Try a search on this site... there are as many opinions (and designs) of beevac as there are politician's promises .
Do you want it mainly for swarm capture from sticky locations like evergreens (ease of construction and portability)? Or do you want to get into cutouts (portable for ladder/roof use, durability, flexibility for large colonies)? Your needs will help shape your decision about what you really need. I've build four, each better than the last, but then I enjoy equipment design and fabrication (and I do removals which are a different critter from a swarm catch).
The critical elements are suction control: it MUST, simply must, be adjustable. Too much and you kill bees. Too little and it doesn't work. It should be just strong enough to pull bees off comb (and weaker/slower than you think it should go by hour 5 at 106 degrees). And as you progress through the removal, the optimum suction level changes. Did I mention adjustable suction? Openings with an adjustable sliding cover that bleeds air into the chamber are popular, but I prefer a router controller (like a rheostat) to adjust the power of the vacuum unit directly (hangs on my belt: dial up or down as needed).
Then you can start to think about portability. If you're primarily capturing swarms, battery-powered may suffice. Typically, I've found battery power to be weak [donning flame suit]. I much prefer, for removals and all but REALLY remote swarms, using either "shore power" (an outlet with an extension cord) or an inverter on deep-cycle camper batteries. Most swarms honestly IMO don't require a vac, but my first swarm that was deep in an evergreen was the reason I started building beevacs .
Then, start thinking process: hive-style: vacuum right into beekeeping equipment, versus into modular cages that shake/empty into beekeeping equipment. I've never had much luck with vacuuming bees into hives when the colony's on the second story soffit of a home; it's just too heavy on the ladder :no:. Or the equipment leaks enough through all the imperfections of beekeeping boxes after a few years' use that it's hard to draw strongly enough.
Let us know what you think your main usage will be, and we'll provide eleven conflicting opinions about how to meet that need .
I guess the one I'd be interested in would be one for doing cutouts. One that is light and portable and could be clipped onto a belt if working off a ladder. I would like one too that would be simple to build.
Is is OK to use a dimmer switch (300 watt) to control a 5 Gallon Shop Vac Bucket Max? Would a dimmer (or rheostat) damage the motor of the vac?
I know of a person who just used a corded dimmer switch to regulate the motor. I thought it might be an easy way to accomplish the effect of regulating the suction, but I also believed that doing so would damage the motor. I thought I would put forth the idea here on this forum to see if others concurred with that idea.
Thanks for the advice - I won't go with the dimmer switch idea if it's going to wreck my motor.
A simple fast one but similar to the first link
Buy a large plastic storage container
Build or buy a container to fit inside that
Cut necessary holes add screen to inside container and your done
I made my first out of 3/8 ply wood and steel window screen
It fit inside a storage bin
Worked like a charm
And, Ask yourself, "how many bees will fit into the container without killing them".
We recently sucked about 6 lbs of bees out of a chimney, but it took 2 good size containers. The structure was a virtual cave so we had no clue how many bees were in there. However, we knew within minutes once we got the queen. We had bees trying to fly INTO the vac exhaust port. Now that was funny to watch!
Made mine out of a medium size Rubbermaid type containter nested inside a medium size one from WalMart. Inexpensive and light weight. Used 4 inch plubing valves to allow closing the inner container for easy removal.
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