Honey harvesting invention sweet success for The Channon duo
NORTH coast beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson are set to take the honey world by storm after designing a revolutionary new honey collection system.
The father and son inventors from The Channon came up with a system that allows honey to flow directly from the hive into containers, without opening the hive or disturbing the bees.
It's already being dubbed the most important change in honey collection in 150 years and gathering a staggering amount of support.
The Andersons had hoped to raise about $70,000 through a crowdsourcing campaign with Indiegogo that went live today. As of 2.40pm the pair were at about AUD$1.4 million and the figure was rising by the minute.
"I'm barely able to contain myself in my skin at the moment," Stuart Anderson said.
"The response to our pre-publicity stunned us, but it was nothing compared to this response to out crowd funding," he said.
Stuart said the invention had been in the pipeline for more than a decade and a few years ago the pair had a breakthrough.
"When we first saw the honey come out and realised we'd finally done it, we were just so excited," he said. "We knew that hadn't been done in the world before. But we didn't realise how big."
"Big" is an understatement - the response, globally, has been nothing short of gargantuan.
As of Thursday evening, a short video promoting the invention posted four days prior had generated 1.5 million views on Facebook.
"We're stunned," Stuart said.
"I don't know what to make of it.
"We didn't know what we were sitting on."
Experts the pair sent prototypes to around the world have universally praised the invention.
Canadian beekeeper John Gates, who worked with the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture for 26 years, described the system as "mesmerising" - another renowned US beekeeper described it as "mind-boggling".
The Andersons are now set to launch a Kickstarter campaign on Monday morning to raise $70,000 to fund production of the system.
It's a moment that they are looking forward to with both excitement and trepidation.
The pledge is not just a donation: If people pledge in the vicinity of $100 to $500 they will get their own system.
Stuart said the new system made it so easy to harvest honey it could attract more people - including urban and suburban dwellers - to beekeeping.
The invention could even help save declining bee populations around the world because beekeepers would be able to keep more bees and new people could enter the market.
For the father and son team, the invention is also testament to the passion for beekeeping - and ingenuity - passed down through three generations.
Stuart can still recall tinkering with honey extraction tools as a child with his grandfather in Canberra, who at 90 years of age is still going strong.
"There are already communities of beekeepers around the world, we hope they'll grow and become more lively," Stuart said.
"A lot of people have written saying 'I'd love to keep bees'."