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Author Topic: Bee Vacs  (Read 1785 times)
Moonshae
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« on: June 08, 2008, 05:26:14 PM »

I've done some searching of this site for bee vac plans. I saw Robo's, for sucking swarms right into hive bodies. I also saw the plans on beesource, which seems too precise for my skill, and some of the information isn't very clear, especially as it relates to the pictures. I saw TwT's post about how he temporarily modifies his shop vac (PM sent for details) which seems right up my alley of handi-skills. Are there any other ways to modify a shop vac to work? I'm looking for something that I can use on both swarms and cutouts.

I was thinking I could screen off the suction area on the motor to keep bees from getting in, bore several 3" holes in the side of the vac, and glue on some screen to keep the bees in. I could then use velcro to hold on some rubber sheets, to cover the holes when using the vac, opening as many (or as small a part of one) as necessary to reduce suction, and then opening them all up for ventilation when finished. Would that work? Any obvious flaws in my plan? I don't need to use the shop vac for anything else, but if I bore my screened holes up high, it should still function just fine.
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008, 07:51:38 PM »

If you don't have the time to build something, this one works well, and not bad on price. I ordered an extra inner box. It also can easily be powered with an inverter from your truck battery. http://go.netgrab.com/secure/kelleystore/asp/product.asp?product=246

I never have used a beevac on a swarm, that is just sacrilegious, and it takes all the fun away of catching swarms!


...JP
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Moonshae
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 08:10:25 PM »

I never have used a beevac on a swarm, that is just sacrilegious, and it takes all the fun away of catching swarms!

I know, but squatting next to a bush holding a box for 30 mins waiting for all the girls to make up their minds to go into the box (women...sheesh! Tongue) is somewhat of a hassle. Plus, I've found homeowners get nervous about the couple dozen left behind, despite my assurances they'll be gone in 24-48 hours. Plus, my wife is complaining that my "constant" swarm calls (all 9 of them) are disrupting our regimen.
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"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
JP
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2008, 09:13:06 PM »

You'll still have some stragglers unless you go and cage the queen and leave the box til dark. I know you must be kidding about holding the box for 30 minutes right?


...JP
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Moonshae
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 09:22:02 PM »

I know you must be kidding about holding the box for 30 minutes right?

I don't go back, I just get as many as I can right then, which so far usually means holding the box for 20-30 mins, not a joke. Sad

What did you think about my shop vac modification, JP?
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"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 09:40:32 PM »

I know you must be kidding about holding the box for 30 minutes right?

I don't go back, I just get as many as I can right then, which so far usually means holding the box for 20-30 mins, not a joke. Sad

What did you think about my shop vac modification, JP?

As long as the vacuum isn't too strong and rip the bees appart ok, but be careful and work the kinks out, a regulator is a good idea.

Now as for holding a box for 20-30 minutes, you deserve a medal, of some sort. Wink
May I suggest you put the box the same height as the swarm if possible and let them orient to the box. This works for me.

Take a break if you need to and have a refresher, let the bees do the work.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
TwT
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2008, 05:12:47 AM »

when using a shop vac for bee's there are a few things you have to keep a eye on, shop vacs are so strong at less than 1/4 power can kill all the bee's, you have to play with it so you can get the suction under control, on the inside I wrapped a towel around the inside suction (ball float) and the sponge (from the tile section of a lowes, big grout sponge) in the exhaust and it was still to strong, had to put metal clips under the top to help reduce suction (use something small enough so the bee's cant escape, the other problem I found was the rippled hose, it will kill them, you need a smooth hose (you can buy it at lowes or home depot, (1 1/2" size) ) and on the inside where the hose connection is it turns like 45 degrees cut that off.

Once you get it were it barely sucks the bee's up  then you will not kill any, you have to play with it on the entrance of one of your hives, it takes some adjusting but I had good luck with it on about 15 removals..... good luck!!!
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2008, 05:33:21 AM »

Another VERY IMPORTANT if not the MOST important thing to remember with beevacs, VENTILATION!!!  If you don't have enough, especially on a hot day they WILL perish. Also, don't OVERCROWD the collection reservoir.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
Robo
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2008, 07:56:25 AM »

Another VERY IMPORTANT if not the MOST important thing to remember with beevacs, VENTILATION!!!  If you don't have enough, especially on a hot day they WILL perish. Also, don't OVERCROWD the collection reservoir.


...JP


Along with regulating the suction, these where 2 very important issues when I designed my bee vac.  By having the slide out top, they get plenty of ventilation for the trip home.  I've been spraying the screen with water as well.  I've been using 2 deep supers so overcrowding has also been covered.   It was been working great for swarms and cutouts.

I've also had positive feedback from others who have built them.

Using a vac on swarms maybe sacrilegious,  but it sure makes it quicker and safer.  Going up 25ft on a ladder with a vacuum hose is one thing,  going up with a box is another.




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TwT
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2008, 07:50:12 PM »

I built one like the one on beesource plans (well a friend built most and gave it to me and I added on to it) man it works great, I have used my 20' hose and got a swarm from inside a chimney 15 foot down, and it has 2 screened side on each box, I have 3 insert boxes and each could hold about 15-20 pounds of bee's but that's why I have 3 so I dont have to crowd them.
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
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