When do you all put a pollen trap on your hives. I like to let the bees get as much pollen in the Spring as possible so I think that April is a bit too early for me here in North Carolina. I am interested in your thoughts on when to add the pollen trap.
When using a pollen trap about 40% of the pollen on the legs of the bees is harvested as they enter the hive. In the spring that can determine how fast the hive is able to build up to maximum strength for a honey flow. Bees need the pollen for brood rearing and since spring is hive buildup time it is not practical, IMO, to harvest pollen when you want the hive to develop at the greatest rate possible.
Once the hive becomes strong and vigorous using a pollen trap is okay. there is a lot of debate over how much the pollen harvesting interfers with the hive, whether it does of not, how much the trap should be used. etc. I am of the limited use camp. Put it on a hive for a week and remove it and put it on a different hive for a week, etc. If you have a dozen or more hives and a couple of pollen traps you can rotate the traps amoungst the hives all summer long and get a large quantity of pollen, if that is your objective, without harming any of the hives.