Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Bee Vac As Art


Basically a Bee Vac is a couple boxy pieces that fit over and under a super or nuc used to collect bees using a shop vac.  I have seen Steve Rosales use his a couple of times.  He made his according to plans and ideas from Robo's World BushKill Bee Blog.  I decided I could use one but wood working is not one of my skills.   Fortunately I was able to trade some cooking skills with my good friend Steve Shultz (the guy in the picture.) for a bee vac.  I had scanned over Robo's page and seen Steve Rosales' bee vac in action so I had an idea of what I wanted.  The only real change I suggested was side rails to keep the super from shifting when in transit.
Any time you make a simple suggestion to an engineer expect more than simplicity back.  
Steve is an engineer with imagination and loves a challenge.  He delivered, big time. He read through all the notes from other bee vac makers and incorporated some of their ideas and a few of his own.

The basic two piece unit with a slopped floor raising from the intake hole on the bottom piece.
Both pieces have dove-tail joints on the corners
Intake hole cover is held in place with magnets and easy to open or close, even with bee gloves on.

Rubber gaskets are around all sides on both pieces.  The super sits inside on top of the gaskets of the bottom and the same for the top piece.. A little extra space within the top and bottom allow supers that are not quite square to still sit on the lip tightly.

Custom made brackets for a ratchet strap that is tied other side of the top piece.  When tightened the top and bottom pieces will fit tightly and there will be no spaces for bees to leak out during transit.

Top piece with a screen bottom below the outflow hole for the vacuum.
Top piece cover, air flow controller.  There are magnets on the four corners to hold it in place and magnets in the top frame piece
Air flow controller in place and partially open

Underside of the bottom showing the slanted floor and rubber feet
Bee Vac with a spacer between the two pieces for storage without a super between them
Bee Vac closed and secure for moving.
The craftsman and the Bee Vac. The outside wood is all sealed, interior is raw wood with no sealer  or paints.
Thank you Steve for a job very well done and Robo who made the earlier version and also Steve Rosales for showing me how to use a Bee Vac.  All just in time for the Spring Flow, who could ask for more?

(The Bee Vac will show up at the meeting on Jan. 16.)