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Author Topic: Bee Vac Success  (Read 826 times)
stewroten
New Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 19

Location: Elkin, NC


« on: May 01, 2012, 10:22:58 PM »

My middle son and I had our names placed on a list for swarm removal in our area.  We've had four calls in the past 10 days.  Two have resulted in bees for us. On Friday we had a call from a fellow across the county (40 miles) about a swarm on his front porch.  Turns out someone else had turned him down because there would be a cutout involved.  (The other beek wanted to be paid.)  The swarm had moved into a 10" x 10" column on the front porch of the family home -- a nice hundred year old farm house.  Nate wanted to build a bee vac for this project.  I had a double deep hive body that I hadn't yet made frames for.  We made a 1.25" hole down low for the small shop vac hose, a wall to wall screen just above, a 1.5 " hole above that for the 35' pool hose that I bought at Big Lots at the end of the season a few years back -- don't have a pool -- knew it'd come in handy sometime.  Above that I placed 10 frames of drawn comb.  The top was an inner cover with screen over the hole one one side and duct tape on the other.  (After we got started, I peeled the duct tape back so as to relieve the vac suction and not be so rough on the bees.  I'll make a proper relief valve next time.)  The bottom was cardboard.  Top and bottom were duct taped on for a good seal.  I arrived at the home at about 5:15P.  Bees were coming and going from a small hole at the top of the 8' column.  Pried the column open. Noticed dead bees from previous years so I knew this was a favorite of local swarms.  Sent up a puff of smoke and never touched the smoker again.  Completely removed the board I'd freed leaving the other three.  At the top were 5-7 sheets of comb, some up to 18" long and lots of bees.  They'd been busy, as the cells were loaded with poplar nectar.  I vacuumed what bees I could get to, removed a sheet of comb with my handy dandy hive tool and repeated.  At 6:00P I had a pile of wax on a hive lid and a box of bees.  I probably got 6 pounds or more.  I stapled a screen over the hose hole, removed the cardboard from the bottom for ventilation and removed the tape from the inner cover on top.  The family seemed quite impressed. Apparently, they thought I knew what I was doing!  I was only there an hour including cleanup.  I left the homeowner happy, a few straggler bees unhappy and a middle son very happy.  We set the box on our bee bench and removed the screen from the hose opening last evening.  Today, we checked and found only a few dead bees and a nice fat queen and lots of nectar in the empty comb I'd placed before the operation began.  I put the comb I'd removed from the column on our back deck for cleanup.

That bee vac is awesome grin
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G3farms
Queen Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1485


Location: concord, tn


« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 09:10:38 AM »

You forgot just one thing..................pics!!

Sounds like you did a great job, and time with the son is even better, some good lasting memories.

Would like to see a pic of the vac setup, can't quite picture it in my head.
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
stewroten
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Gender: Male
Posts: 19

Location: Elkin, NC


« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 10:21:09 PM »

Today's swarm call came from Walmart.  Actually, the call came from their contracted pest control person.  He explained that their policy is to relocate bees if a beekeeper can be located to help.  A nice swarm had moved in to the Walmart garden center two days ago.  There was a pallet of bagged mulch with the bags arranged in such a way as to leave a 6x6 cavity in the center.  The pallet was stored on a shelf about 8 feet off the floor.  We waited till near twilight.  A worker was brave enough to use a forklift to set the pallet, mulch and bees on the floor.  Nate and I began to disassemble the stack, stopping at each layer to vacuum the bees.  A half hour later, we were boxed and ready to go.  That's the first time I've been to Walmart w/o cash.  I also made a good contact with the pest control company.

Tomorrow, Nate and his big brother will attempt a cutout in an old barn.  The owner plans to burn the structure soon, but doesn't want to waste the bees.  They plan to use the vac again, and hopefully save the wax and honey.
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