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Author Topic: My Bee Bucket Vac  (Read 9781 times)
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2013, 11:53:28 AM »

OK. Just concerned. The biggest killer of bees being killed by this method is the amount of suction.The second biggest killer is heat.
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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2013, 06:17:22 PM »

I appreciate it Sawdust,   I had to borrow one last year, and from what I saw from that commercial one, I think this one is a good design shown on here.  I sure do not want to kill any if I get a chance at some more!!!
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« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2013, 12:40:50 PM »

Would like to Thank Moots for posting this and answering questions.
Just finished building one just like it and I can get the suction down super low and with the other bucket in between i cant imagine having any trouble with heat....     Smiley  Great design.   Now cant wait to use it.
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Marshall
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« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2013, 04:52:19 PM »

B,
You're quite welcome...glad it worked out.

I hadn't looked at this thread in quite a while, just realizing I hadn't ever posted back since putting the vac to use.  Anyway, thought I give a follow up report...

I've used the bee-vac to vacuum up 5 swarms this season, to the best of my memory.  I can honestly say, I don't think I've had 5 dead bees total.  I've been super pleased with the way the vacuum has worked and attribute the low mortality rate to following a few basic bee vac rules.  

First, I keep the suction very low.  Second, I never leave the catch container in the vac without running the vac to keep the air flow moving.  Third, as Bud suggested, I put my catch container on the front seat with the A/C cranked for the ride home to keep them as cool as possible.

And forth....I get them hived ASAP!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 07:47:24 AM by Moots » Logged

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doug494
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« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2013, 08:25:31 AM »

Thanks Moots,

I made one this weekend and it worked well.  Easy rainy day project.

Only thing I think I may need to do is go up to a 2" hose instead of the 1 1/4" that the vac came with.  With a low vacuum the bees could cling to the sides of the 1 1/4" hose and actually plug it up.  I increased the suction and it worked better, with no deaths that I could tell, but a 2" hose may make that whole issue go away.

Also, I chose to keep the filter on the unit since it is sucking unfiltered air from the original port.  5" cut on the bucket doesn't leave enough room for the filter, so I'll be trying a shorter cut to allow the filter to fit.  For now it's duct tape FTW since mine don't slide together tight.
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rwurster
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« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2013, 02:55:59 AM »

Can the vacuum hose be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot?  I've looked for it and not seen it, never asked a sales person about it though.
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Moots
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« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2013, 08:35:07 AM »

I purchased my hose from a vacuum cleaner shop...However, I know Lowe's has some options that will work in their plumbing section. The smoother the hose is on the inside, the better.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 11:10:33 AM by Moots » Logged

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beeman2009
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« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2013, 10:48:25 AM »

Try pool hose. Completely smooth inside. Works great for me & you can get it at Lowe's or home depot.
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Beeman2009
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« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2013, 10:50:26 PM »

I got the two inch hose for mine at lowes... The exterior of the hose looks ribbed but the inside is a lot smoother.... Just used it last weekend and sucked up a ton of bees. 95 degrees outside and no problem with killing bees... Although Moots pointed out that if you turn the vac off you should pull the screened bucket apart so ventilation can move across the girls...  Works like a charm and weighs hardly nothing... Love it...
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Marshall
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« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2013, 04:34:42 PM »

Excellent! Going to build a 7 gal one on your model. Will report back. Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2013, 12:30:29 AM »

Got a 7 gal bucket, and a 5 gal bucket, some bee screen, and started with a Home Depo 4.5 amp bucket vac, and later after testing, switched to a Lowes 6.5 amp bucket vac with much better controllable suction. Got some strap from JoAnn fabrics, made wire end clips, made a valve flow control with a thumb nut to tighten, made a bounce platform, for the girls to bump into gently, from the cutoff part of the bucket vac and some foam, made a separator from 1/4" ply and bee screen. Glued the screen into the 7 gal cut out side walls with urethane glue. Ready for the next cut out.
http://s1185.photobucket.com/user/patrickdriscoll/library/Bee%20Vac%20I
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 08:49:02 AM by Robo » Logged
capt44
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« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2013, 03:36:45 PM »

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. 
I have a Owens Bee Vac  also with an extra cage.
I lost afew bees until I learned how to set the vacuum.
I do like the design of the bucket style bee vac.
I might try to build one this winter.
But I adjust the vacuum of the Owens Bee Vac so I just lift the bees not just suck them in and slam dunk them.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
thubten
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« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2013, 10:41:00 AM »

Moots thanks for the ingenious thinking here!!
Capt44, Moots and everyone.... I used my 7 gal bee vac described above on a cutout yesterday; It worked very well BUT I lost a ton of bees and probably the queen.
It was inside a single woman's home and she wanted the bees OUT!
However, I have some questions for the Bee Masters out there:
1) will vacuum control alone reduce or eliminate this problem?
2) should I empty the holding bucket every X minutes (10 min, 1/2 hour, 1 hour ??)
3) the bees were all wet... it was humid .. was this the cause...they were all bunched up into a wet clump 5 inches high.... perhaps honey sogged and liquidified?
4) I hesitate to do cutouts in late September because I don't know how well they will do when added to my existing hives so late in the season??
Addendum: Sorry I had not noticed Moots reply #23 above but I am still concerned..
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Robo
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« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2013, 09:32:52 PM »

Moots thanks for the ingenious thinking here!!
Capt44, Moots and everyone.... I used my 7 gal bee vac described above on a cutout yesterday; It worked very well BUT I lost a ton of bees and probably the queen.
It was inside a single woman's home and she wanted the bees OUT!
However, I have some questions for the Bee Masters out there:
1) will vacuum control alone reduce or eliminate this problem?
2) should I empty the holding bucket every X minutes (10 min, 1/2 hour, 1 hour ??)
3) the bees were all wet... it was humid .. was this the cause...they were all bunched up into a wet clump 5 inches high.... perhaps honey sogged and liquidified?
4) I hesitate to do cutouts in late September because I don't know how well they will do when added to my existing hives so late in the season??
Addendum: Sorry I had not noticed Moots reply #23 above but I am still concerned..

