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Discussion Starter #1
Now, that word has spread around town that I am in the beekeeping hobby, I have been offered upwards of six hives of feral bees out of old homes, barns, etc. I've been trying to do research on the matter of "cutouts" or cutting away some part of a structure to get at the bees.

Here is my basic question:

"How do I gather the bees and the queen from the hive"?

Please do let me know your ideas and thoughts and No, I do not have a beevac at my disposal. This is going to be just country logic and hard work on my part.
 

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Well a Bee Vac is an easy way to do it. Mine is just a shop vac with a package bee box as the catch cage. Careful removal of the vanes of honeycomb and placing them into empty wood frames and tying them into place with cotton twine has worked for me in the past. The comb is really fragle and filled with honey which make them heavy so be careful. Keep as many clinging bees as possible and keep a look out the the queen. If you find her and have a queen cage, place her in it and then into your new hive box with the old comb. Best of luck.
 

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Get or make a Bee Vac.... nothing worse than trying to do a cutout without the use of a vac. It is miserable work even with one sometimes.

Early in the season it is usually easy to find the queen and cage here, but as late June roles around I keep and eye open for her, but most often end up catching her in the vac. I make sure to take plenty of brood and eggs just in case she dies in the process.

You can carefully pick her up and cage her or just herd her into the cage.

Good luck and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How do I go about making a bee vac and not destroy the bees in the process?

How do you run a bee vac out in the wild with no electricity?

Thank you for letting me ask new beek questions. I've got at least six hives that I have been asked to remove asap. Now, I need to figure out a lot of information in a hurry.

Another question:

Will the bees rewax the moved over comb from the hive into the frames of the new hive? Will they repair the comb and attach it to the frames?

Thanks a lot.
 

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Use some string to when you put the cut comb into the frames, and the bees will reattach the comb, then they will chew the string off and throw it out the front.
 

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How do I go about making a bee vac and not destroy the bees in the process?
A lot of it can be about the area you catch them in. Some people have made catch areas out of the tubes you can get at Lowes or HD that are used for making concrete pillars. Here's a youtube video with what I am talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz4obQaF_ik&feature=related

How do you run a bee vac out in the wild with no electricity?
Generator


Another question:

Will the bees rewax the moved over comb from the hive into the frames of the new hive?
Yes, but it's not alway pretty.

Will they repair the comb and attach it to the frames?
Same as above
 

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How do I go about making a bee vac and not destroy the bees in the process?

How do you run a bee vac out in the wild with no electricity?
Generator or a DC to AC Power Inverter attached to your vehicle. Depending on your Bee Vac you might need a good powerful one. I have a small Honda 2000i which provides plenty of power for my Ridgid Blower/Vac. I use it for collecting bees and also for blowing them off the frames when I harvest. http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/16-Gallon-Vac-Blower/EN/index.htm You can get them at Home Depot. WARNING! Never allow anyone to stand on the opposite side of the super you are blowing bees out of...unless you don't like them or they are in a beesuit and you want a good laugh. Bee shotguns can be hazardous and or funny. :D
 

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DEWALT Cordless/Corded Wet/Dry Vac —2 Gallon, Model# DC500

I used last year to clean up a few bees, uses the same 18volt battery as my power tools, or can be plugged in if it is available.

Bill
 

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I just built a bee-vac from the plans here on beesource. The only thing I did differently is in the plans you drill a hole through the lid to attach a shop-vac motor, but I didn't want to buy another shop-vac just to get the motor. So I skipped drilling the hole in the lid for the motor and instead drilled a second hole through the outer box, at the opposite end from the hose attachment hole in the plans and attached another hose attachment. Now I just attach my shop-vac hose to that end and turn on the shop-vac. Works great and I can still use my shop-vac for other things when not sucking up bees.

Supplies cost me about $40.00

http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/bee-vac/

Blueline
 

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I have built a bee vac from a model I saw online that I think works better than the one I saw on here. It vacuums the bees into a normal deep hive body so you don't have to transfer them after vacuuming. Two other recommendations I would make are: 1) make some catch frames or take some wired deep frames and use rubber bands to mount the comb in and 2) take a bunch of clean buckets to put excess comb in. This time of year there may be a lot of it that is empty. You will need lids to keep the bees from getting into it.
 

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I use a dimmer switch to control air flow. Bee source plans vacs only hold about 1.5 to 2#s before losses accure due to colliding bees.Try to judge how many lbs. are in youre swarm.I carry 2 inner boxs as well as brood boxs and nuc boxs large swarms are too much for most bee vacs
 

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i just bilt the same setup last wknd,but i also instld 1.5" holes to lesin the suction power,just adjust with a sliding pc of thin luan with a screw through the corner,shud wk good.
 

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I've been really needing a bee vac, too. For some reason I have a hard time visualizing the vac connections. Normally I'm very good at putting things together or building stuff, but something about this eludes me. As for the out in the wild part, my burning question is are cordless vacs strong enough? That would be my first choice for a bee vac, anyway.
 

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If memory serves me right, your total experience with bees so far is reading three books. Might I suggest you get your first hive set up and learn something about the nature, behavior and management of bees before you attempt to do cut-outs. Those feral bees people are telling you about are probably not going anywhere or won't do anything other than maybe cast some swarms.

Get some practical hands on experience from your first hive. Don't get ahead of yourself. It won't be good for you or the bees. Once you gain some practical knowledge about what to do with the bees after you get them, then go try a cut-out.
 

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My Bee Vac is based on the size of a Package Bee Box.
I made it out of 1/2 inch plywood. Since my shop vac is really powerful I drilled two large holes in the back and attached a couple of pieces of plywood with a screw over them so I could adjust the vacuum pressure. I also have a standoff area between the package box and the back of the Bee Vac to allow for a more uniform vacuum and air flow which saves a lot of bees from becoming puree. If you can find a hose that is smooth inside those are easier on the bees.







 
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