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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got to use my home-made bee vacuum yesterday; got about 6 lbs of bees with it (only about a dozen dead ones - worked great!). I put them in a hive body with a frame of eggs/brood and a sugar water feeder so they would stay. My question is, is there a better way to get them in the hive body other than just dumping them in? When I opened the vacuum box, the banana smell was very strong & the bees were not happy! I sprayed them down with sugar water before I put them in the hive and it calmed them down somewhat, but not as much as I would have liked. I've hived a couple of swarms, and they were very enjoyable to watch/handle (but they also had a queen).
 

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The best way is to use a vac of robo's design. I just built one, it sucks the bees right into the hive. A google searchh will bring it up.
 

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Isn't that banana smell a unique experience. You don't get that smell anywhere else. It's very special.

I try to spray my bees with sugar water pretty heavy and then bump the box on the ground. Open up the top and pour them into the hives with the frames of brood. The more frames of brood, the better.

Sounds like you are on the right track.

If you are using something of Robo's design, you can just leave the bottom box of the vacuum underneath the hive body you used in the original vacuum process. Just take the top off and put the box with the frames of brood on top and put a lid on quick. Come back the next day and lift off the hive bodies from the vacuum bottom, quickly spray the bees with sugar water and pour/brush them onto the frames of brood and replace the lid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I looked at building a Robo vac, but I'm not a very good carpenter, so mine is made from two Rubbermaid containers (50 qt & 66 qt); they nest together well and are really light (only a couple of pounds or so). I took them apart this afternoon to wash them; they still had a faint banana smell. I had read about the banana smell, but was still surprised by it :)
 

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Ive heard that dumping them in front of the hive and letting them march in helps keep them from obsconding, ive done it both ways but never had them obscond either way. I would say the frame and feeder is the most important part of the deal.
 
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