Bee Sucker





Introduction: Bee Sucker

If you've ever had trouble with bees you probably know how difficult it is to get rid of them without you being stung or the bees being killed. If you smoke them out, you have no control over where they make their next home and you can't use the "stinking" honey. After surfing the net and talking to a couple of people in the know I came up with a practical design that will make the transfer to their "lekker" new home as trauma free as possible.

Step 1: The Outer Box

For this step you will need four planks cut in standard lengths and heights as you would for a normal Langstroth hive supper. (You will need to measure your own hives. The idea is to place the full bee vacuum on top of the hive already filled with brood taken from the wild to ease the transfer of bees to their new home.)

Step 2: The Inner Mesh

You will need two peaces shade netting the size of the longest Langstroth supper dimension and four frames four fifths the length of the netting. The frames can be of any thickness as long as it will allow air to flow freely.

Step 3: Fitting Da Hoover

This is where you should get creative if you're not going to buy a vacuum cleaner for sucking up bees. Take the hose fitting least/never used on your vacuum cleaner... In this step you will need a hose fitting and some Pratley Putty.

Step 4: The Inner Mesh Construction

In this step we complete the entire internal construction of the bee sucker. You will again need to make use of the biscuit machine and fix the internal structure to the outer supper. In this step you will also need to affix the rails for the bottom drawer.

Step 5: Outer Bottom Cover

The following step is essential as it will determine if your bee sucker will ultimately work. The goal is to make the container airtight.

You will need a pressed wood board, some panel pins, cold glue and patience as this step can take a really long time.

Step 6: The Top Cover

Repeat step five but make sure all seals are air tight.

Step 7: The Portal... ;-)

Before commencing with this step you should paint your bee sucker.

In this step you require a piece of Perspex the size of your supper, double sided tape and some screws.

Step 8: The Kreepy Krauly Bits...

Flare a Kreepy Krauly pipe and fix it to the inside of your bee sucker with screws. Seal it with the stuff miracles are made of.

Step 9: Pressure Controller

Cut a hole on one side of the bee sucker. Cover it with a movable peace of plastic. You will use this to regulate the pressure inside the bee sucker. If you give to much pressure/suction you will kill the bees.

Step 10: Suck Some Bees

Play around with pressure and make sure you don't kill the bees. If you have the correct suction you can even suck in the queen without killing her.

Step 11: Release

When all is said and done, take your catch and place the bee sucker on top of their new home filled with brood taken from their old home. Release the trap door/tray and leave them be for a couple of hours. Come back when the sucker is empty, remove it and put the hive cover back.

Seal all other exits and entrances to the sucker i.e. holes previously used by hoses and pressure control mechanisms.



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    Also, in step 9, how do you regulate the pressure? Are the bees on the outside or inside of the mesh? What is that layout diagram in step 5? I mean really, I taught technical writtenfo R 2 years. I couldn't follow this.too bad, I really liked the concept.

    Cool idea. This is detailed in carpentry and lacks much information in actual vacuum hose connections. Why are there two hoses on one end? Does the vacuum pull in the entire box? I think a vacuum diagram would have helped.

    To those who would like to get started in beekeeping...
    1] 1st. check with your local or state AG dept / agent for - Beekeeping groups in your area. Great scoure for help and hive sales to get started with.

    2]Local bees help prvent the spread of unwanted (africanized bees).

    3]USA - Dadant [] and Walter T. Kelley [] also sale bees packages and starter hive kits and whatever else you might need.

    Also try reversing your setup with the BeeVac on the bottom and the hive body on the top. Bees prefer to travel up thaan down.

    Sunlight to bees mean fly-hunt-harvest.

    By the way GREAT Design - I like the fact that you made it to fit the hive body, by using a short honey super for your out body.

    1 reply

    To add to this:

    Don't be afraid to look into the laws even if you live in an urban environment. Due to the reduction of pollinators through pesticides, habitat destruction, etc. there's a sincere concern for them. As a result, many state and local governments have reduced or eliminated restrictions on keeping honey bees. You can often keep them in the suburbs, or even on the roofs of apartment buildings. (Strangely enough, city bees tend to be excellent honey producers). So if you're interested in keeping bees, don't let where you live stop you!

    I was getting ready to create my own design for a bee-vac. I love the simplicity of this, AND how it works directly with the langstroth design. Brilliant. Will totally be making one of these as soon as I convince the fiancee to let me tear up one of her old vacuums. :D

    Great instructable!

    Here's a cheap and easy hive to house your bees as well:

    i am interested in getting a bee hive any one know how or where

    What a great device! and a great instructable. I was thinking of building one of these, but every swarm I've caught is sitting in a tree (easy to catch!) and I've never relocated a wild hive. 

    Is this thing for wild bees or for your own hive? We have two hives at home, and they sometimes fly away.

    1 reply

    I use the Bee Sucker for wild/feral bees. Your bees may be flying away because they are swarming (there is an extra mated queen in the hive and she is taking about half of all the worker bees with her to start a new hive/nest).

    That's awesome. Been reading a lot and hope to start beekeeping spring next year. I've heard of using a suction device to catch a swarm or move a hive, but never seen anything like this. Good work.

    Nice build! Do you have to be concerned about heating up the bees with sunlight coming thru the window? How many swarms have you used this on? How large is your shopvac?

    1 reply

    Thanx, I usually work under a tree or inside a house, so the bees don't get exposed that much. The moment I place the sucker on top of the new hive I cover the "window". (The hive lid fits perfectly.) Maybe someone with a bit more knowledge can shine some light regarding your question on the effects of sunlight on bees. I had the privilege of sucking two hives to date - both are doing fine. I will be removing another two this coming Saturday. (It is winter in South Africa so swarms are not that active...) The vacuum is a 1800W Hoover wet & dry.

    cool i am a beekeeper this might acculy work.

    the title sounds so wrong

    lol im an apiculturist, and idk if ill use this, but the uprise in bee related instructables is greatly appreciated... keep em coming

    Very nice, I know someone who works with bees that might like this. I'll forward it along.