A father and son duo from northern NSW who invented a backyard beehive system to deliver honey on-tap have raised US$1million in less than three hours via a crowd-sourcing website to fund their first production run.
Cedar Anderson and his father, Stuart, hoped to raise $US70,000 ($89,265) in 42 days, but within 10 minutes of their campaign going live on indiegogo.com this morning they had more than doubled the target. Within 30 minutes the pair had raised almost $US500,000 and have since topped $US1 million.
An option for 200 investors to get in early and purchase the first production run of the full kit of the Flow beehive system - priced at $US350 - sold out almost immediately. They have since had to add more than 1000 extra kits to the campaign to accomodate demand.
The Andersons' ingenious invention aims to take the sting - so to speak - out of beekeeping by allowing beekeepers to collect honey without disturbing the bees inside the hive.
The pair invented a system of frames that fit inside standard bee boxes and which, unlike traditional frames, slope and allow the beekeeper to turn a handle and release honey once the honeycomb cells are full. The system means traditional and more dangerous methods of relinquishing bees of their honey, such as by smoking the bees or dismantling hives, are not required.
Speaking from Canberra, an audibly incredulous Stuart Anderson said he was blown away by this morning's response. It took the pair 10 years to perfect their design.
"It's gone nuts, I can't keep up," said Anderson.
"Clearly we underestimated the interest," he added.
Anderson said the bulk of online pledges had come from North America, although there had also been "good support from Australia".
Asked what the unbelievable response and backing meant for him and Cedar, Anderson laughed and said he and his son would be "working extremely hard for the next few months ... it means we will be in a much stronger position to negotiate with manufacturers".
Anderson, who left his job in the community sector three years ago to work with his son on the Flow frames said he would now probably have to describe himself as "an inventor and a business person".
When goodfood.com.au last checked, the Indiegogo.com campaign had received pledges worth more than $US 2million.