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Author Topic: My Bee Bucket Vac  (Read 9469 times)
Moots
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« on: March 16, 2013, 09:17:22 PM »

Decided to build me a Bee Vac...I know there's a lot of different options and each has it's advantages and disadvantages.  decided to start with the basic 5 gallon bucket vac concept, I like the ease of portability of the bucket style.  In an effort to minimize the number of pieces of equipment that need to be toted around, I came up with some slight modifications to others I've seen...

I purchased the shop vac from Lowe's that attaches to the top of a 5 gallon bucket.  I removed the bottom 5" of the bucket that holds the vacuum and mounted it on an inverted 5 gallon bucket with numerous holes in the bottom.  I also removed the filter cage housing from the vacuum.  This in essence gave me one air tight bucket with two tops.  The open end holds my 5 gallon bucket which has been screened to house the bees.  I drilled a few extra holes in the original intake fitting to reduce the flow rate and threw on a shoulder strap to make toting it easy.

Still hoping I find a swarm or a cutout to give it a try.

Pretty much just bought all the supplies, with the exception of the hardware cloth that I already had...

Probably have around $75 in it....

3 buckets and Lid: $10.00
Vacuum: $24.00
15' Super-flex Vacuum hose: $26.00
Pop rivets and fittings: $14.00






« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 09:29:05 PM by Moots » Logged

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PLAN-B
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 11:59:34 PM »

Awesome job Moots....Haven't thought of getting in to the whole removal thing yet so i haven't looked at a lot of designs, but that looks really good... Have you sucked a few bees out the yard to ensure that is got enough to suck them up, but not to much suction that its killing them?  Now i'm gonna want to play around with one of these...SMH
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hjon71
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2013, 01:54:55 AM »

I like it. A video of it in use is in the future I assume. Any issue seperating the two halves after suction is applied? Plastic buckets "stick" easily. 

I almost forgot this
cheer    goodpost
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bud1
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 03:25:23 AM »

moot vacum is a great tool but plan on shaking your swarms if at all posible. i have had a vacum for several yrs and love it but have never vacumed a swarm
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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 05:00:02 AM »

B, Thanks...Haven't done any test runs on live bees.  However, I did a retrieval the other day with a member of our local bee club and used his bee vac, so I think I got a pretty good idea of where the suction level has to be set...still itching for a good opportunity to find out.

hjon71, I'll be sure and get some video of it in action, if and when I get a chance to put it to use...Can't imagine bucket separation being an issue,  once you stop the vacuum, the vacuum bucket allows air in, no chance of it forming a suction. 

Bud, I hear you.  Smiley
Just a tool I wanted to have as an option in my tool chest.  I'm wanting a swarm so bad, I just didn't want to come across a situation suited for a vacuum and be caught without.  You know, some things don't lend themselves well to shaking....eves of houses, large vehicles, etc. In cases such as those, I just don't think I'm quite ready to do the JP and Scott style move of scooping hand full's of bees.  grin
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Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 10:42:06 AM »

Moots, I put a 10 frame box on top of a step ladder, took a soft bristle shop broom with an extendable handle and brushed from edges to middle of swarm and they fell into box.  I also take a rope sometimes can throw a rope over limb and shake.  Just some options.  Now may have to make vac one of these days too.  Looks good.  Good luck and you'll get a swarm or cutout soon.




Joe




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bud1
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 03:08:33 PM »

on the hand scooping; gona try and get them to show me how they do that at the meeting. but you dont have to use your hands . a large cup or can works great on scooping them off a surface. if allan gets to come just wait till you see him handling them at night.
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 07:23:11 PM »

I'll spend some quality one-on-one with ya Bud...ya big liar grin
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2013, 08:08:55 PM »

Good looking vac.   Lets see a video of it in use.   
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capt44
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 07:01:01 PM »

I use the Owens Bee Vac I purchased from Brushy mountain bee farm.
I have vacuumed several clusters of bees on tree limbs or on walls of buildings.
The main thing is make sure your vacuum is just where it will lift a bee into the hose.
Use a hose with a smooth inner wall.
Do not use any syrup spray, it will cause the bees to be a thick glob in the cage which will smoother them.
I wouldn't take a Purdy for mine.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 10:36:28 AM »

Moots, you did an awesome job with the vac and with the screen sides it does give them more room to move upwards and something to hold onto than with a typical bucket style vac. If you are experiencing high mortality rates turn the vac horizontally if possible. This will allow the bees more room to spread out.

The problem with a bucket style design is the bees tend to pile up on each other and are unable to spread out because the catch box is vertical and the sides are slick. This is most critical as it gets warmer out. Bees get stressed, over heat and regurgitate, which leads to high mortality rates.

Hands down best bucket style vac I've seen.


