Bee Vac - will this work?

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Angry_Mob 

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After some browsing last night decided I "needed" a bee vac so on the way home I picked up a vacuum from Argos.

I've knocked up with the following this evening, it's not finished yet so its a little rough. The first version was set aside as upon testing the Maisie nuc box as it became apparent that its longer than a standard national.

I haven't used a bee vac before but will this work? My design is sort of based on what I've seen but I've tried to simplify it into one piece of kit capable of taking a nuc or national brood.

IMG_20200624_213212.jpg

Plan is to get some smooth hose and attach to the bees inlet at the front. When the bees are sucked in they roll up the sloped mesh floor. In hindsight I should have put the inlet lower but I may raise the mesh floor to meet it.

Will use some soft tape around the outside perimeter and down the nuc divider wall to give the boxes a seal.

Will also seal all the gaps/joints with something like silicone.

Slider to go on the side or rear to adjust the airflow.

IMG_20200624_213156.jpg

Any thoughts or am I missing something glaringly obvious?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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The first ever bee 'vac' I saw was in a talk at the WBKA convention many years before the commercial one came on the market - that one is all well and good if you have a convenient powe point or long extension . I can't remember the man's name but it was all about DIY kit, he was a bit of an engineer so he basically has a box which fitted on the bottom of a nuc with an OMF , inside the box was the windscreen demister system from (IIRC) a scrapped ford Cortina, fitted with a rheostat (so you could control the power of the fan) and this was then attached to a standard car battery so could work anywhere, he had actually vacced (is that a word?) a swarm which was twenty feet up in a tree by connecting some PVC waste pipe to the end of his flexible hose and revving the motor right up.
 

Swarm 

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My friend was telling me this evening about collecting a swarm with something similar. He described a box and two cylinders, inlet and outlet. A mesh cover on the outlet saves the bees.
The swarm was six foot up in a conifer, loads of little branches and his device worked a treat. Admitted, it needs a power supply but this was in a garden and sounds like it would be one of those horrible ones, so he was really grateful. He said the suction is reduced and the bees are removed fairly gently.
Now in a hive they are going for broke.
 

Angry_Mob 

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... a box which fitted on the bottom of a nuc with an OMF , inside the box was the windscreen demister system from (IIRC) a scrapped ford Cortina, fitted with a rheostat (so you could control the power of the fan) and this was then attached to a standard car battery so could work anywhere.
I seen a similar version in which this guy uses a motorbike fan powered by a 12v battery so it's portable.
https://youtu.be/-gl89ZzkYgc
Sort of has me thinking could I add a fan in the other compartment and have a dual purpose design.
 

ericbeaumont 

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There are videos here of this one in use, AM, but yours looks like it'll do the job.

I have one of as above; it's paid for itself on a few ceiling jobs and Steve makes a beautiful job of construction. A brood-box size version would be useful; a generator would be fine for field work.
 

dn170221 

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Would the mesh on the floor be an issue? EWither with the bees hitting it or loss od vacuum?
 

Angry_Mob 

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Ive a piece of ply underneath, and siliconed around it to make a sealed box. I think the key is to adjust the suction so it's very gentle that when the bees arrive in the box they roll up the slope, gather themselves up and go up into the frames.

The slope is gentler than hitting a vertical wall as well.

I may have a colony in a chimney to test next week, just waiting on word on what they want to do. Just need to finish it off but it was a relatively cheap and easy project.
 
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youngyoungs 

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There are videos here of this one in use, AM, but yours looks like it'll do the job.

I have one of as above; it's paid for itself on a few ceiling jobs and Steve makes a beautiful job of construction. A brood-box size version would be useful; a generator would be fine for field work.
I treated myself to one of these this year, its great and I think yours will work fine.

Issues in use are all about the vacuum. I have a Karcher Henry style and with 2 x 45m extension leads I can reach lots of swarms. It keeps going whereas a Dyson I borrowed cut out after 15 mins. I've just bought a refurbished cordless but am unsure whether the vacuum will be sufficient. If you are carting round the box, a vacuum and a generator suddenly you need a bigger car!!
On the other hand, wet despondent swarms get very fluffy and dry afterwards!!
 

BeeGees 

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i use a Triton dust collector hooked up to a battery vac, adjust the suction down low and its a doddle.
 

Angry_Mob 

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Got a try today unfortunately, have to be very slow otherwise it clogs quite quickly.

Forgot to take a better photo of the vac as I added legs to keep it off the ground and to coil the hose around and painted it.

IMG_20200718_215805.jpg

IMG_20200718_145037.jpg

Not all of the bees, this was after a while collecting.
IMG_20200718_145030.jpg
 

Michael ECB's 

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Looks great - great Job,,, If I may offer some advise, I would add a valve of sorts on the box to adjust vacuum strength down really low as this is what will harm the bees(I added a 3/4 " ball valve... Make all efforts not to suck up any honey when doing removals, besides a HUGE mess, bees get covered in it and drown.. Lastly, be careful about the temperature inside the box when turning the vacuum off... These worked up bees build up some serious heat fast.... Great design to keep all the debris away from there new box/home... Will work great...
 

Angry_Mob 

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I have a flap on the front that I can spin around and adjust the suction. Can just about see it on the second picture.

I think a wider hose than a standard house vacuum hose would be good.
 

Michael ECB's 

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I have a flap on the front that I can spin around and adjust the suction. Can just about see it on the second picture.

I think a wider hose than a standard house vacuum hose would be good.
I use a 40mm Kreepy Krauly pipe (swimming pool cleaner)can add or remove pieces as needed... Works for me,,, was worried about the ridges but bees seem to be fine,,,, a bit angry - but fine...
 
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