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Author Topic: Just curious....anyone ever use the Owen's Bee Vac?  (Read 2166 times)
joker1656
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« on: April 17, 2010, 07:56:37 AM »

I received one yesterday from Brushy Mountain.  I am looking forward to using it.  I was wondering if anyone else has this vac, or has used it anywhere.  (probably would have been a good question before purchase LOL)
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 08:12:13 AM »

I've seen this vac on their site and wondered if its as good a design as they say it is.

My #1 concern would be with ventilation. Is the bucket vented? Where do the bees go? Is there an inner container of some type? How many if so, come with the set up?


...JP
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joker1656
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 08:43:11 AM »

Yes, the bees do go into a container.  It is a cylindrical cage that is about a foot tall and 10 inches in diameter.  The bucket has a "gate" that you can open and close to control suction.  That is the only ventilation. 

The cage has about an inch clearance all the way around, while inside the bucket.  I am a little worried that there is not enough ventilation to leave the bees inside very long.  I guess the only way I will know is to use it and see.  I definitely should have purchased another cage. 

I think I can make the cage easily, though.  That'd save me another $40 with shipping etc.  With several cages it looks like it might be a pretty decent little vac.  I'm a novice though, so I can't hope to predict too accurately.   

It is not quite what I expected, but I have never seen one in person.  I hope it works well and that I did not waste $120.  We will see. 
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
JP
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010, 08:46:17 AM »

It may not be good in hot temps on removals but I'm thinking a good swarm catcher.

Let us know your results.


...JP
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Pink Cow
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 03:59:44 PM »

I've borrowed one twice now, so I can give a few thoughts from my limited experience. I love the idea and the design, but I think this device cries out for a few improvements.

The owner told me he felt that far too many bees were killed when he started using it and realized they were injured entering the wire cylinder. He placed a piece of soft foam rubber against the back side of the cylinder, opposite the intake and says this has helped survival quite a bit. The bees used to just bang against the wire. Also, I think even with the gate valve completely open to regulate suction that it is still too strong for some situations. They should have either installed two valves, or one larger. This is easily fixed with a trip to the hardware store, five or so dollars and 30 minutes of your time. The last issue is that the vacuum motor is open to the same space as the cylinder and is not screened in any way. On our second use, I was driving home with my daughter and when I turned to say something to her I saw a bee walking on her shoulder. I turned around, and we had quite a number of them loose in the car. The cylinder lid was a bit warped, allowing escape, then the bees were going right through openings in the motor to freedom. Obviously, they were not planning for the lid to warp when designing this device, but if the motor was screened from the main chamber we'd not have had the problem.

After using it and giving it a good study, I banged out a plan and started collecting the parts to make myself a copy. I figure it can be done for $50-60 California dollars if you have to buy everything new. Given the cost of shipping this thing at a 45lb rate, that is quite a savings. I got a used vacuum just like the one the original uses for next to nothing, so I'm way ahead already.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 04:10:11 PM by Pink Cow » Logged
AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 04:09:12 PM »

California dollars?   Is that like regular dollars, but with more tax?
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joker1656
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 06:34:31 PM »

Pink Cow, thanks for the input.  I am guessing I will have to do some modifications.  Our weather has not been real cooperative yet, so I have not fired her up.

JP, you are probably right.  The problem is that I inteded to use it for cutouts. 

I plan to manufacture several more cages.  I figure around 4 more could be made for the price of purchasing one from the company.  If I had several cages that I could switch, after each session of sucking bees, I theorize that the cages alone would have enough ventilation to keep for awhile.  That is, I would pull the "full" cages out of the bucket and replace with an empty one.  What do you think?
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
JP
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2010, 09:31:43 AM »

Pink Cow, thanks for the input.  I am guessing I will have to do some modifications.  Our weather has not been real cooperative yet, so I have not fired her up.

JP, you are probably right.  The problem is that I inteded to use it for cutouts. 

I plan to manufacture several more cages.  I figure around 4 more could be made for the price of purchasing one from the company.  If I had several cages that I could switch, after each session of sucking bees, I theorize that the cages alone would have enough ventilation to keep for awhile.  That is, I would pull the "full" cages out of the bucket and replace with an empty one.  What do you think?

When its hot out, its all about ventilation, so yes vacuum and ventilate them as quickly as possible.


...JP
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My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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ncsteeler
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 05:51:00 AM »

I've used a friends several times. We made one extra cage and that is usually enough to do a whole cutout on a large colony. Once I get moving it take about 40 minutes to fill a cage. If at all possible I will shake the cage into a hive on site and leave for several days. I don't have much trouble with dead bees even with the gate mostly closed. I have even missed the queen twice and successfully vacuumed her up.
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joker1656
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2010, 07:37:02 AM »

Well, I hate to be a naysayer, but I think this vac stinks.  I should be able to modify it, but c'mon I shouldn't have to. 

It sucks too hard, even with the vent wide open.  I had many bees, if not most splattered on the inside of the cage.  I can fix it, but...

The tube that comes into the cage is too far in.  It stops within an inch or two of the back wall.  This, I think, also contributed to the splattering.  Again, I can fix it.

The cage barely slides down into the bucket, which allows minimal ventilation. 

The entrance into the cage is also near the bottom of the cage.  Not something I can change, without starting over completely.  Or, maybe it is too near the top.  Not sure which, but it seems too close to the bottom because bees were piled up.  If it worked correctly, though, bees would not be PILED. 

The trap door, pushed through, was also a problem.  It crushed a lot of bees when it went shut.  Seems it should have been hinged on top instead of the bottom.  It was actually a minor thing compared with the rest. 

Just frustrated that I paid for something that I have to put more time and money into.  If it is advertised as such it should perform that way without modification. 

Other than that......it sucks 

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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
joker1656
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2010, 07:38:12 AM »

Oh yeah....I forgot.  I almost returned it before using it, but ....how are you s'posed to know how it works unless you try it out. 

Ok.....I'll shut up now.
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
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