PODCAST EPISODE 21: Cedar Anderson, Flow Hive co-inventor, Byron Bay, Australia
While the recording of this episode might be a little crackly in parts, I feel it represents something of the character of my next guest. Inventor, entrepreneur, bee lover, family man, paraglider, Flow Hive co-creator – Cedar Anderson is a truly down-to-earth bloke with truly down-to-earth (yet highly ambitious) passions. The chat we had – recorded, on his end, from underneath his house – crackles in parts, like an earthy laugh, and seems indicative of Cedar’s grass-roots approach. However, this analogy doesn’t quite paint the picture of just how switched on and inspiring Cedar truly is. An ABC article by Vanessa Gorman perfectly summed up Cedar’s evolution in its title: ‘From humble hippie to multi-millionaire businessman — the man who revolutionised the beehive’.
Cedar and I first met when I went to visit him with Simon Mulvany (from Save the Bees) at his home in Broken Head, near Byron Bay, in the spectacular Northern Rivers area of New South Wales; however, I had heard of him long before that trip and was excited to meet him in person. What you take from meeting this lovely man is that he is dedicated to his family, he loves and appreciates nature, he is an inspiring businessperson, and that his connection to bees has allowed him to create a system for extracting honey that is both unique and effective. This third-generation beekeeper has been inspiring the beekeeping community in Australia and abroad with his new ideas and environmental ethos – check out his TEDxBrisbane Talk, ‘Why the World Needs Backyard Inventors’ if you haven’t already.
So, what is this revolutionary invention Cedar co-invented, you might ask? The Flow Hive presents a new way of extracting honey from Langstroth-style European honeybee hives. While understanding that the most important aspect of any honey production process is respect for the animal and looking after a colony as best as humanly possible, a system like the Flow Hive changes the honey extraction process completely through “an artificial foundation made from BPA- and BPS-free food grade plastic, manufactured right here in Australia, on which the bees build their comb”. The bees fill the artificial cells with honey and cap them off. Then, a “Flow Key” is inserted to split the cells, and gravity helps the honey flow into the trough, through tubes and straight into your honey jars! With an incredible 48,000+ customers in over 139 countries, the Flow Hive is building even stronger connections between keepers and bees. Tune in to hear Cedar and I talk about the Flow Hive, inventing, family, eco-business and stumbling upon a 30-year-old bee box mid-podcast!