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  1. #1

    Default Vacuum bee killer question..

    I used my Kelly bee vac for a swarm up in a tree the other day, filled up both boxes and had about 3 pounds total of bees, I didnt notice many dead till i dumped them into a hive, I'm guessing way over half of them were dead, I kept them in a cool place for about 2 hours til I could get them home..is this kill rate normal with bee vacs?
    Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be a convenience store not a government agency

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    Definately not. You probably had it set with too strong a suction. The suction should be set to where there is a bit of a "struggle" before the bees get pulled in. When I use my vac, I typically have no more than 10-15 dead bees. I also prefer not to use it on swarms, I usually just drop them into a box.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Lightbulb

    If the pressure is too high it will kill a lot of bees. The bees take a wild ride down the tube bouncing off the inner walls then hitting the collection box. Some of the damage to the bees will take a few days to kill them, you won't really know how many bees you kill until you can observe the dead in front of the hive, then you have to take into consideration the ones that flew off to die.

    One of my earlier mistakes was sucking up a swarm that would not stay in the nuc box. It was a very hot day, over 1oo, the bees were on the sunny side of a brown steel building. After repeated attempts of brushing and scooping them into a box and failing I decided to suck them up. There were way to many in the collection box and by the time I got home all I had was a wet, sticky ball of dead bees.

    When using a vac keep the hose as short as possible,
    use the type of hose with no ribbing on the inside,
    keep the hose as straight as possible,
    set the air volume to barely pull the bees off the comb,
    a small one inch end on a two inch hose works best,
    remove the screened catch box from the vac as soon a possible,
    and never use a vac unless all else fails for a swarm.

    When catching a swarm, cutting branches, knocking them off a branch, scooping, brushing, or enticing them into a box with attractant are all preferred ways to catch swarms. I haven't used my vac for a swarm since I killed that big one years ago.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  4. #4

    Default

    The instructions said you could add a 10' section of 1' pvc to it to reach bees in a tree..so that's what I did..it has 2 vent holes in the top, cover one to increase the strength, I left them both open.
    Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be a convenience store not a government agency

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,382

    Default

    Probably packed to many bees in the box as well. My box is larger than a medium hive body and I never even approach filling it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    What sort of "shock absorber" does it have at the back of the box. I use a peice of that "egg crate" looking memory foam stuff that they put on old folks beds to keep them from getting bed sores. It seems to give them a very soft landing as they tumble into the box. Also remember that if they are up pretty high, you have a gravitational component that will accelerate them as well, so you may need to consider elevating the box a much as you can too.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  7. #7

    Default

    Its the one that Kelley sells, it has some carpet padding in it I think..
    Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be a convenience store not a government agency

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