How Capitalism Saved the Honey Bees
Humans and Honey Bees
Honey bees are a critical link in U.S. agricultural production. Pollination by managed honey bee colonies adds at least $15 billion to the value of U.S. agriculture annually through increased yields and superior-quality harvests. But managed honey bees have come under serious pressures from many different stresses, which has resulted in beekeepers losing many colonies. 
Depictions of humans collecting honey from wild bees date to 15,000 years ago. Beekeeping in pottery vessels began about 9,000 years ago in North Africa. Domestication is shown in Egyptian art from around 4,500 years ago. Simple hives and smoke were used and honey was stored in jars, some of which were found in the tombs of pharaohs such as Tutankhamun. It wasn't until the 18th century that European understanding of the colonies and biology of bees allowed the construction of the moveable comb hive so that honey could be harvested without destroying the entire colony. 
It started with a simple idea from a father and son team, Stu and Cedar. They wanted to know how they could collect the honey from their hive without crushing bees, getting stung, and then taking a week to process the honey. The team of inventors set their minds to solve this mess. What they came up with goes beyond avoiding an unpleasant sting. It provided a way for the average household to have a hive of their own, offering a foothold for the Honey Bee population to grip onto, maybe they will be able to scale this cliffside once again.
Having a prototype and a good heart doesn't always mean you will find success in your endeavor. Capital is what a good idea needs. With help from a handful of skilled friends and family members and a nail-biting lack of preparation, the Indiegogo campaign was launched in February, 2015, with the humble goal of US$70,000. That goal was reached within minutes of the campaign going live.
Within 15 minutes, the campaign had attracted US$250,000 in pre-orders and was soon breaking Indiegogo’s website and a slew of crowdfunding records.
- The fastest to reach $1 million.
- The fastest to reach $2 million.
- The most successful campaign ever launched on Indiegogo.
- The most successful crowdfunding campaign ever launched outside the US.
Still the sixth-most successful crowdfunding campaign ever. A father and son from Northern Rivers NSW invent awesome new honey harvesting system, become an overnight sensation. It was a story that wrote itself and over the course of the campaign, hundreds of media inquiries flooded in. The response was far beyond Stu and Cedar’s wildest hopes. “It was just overwhelming,” Stuart says. “I think what we tapped into here was a yearning in people to be more connected. The decline of bee populations had been on people’s minds and I think people saw Flow as a sort of drawbridge to connect them with the natural world.” Toward the end of the campaign, Cedar’s partner Kylie delivered a baby boy earlier than expected. With Cedar out of the picture, the campaign had to be extended, so he could be around for the final weeks.The orders just kept rolling in, emails were delivered faster than they could be read and more of Stuart and Cedar’s friends and family were roped in to help manage the explosion.
By the end of the campaign on 19 April, some 20,000 kits had been ordered from more than 140 countries and the scramble was on to fulfill. More people came on board and thousands of working hours went into a million decisions on everything from marketing and media, design and manufacturing, to logistics and customer support.Half as many kits again have been ordered via their online shop and in something of a minor miracle, Stu and Cedar and a small, but deeply committed team is managing to pull it off. While leaping a succession of supply chain, manufacturing and logistics hurdles, the team has also been able to develop its internal processes and edge toward being not only a manufacturer and marketer of the most significant beekeeping invention since 1852, but also as a prominent advocate for bees. The commitment to raising awareness of how crucial bees are to human survival is real and unwavering, along with a broader message of sustainability, recognition of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth and the broader message of treading as lightly on the planet and with as much love and as little cruelty as we can.After all, that’s what Flow Hive is really all about. 
Our Family and the Bees
We ordered our first FlowHive last year. It was a little bit of preparation - finding the perfect spot in the yard, constructing a [level] brick pedestal for the hive to sit upon. Then there came the bees, 3 pounds and a queen from our local IFA is the direction we went. No experience but the knowledge of YouTube behind me I successfully transferred my bees. That is back in April and now we have our first honey flow. DELICIOUS!
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