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Discussion Starter #1
All I have for my bee vac is a ribbed hose. I am doing a cutout tomorrow. Should I go get a hose that is smooth on the inside or will this work?

Thanks
Kingfisher
 

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That will work, the main thing i look for is the diameter of the hose! Anything 1 1/2" O.D. or bigger works great! I put an hose adapter on top of the box so the motor doesnt have to sit on the top and on the side i have a black PVC straight coupling that has the same I.D. as my 12 foot Hose. Right at the beginning for visual purposes i have a 2" foot piece of clear hose to see how fast they are traveling in through the hose inorder to regulate your air on top of the box. You dont want them going in the box to fast! Good Luck!!!
 

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I use the 2 1/2" ribbed hose from shop vacs with no problems. You only need just enough suction to barely pull them off of the comb. If you are sucking them up at a pretty good clip you are going to find dead bees. Your bee vac needs to have a "gate" on it to regulate the amount of suction.

G3
 

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Your bee vac needs to have a "gate" on it to regulate the amount of suction.
That's a great idea... lol why didn't I think of that? I've been just sealing off holes left in it from shoddy construction with duct tape until the right amount of suction is reached... :lpf:

I use a small ribbed hose though (standard vacuum attachment hose), and didn't have a single dead or injured bee after the last cut-out. G3 is exactly right about wanting just enough suction to barely be able to get the bees off the comb. I am planning to buy a different hose however... just so I can get a much longer hose. The last time I was barely able to reach the far side of the hive... and I'd like to not have to prop the bee vac on top of a ladder next time either... so I might get a couple different lengths of hoses for different situations.
 

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I have a 1 1/2" clear vinyl tube used for water. It is 15' long and I can use vaccuum attatchments like a crevice tool or extensions as needed. I have 3/4" holes drilled in the side of the chamber that I can cover with tape to help control the suction. I had it set a little to high the first time and killed about 200 bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don't laugh. My suction tube is a pool vac hose. I had it laying around and it was long. It is ribbed in the inside, but it is a 1.5-2 inches in diameter on the inside.

Kingfisher
 

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I used regular shop-vac hose for several years just fine. With adequately low suction (I rarely have more than 8 or 10 dead bees, mostly hurt by incautiously crushing them with the intake nozzle), the bees do tend to clump in low spots in the hose. I found that if I arranged the vacuum's cage below the colony so that it's a straightish run down to the cage it worked great. Otherwise (the colonies are NEVER in a good place) I occasionally had to lift and shake the hose to dislodge clumps. You could tell when the suction started to wane that a clump was forming... the temptation is to increase suction, even just to pull the clump through, but don't. You're going to all this trouble to save the bees so don't kill them with suction!

That said, this year I'm switching to 1.25" ID clear suction tubing (milk transfer tubing). It's clear (helpful) and, while not as flexible as the vac hose, more flexible than spa tubing and lighter too. I made a new beevac (mark III) for this season that'll use this tubing so I'll report on how it goes, but a buddy used this tubing last year and it seemed to work well on the cutouts we did together. It's spendy, $2.22/foot.
 

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do you guys that use the standard shopvac hoses use any attachments, or just the round open end.?..I tried using the upholstery attachment a little yesterday....it's just the right size to fit between the combs before you actually cut them out(right where they usually hide) but once you get to the honey, it starts getting a little messy and stuff starts sticking to the end making the entrance smaller....but it can get in the cracks pretty good...a tighter fit for the drones, but they seemed to do fine
 

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If you do use the attachments be sure to open up the "gate" to reduce the suction.

Sucking up honey or honey comb will also drown the bees or make them so sticky they will over heat and die.

G3
 

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yes, when you use the attachment, it restricts the airflow but intensifies it...I had my adjustable opening wide open when using the upholstery wand...I don't believe I sucked up honey but I did bust some of the caps off the honey and the end just got sticky and messy...:doh:
 

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Yes I used the conical attachment... it increased the suction just enough to tug them off the combs, then they slowed in the tubing.
 

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I purchased the cheapest little shop vac that Lowe's or Home Depot offers about $29.00 dollars. I then went over to the plumbing section and purchased their heavy, but clear hose in 1 1/4 diameter. I bought about 7 feet of it.

I put it all together according to Roboworld's drawings and ideas.

I did run into reduced suction all because the cracks won't seal correctly. I would like to get some weather stripping to put between the boxes to seal but as I couldn't get to the store over the weekend, here's what I did.

I took toilet paper and got long enough strips to just simply twirl it up lengthwise and then lay the twirled TP along the edges of the wooden box and taped down with duct tape. Once that was accomplished I took a ratchet strap and really torqued it down and the boxes all sat down on the TP and sealed up tight enough for the best suction so far.

I would also like to add that I didn't experience hardly any dead bees at all with my vac. I was very pleased.

It's trial, error and adjustment.

Always remember the famous words of Gunny Sergeant Highway (Clint Eastwood) from Heartbreak Ridge.

"Adapt, Improvise and Overcome".

Hoorah!
 

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I just completed my bee vac & bought the ShopVac 2.5 hp "Hang Up" at Lowes for about $30. I figured that's all I needed powerwise. I also went to the plumbing dept and got a 1-inch pvc coupling so I can mount it permanently to the box. The end of the ShopVac hose fits perfectly in there.

For the bee hose, I'm also using the regular big ShopVac hose (I think it's 1 1/2 or 2 inches, haven't measured). I have a couple of 5.5 hp big ones that I use for my woodshop, so I already had extra hoses. Recycle, recycle and Freecycle.

I do a lot of rough & finish carpentry, but Dear Husband thinks it's hysterical that my very first piece of "fine cabinetry" is a bee vac. Does look good though.
 

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that's what mine looks like. though I didn't put a handle, but a thick strap. I've never tried a battery operated vac. I guess it would depend on how long it will work. last week I ran one a long time working on a cut-out. Better make sure you keep a few fresh batterys handy. I have 2-100' extension cords .

and in the bee vac plans, I'm not sure if they show it or not, but I built a sliding door that coves the hole in the inner box, once you remove the vac hose.....so the bees can't get out when you remove the box from the outer box..

and make sure you add some padding to the inner box directly across from the vac "IN" hose...so teh bees have a soft comfortable spot to crash if you have the suction too high!
 
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