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would one of you be willing to post pictures of your design. I also bought one of those bucket vacs and would like to see how other people have designed theirs. I am a visual person.
 

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I built a bucket bee vac, but used a different approach. I mounted the vacuum motor on the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket. Then I took a second bucket with a lid & cut out a big hole on the bucket bottom & covered it with screen. Take the lid & attach your hose. The second bucket will nest inside the first and seal tight enough to vacuum bees nicely. When you've got the bees in your bucket, just plug the hose with a wad of paper & pull it out of the vacuum bucket. There's been a couple of suggestions here for ways to adjust the suction. I made two collection buckets in case I get more bees than will reasonably fit into one bucket.
 

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Angryhippi,

The bucketvac that I described in post #3 above is a variation of: http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/bee-vac/ Take a look, plus all of the following comments.

The beauty of this model is that the bees are pulled/stored into a standard 10 frame Langstroth super (or several stacked supers) with several frames removed. This is all straped together with a ratchet strap of course. Then you put it in your car/truck, take it to your apiary, unstrap, put the super on a bottom board, add missing frames, put on the inner/outer cover, and you are done. I've used it and it works great. If you are capturing a swarm you must have extra woodenware available anyway.

Regards,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #24
As I said for me I need somthing that goes up the ladder with me. I've had a few swarm calls in trees, and the homeowner did not want me to cut limbs - so collection was difficult.

Anyway, I don't have a pic but I did buy the bucket vac from both HD and lowes. I took the HD one back as the lowes is better for this application. It's vacuum entrance hole is perfect for a 2" hose, and does not do a hard turn. The stock hose will not work for collection, but I had a 2" hose from a really old shopvac. The old hose fit without any modifications.

I've cut a 2" hole in the side of my collection bucket and have a trap door system much like you will see in pic #4 of the link beer creek steve posted. That hole is tol allow me to adjust suction. Other than that no mods. After collection will just stuff a rag in the hole and then transfer the bees to a box when I get back to the farm. I got about 200 feet of extention cord handy and no just waiting for my first swarm call.
 

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I built the old standby bee vac - box within a box with sliding bottom. I've performed several extractions with this box, and it's worked well. I put rings on it, and borrowed the strap from my weedeater. I climb the ladder, then hook the strap to a rung on the ladder and the bee vac just hangs.

However, i'm not thrilled with the weight or cumbersome shape of the unit. I am thinking of building a 5 gallon bucket version, would like to find a backpack vaccum with a battery. I've seen the Ryobi blower and was thinking of converting that.

Also, I came across a swarm on a limb that was 30 feet up. I thought it would have been great to use sections of pvc to get to that height, and then suck them down, but wasn't sure if the trip would be deadly.
 

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I have this set up and have not had any problems with it. I put a light dimmer switch on an extension cord so that I can control the speed of the motor directly. Go to the bees, start the vacuum on the lowest setting then dial it up until it just barely starts to suck up a couple of bees at a time. Gotta say it works great.

C2
I gotta agree, C2. The dimmer switch worked well for me on my very first time of sucking up some bees, even though the bees take a sharp 90 degree turn into the bucket, no dead bees! Thanks for the idea.
 
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