Author Topic: DIY Bee Escapes  (Read 18658 times)

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Offline Perry

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DIY Bee Escapes
« on: December 07, 2013, 08:03:07 pm »
If you are looking to find a way to get those bees out of your honey supers at harvest time, you have a few choices:

# 1 - Just brush them off frame by frame and place the honey frame in a bee tight box as you go. (Bees get very annoyed)
# 2 - Use a fume board and drive them down and out of the honey super. (Stinks, and your spouse will likely be annoyed)
# 3 - Use a bees escape. It requires an extra trip to your hives, but I find it to be the least annoying all around.

There are a few variations of bee escapes on the market such as the porter bee escape.
I prefer these, and have found them relatively easy to build. I will begin with the premise that you have already read the DIY inner cover thread which should help you get to this point.

To build yourself a Triangular Bee Escape, start with this:



The only difference to this point from the inner cover is the thickness of the rim. The Inner Covers are 7/8" thick, make the Bee Escape 1 1/4" thick. Everything else to this point is exactly the same!



This is going to give you a 3/8" rim on the side of your plywood, and this is where the next part will go.



Now, rip yourself some strips of wood 3/8" x 5/8".
Cut your self two sizes of pieces. The first being 8" on the long side and 6" long on the short side. The second being 12 1/2" on the long side and 10" on the short side.



You will need 3 of each size for each escape.



Lay each piece into position as in the picture. Allow enough space at each "outlet" the size of a drone. Then glue and brad them into place. You can fasten these in whatever manner you prefer.



Next, get a piece of # 8 hardware cloth, and cut out a triangular piece that will just cover the strips of wood. I used a staple gun to fasten the cloth.





There you have it, all done! Like anything, if you set yourself up to build one, why not build a few?

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Offline blueblood

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 08:27:15 am »
Excellent diy post Perry.  I like that you colored them red.  I am sure that helps you spot them in your workshop and on the hives better.  I personally have found option #1 to be the best for me.  I have better success if I pull the medium off and away from the hive before shaking them off so I don't have a volcano of bees coming out.

Offline Perry

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 08:50:01 am »
Thanks Dave. I have found that colour coding stuff really helps, when out in the field, and when having someone new help me.
A quick drive-by tells me what is going on with every particular hive, whether it's a red bee escape, and how many supers are above it. If I send a helper (someone inexperienced) to the truck to fetch one, or if someone is helping me load stuff, it's the "red ones". My comb honey boxes are all purple in colour so when I use them I'll see where they are. My pollen traps are a different colour as well.
 :mrgreen:
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Offline robo

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 10:16:22 am »
I use option #4 - blow them out  :mrgreen:

However I do use triangle bee escapes once I bring the supers home.   I put an escape on top of the super stacks and then an empty super with a night light and a top.   By next day any left behind bees are out and I can take the supers into the honey house.  Bees tend to annoy me when extracting by always falling in the honey,  so I try to keep as many out of the honey house as possible.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Offline Perry

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 10:47:07 am »
Quote from: "Robo"
I use option #4 - blow them out  :mrgreen:

However I do use triangle bee escapes once I bring the supers home.   I put an escape on top of the super stacks and then an empty super with a night light and a top.   By next day any left behind bees are out and I can take the supers into the honey house.  Bees tend to annoy me when extracting by always falling in the honey,  so I try to keep as many out of the honey house as possible.

Good idea about the stacks of supers. There are always a few stragglers that don't seem to clear out in 24 hours.
On another note, have you ever actually thought about the number of bees that your vac design has probably saved over time? My first cut-out was successful, but the one thing that bothered me at the end of the day was the large number of casualties. Your design has probably saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of bees. Ever think about that?  ;)
Don't get a swelled head or anything  :lol:  but....... Thanks!
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Offline robo

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 11:04:49 am »
Quote from: "Perry"
Quote from: "Robo"
I use option #4 - blow them out  :mrgreen:
On another note, have you ever actually thought about the number of bees that your vac design has probably saved over time? My first cut-out was successful, but the one thing that bothered me at the end of the day was the large number of casualties. Your design has probably saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of bees. Ever think about that?  ;)
Don't get a swelled head or anything  :lol:  but....... Thanks!

