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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Bristol Va
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    191

    Default 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    I have seen them somewhere before on how to make the cuts on the buckets but I can't find it now. Anyone know where I can find them? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    2,870

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Dudley, NC
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    I have made that vac from his directions on the site. Easy to make, works very well. I have used it on a swarm I could not reach in a tree and on a cutout and will use it again on Friday for a cutout. Very little damage to the bees, twist the buckets to vary the suction.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    I'm definitely going to build one of these, it seems to simple and efficient, for my first bee vac which I will put to use in a couple of weeks.

    Two questions: How do you know if you need to rotate the buckets to reduce (or enlarge) suction (just peek inside as you're going along)? How is suction regulated on the large model?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,988

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    I have a bucket vac and much prefer my BushKill vac. The bees are vac'ed right onto combs in one step and you don't end up dumping vac'ed up debris into the box when you dump the bees out of the bucket. A friend just brought me bees vac'ed from under a shed and about two cups of leaves and other debris were mixed with the bees. On a Bushkill the garbage stays on the bottom board and the bees walk away from it up onto the combs.
    My bucket vac is all plumbed to the lid which can then fit other matching buckets. The ball valve regulates the flow. Motor is old electric mini vac. Pool cleaning hose works well.
    Last edited by odfrank; 06-07-2012 at 09:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Santa Susana Mountains, Ventura County, California
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Looks cool. I've heard the biggest problem with bee vacs is keeping the sucked up bees alive and preventing them from being slammed into the bucket to their death. Suction power seems to be determined on the length of the hose. The longer the hose the less suction. I think suction can be adjusted easily by trying different hoses and lengths. But how do you give them a nice soft landing once they enter the bucket ? The screening keeps them in the bucket and provides great ventilation but it doesn't seem to do anything to lessen their impact into the bucket when being sucked up. Hopefully the bees don't end up piled against the screens and forced through as a puree of bees. I wonder if some foam padding, Tempurpedic, etc. might help with the bee bucket landing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    The hose length is probably the biggest limiting factor of the vacuum's max suction...air leaks account for other losses. The size of the actual openings in the screened holes are adjusted by spinning one bucket inside of the other one...this is what is used to vary the power of the vacuum in a controlled way. Carpeting, foam, bubble-wrap, etc., could be used on the bottom of the bucket to soften the bees' landings...bubble-wrap would probably be better so that the bees legs and feet don't get hung up in it (as could happen with carpet or whatever). When the bees enter the bucket/box the vacuum pressure drops greatly and the arrival isn't as violent as you might imagine...if you have the vacuum adjusted correctly. Basically you want the vacuum to just barely pull a bee off the comb with the end of the hose all but touching the bee (maybe even touching it if you have a good gentle hand).

    Ed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Basically you want the vacuum to just barely pull a bee off the comb with the end of the hose all but touching the bee (maybe even touching it if you have a good gentle hand).

    Ed
    Thanks, Ed. Sounds like good observation on how gentle or not the vac is suctioning off the bees is what you need to see. I'll definitely use the bubble wrap (have tons of it at work). I still don't get the suction control on the large two-bucket design, though (pardon for not getting that).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Tom, if your talking about the two buckets stacked end-on-end to each other that is just a holding cage....when the vacuum bucket starts filling up simply pour the bees over into the holding cage and put the lid on it. The double-stacked assembly is not used for actual vacuuming. Is that what you were wondering about?

    Ed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Tom, if your talking about the two buckets stacked end-on-end to each other that is just a holding cage....when the vacuum bucket starts filling up simply pour the bees over into the holding cage and put the lid on it. The double-stacked assembly is not used for actual vacuuming. Is that what you were wondering about?

    Ed
    Thanks, Ed. That's exactly what I was referring to. I should've read the caption more closely. Thanks!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Moultonborough, NH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Anybody have step-by-step plans for building the bee vac out of 5-gallon buckets? The pictures at https://plus.google.com/photos/11186...92227698654225 are helpful, but instructions would enhance my likelihood of success.

    Thanks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,113

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Quote Originally Posted by MES613 View Post
    Anybody have step-by-step plans for building the bee vac out of 5-gallon buckets? The pictures at https://plus.google.com/photos/11186...92227698654225 are helpful, but instructions would enhance my likelihood of success.

    Thanks.
    Link Don't work

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Moultonborough, NH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Not certain why the link isn't working, but I will try again. If you scroll up to the #2 message in this thread posted by NasalSponge, the link is there and it works for me.

    https://plus.google.com/photos/11186...92227698654225

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Moultonborough, NH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans


  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    invest in a smooth hose. I made one and used the ribbed hose and it seemed to kill a lot of bees. I have several wine corks in my buckets to regulate flow, but I built mine like an inline fuel filter. Same concept though.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Quote Originally Posted by MES613 View Post
    Anybody have step-by-step plans for building the bee vac out of 5-gallon buckets? The pictures at https://plus.google.com/photos/11186...92227698654225 are helpful, but instructions would enhance my likelihood of success.

    Thanks.
    ^ this

    Good pics, need more detail. asap please.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cameron, Texas, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Fl_Beak View Post
    invest in a smooth hose. I made one and used the ribbed hose and it seemed to kill a lot of bees. I have several wine corks in my buckets to regulate flow, but I built mine like an inline fuel filter. Same concept though.
    Sump pump hose is ribbed and along with my vac doesn't kill any bees. The reason ribbed hose kills bees is the suction is too strong lower that and it will do fine. If you want to spend the money for smooth bore then by all means do it, but it isn't necessary.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greenwich, New York, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    I am always concerned when I see bee vac plans or suggestions that the vacuum motor is in the same bucket as the bucket to collect the bees. I have been using a shop vac with a collecting bucket with a perforated and capped strainer pipe on the shop vac side. The bees drop into the collecting bucket from hose to the cutout. The idea is to keep the motor noise from killing the bees no matter what the design is. The only dead bees that I have had are a few caught in the strainer. The additional advantage to a separate collecting bucket is that it can be used to store the bees until the hive with brood comb is finished. Getting the elusive queen to cooperate is another story.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Home Depot has bucket vacs that mount directly on top of any 5 gallon bucket for $22. Plan on buying one this week and adjusting suction as needed. For 22 bucks how can u go wrong? Been using an old metal canister vac made by montgomery wards....last cutout we only had 5 dead bees!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: 5 gal bucket bee vac plans

    Used The 5 Gallon home Depot bucket vac today on a cut-out in an old barn. Worked Fantastic. I drilled 4 1" holes in the bucket mid-way down...then covered them with screen from the inside. I ended up covering 2 of the holes to get enough suction. Ended up with about 7-9lbs of bees in total. Filled 1 bucket 1/2 full...slapped a lid on it and then put on 2nd bucket....right back to work. Found about 5 dead bees in total....And even vaccumed up the queen unknowingly. Released her later on top of the hive UNHARMED!!!! Love this vac!

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