Bee Vacuum

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Project by Tim Christensen posted 04-19-2015 04:13 AM 4428 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Going to get my first hive of wild bees out of a tree trunk this week. Needed something to help get them out. Copied plans from the internet with a few little modifications.

-- Tim C., Sgt. Bluff, Iowa.

7 comments so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 3453 days

#1 posted 04-19-2015 05:08 AM

So you suck through the wooden hive and hopefully they take residence there? How exactly does this work?


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View jim65's profile


1021 posts in 3391 days

#2 posted 04-19-2015 07:57 AM

brave man. hope it works, cool project!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View DonB's profile


591 posts in 4150 days

#3 posted 04-19-2015 11:22 AM

So you draw the bees out of the tree trunk with the shopvac then reverse the hose position and deposit them into the hive yes? Doesn’t the “ride” the bees take injure them with the force of the air – or hitting the inside of the shopvac?

-- DonB

View johnstoneb's profile


3220 posts in 3631 days

#4 posted 04-19-2015 01:32 PM

Looks like a safe way to get bees. How do you know you got the queen?

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Tim Christensen's profile

Tim Christensen

67 posts in 3916 days

#5 posted 04-19-2015 01:54 PM

The two dark green boxes are actual hive bodies or “deeps”. The shop vac creates a vacuum inside the deeps thru the top, you can control the amount of suction with the little square door in front of the shop vac connection. If you don’t adjust the suction, it will kill the bees. There is a screen on the underside of the top that prevents the bees from going into the vacuum. The hose you would use to suck up the bees connects to the hole in the bottom, there is a ramp on the bottom to ease the bees into the hive after they get sucked in. Once you suck in all the bees, you pull out the bottom hose, stuff a rag in it and shut off the vacuum. The deeps are the bees new home, move them to your bee yard, the top slides off for ventilation. Just keep them from getting rained on! After a day, move the boxes onto an actual hive bottom board, put a feeder and top on and you are sort of done. Hopefully you got the queen too, if you didn’t, then there are some other things you have to do. There is one more piece that I need to finish, but I ran out of #8 hardware cloth (which is surprisingly hard to find). That is a separator which allows you to pull the top of the vacuum off without letting the bees out. That way you can get the wax out of the tree with all the eggs and larvae, tie them into frames, and reintroduce them to the hive. Should be fun!

-- Tim C., Sgt. Bluff, Iowa.

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3885 days

#6 posted 04-19-2015 07:04 PM

Looks like you have all your bases covered. I always wondered how I could use a vacuum without killing the hard to reach bee swarms, thanks to your post I now have a much better idea how to go about it. Thanks for posting.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View WILLIE's profile


56 posts in 4242 days

#7 posted 04-21-2015 10:34 AM

I will look into this idea, many swarms are killed due to hard to reach places in houses etc. and thus killed.
how far to you need to move from the original site. 5km? or they will return. The African bee is a bit more aggressive.

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