I think the biggest impact of my bee vac in the nuisance wildlife community.  The vac has provided an easy way for non-beekeepers to take on removals.   I have a large amount of these folks adding honeybees to their business model.  It not only adds value to their business,  but saves colonies that would otherwise meet with exterminators.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Offline BoilerJim

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 09:54:08 pm »
Thanks Perry. I like it! :)
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2013, 09:16:27 am »
Color coding.  Now that's a great idea.   :idea:  Especially the comb honey.  You wouldn't want to accidentally put those frames in the extractor.

Offline Finally Home

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 01:50:11 pm »
Thanks Dave. I have found that colour coding stuff really helps, when out in the field, and when having someone new help me.
A quick drive-by tells me what is going on with every particular hive, whether it's a red bee escape, and how many supers are above it. If I send a helper (someone inexperienced) to the truck to fetch one, or if someone is helping me load stuff, it's the "red ones". My comb honey boxes are all purple in colour so when I use them I'll see where they are. My pollen traps are a different colour as well.
 <!-- s:mrgreen: -->:mrgreen:<!-- s:mrgreen: -->

Would you by chance have a DIY for the pollen traps.  Have really enjoyed reading your other DIY post's. Thanks for posting them ;)

Offline Perry

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 02:31:29 pm »
I wish I did, but I don't.
Truthfully, I ordered (and they are not cheap) 2 of the Sundance I pollen traps. The Sundance II go on top and are considered an improvement, but I didn't like the idea of the bees have to re-orient from bottom all the way to the top.
So when they arrived I looked them over very intently, and quickly came to the conclusion that this was not some thing that I would be able to easily replicate. They are very well made but simple, no, and that's what works for me.  :-[
I know my limits (most of the time).  ;D
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2014, 01:17:10 pm »
Do the triangles go up or down when placed on the hive?
Greg Whitehead
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Offline Perry

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2014, 07:29:06 pm »
Triangles go down, always facing the brood side.
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Offline iddee

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2014, 09:13:14 pm »
Just remember they do not work well in SHB country. The beetles will destroy the honey.
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 09:21:27 pm »
Just remember they do not work well in SHB country. The beetles will destroy the honey.

I do have that in mind!   ;)

I am going to take them off tomorrow.  I hope they're empty.  If not, they will be extremely less populated (I hope!).
Greg Whitehead
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2014, 02:59:05 pm »
Just remember they do not work well in SHB country. The beetles will destroy the honey.

I do have that in mind!   ;)

I am going to take them off tomorrow.  I hope they're empty.  If not, they will be extremely less populated (I hope!).

Well, I learned a lesson today.   :-[  Bee escapes don't work very well if you leave the inner cover on top of the super.  There's still an upper entrance that they can come and go from.   :-[

So today, instead of putting the supers in storage, we put the inner cover under the bee escape which is under the super.  That way the hive can still get ventilation and the bees can't get back up into the super.  We'll see how this goes.

Learning by experimenting!   8)
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN
Beekeeping at 26.4 kbs

Offline Papakeith

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2014, 04:12:29 pm »
that's how we do it. 

I'm always saying that I'm amazed at how well my bees survive my attempts to help them :o ;D

Nice thread Perry,  I may have to make a few of these tonight.  just 'cause
I'm starting to think that the bees are keeping me...

Offline Perry

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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2014, 05:22:14 pm »
I might give these a try, it would save a lot of hassle with the triangle pieces and screening.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/8wayescapebd.html
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Re: DIY Bee Escapes
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2014, 10:26:30 pm »
Interesting escape Perry.. you find anyone that sells them?
   Wondering if I couldnt get creative with the router and some screen.....
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