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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    West St. Paul, MN, USA
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    Default Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Hey All - Got a couple questions regarding bee removals. I am relatively new to keeping bees, but think I have found a new passion in my life, I love the bees and all they are about. My favorite YouTube channel is JPthebeeman, and have been inspired by his calm, coolness, and all around demeanor when he deals with bees. I really would like to start doing bee removals and swarm catching up here in MN. I want to compile a list of everything I might need to be successful at this. Obviously things like boxes, hive tools, sugar water, b-quick, a sharp knife, queen cage, empty frames, rubber bands, etc.....

    1)Has anyone used the plans for building the B-Vac? I think this must be an essential tool for removing hives? What are your thoughts?

    2) Contracts and Insurance?? I know from reading through posts here at bee source that a lot of you recommend using a contract and insurance. At what point do you think this becomes very important? I can see the importance of a contract, but until this were to become a successful gig, what is the insurance for - property damage, bodily harm, etc??

    I am sure I am missing quite a bit of things here, so that is why I posted, thanks in advance for all your help!!!!
    Last edited by Autonomy Acres; 11-10-2012 at 07:56 PM.
    www.autonomyacres.com Discussions on Urban Homesteading

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
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    2,534

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    A Bee Vac is an essential tool no doubt. They are as complicated or as easy to build as your imagination will allow.
    I have built a few, simple really.
    Contracts for sure AND a hold harmless clause in your contract in case anyone gets stung. IMO, insurance is not absolutely necessary due to the hold harmless clause. If you get hurt... it's on you.
    AGAIN IMO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Autonomy Acres.... Do a search on the search engine in the upper right of this page. (Advanced Search) Type in Tools for bee removal there are several threads there that will definately help you with your list.

    cchoganjr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    While you are searching, look on this forum for Mr Hogans posts on trapping. Or ask him directly, his email address is in this thread.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...highlight=trap
    He is generous with information and is the guru of trapping. Knowledge is the best tool in any toolkit.
    Bill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    782

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    You will need a reciprocating saw with various types of blades, an oscillating tool with various tips including those for cutting sheetrock and wood. I didn't have a bee vac my first year but wish I had. I used one this past year. Researched several and settled on the Robovac. I, too, asked for plans to build one but got nowhere with that. Several suggested that all I need was "imagination" which was useless advice as I have none (which is why I had asked for plans to begin with). Others suggested using the "plans" on the robovac site but those 'plans' turned out to be very vague (to me) pictures. I finally paid the 100 clams or so and just bought one. You may want to save the time and aggravation for yourself and do the same. Just be aware that the robovac comes with minimal instructions. For instance, it said nothing about not painting the thing so I did. There is one part that slides into slots in another part. After painting, mine was so tight that it broke to pieces when I had to use a hammer to drive it back out. Wish I had been warned about that. Still, I think it is the best option for a bee vac. Other things you will need: buckets - several, including one for water to rinse your tools and hands, a good flashlight, lots of empty frames (I use deeps and mediums), frames for the vac box (I use PF's from MannLake for this, spritzed with sugar water), razor knife, drop cloth, ladders, extension cords, ratchet straps. I know I am leaving a lot of stuff out.

    Kudos to you for watching the JPthebeeman vids. By the time you have watched all his vids, you should be ready to strike out on your own - at least for some simple jobs.

    -js

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Set yourself up 3 or 4 ducks to start with, JP makes it look a lot easier than it is.

    When the calls start coming in just push back anything that looks tough untill you have some easy ones under your belt.

    Indoor removals are MESSY, recommend that you tag along with somebody experienced for a couple, they can go south on you in a hurry.

    Don

    Have 3 times the equipment you think you will need.

    I've found Michael Bush's panacea advice to be off great help with new cutout colonies.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    West St. Paul, MN, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    @Mr. Beeman - Do you have any design plans (different from the ones I linked to) for bee vacs? I like the idea of vacuuming right into a box with frames, is this how you do it? I will also look into different templates for bee removal contracts, and also familiarize myself with a "hold harmless clause" aspect of the contract.

    @ cchoganjr - Thanks for the advice and I will also be sending you an email ...

    @whiskers - Thanks! Knowledge is where it is at!!

    @Dixiebooks - Check on the reciprocating saw. Check on the "buckets - several, including one for water to rinse your tools and hands, a good flashlight, lots of empty frames (I use deeps and mediums), frames for the vac box (I use PF's from MannLake for this, spritzed with sugar water), razor knife, drop cloth, ladders, extension cords, ratchet straps" .... More research needed on the bee-vac! Thanks for the JP info...

