Revolutionary Australian beehive invention.
Jeremy Story Carter ABC Australia
Stuart Anderson and his son Cedar’s method of collecting honey does not disturb the hive, but allows the honey to flow out through a channel system straight out of a tap, changing the way honey has been collected for millennia, forever.
No more covering up. No more smoking the bees out. No more fear of being stung.
The system is based around a plastic, moveable frame, which the bees use to build up their wax honeycomb on.
A lever is slotted into the hive and twisted to flex the honeycomb slightly.
‘That changes the honeycomb from being a cell shape to a channel shape,’ says Anderson.
‘The cells sort of split, the honey falls down that channel to the bottom of the frame and out through a pipe to the back of the hive.’
Once the honey is drained out of the hive, the lever is twisted back and the cells are returned to their fully-formed position.
‘You can see slight fissures occur in the capping of the honeycomb, but basically it stays intact,’ he says.
‘The bees don’t seem to start scurrying, they just keep going about business as usual.’
After the honey has been drained, the bees begin to repair the cells and fill the hive with honey once again.
Anderson says the design appeals to those who find the process of beekeeping too difficult.
‘Suddenly the world of bees is open to them again and they’re really, really excited.
‘If you know your bees, you can sit there in shorts and a t-shirt and it’s safe, because you’re not opening the hive and you’re not banging around disturbing the bees.’
The father and son team sent the structure for testing to beekeepers around the world.
One of the design’s benefits, which hadn’t occurred to the Andersons until it was raised by a tester in the US, was the appeal of the hive to urban beekeepers.
‘I hadn’t thought about the neighbour aspect,’ says Stuart.
‘So many people are keeping bees in urban situations where if you go and pull the beehive apart and the bees get pissed off, well it’s your neighbours who are also likely to get stung.’