The bee vacuum is an extremely useful tool, to be used during bee removal processes.The usage of a bee vacuum helps you remove bees without getting stung and it also saves the lives of thousands of honeybees. Removing a feral hive in the absence of a bee vacuum might turn into a very difficult process with lots of damages for the bees.
The bee removal process is a lot easier if you use a bee vacuum. Thus, fewer honeybees will be killed if you first vacuum most of the bees and then you remove each comb and vacuum the remaining bees. Since there are fewer bee on the ground or flying around you there are fewer chances of getting an unpleasant sting. Bees will perceive the vacuuming as a threat and therefore the ones that remain in the combs will not be so eager to attack.
The concept behind the bee-vacuum is quite simple. Thus, this in fact a low pressure vacuum that is used to remove bees from narrow area. It can also be used if you want to remove bees that have created an open air nest into your attic. The bees are sucked into a screen box so as to allow you to carry them. You can either purchase a bee vacuum from a local beekeeping shop or from an internet web site or you can do one on your own.
If you decide to build your own bee vacuum remember that you need some tools and a certain amount of skill. You should not be too much interested on the appearance of your bee vacuum but you should definitely worry about its practicability and functionality. Your special vacuum should respect some basic principles. Remember that a simple shop vacuum cleaner is of no use since it will definitely kill your bees. The basic principles of a bee vacuum are:
1. The intake hose must be connected to a screened box or tube that are air permeable
2. The permeable container must be put inside an air tight container or tube
3. A leaf blower should be put between the interior and exterior container, allowing the suction movement that pulls the insects inside the air permeable container
4. Install a throttle and padded crash pad to prevent any bee damage. The throttle has a hole that can be used to control the air speed from the hose.
5. The holding recipient must be quite large since it has to "host" all the bees that are vacuumed from the hive; if you do not have a large recipient you must make sure that the one you have can be easily changed or emptied
A homemade bee vacuum can have as a container a box made of wood. The box must have bars at the bottom to keep the interior box filled with bees from touching the bottom and thus determining a too powerful suction. The box has a hose for the vacuum. The inside box can also be made of wood. It has a small screen to prevent the honeybees from crawling out and a hole on one side for the hose. The vacuum must be caulked in the hose so to prevent any air from leaking. You also need some standard hinges as the ones that are used for cabinets. It is advisable to put a caulk on the box top. The caulk can be made of bathroom sealant. The caulk must be applied when the box is still open and after it dries it functions as a sort of very powerful seal.
The bee vacuum is extremely useful when doing bee removal from tree trunks, walls, ceilings and attics. It can save you a lot of bee stings and by the end of the day you can have a bunch of combs that can be put in man-made hives, an appreciable quantity of clean honey and several thousands of live honeybees.
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