    @D Semple - Sorry to be ignorant here, but what do you mean by "ducks"? I plan on starting small AND slow! I don't want to bite off more than I can chew, but at the same time, I only truly learn by doing, so I believe a little risk and luck will be involved!!
    www.autonomyacres.com Discussions on Urban Homesteading

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
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    830

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    I take D Semple's "ducks" and "easy ones" to be important. I quoted a job this year thinking that I'd help a friend gain another hive, but this one was in the roof of a third story house and they had a slate roof that they wern't repairing. Now I think they were in the soffet under the roof, but there's no way to know for sure because I didn't and don't have an infira red camera. An infira red camera (spelling?) will help you know exactly where the cluster is. It won't let you know the extent of the hive, but will give you a general idea. Now this one was a hard one for sure. I ended up not doing it. My first cut-out was in the banaster of a front porch. I didn't need any special tools (other than a pry-bar) and didn't have to repair anything. I state this up front that I'll get the bees out with as minimal of dammage as possible, and that it's up to them to repair. I would encourage having a bee vac, but I don't think it's a must have. As long as you have some bee go or bee quick or something like that. I did a cut out this year and didn't have either and I lost the bees. I got the comb and have a hive now due to the brood hatching out, but I didn't get the field bees or anything else. WHile I was getting the beevac (It took a couple days) they swarmed on me and left. A bee vac could have helped majorly, and bee quick definitely would have saved things.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    782

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    The use of a IR camera is very helpful, indeed. I don't have one, either. I find out where the local fire department is and ask to use theirs. I make it plain straight up that I know they can't loan it out but would love to have them come along for a "training sesstion" for some of their newer firemen. It also helps to let them know I used to be a volunteer fireman and am still an EMT to develop a rapport. I've yet to be turned down and the firemen involved are always glad they helped. It turns out to be great training for them to "find the hotspot". -james

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    I have an infrared though my work and on some jobs it's helpful, but I think a $25 stethescope and a $75 borescope are much more reliable. Those heat detection guns work just as well also and cost less than $100 bucks.

    Bees in a soffit for example don't show up real well because the heat is escaping up, generally into an overhead roof area.

    And, because it only shows the core of the brood nest where the bees are clustered, and construction materials vary a lot in insulation value, it will LIE to you about the size of the colony more often than not.

    Save your money, bees are not that hard to find.


    Cool idea though about getting your local firefighters involved, very sneakey!

    Don

  11. #11
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    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    I do use my stethoscope. An IR thermometer and a borescope are on my Santa list. -james

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    West St. Paul, MN, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Sorry to sound ignorant here, but I am not familiar with a borscope....
    www.autonomyacres.com Discussions on Urban Homesteading

  13. #13
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    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomy Acres View Post
    Sorry to sound ignorant here, but I am not familiar with a borscope....
    Try this:
    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/cata...tgry=SEARCHALL

  14. #14
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    Sep 2012
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    West St. Paul, MN, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Well aren't those pretty cool!! Actually, I thought that might be what you were talking about, but I can't keep up with all the new toys out in the world today. I think that might be going on my long term Santa list as well!!
    www.autonomyacres.com Discussions on Urban Homesteading

  15. #15
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    Jun 2010
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    Stillwell, KS
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??


  16. #16
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    Feb 2010
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    North Tazewell, Virginia
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    You better think about liability side of it. Legal agreement notarized etc. to keep you from being sued. A person tell you one thing and do the opposite and don't think a person won't have a contractor come in make repairs and give you the bill. No legal binding agreement and you will pay that bill for damages and repairs. A hard lesson to learn and trust me it can be as simple as drilling a few holes and a 2x2 opening or tear a wall out to remove the bees. Indoor removals messy and very risky without nitrous.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
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    166

    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Nothing prevents you from being sued.

    Bonded, licensed, and insured is always a good idea.

    Check local laws. In some places, if you are removing pests (bees), you are required to have a pest control license (school, test, $$$). Big government protecting us from ourselves.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    It's not the government, its industry lobbying the government. Industry likes lots of licenses and regulations to hold down competition.
    Your beek skills of watching and listening to colonies to determine, health, attitude, ect. will work perfectly for humans as well. The type of person that would sue you for doing something they asked you to will often expose their lack of moral character right from the start. Walk away. Many years of contracting taught me that.
    Cheers,
    Drew

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    1114120659.jpg
    Complete vac with two supers (notice the suction hole in rear and adjustable suction device in front)
    1114120700.jpg
    Top of vac with screened bottom
    1114120700a.jpg
    Screened separator
    1114120701.jpg
    Bottom of vac with inlet hose for bees
    1114120701b.jpg
    Steel screen for closing when job complete.

    You can use frames with this system or not. I found I like to tip the system over on a set up hive with queen (in queen cage) installed between frames and let the bees out by sliding the screened separator open a little.

    See.... simple. Install a ratchet strap all the way around and tighten.
    I'm not a huge fan of the 2 1/2" shop vac hoses, so I opted for the 1 1/2" hoses.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    West St. Paul, MN, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Removals and Swarms - Some Start Up Questions??

    Mr. Beeman - Thanks for the pics!! Since starting this thread, I have watched a bunch of videos about bee vacs. The ones that I liked the most seem to be very similar to the pics you just posted. Totally within my abilities to make, and I already have the shop vac! Thanks!

    @Riverratbees, bbrowncods, and Maryland Beekeeper - When I get some time, I hope to do some research on MN laws and pest removal. I still don't know where I stand in regards to insurance and such, but hopefully time will help sort out some of these issues.
    www.autonomyacres.com Discussions on Urban Homesteading

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