Bee vac question

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by PerryBee, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Just took the first step towards building a bee-vac based on the stuff I have seen here, and Robo's design.
    I ripped an old deep box that was punky on the top and bottom and got 2 good pieces 3 1/4" tall. I put the bottom together with the sloped plywood base, and it's done.
    Before I go too much further on the top, I had a couple questions. I ripped the slots for the plywood top to slide in on but now I am wondering about the screen for the underside. Do you bother ripping a slot for the screen to slide in on, or just staple it to the bottom?
    I also noticed that Robo has come up with an additional piece, a 1" shim that has the screen that can be slid in and out that he puts on top of the first deep. Once he has vacuumed up the bees and they are in the first deep, he cuts the brood comb, places it in frames in a second deep, puts it on top of the shim, and then slides out the screen, allowing the bees to come up and cover the brood.
    Does anyone else bother with this, or do you just take your vac top off when done, and put the second box with brood comb on top?

    Now I just have to book my flight to Florida and watch the big $$$ start rolling in! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    I built mine just like the one G3Farms posted pics of back in July. The screen is a pemanent part of the top, no shim.

    As for Florida, I'm gonna wait till next winter. By then, zookeep will have made several million and will have retired to the Bahamas. :rotfl:
     

  3. rast

    rast New Member

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    Mine (top screen" is permanent. I built a "divider shim" with a sliding screen and tried it a couple of years ago. Killed a lot of bees (tore their legs off) when I slid it out.

    Better make that S. Fl.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Thanks rast:

    I wondered how that would work, sliding the screen out from between the boxes. I thought that there could be some bees getting rolled (or worse).
    Think I'll just attach mine permanently as well. Once brood comb is installed in the other deep, just take the top off and set it in place.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I built the shim also for the slide out screen for the combine of vacuumed bees and the tied up combs. I made the slot a little too wide , and when I pulled the screen out bees poured out and they were MAD, MAD, MAD. Had to let them settle down for about an hour and then suck them up again. Never will use it again!!

    The screen on the top piece is a permanent install.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Do you put the brood comb on right away once it'd framed? Don't imagione you could wait too long, it would chill.
    Between you and rast my minds made up, no shim, attached permanently. :thumbsup:
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I will wait till I get back to the bee yard before combining, this gives them time to settle down just a little bit (or get the attack plan figured out).

    The shim is a great idea but just not for me.
     
  8. Indiana Dave

    Indiana Dave New Member

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    OK Here is a dumb question. I understand that the bee-vac is used to suck up bees, but in what practical application would it be used? In catching a swarm? In removing bees from a cut-out?
    It would seem that many bees would be crippled or killed sucking them up. How much more efficient does the bee-vac make it?
    Thanks, Dave
     
  9. Robo

    Robo New Member

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    Perry,

    The hardware cloth on the top is permanently attached without any dado or recess. This is then covered with weatherstripping.

    The cut-out shim allows for adding the brood frames (and queen if caught) into the top of the hive without any of the bees you have already sucked up escaping. If you open the hive up to add the brood frames without the shim, the bees you have already sucked up will boil out the opening and you will waste a lot of your effort. Not to mention having to suck the bees up for a 2nd time or squishing some that are try to flee as you add the new box of frames.

    If you put frames in the box under the shim, you get less bees clinging on the bottom of the shim. When pulling the hardware cloth out of the shim, if you pull it a 3rd to 1/2 way out using short jerky motions you will most likely not roll any bees. I then recommend letting it sit while you continue to clean up your tools. This will allow the bees below the shim to migrate up to the top where the brood (and queen) is.

    Using this method, I usually kill less than 3 bees at the most removing the screen. You will loose far more than that opening up the hive to add the brood without containing the bees below.

    I have a few videos here explaining the use of the bee vac.

    http://beevac.com/videos/


    rob...
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Perfect! :thumbsup:
    Thanks Rob for the explanation and the videos. :thumbsup:
    One question Rob, in the second video I noticed that the first box that you actually vac the bees into didn't have any frames in it. Do you leave it empty when vaccuuming or do you have frames of foundation (or even comb) in there?
     
  11. Robo

    Robo New Member

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    I have found using frames in the bottom box works best, it keeps the bees from clustering on the hardware cloth in the shim. Two issues can arise with them hanging from the hardware cloth.

    1. When you start to pull the hardware cloth out of the shim, if the quantity off bees is large enough, the weight of the hanging cluster can cause the hardware cloth to sag and fall out of the dadoes and get jammed.