...JP

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bud1
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 11:08:47 AM »

forgot moot shore looks good i want one; bring yo stuff you need to the meeting and do a demo as figure a lot o people would like to see how you did it and promise to have you something to try it on. got a great cut out for kathy p here and she not gona bee gready as larry has never done a cut out or you either so she gona let you boys do it while she and one of my kids (jp, shawee, dallas, scott, baily, nate or martin) supervise.  wil get ken to post the pictures fo me
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Moots
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 11:22:41 AM »

forgot moot shore looks good i want one; bring yo stuff you need to the meeting and do a demo as figure a lot o people would like to see how you did it and promise to have you something to try it on. got a great cut out for kathy p here and she not gona bee gready as larry has never done a cut out or you either so she gona let you boys do it while she and one of my kids (jp, shawee, dallas, scott, baily, nate or martin) supervise.  wil get ken to post the pictures fo me

Bud,
Sounds great, thanks....

Can't tell you how forward I'm looking to Bud5...It won't be too much longer!  grin
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2013, 12:35:00 PM »

Very nice motts

Mine is very similar to that except i have a valve on the outer bucket to adjust suction pressure. They work great. But like JP said it works better to lay it side ways to help the bees spread out. And maybe think about building a second bucket to swap out for those big cutouts.
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bud1
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2013, 05:47:35 PM »

guv  always have an extra. mine is a big square and screned on all sides except bottom. and done had to put them in front seat with ac blowing on them to get them home
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Moots
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2013, 10:27:23 AM »

JP,
Thanks for the compliments and advice regarding my bee vac, both are appreciated.  Smiley 

I tried to incorporate as much screened area as possible while still allowing the bucket to maintain it's structural integrity/  While it doesn't show in the pictures, that includes the majority of the bottom of the bucket being screened.  My wanting to use that top mounted vac is really what drove my concept to being made to operate in a horizontal position, but the thought did occur to me that it also may be advantages, regarding space for the bees....both glad and encouraged to see you're in agreement.

Gov,
A second bucket is definitely on my to do list.  My first was really a learning experience...Installing the wire mesh into the bucket was a bit of a challenge because of the tapper of the bucket.  I got it to work, but I'm still not convinced there's not a better way. LOL!

I also haven't added anything to easily adjust the suction...still giving that some thought.  Currently, I think I have it tuned pretty good by just leaving the original intake fitting on the vacuum end installed and open.  I've actually drilled a few more small holes in it to further reduce it a little.  One option is to open or seal those holes via duct tape for fine tuning.  I've also toyed with the idea of a ball valve, but it almost seems like that's over thinking it and making it more involved than it needs to be.

I'm anxious to field test it!  grin
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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fishman
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2013, 05:37:35 PM »

I just built one today, I liked the idea so much. I cut a 1 1/2" circle out of some of the scrap plastic, then used it like a sliding flap over some small holes drilled in the vac lid close to the hose. I attached it with a 10-32 screw and nut,(off center)  that way I can slide it over exposing some of the holes and reduce the suction. Seems it will work really well.  Cant wait for a chance to try it
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jpmeir
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2013, 11:34:53 AM »

I use the Owens Bee Vac from Brushy Mountain on a cutout two weeks ago and was not happy with the death rate.  At least a 1/3 of the bees died.  Emil from Central Texas Bee loves this vacume so I know it has to be the way I adjusted the vac power.  In hindsight I think I should have gone with the bee vac type JP is currently using, however, I have a Owens and I'm going to learn to use it safetly.   Hard lesson thouth. 
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2013, 12:11:26 PM »

I just built one today, I liked the idea so much. I cut a 1 1/2" circle out of some of the scrap plastic, then used it like a sliding flap over some small holes drilled in the vac lid close to the hose. I attached it with a 10-32 screw and nut,(off center)  that way I can slide it over exposing some of the holes and reduce the suction. Seems it will work really well.  Cant wait for a chance to try it

Fish,
Sounds like you have some small holes. Depending on the vacuum you use, you want to open it up enough so that when you put your hand over the suction end,you just barely  feel the suction. I have a 1 3/4" hole plus the a 16" x 1/8" slot where the divider screen goes, on my bee vac. The first time I used this one, I didn't have it finished because I needed the right size drill bit for my alternate vacuum. I killed half of a very large swarm.
Jim
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fishman
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« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2013, 03:15:30 AM »

Sawdust.

     Yes the holes are small enough that no chance a bee will escape through the "valve" area. I can simply slide the little cover I made over as needed to reduce vacuum as needed exposing a couple or many of the holes. It is in the same lid as the hose is attached.  Once I had it assembled, I turned it on, and it has very low suction already, but I wanted the way to adjust if needed.
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