I wonder if any of you have tried the beevac plans and did it really work? I just removed a colony of bees from an old building that is going to be destroyed and the owner didn't want the bees to go with it. It was quite a job but successful. It seems to me it would have been a lot easier had I had a beevac and it really worked. Bobby
Hi, Bobby. My bee vac works really great. I use a shop vac to activate a suction box which strains out the bees. Here's how I made it. Lay a piece of masonite on the floor and place a 2 pound package box on it two inches from one end and from one side. Fasten a piece of "base shoe" (from a lumber supply store) on those two sides in such a way as the position the package box. (Curved side toward the box.) Mark two inches clearance to the other two sides, cut and install two more locating pieces. This will be the bottom. Cut a piece of 5/8" or thicker plywood the same size; this will be the top. Cut two ends from the same plywood whose length is such that the suction box top will sit 1/8" above the package box. Cut two pieces of masonite for the sides. In one end bore a hole to fit the suction line from the shop vac, using the small (l"?) diameter hose. Glue all the parts together except the top. Install stud bolts at the top edge middle on each end to mate with wing nuts which will secure the top in place. Bore a hole in the top to fit a large diameter (2"?) shop vac suction hose end (the end intended to fit the shop vac). The other end of this hose will be attached to a crevice tool and will be the bee input end. Two foot lengths of rigid tubing are available to extend this hose as far as you like. You will need to contrive ways to attach the two hoses to the suction box. For the large diameter on on the top, I used three cup hooks partly opened up which are twisted to engage a flange on the hose fitting. For the small diameter one on the end I used three screw eyes and fastened three hooks on the hose end; I used the kind with springs which prevent unintended unlatching. My hose end was too limber so I inserted a piece of paper mailing tube to stiffen the end. Finally, install a strip of 1/4" thick open cell weatherstrip around the feed can hole in the package box. Cut a piece of 1/8" hardware cloth to cover that hole to keep the bees in before you lift the package box out of the suction box. Fit a string on the former with which to lift it.
If you are lucky enough to have three package boxes, you will be able to fill three in sequence and place them in a deep hive body with a bottom board and inner cover and move them home. The screened sides on the package boxes will provide enough ventilation.
As I said, this arrangement works like a charm and doesn't kill any bees. Dan
Bob,,,you will thank yourself for taking the time to make a bee-vac. I'm not sure how I got along not having one! There are a few different plans out there for the vacs. Barry Birkey has a set on his site that looks pretty good. 'Ol Johnson sells one. The one I made is an adaptation of a couple different ideas. If your in the habit of capturing swarms and or hives,,,,just drop what your doing and get started on your own vac. You'll be glad you did. Gathering a hive, especially out of a wall,,is messy,,,no way around it. A vac is a huge help. Each year, I seem to get two or three swarm calls from schools. If you go in with the traditional "jerk the branch and the bees fall in the box" trick,,,you get a big cloud of bees that seem to freak out the little kiddies even more. Vaccuum them and it's no muss,,,no fuss. You'll love it,,,they'll love it
Now get to work
I built a bee vac shortly after my post but have not had a chance to use it yet. Probably won't get a chance until spring or summer now. 5 below and blowing drifting snow today. Not many bees out. It cost me nothing to build, made it from scraps of plywood and hardware wire around the shop. A friend gave me a perfectly good shop vac some one had pitched in the garbage. They tried using it for water with the wrong filter and thought it was shot, I suppose. Any way it works fine, That is, it runs fine and I can control the vacuum to a wisper. I just need some bees to try it on. Bobby
Was just curious about what people thought were the critical features to a successful bee-vac design. Here are some aspects that sounded useful to me (some mentioned on beesource, some from discussion lists, and some from my head).
Hose aperture smaller than the hose body: this would make it so the fastest air flow is at the aperture where you're sucking the bees off the comb. Once they're in the hose and can't fly back out because of the air-speed in the aperture, a larger diameter will allow slower air so as to reduce their speed down the hose.
Smooth hose: not as many corners to crunch tiny exoskeletons if the bees bounce on their way down the hose.
Removable/exchangeable inner chamber: so you can replace the chamber as often as you need to without having to empty bees out.
Variable suction: so you can fine-tune the airspeed so that the speed at the aperture is the lowest necessary to pull the bees off the comb, and can increase airspeed as you finish to pull any stragglers out of the hose. The hole in the outer case with variable covering seems an easy way of controlling the amount of suction transmitted to the inner box and hose.
Impact cushion: in case bees shoot into the box too quickly, some sort of cushion in the direction they'd be hurtling would cause less trauma than a solid surface.
Large dropoff in airspeed once out of the hose: Two features promote this. 1) a large area over which the air leaves the inner box. And 2) having an area of dead-air in the back of the box, accomplished by having the mesh for air to leave the box near the end where the hose enters the box, and also having a long box so that the bees have a longer distance of still air in which to decelerate.
What else is useful?
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Don:
[B]Was just curious about what people thought were the critical features to a successful bee-vac design.
A SHORT HOSE! The ladies getting sucked accelerate like crazy whilst in the hose. The shorter the better. Dan your mail to Bee L this year sent me back to Beesource. Mine isn't the same as any except in principles, but boy o boy wot a nice toy. Anyone else love ghostbusters?
I have an interior fan/demister from a Mazda sitting in my garage with thoughts of portability...
Howdy All --
I designed a bee vac this fall -- using a leaf blower/vacuum and adapted it to use the vacuum part. It is a gasoline unit so as to free me from having to have access to electricity.
I had only one chance to use it this fall.
To collect a colony living on the side of a pine tree. I wanted to salvage them before cold weather killed them. It worked fine, but I will withhold details until I have a chance to give a more thorough trial next spring with swarms and feral colonies.