Wet bees are overheated bees.  As bees get warm,  they need to spread out to cool down.   In order to spread out, they need space to do so.  Bucket vacs do not have a large enough volume to allow any halfway decent sized swarm or cutout enough space to spread out.
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Moots
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« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2013, 10:50:36 PM »

thubten,
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Robo, I've used this vac on a large cutout as well as a number of very big swarms...most of those being on 90°+ Louisiana days and have never had an issue.
Follow my points in reply #23 and you should be fine.

If you're worried about overcrowding, you can always build extra catch buckets. But trust me, you'd be shocked how many bees you can safely fit in one 5 gallon bucket. That was another reason for the "on its side" design, more room for the bees to spread out.

Good Luck! 😊
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« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2013, 10:58:30 PM »

Quote
Second, I never leave the catch container in the vac without running the vac to keep the air flow moving.
   This can be quite impractical at times, especially when doing large cut outs.   I'm not saying you can't,  but I can say I have sold more bee vacs to people that had overheating issue with bucket vacs than any other design.   
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JP
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« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2013, 01:15:02 AM »

Unless the bucket style vac can be operated on its side thus enabling bees to spread out a bucket style vac is a death trap. Proper ventilation & the ability to spread out are key for low casualty rates with any type of vac.


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Moots
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« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2013, 01:38:58 AM »

Quote
Second, I never leave the catch container in the vac without running the vac to keep the air flow moving.
   

This can be quite impractical at times, especially when doing large cut outs.   I'm not saying you can't,  but I can say I have sold more bee vacs to people that had overheating issue with bucket vacs than any other design.   

Robo,

Not really sure what you find impractical about it?  When the catch bucket is in place, I leave the vac running to avoid overheating the bees.  If I want to stop the vac for any length of time, I simply remove the catch bucket from the bucket vac to allow the bees more air.  When I'm ready to vac again, I simply brush any stragglers of the outside of the catch bucket and insert it back in the bucket vac and resume vacuuming.  It literally takes about 10 seconds.

 
However, as I've said before when discussing the different types of bee vacs...They all have their advantages and disadvantages.  Smiley

While I think your vac is a great design and have heard nothing but great things about it.  Personally, for me, a bucket vac in many cases,  simply makes more sense.  For example, when a local Chemical Plant calls for me to remove a swarm, in many cases, they won't allow you to bring a vehicle into their facility.  I've had to walk a couple 100 yards and climb up a couple levels of scaffolding  to reach swarms at these facilities...Something pretty easily accomplished with a bucket vac slung over my shoulder, but something that would be quite impractical with your style of vac.

As for all the people that you know that have had overheating issues with bucket vacs...I really can't speak for them, I can just tell you it hasn't been an issue for me.    

Honestly, as much as I've read about dead loss with bee vacs in general, I was absolutely shocked after the first several times I used my vac and observed absolutely none.  My best guess is that most people have their suction set way too strong.
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« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2013, 05:25:40 AM »

Robo,

Not really sure what you find impractical about it?  When the catch bucket is in place, I leave the vac running to avoid overheating the bees.  If I want to stop the vac for any length of time, I simply remove the catch bucket from the bucket vac to allow the bees more air.  When I'm ready to vac again, I simply brush any stragglers of the outside of the catch bucket and insert it back in the bucket vac and resume vacuuming.  It literally takes about 10 seconds.

 
However, as I've said before when discussing the different types of bee vacs...They all have their advantages and disadvantages.  Smiley

While I think your vac is a great design and have heard nothing but great things about it.  Personally, for me, a bucket vac in many cases,  simply makes more sense.  For example, when a local Chemical Plant calls for me to remove a swarm, in many cases, they won't allow you to bring a vehicle into their facility.  I've had to walk a couple 100 yards and climb up a couple levels of scaffolding  to reach swarms at these facilities...Something pretty easily accomplished with a bucket vac slung over my shoulder, but something that would be quite impractical with your style of vac.

As for all the people that you know that have had overheating issues with bucket vacs...I really can't speak for them, I can just tell you it hasn't been an issue for me.    

Honestly, as much as I've read about dead loss with bee vacs in general, I was absolutely shocked after the first several times I used my vac and observed absolutely none.  My best guess is that most people have their suction set way too strong.

As my Dad use to say, "If everybody liked vanilla, they wouldn't make chocolate"  grin

I'm glad the bucket vac works great for you,  and thanks for sharing your experience and proper way to use so others can avoid killing bees.
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bbbthingmaker
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« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2013, 07:46:28 AM »

I used a home made bee-vac  (Robo type) to get a swarm off a chain-link fence. I built an sliding gate to  adjust the suction.  It worked great.   It is a little too heavy and cumbersome  to carry very far. I like your bucket design. I'll probably build one.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 09:21:12 AM by bbbthingmaker » Logged
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