got some pics of mine today;
The top is the vac.. the hive body and bottom board ""ARE"" a hive body and bottom board..
I made a cleat to fit in the lower entrance of the hive and secured it with two screws... Upon returning from a cutout, all I have to do is remove this cleat, drop an inner and telescoping cover on it and I am done...
It took me a bit of time to figure out how to keep the bees from "clumping" under the intake area.. adding the piece of pegboard and screen evened out the suction across the entire top of the hive so they dont stick to it anymore.. there is about a four inch gap between this board and the top of the hive box....
The intake connector from the old vac had an angle on it that I had to cut off so the bees come straight in without hitting anything.. in this image and the first one you can see the two holes I can use to increase or decrease intake suction.. I just used a couple brackets I stole from something else, ran a screw in them to hold them. They allow me to open or close these front holes to slow the amount of suction in the hose.
I found that those two holes in the front were not enough, so I made a hole in the top.. that finally allowed me to reduce the amount of suction enough to keep from killing them..
They come into the hive where the suction is diffused, and drop to the frames under them. Adding a frame of brood one of honey /pollen and at least two drawn combs usually has them covering those frames when I open the top. If the cut out is a large one I just add another medium super before I start to give them space inside. The more volume inside the chamber the less it seems to affect the bees once they are in there..
I tried a couple different types, and didnt like either of them much.. I dont like sucking the bees up at the site, then dumping them into a hive when I finally get home.. this allows me to vac them, take them home, drop the tops on, replace the cleat with a reducer and I am done..
I use a simple ratchet strap to keep it together. I can carry it with one hand full of bees. I have a pvc cap I slide into the hose port when done so I dont have to worry about bees coming out the hose. I have used it only twice.. the first time I killed a lot of bees, the second time I added the top hole.. it took a lot longer, but was worth the effort and time in saving a LOT more bees, including the queen.
Its just an old shop vac I picked up at a yard sale. I cut the filter adapter off the bottom and screwed what remained to the top of the box I had made. I used foam around the sealing surface where the box meets the hive body, but this vac has enough suction that I dont think it was necessary. I have two ten foot long pieces of PVC I can put on over the hose to reach 20 feet up if necessary.
I hope to get a video or three this coming spring.. I cant compete with JP but can at least show it in action.
SO!! Moots.. whoever vacs the most hives that SURVIVE wins!!! Whats the prize?? An all expense paid vacation consisting of 20 minutes at McDonalds???