterfeited goods is a crime. No wonder we have so little industry in Australia when a good invention is pirated in another country and sold back in Australia at half the price

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I’m a big fan of your advice on this forum @ABB. I do think you got this one wrong though.

I do have an issue with this guy. Although I am vehemently against it, it is not for me to police counterfeit merchandise, especially seeing the lack of input on this thread from Flow themselves. However I do have an issue with the selling of livestock as "tapable honey’, as he describes it, obviously targeting those less aware of proper hive management.

It is in my view that this beekeeper’s ad is highly unethical on many levels.

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He says one inspection, maybe two per year which is totally wrong & misleading. I agree with that. Flow used to say 2 inspections per year was all that was required. However their advice has truly evolved during the first year or so.

@busso, half the price? You can get then for a quarter the price or even less.

I previously spoke about my conscience. There’s no way my conscience would let me do what this bloke is doing.

@Ruttneri, it’s good that Gumtree has a flagging system. $55 for a call out is reasonable if his advice is sound & does some teaching while his there.

@ABB, I think I know what you mean. Some people pick & choose what advice they like. I like this bit, but I don’t like that bit. It’s like children with their vegetables.

@busso, honestly, I am not trying to be a smart ass but I am not sure what in my post could raise this question.
Topic starter reported him to FlowHive and it is where this part of the story ends for me.

From what I read this is not so for topic starter. It is a quality of “Fact Sheet” what started them up.

I got in touch with him and according to his “Fact Sheet”

Whether they want to pursue counterfeit products is a matter for them. I gave them all the info I had, including phone and address of the offender. My main concern is the increase of hives in urban areas and deliberately misinformed new beekeepers by sellers

It seems that selling counterfeit goods was just a convenient instrument to express unhappiness about the quality of the information that was provided for free.

If this fellow is doing something illegal, and one feels that it is their citizen’s duty to stop illegal activity, fine, report him to authorities. It will be dealt with. But to use any possible pretext to throw human’s life to dogs just because one doesn’t like an advice… Call me an idealistic idiot, but it is not how I see human society where one may live comfortably in.

Practical question to those who know.
I tried to find a feature on this forum that usually called “signature”? A block where one can put a text that will be published with each post? Does it exist? I think it is good idea to put some disclaimer which translated from lawyer’s mumble jumble means “I know nothing about beekeeping, don’t follow my advice and if you did don’t shoot me” :slightly_smiling_face:

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For sure. And I voted against him in my time with my dollar, not buying anything from him. Though, “Rottnest Island Bred Queen” was such a tempting hook! :wink:

But his ethos is not what I was talking about.

Here I believe things become more complicated. FlowHive does not sell bees with hives, but they managed to lure many people into beekeeping by equipment “simplicity”. Watch their videos again. Relaxed guy shows how simple it is. Just put a jar here, turn a tap and enjoy your own natural unprocessed honey! Yes, there is something happening below but it does not matter at the moment. It simple! Beau-u-utiful ho-o-oney!
One of the results of their marketing campaign was heated discussions around the internet and people against it used absolutely the same arguments. Honey keg, no regard to cute insect life, unethical etc. Personally, I dont give a fig. The importance of the event for me, it revitalised interest in hobby beekeeping. Why I believe hobbyists are important? They produce a wide base of people interested in a subject. Some of them may become big producers, inventors, improvers. They are the future of this sector of agriculture on this planet. But as in any hobby a lot of people lose interest very quickly. Yes, this results in abadoned hives, dead colonies… But again, now you may have kids in your backyard who saw bees and going to grow knowing where honey comes from, how it testes and what is more important - this is doable and could be interesting. What was a spark to ignite this interest - does it really matter?

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I cannot disagree with you there @ABB.

However one of the issues @Ruttneri was concerned about I think, and I agree, is the misinformation the seller is pushing. Beekeeping is not like just any other hobby, like building model airplanes and if you loose interest they just collect dust.

Bees are live animals. They require a certain level of maintenance and watch out for any disease they may acquire so you won’t spread it to other hives. You know that more than me. Yes, southern WA is still relatively disease free, and I rather it stay like that. Another issue is swarming. With so many taking up beekeeping in urban areas, swarms that end up in people’s roofs is going to be an increasing problem. Is it not? The way shires may deal with it is limit the number of hives that can be kept in urban areas, or ban them altogether. Do you want that? I am actually surprised that not many on here seem to worry much about that. I know for a fact that if my neighbour ends with a swarm he will blame me whether the swam comes from my hives or not, and he’s the type that complains to the shire all the time.

True. But this guy is selling ‘tappable honey’, not beekeeping. Two very different things.

I have no problem with anyone having an interest in beekeeping and be lured by the equipment. I’m one of them myself. As long as the hives are adequately maintained.

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