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  1. #1
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    Today I got a call from someone who said they had a swarm of bees they needed to have removed. When I arrived, the bees were in a large oak tree that the wind had blown over a few days before and the man wanted to saw the tree up and wanted the bees out of the way. The tree was about 30-36" in diameter where the bees were. They were coming out of a crotch between two large limbs and also a knothole about 2' below. At the time I couldn't figure out how to get the bees out of the tree so I had to tell the man that I couldn't help him.

    When I got home I looked at the bee-vac plans on this site. Basically you need a container to hold the bees and someway to regulate the air flow. I had a shop vac and was able to find a vacuum hose from an old vacuum sweeper. With these I fashioned a regulator box that was about 6"x6"x3" with one side curved to fit a 5 gallon plastic bucket. The regulator had a hole for the shop-vac and another side hole with a baffle that I could open and close to regulate the air flow. On the curved side I put aluminum screen to cover the hole into the 5 gal pail. On the other side of the pail I made a hole that would accept the vacuum sweeper hose and another baffle that I could close the hole with when ready to transport. (baffles are 1/8" plywood with a screw so the plywood can be slid over the hole to open and close it) I didn't use any caulk but did cut the wood pieces for fairly tight fits. The whole rig took about two hours to build. I can regulate the air flow into the pail from very gentle to strong.

    I wasn't able to use the bee vac because when I went back the man had already killed the bees. I had planned to vacuum the bees that were on the outside, and then cut out a wedge to have access to the cavity inside the tree. I also have two three foot vacuum extensions so I should easily be able to reach bees 6-8 feet high from the ground.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,487

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    >I wasn't able to use the bee vac because when I went back the man had already killed the bees.

    Unfortuately this seems to be the reality of removing bees. Other people panic and kill them before you can complete the job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
    Posts
    488

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    Another option might be if the tree is near a water hose and you can tell where the top of the cavity is drill 2 holes in the top cavity and seal all other entrances. Stick the hose in one hole and SLOWLY fill. Bees will cluster at the new exit. Most of the time you will get the queen. You loose the comb, brood and honey. This procedure often requires 2 trips to let the sealant dry and bees calm down and learn new entrance. You would probably have to charge a good deal of money to make it worthwhile. Good idea to seal the holes when done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,487

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    I just came back from what was supposed to be a cut-out. They had sprayed and there wasn't a bee to be found. A half a day of work getting the swarm catching frames ready, loading the bee vac, buckets etc. and a 45 mile drive to find they are dead.

    Why do people call me if they are going to kill them anyway?

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