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Part of this swarm fell down onto tan bark but due to the Bushkill vac all the trash that got sucked up stayed on the bottom board and the bees crawled off of it and up onto the combs.

 

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I like how this design does this. I have sucked up chunks of drywall and plaster and found them laying in the bottom. I even accidentally picked up a chipmunks nest, because I couldn't see back into the cavity, and it was all laying in the bottom after the removal.
 

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The vac I built is similar in design, but I didn't like the idea of having the vac incorporated into the vac box. The slanted floor was also unneccessary.
I added an additional 1 1/2" hole and am able to plac a vac 20' away from my work area. It (bushkill style) is a good vac system.
 

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I only use mine for cutouts but what I like best is being able to combine the bees back with the brood comb without having to open up the box to shake them in. Vacuuming makes already mad bees madder.



Don
 

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Some swarms can be a bugger to "shake" if they are on something sturdy. A bee vac comes in real handy for this as well.
I do get a couple of commercial swarm calls (ie. restaraunts, grocery stores, malls, etc.) where they need to capture all if not most of the bees without stirring them up. Again, a bee vac works great.
 

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We have built and tried a number of designs. The ones with the vac as part of the box were heavy and a real pain up on a ladder. I finally have a design that works well, can be carried up a ladder, has the vacuum noise far enough away that you can hear your partner and when we release the bees they don't come out fighting mad.
We bought a medium size shop vac at one of the big box stores (think blue) It came with 15 feet of hose and we bought another 25 foot section.The box is the same dimensions as a hive with a piece of sheet metal that fits in a groove about an inch up the top has window screen about an inch down from the edge then there is weather strip over the edges of the screen. When we are actively vacuuming there is a clear plexiglass top that sits over the screen to seal the box. We put paper towel or newspaper in the box to cushion the bees landing.
The vacuum hooks up to a pvc pipe that goes into the box with a screen cover over it. The intake side has a hole cut the same size as the end of the hose and a slide bracket holds the hose in place. When we are done another slide drops down over the hose hole so the bees do not escape. When we get home with the bees we sit the vac box over the hive that we have installed the comb into with an empty box between it and the vacuum. Then I slide the sheet metal out and we use the blower end of a vacuum to blow the bees out of the vac box into the new hive.. As soon as most of the bees are out of the vac. we pull the vac box off and slide on a feeder top with a jar of sugar water. We have a few queen excluders attached to a frame that we set the hive on so that the foragers can come and go but the queen can not abscond. usually with in a day or two the hive has settled in and we take the empty hive body off and remove any paper or debris that we may have collected with the bees. When we do our first inspection we remove the queen excluder from the bottom of the hive and have it ready for our next cut out. Since we have started doing this we have almost 100% success hiving cut outs with out having them book.
Our only problem has been robbing. When we bring a new cut out home the dripping honey from the comb we have cut some times will get a neighboring hive excited and they rob out the new girls before they get their defenses organized.. We have found that if we put the cut out twenty or so feet away from any strong hive and put out some sugar water on the other near by hives then things seem to be ok.
 

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Jim, sound like you have worked out a good system how about some pictures of your vacuum and techniques or maybe a short video? Thanks.

Don
 
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