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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lost almost everything I owned, bee equipment included in the Thomas Fire back in December of 2017. Getting back into it gradually. About to build a bee vacuum system, so I was just wondering if anyone has anything better than the 5-gallon bucket design with interchangeable cages in the bucket?

My first effort was one of those wooden box monsters that was a total failure. The 5-gallon bucket design with the plywood & hardware cloth cages with the padded floors were easier to build, had as much capacity as you made cages for and worked a little too good at first, until I stepped down to 1-1/2 to 2 horsepower vacuum pumps.

A quick-change lid is a possibility, other improvements are out there...what y'all got?
 

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I built a Bushkill Vac and have used it extensively. I had an unused shop vac that provided the vacuum and hoses. I'd recommend it to you. Plans were available online but cannot find them right now. But, you can buy one for $120 plus the vacuum. HTH :)
 

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Originally I built the Bush kill with a separated vacuum. I wanted to see the collected bees, so I moved the vac hose to the bottom behind a large slanted screen of 8 mesh and window mesh opposite the intake. Then I placed plexiglas on the top above the screen. Close the holes and remove the plexiglas for transport. It is now easy to see when it is full.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So the see-through feature is very desirable. Thank you. I can probably do the same thing with a 5-gallon plastic water jug if I can cut it in half and come up with a quick disconnect, or just add a window to the bucket. The same cages will work as the 5-gallon buckets.

Still open for more ideas... :)
 

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It depends on what your wanting to do. If you do one or two cutouts per year, just about anything will work. If you're doing a handful per year, then getting something a little better will be worth the time/cost/effort. Professionals want something that really works and are willing to pay for it.

I'll put my vac against any other in the world. Cordless. 4-6 hour+ run time on a single rechargeable battery. 10 lb total weight. Backpack carry. Variable speed airflow that you can clip on your pocket from barely a whisper up to too much (useful for clearing clogs). Large capacity (30k+ bees). Quieter than any shop vac. Assembles in seconds. allmybees.com . $290 - $340 (depending on configuration). I have both a Gen 1 and a Gen 2 design (contact me for Gen 2 info, it's not on the website)
 
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