Author Topic: My first cutout with a bee vac  (Read 2254 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Wandering Man

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1818
  • Thanked: 173 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Life Lessons from dogs, bees and others
  • Location: Victoria, Texas
My first cutout with a bee vac
« on: April 30, 2021, 10:01:37 am »
Here’s a memory triggered by Zweefer’s post on buying a Bee Vac.

When we started out with bees, we watched all kinds of bee videos on YouTube. And of course there were a lot of people showing off their skills at collecting bees from other people’s homes. So, I thought it I might join the cool kids.

I built my own with a small, cheap shop vac and leftover lumber. The seal around the motor wasn’t great, but that’s okay. Bee vacs aren’t supposed to suck with a lot of power are they? We want gentle suction so we don’t hurt the bees!

Bee vac built, name on the hive removal list, and all I had to do was wait.

Then I got lucky when a friend asked me to help his neighbor get rid of some bees in his house. The friend wanted to be a beekeeper too, and thought this would be a great way to start.

It’s a good thing the homeowner is a carpenter. I told them beforehand that they would be responsible for opening the eaves and doing the repairs afterwards.

What I didn’t know was that my homemade vac was too leaky and that my friend was an admirer of Tim the Toolman (More Power!).

I was able to get everyone suited up, lit my smoker, turned on the vac and headed up the ladder to the opening in the eaves that my friends had made.

Back down the ladder to relight my smoker.

This is where I started to lose control. My friend grabbed his blow torch and got a nice hot fire going. After the smoker cooled down enough to handle, I headed back up the ladder. I vacuumed for a while and cut out comb, handing down to be placed in a cooler.

Then I looked down and saw the homeowner’s small dog running in circles. I barked my instructions and homeowner’s wife took the poor dog inside.

In the meantime the bees were backing further into the house. I could barely reach them with my vacuum.

My friend decided I needed more suction. While I was busy cutting off more comb, he took the motor off, decided the filter was the problem and removed it.

I went back to trying to do more vacuuming with a little more success. Success until ...

Hey, the bees aren’t supposed to be crawling back out of the hose, are they?

We opened the vacuum and found the motor was crammed with dead bees.

It was time to stop, anyway I rationalized.

We dumped the remaining bees in a box, rubber banded some of the comb onto frames, and put the box on top of a ladder to see if the remaining bees would go in the box or the bees in the box would leave.

I went back to check on the bees the next morning.  The good news is, there were no more bees in the house. Mission accomplished.

The bad news? No bees in the hive box, either.

This wasn’t the one that helped me decide to not do cutouts. But it was a contributing factor.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people

Offline LazyBkpr

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6600
  • Thanked: 183 times
  • Gender: Male
  • www.outyard.net
    • The Outyard
  • Location: Richland Iowa
Re: My first cutout with a bee vac
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2021, 12:40:44 am »
Oh jeez....    :laugh:  Your help is too helpful!     I struggled with a few designs, and finally came up with this one...  the hole int he top has a plate i can slide over the hole further if I need MORE suction... it takes a bit of tinkering to get it just right, so your not killing bees.   

https://www.outyard.net/bee-vac.html

   Theres a vid or two of it being used here...     https://www.outyard.net/swarms-and-cut-outs.html  Also if you look, the MASTER is linked in there talking about trap outs.
Drinking RUM before noon makes you a PIRATE not an alcoholic!

Offline RAST

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
  • Thanked: 31 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: MASCOTTE AND CHASSAHOWITZKA FL.
Re: My first cutout with a bee vac
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2021, 07:43:52 am »
Back when I made mine it was a hose into the box and a hose out out of the box. No way was I gonna cut up my shop vac. First use was in a small pull behind camper. They were under the bathroom sink in the tiny cabinet. I had to twist every whichaways to get to them, but the bee-vac worked.
 

Offline Wandering Man

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1818
  • Thanked: 173 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Life Lessons from dogs, bees and others
  • Location: Victoria, Texas
Re: My first cutout with a bee vac
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2021, 09:28:09 am »
Back when I made mine it was a hose into the box and a hose out out of the box. No way was I gonna cut up my shop vac. First use was in a small pull behind camper. They were under the bathroom sink in the tiny cabinet. I had to twist every whichaways to get to them, but the bee-vac worked.

I'd bought the cheapest (and smallest) shop vac that Wal-Mart had.  I cut it up to fit on top of the box I'd made.  I am no kind of carpenter.  My wife tells me I'm pretty good at making boxes, but that's about it.  "Pretty Good" means the box is almost square and can be used if looks and stability aren't an issue.  :)
Never argue with drunks or crazy people

Offline LazyBkpr

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6600
  • Thanked: 183 times
  • Gender: Male
  • www.outyard.net
    • The Outyard
  • Location: Richland Iowa
Re: My first cutout with a bee vac
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 08:49:39 pm »
"Pretty Good" means the box is almost square and can be used if looks and stability aren't an issue.

   LOL!!!!     I remember my wife asking me to make a grain box to store the sweet feed for the horses....   That thing weighed six hundred pounds, and used three hundred dollars worth of lumber....   three hundred dollars of lumber 30+ years ago...    WISH I had that grain box today!! I could trade it in for a NICE corvette!
Drinking RUM before noon makes you a PIRATE not an alcoholic!

Offline Wandering Man

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1818
  • Thanked: 173 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Life Lessons from dogs, bees and others
  • Location: Victoria, Texas
Re: My first cutout with a bee vac
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 08:43:21 am »
"Pretty Good" means the box is almost square and can be used if looks and stability aren't an issue.

   LOL!!!!     I remember my wife asking me to make a grain box to store the sweet feed for the horses....   That thing weighed six hundred pounds, and used three hundred dollars worth of lumber....   three hundred dollars of lumber 30+ years ago...    WISH I had that grain box today!! I could trade it in for a NICE corvette!

 :D

I tend to overbuild too.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people

Offline rober

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1118
  • Thanked: 63 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: arnold, mo
Re: My first cutout with a bee vac
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2021, 02:32:40 pm »
the bee vac i built is very similar to robo's. it has 2" top section & it sits on a hive body with a screen between them to keep bees out of the vac. then there's the 2" bottom section. there's foam weather stripping between the sections. the vacuum hose goes into the top. the bee sucking hose attaches to the bottom box. there's a second hole that has a rotating wooden cover. rotating the cover adjust the suction power. i'm a retired union carpenter with OCD tendencies so everything is a good fit. the vac works well. problem is though that it's cumbersome. if the job is elevated i've had to rig a scaffold board between 2 stepladders & still use miles of hose. then i was given an All My Bees Vacuum. the motor is rechargeable & has removeable back pack straps. not requiring a power source is a huge plus. it's not perfect but it does do a good job. the power switch is variable speed for suction control. it is pricey. at $380.00 you have to be pretty serious about doing cutouts. i have a pinched nerve giving me issues in my hip so i'm not doing any cutouts this year but i am doing swarms. i did use this for a swarm that was on a tree trunk. if you've ever run into this you know how vacuum can help.
https://www.allmybees.com/