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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Post

    I've been playing around with an idea for making a bee vac out of a five gallon plastic bucket. My idea is to go to staples and buy one of those mesh trash cans. Line this with window screening or small sized hardware cloth. Drill holes in the side of the five gallon bucket to put support rods through for the trash bin to sit on. The rods should be high enough that the trash bin is snugly wedged between the rests and the lid of the bucket, when closed. Now, drill a hole in the top of the bucket and melt your hose to the lid with a blow torch. Do the same near the bottom of the bucket, below the trash bin (may need to be a bucket larger than 5 gal depending on the size of the trash bin). The hose at the bottom will connect to a shop vac. With the large surface area for air to pass through in the "bee cage," I don't think bees will get squished agains the sides of the trash bin. My question is, where to the bees get quished if they do, in the container or in the hose they come in through? If the answer was the hose, I would have to drill holes in the side of the bucket to reduce the force of the pull though the hose.

    Any suggestions before I experiment this spring and possibly kill some bees?

    I am thinking of using the bee vac when harvesting honey instead of blowing the bees out of the supers to reduce the numbers of lost bees (mainly nurse bees who have not yet taken orientation flights -- and who are also the ones who actually to the packing of honey into the supers and the capping/wax secretion, etc.

    I am also thinking of making a square funnel that will rest in a super. The funnel will have the same width bottom opening as the hole in a bee package, and I will have a stack as follows: two empty deeps, the funnel with bee cage at bottom, an empty shallow (so the bees don't zing off the side of the funnel!), and then the super I will be extracting. I will then blow the bees down through the funnel and into the cage to be returned to their hive, or to use for a split (hmmm just give them a frame of eggs....). This will eliminate the issue of the air being thick with bees while I rob honey. Besides, who needs overcrowded hives right after the honey flow is over? We all know this leads to swarming. Possibilities abound...

    I should get some interesting responses here!

    Thanks everyone,

    justgojumpit

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Naples, Maine
    Posts
    41

    Post

    Have you checked the bee-vac plans listed under the Plans section of this website? The first concern that I would watch out for is the velocity of the air (and consequently bees) that your vacuum will produce. Slamming bees into mesh at high velocity will likely kill them all. You may also want to reconsider the way that you harvest the supers. I have harvested honey and never used a bee-vac. Of course, I HAVE gotten stung a bit...., but, there are other methods and products to use during harvesting. Just a thought.

    Hope this helps,
    Paul Bilodeau

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Post

    very nice plans, I hadn't realized they were there! (I knew there were plans just not for a bee vac) I think this would prove to be easier than my idea. I do think I'll use the clear plastic to make mine, and have the top slide on instead of having hinges. I'll also mount it to the back panel of an old backpack to I can wear it that way while working with the bees. That way I can just look down over my shoulder and see when the inner box is getting full, and replace it with a new one. I know that there are other means of harvesting, but my goal is to make splits with the nurse bees from the honey supers, so I think this would help me kill two birds with one stone; once the honey supers are all harvested, steal a frame each of eggs and pollen from the brood chamber for each inner box filled, and set up a nuc.

    justgojumpit

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    No need to have the intake hose on one end and the hose to vaccum on the other. Just as long as they are far enough apart that the bees are "released" from the suction in the trap.

    Now I need a gas-powered shop vac for those bees too far from a power outlet.

    Good luck
    WayaCoyote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Post

    I was thinking of making mine with a plug adapter for my car.

    justgojumpit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rochester, Washington, USA
    Posts
    973

    Post

    Or a small generator.
    \"ONLY WHEN THE LAST RIVER HAS BEEN DRIED UP<br />THE LAST TREE BEEN CUT DOWN<br />THE LAST WILD FISH CAUGHT<br />WILL MAN REALIZE YOU CAN\'T EAT MONEY\"<br />GHANDI (?)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Post

    hmm that's a good idea too. You can't always get your car to the area where you're working. Thanks!

    justgojumpit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    I just bought a Pontiac Vibe, and tried my vac out on the outlet that's built into the dash. It'll run for about 2 seconds I guess when they printed 100W on there, they didn't really mean 6A.

    So now I'm meditating, trying to figure how to run a Dirt Devil Scorpion(6 amp) off my car in emergencies. Ooooohmmmmmmmm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    Is the vac a 12 volt vac? If so, why not just put some clamps like a batter charger and clip it to the battery?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    Nope, it's AC

    I would've preferred a DC 12v, but the price on this one was just right.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Hmmm, a 12V vac, now there's a thought. I purchased an inverter some years ago buying one to do all I needed one to do... Then I started beekeeping. It won't pull a vaccum. So we had to drag Papa's gas-powered generator out to sites. He needed to use it anyway. i think that was the only times he's ever started it. It did the trick, lugging it around, cleaning the carb out, replacing the fuel, etc aside.
    WayaCoyote

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