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.