    2. The more bees hanging from the hardware cloth, the more chances of rolling them and killing them.

    In reality, unless it is a huge colony, all the bees are going to move up to the brood once the shim is removed, and the queen will stay in the brood area as well. So after a couple of days when I put the hive on a real bottom board, I usually just take the boxes that are above the shim.

    rob....
     
  12. PeeVee

    PeeVee New Member

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    Rob, thanks for posting the great videos. I built a bee vac using your design and have had good luck with it.

    I also have frames in the bottom box but have kept the top box off until frames of brood are installed. I did note that you said you tie the brood in frames but did not mention comb with honey. I'm thinking I've wasted too much time messing with the comb containing only honey. Do you just put that comb in a separate container and let the bees clean that later?
     
  13. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Putting the comb filled honey into frames can be a disaster waiting to happen. Most times the comb will crush itself from the shear weight of the honey and what a mess it makes plus drowning the bees.
    I always just cut out the honey and feed it back to the bees by sitting it outside maybe 50 yards away from any hive, helps to keep down on the fighting and robbing, or do the crush and strain method and feed it back to them in quart jars. Of course there is usually plenty to share with who ever called youin the first place.
     
  14. Robo

    Robo New Member

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    Good point. You should never try moving comb with honey from a cut out. It is next to impossible to do without making a mess. You will end up with a sticky ball of DEAD bees. You should also do your best to not get a lot of bees covered with honey when you cut the comb out. Try not to suck up honey covered bees with the vac either.

    I personally prefer the crush, strain and feed back method, that assures the hive gets it back and not divided up among a bunch of hives. Robbing gets really bad around here, so I try to avoid any situation that encourages it.
     
  15. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I have three quick questions regarding construction and use of the beevac:

    1. What is the diameter of the venting hole at the top of the beevac (used for adjusting the suction force)?

    2. When using the beevac - do you leave the bottom hive body empty - or do you/can you fill it with frames (either drawn or with foundation)?

    3. How is the bottom section secured to the hive body so that it doesn't shift while using it (is it just by the ratchet strap or is there something else)?

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  16. Robo

    Robo New Member

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    The bypass size is not critical because you use the cover to regulate the suction. Smaller HP vac can get away with a smaller (even no) bypass. However, the smaller the HP also limits the length of hose you can use.
    see above - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5504&p=44496#p44295
    Just the ratchet strap
     
  17. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    is there a problem with keeping them in the bottom/only box an treating them as package bees....SHB is a big problem here an its a growing trend it seems to treat them as you would package bees.....also on the bottom screen is there a reason you cant use something other than hardware cloth...say like one of those thin flexable cutting boards stapled down....if i was a bee i'd rather bounce off of something smooth than a wire grid....even a cut to fit piece of memory foam would be soft an serve the purpose wouldnt it.....hardware cloth seems a little abrasive to bounce bees off at 30 mph...i built one too an have a hardware cloth bottom....a better beek than me made the sugjestion an he has a point.
     
  18. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I don't see any problem with deciding to not use the comb if that's what you want to do to combat SHB. You would of course lose the emerging brood but if it reduces your problems with SHB it may well be worth it. I don't know much about SHB yet but I guess I will have to learn eventually.
    As far as the screen, I'm afraid you've lost me. I don't know which screen the bees would be "bouncing off"? The only screen in Robo's set-up is on the bottom of the top vac box part. The amount of vacuum that would be present at that point would be minimal.
     
  19. Robo

    Robo New Member

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    Fortunately I don't have SHB issues around me, but there is no reason you can't use the bee vac to just collect the bees (no cut-out shim) and not give brood or comb back to them. It is actually better than a package as you will have an accepted queen (assuming you catch her) and not just a bunch of bees (perhaps even from multiple hives) that have been thrown in a cage with a strange queen. However the draw back is they will be in decline for a ~month before new bees will start to build them up. Basically package vs. nuc

    Not following you on this. My design has a solid bottom. All hardware cloth in my design requires the air to flow through it, so replacing it with something solid wouldn't work. Then again, in my design, the bees never get bounced off the hardware cloth.
     
  20. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    well now im not sure who's bee vac i was looking at on here....but the bottom box had a screen on an incline from the front of the bottom box under the ''in'' hose to about the top of the back of the bottom box just under the frames....i assumed it was to give the bees something to hit other than the back of the box an then crawl up to the frames on....since the bottom box is only 3 or 4 inches tall its not that much of an incline an a soft landing (lol...never having been sucked through a bee vac im guessing at the soft landing)....its whats in my vac now....the screen is fine hardware cloth like window screen an the sugjestion was to replace that with something more bee friendly like a cheap smooth super thin toss away plastic cutting board....i thought memory foam would work too.