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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We carry out a lot of bee vacs and use quite a long hose to allow us to access chimneys and other places while leaving the bee vac on the ground.
But on occasion we could really do with being able to vac bees in places where there's no power available.
So I was wondering if anyone knew of some DIY portable vac plans that allow a vac to run for a few hours, or off any that can be bought off the shelf.
Be interested in knowing about the levels of success when using portable bee vacs.
Thinking that in this day and age with the 54 volt 9 amp powerpacks theres a good chance it could be possible?
 

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We carry out a lot of bee vacs and use quite a long hose to allow us to access chimneys and other places while leaving the bee vac on the ground.
But on occasion we could really do with being able to vac bees in places where there's no power available.
So I was wondering if anyone knew of some DIY portable vac plans that allow a vac to run for a few hours, or off any that can be bought off the shelf.
Be interested in knowing about the levels of success when using portable bee vacs.
Thinking that in this day and age with the 54 volt 9 amp powerpacks theres a good chance it could be possible?
https://www.allmybees.com/store/p1/The_Everything_Bee_Vacuum_Kit.html
 

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I made one using 5 gallon buckets but finding a good vacuum motor was difficult. mine uses 24 volts drill batteries. My brother bought a "bad back beevac that works super. For long use you just need more batteries. A lot of plans use a shop vac with a box along with generators or inverters, I use an inverter and charger to recharge my 6 batteries for my portable tools.
 

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VALE PEST Control look at the all my bees bee vac list in a previous post. This one is the one my brother got. I probably spent more in trying motors than it would have cost for the ready made.
we have made some improvement by replacing the bottom part with a screw on lid and just drilling holes in it for ventilation.
 

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I am presently building a 5-gallon bucket type with a sight window. The bee speeds (flying backwards) into the cages work out best with a 1.5 horsepower to 2 hp vacuum power source into the bottom of the bucket using as 1.5" diameter vacuum hose. The bee catcher hose is 2.5" diameter, which greatly slows down how fast they go into the cages. I put as soft cushion in the bottoms of the cages so any of them going as bit too fast usually survive.

The cages are made of 3 plywood disks cut to fit inside the bucket. 3 sticks of equal length (but short enough to fit the entire cage inside the bucket) separate the bottom cage floor from the top disks. They are nailed 120 degrees apart so that they are flush with the outside perimeter of the floor and top. The top two disks have a hole jigsawn out to accept the top of a coffee can, which I cut around the circumference at the second indented ring, then cut 1 inch flaps up toward the first indent ring. These flaps are bent 90 degrees and sandwiched between the two top plywood disks. I run a few nails through these disk-flap-disk layers to hold them all together. I finish by stapling #8 hardware cloth around the cages.

I make a half dozen of these cages in case there are lots of bees to suck up. A pest control business might make up a few dozen for swarm season.

Other receptacles will work, but mounting the 2.5 inch hose to a bucket lid was not difficult, and the cages have coffee can lids to shut the bees in tight until introducing them to their new home.

If I can come up with a vacuum pump powered by a battery drill, you should be able to go afield with that. I'm thinking an off-center flexible impeller vane pump in a machined tube with a 3/8" diameter shaft sticking out one end. If you have a carpenter / contractor friend who has several different battery powered tools, you could probably check which works out to the right bee speed, possibly using a smaller diameter vacuum tube if the drill power is too low.
 

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I recently purchased a Ryobi 18 volt tool box sized vacuum. My thought was that it might provide suction for my bee vac that I’ve powered with a shop vac in the past. I haven’t had the chance to try it in that application. I have used it in my shop and I’m pretty impressed. I also bought an adapter that allows me to hook a very small hose to it. The other day I used it to suck up hive beetles. Worked great! Much easier than crushing them with a hive tool.
https://www.ryobitools.com/power-tools/products/details/18v-one-plus-3-gallon-project-wetdry-vacuum
 

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I put together a small lithium battery powered bee vac for around $50 that has really helped me. It come in extremely handy in those situations where you really don't need the large plug-in system - like bees in a water meter. Also, it's works great when you have a bunch of bees find their way into your honey house. This vac will easily help get them all out quickly and safely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq6nOh2uQrw
 
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