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DIY Bee Vacuum: How to Build a Bee Vacuum Box

Christen da Costa Profile image

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Updated July 22, 2022

Learning how to build a bee vacuum box will help immensely at the beginning of your beekeeping career. While more senior professionals might already have equipment already, being new means starting from scratch. With lots of popular vacuum cleaners to choose from, you won’t have a shortage of ideas.


  • The safety of your bees should always come first, so make sure that you are confident in your vacuum build before putting it into action. If it’s strong enough to vacuum stairs, it might be too powerful.
  • Complete protective equipment should always be used when working with bees, especially when doing hive extraction.
  • Waiting to go near the hive until nightfall is your best bet since almost all bees are entirely inactive after dark.

How to Build a Bee Vacuum Box

Knowing how to build a bee vacuum box begins with gathering the right supplies for the job. After that, it’s just a matter of following the proper steps so that you can safely rehome a rogue hive or move your bees.

What is a Bee Vacuum?

Bee vacuums work similarly to regular vacuum cleaners. They use negative pressure to create suction. The most significant difference is that a bee vacuum is specifically designed to use super low suction, which isn’t enough for carpet cleaning, so you may as well clean a carpet without a vacuum at that point. Using a super-powerful suction hose could result in injury or death to the bees. This is why it’s important to know how many amps a vacuum cleaner uses, so you can keep your bees safe.

Building Your Bee Vacuum

There are a few different ways you can build your bee vacuum. Most of the methods are super easy, and it’s just about finding them. Just like building a leaf vacuum, there are a few different steps you need to follow, but they are easy enough.

Insider Tip

The first step in building your bee vacuum is finding the right blueprint for creating one.

Building a Bee Vacuum By Yourself

The first step in building your bee vacuum is finding the right blueprint for creating one. Bee farmers are the best source for this. These super complicated machines need to be made carefully. If you mess up, you can end up killing off your hive super quickly. Just take your time while building it and test it quite a bit before use on live bees. Once you get to that step, you should always use a full bee suit when interacting with a beehive. Safety should always come first when you are working with bees.

Asking an Experienced Beekeeper

Another option for building a bee vacuum is to ask an experienced veteran in the field to help you. Most beekeepers have built their own vacuum when in a pinch. They’ll understand how to carefully suction bees out of one place and put them into the hive box of your choosing. Going down this path requires being relatively close by to experienced beekeepers, however, so it might not work for everybody.

Tips for Using a Bee Vacuum

Once you’ve built a bee vacuum, it’s time to put it to use. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind while putting your new tool to the test.

Always Do Several Test Runs

Making sure that your hive is going to be safe should be your priority. While some folks will build a bee vacuum just to relocate a hive, most will be doing so for their hives.

Use Protective Equipment Every Time

Beyond your essential hive tools, you’ll also want a full bee suit. This keeps you protected from potential attacks. While bee attacks don’t happen all too often, you want to be fully prepared for when they do.

Try to Wait Until Nightfall

Bees are primarily diurnal animals, which means that they are active during the day. If you wait until nightfall, you’ll catch the hive off-guard. This will allow you to perform the hive extraction efficiently.

Understand Hive Components

Essentially, your hive components are the different sections of your hive box. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with what a brood comb is so that you never disrupt it, which can cause severe disruption and possible death of your hive.


While more senior professionals might already have equipment already, being new means starting from scratch.


Why do people use bee vacuums?

Folks use bee vacuums for several reasons. They are one of the safest ways to transport bees from one hive to another or across locations. Bee vacuums keep both the person and the bees safe in what could otherwise be a tenuous situation.

How hard is beekeeping to get into?

There is a learning curve when it comes to getting into beekeeping. On top of the equipment you should be investing in, you need property to keep bees on. Try reaching out to a beekeeper near you to see if you can apprentice with them.

Is using this type of vacuum safe for bees?

Bee vacuums are safe for bees. However, you have to ensure that the unit is made explicitly for bees and that the suction won’t harm them.

What is a hive box?

A hive box is essentially a storage unit for bees. If you’ve ever seen where beekeepers keep their hives, you’ll know what these boxes look like. A hive box is the best way to ensure an accessible collection of the extra comb.

STAT: Etching one vertical section at a time will reduce the amount of travel for the laser head and thus reduce the time spent standing next to the machine by 75%. (source)

Dorian Smith-Garcia Profile image