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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks. I'm about to put together a bee vac and wonder which is the best design: the "bucket" or "box" style? Looks like they both accomplish the same thing, but I wonder if one is maybe gentler on the bees than another.

TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
many thanks for the link. i like the looks of that design and shouldn't be hard to pull together. for that design, how do you deal with the brood comb from a cutout? band it in and insert it into the hive once you get to your bee yard?
 

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I built mine a few years ago based on a commercially made one belonging to a friend. It is a small closed box that get a package bee container inserted into it. The package box has a hole cut it one end to mate with the hole in the outer box that receives the hose for bee pick up. There is extra space around the other 3 sides of the package box. The vacuum hose attaches to the other end of the outer box. This design allows for use of very long vacuum hose (pool cleaning) and the capture box can the carried up an extension ladder by using a shoulder strap.

I also always carry multiple package boxes and switch them out when any box starts getting crowded. When switching out just remove package box and slap duct tape over the inlet hole.
 

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This should help you build one, but you can order it also, no doubt the best on the market. Easy to build it you have a table saw.

 

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I built the robo; how much better can it get than actually using the super your going to keep them in?
No experience with the bucket types, but I've read of high mortality rates.
 

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bingo robo it is then.
I'm a woodworking dunce and I built a robovac out of scraps and no. 8 hardware cloth... Mine leaks like crazy but duct tape fixes that up. First job (ever) I vacuumed up about 4 lbs of bees or so, including the queen (by chance). Hardy killed any bees, was awesome. Few days later, had a swarm wrapped around a small tree trunk, we brushed some in but vacuumed the rest, then dumped them in with the brushed bees... Again great. Did another cutout and vacuumed up a couple pounds of bees odd a wall interior and got the queen by chance again... Might have used a bit too much suction but they are all doing well.

Though I've never used any other vac I can't see any other system being better. Just mods/improvements on this one.
 

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Weather stripping will fix most of the leaks unless you have something twisted. I have made several out of 3/4" plywood and like them better.
 

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This should help you build one, but you can order it also, no doubt the best on the market. Easy to build it you have a table saw.
I built mine like this after watching that video. I've practiced vacuuming up a few feral bees and they were ok.
IMAG0126.jpg
I've since added an adapter to the bottom inlet, and found a shop vac at the dump and modified the motor to fit it.
Exploded view without hive body.
IMAG0130.jpg
Not shown is the top sliding part in the open position.
 

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Having read about using vacs, watched the robo vac being built, and using a friend's shop-vac on a 5-gallon bucket setup, I would advise you to go with a box (MUCH easier to transfer/handle the bees), as well as try your best to find a smooth hose. I hated the sound of the bees bouncing along that flexible shop vac hose.
 

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When I build mine I buy the right vacuum fittings from a woodworking supply store.instead of just drilling holes.
David
 

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Weather stripping will fix most of the leaks unless you have something twisted. I have made several out of 3/4" plywood and like them better.
You underestimate how bad one can be in woodworking. I use weather stripping. Honestly, it's because I had to cut a few corners (figuratively), due to time constraints, and haven't bothered to fix it up right yet.
 

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Wouldn't a slick surfaced suction hose work better than a vacuum hose that's ribbed on the inside? I would figure that the ribbed hose causes wing and body damage to the bees, where a slick hose would not have anything for the bees to bump in to.
 

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Wouldn't a slick surfaced suction hose work better than a vacuum hose that's ribbed on the inside? I would figure that the ribbed hose causes wing and body damage to the bees, where a slick hose would not have anything for the bees to bump in to.
Yes.

Having read about using vacs, watched the robo vac being built, and using a friend's shop-vac on a 5-gallon bucket setup, I would advise you to go with a box (MUCH easier to transfer/handle the bees), as well as try your best to find a smooth hose. I hated the sound of the bees bouncing along that flexible shop vac hose.
 

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A similar design. Bees are already in a super and no transfer. Put in place and with time change out bottom board and change out cover. Add frames as required.

P1010227.jpg P1010228.jpg
 

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I have used the ribbed hose for six years now and no complaints. If you are hearing the bees going down the hose and it sounds like you are sucking up gravels, then your suction is too much. Only enough suction to get them to go into the hose, no more.

Colino that looks good, glad to see my video helped somebody out!
 

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If you can find 2.5" smooth hose for cheap let me know, my understanding is that larger is better than smaller regardless of smoothness.
 
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