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What is the optimum length for a bee vac hose and other questions

I’m sure there are differing opinions as to the optimum length of a bee vac suction hose, but the hose I have is far heavier duty than a standard shop-vac hose and thereby much heavier in weight, but it’s what I have on hand.I recently purchased a cordless 18volt Ridgid vacuum to connect it too (since it’s the same brand as my cordless drills and batteries). It has more than adequate suction going to my collection bucket, but reasonable hose length is now the question in finishing my project. My hose is twenty feet long and will need to be cut down. What have you guys found to be best length? Oh, and do you attach anything to the bottom of a 5 gallon pail to steady it so it doesn’t fall over if pulled on accidently? Thanks in advance. Dusty. (BTW. A homeless woman I was talking to asked me to remove a colony that resides in an old couch within feet of where she sleeps. She says it’s been there for 2 years plus, so of course I want to try to get to it with this vac asap. Anyone ever remove bee’s from a couch?)

Hi Dusty, I don’t use a bee vac, so I’m unable to answer the question. However, I’m not sure if I’d consider a bee vac in your situation.

It sounds like if the bees have been there for 2 years, there could be a sizeable colony inside the couch. There could be a lot of honey in there as well.

This is what I would do: I’m thinking maybe I’d have to find a replacement couch for the lady… I would have a brood box ready to house the colony. I would pick a nice day, drag the couch away, about 6 or more meters. Then put the brood box where the couch used to be. I would have a frame of mostly very young brood in that brood box.

Then I would commence to pull the couch apart. Any flying bees will return to the old location. I would have a bucket or 2 ready for the honey in comb. I would fit any of the decent worker comb into empty frames with rubber bands, then put them into the brood box. I would shake any of the clusters of bees into the brood box, looking out for the queen the whole time.

I’m thinking that after all of the comb has been removed from the couch, there will still be a lot of bees on it. I would just place a frame of brood there for the bees to climb onto. Then I would put that frame into the brood box. Look for signs of scent fanning at the brood box entrance. If I saw that, I’d drag the couch back as close as possible so that the rest of the bees will go into the brood box. I’m thinking that by the following evening, I’d be able to bring the brood box home.

In the mean time, crush & strain the honey after flicking all of the dead bees off it.

That is a much easier cut out than a regular cut out, because you are able the move the hive away from it’s original position. Therefore any cranky bees wont hang around where you’re working, they’ll go back to the original position of the hive. If the bees do get cranky, you can simple drag the couch further away.


Thanks Jeff, I always appreciate all of your kindly and helpful feedback. The lady doesn’t use the couch, it only blocks the entrance to a fort she’s built under a desert tree. I like your idea and will be prepared with a vac just in case. Since I’m a newbee I guess I’ll have to see what will be easiest to start. I will bring a box with me with empty frames. Very good suggestion.

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You are welcome dusty. With a situation like this one, you will be able to take your time & work methodically, because any bees that take flight will return to the old location. The brood box with the frame of brood in it will hold them there. Once you drag the couch away, I think a good idea would be to elevate it some how so you’re not bending over while working on the hive. I found that you can get more stings through a bee suit while bending over.

Which ever way it works out, it will be a great learning experience for you. I wish you luck, cheers

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