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Author Topic: Pollen traps...  (Read 2474 times)
SteveSC
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« on: January 29, 2007, 08:01:08 AM »

I'm trying to justify purchasing or building some pollen traps.  The Sundance I ( bottom trap ) and the Sundance II ( top trap ) are good ones but prices are high when want to buy 10 of them ( $50 - $63 each )  I've never seen a Sundance trap but most traps have the principle of forcing the bees to squeeze through #5 hardware cloth to enter the hive thus some of the pollen is knocked off the bees and falls to a tray where you can collect it everyday. I also hear this sometime injuries the bees - torn or broken wings,etc..  The Sundance might approach the collection differently - I don't know.

I've read ( someone correct me if I'm wrong ) that the collection of pollen does not reduce or effect the honey crop in the hive.   

** If this it is the case, is the only reason the bee collect pollen is for food and not for honey production..? **

I've also read where in come cases you can collect about 1 to 2 lbs. of pollen per day per hive. I understand it has to dried to stop possible mold and cleaned. The strength of the hive obviously dictates the amount of pollen collected but anything near that rate X 10 hives X 30 to 90 days = alot of pollen.

**Has anyone here collected pollen with alot of success and what type trap did you use..? **

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Steve in SC


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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2007, 08:51:15 AM »

Steve, I have not yet gathered pollen, I cannot comment too much on the subject.

There must be a word of caution put out though for anyone reading this thread.  Yes, you can collect pollen from the bees with the traps.

Pollen is the bees' protein.  It is used by the worker bees to stimulate the production of royal jelly in the hypopharyngeal glands.  This royal jelly is used to feed the larvae.  Without pollen they cannot produce the food in their glands.  Integral for bee development.

The pollen trap should not be in place for more than a few days and then removed, so the bees can still gather pollen to store to feed their babies.  The pollen traps must not be left on as a permanent device throughout the summer.  Very important.  The pollen trap can be put back on the hive again after a period of time, but, remember to not leave it on for more than a few days at the most.

You may hear different ideas from other forum members about how long the traps can stay in place in a hive.  But the foregoing information was what I was taught in my bee courses and I am sticking with it.

Listen to the other comments that will come.  I am sure more advice will be added onto what I have given.  Great day.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
limyw
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2007, 09:46:58 AM »

Cindi, you said that pollen is essential for worker bees to produce royal jelly to feed larvea, but when bee swarm, there is no pollen storage at all for worker bees to eat, so how could they produce royal jelly to feed larvea? As I know, loyal jelly is to feed to larvea that hatch at day 4th.
Through my reading, pollen seems to be more important for nurse bee, to build up physical body.
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lyw
Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 06:56:48 PM »

Cindi, you said that pollen is essential for worker bees to produce royal jelly to feed larvea, but when bee swarm, there is no pollen storage at all for worker bees to eat, so how could they produce royal jelly to feed larvea? As I know, loyal jelly is to feed to larvea that hatch at day 4th.
Through my reading, pollen seems to be more important for nurse bee, to build up physical body.

Now, that is a very, very good question.  Now I need to know this answer too.  Wait, there will be someone that can answer that with a knowledgeable answer  that we can trust.

A thought has occurred to me.  MAYBE, the bees fill up on pollen as well as honey before the swarm issues and that is enough pollen to stimulate the glands to have the royal jelly produced to be ready to feed  the larvae a few days later.

Some great clarification would be a good thing.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2007, 07:45:55 PM »

>I'm trying to justify purchasing or building some pollen traps.  The Sundance I ( bottom trap )

Good trap.

> and the Sundance II ( top trap )

Great trap.

> are good ones but prices are high when want to buy 10 of them ( $50 - $63 each )

Yes.

>  I've never seen a Sundance trap but most traps have the principle of forcing the bees to squeeze through #5 hardware cloth to enter the hive thus some of the pollen is knocked off the bees and falls to a tray where you can collect it everyday.

Basically, yes.  Underneath the #5 hardware cloth is #7 to filter the honey and not let the bees in and under that is a drawer with door screen for the bottom to keep it from molding.

> I also hear this sometime injuries the bees - torn or broken wings,etc..

I haven't noticed that, but it makes sense that it would wear on the wings.

>  The Sundance might approach the collection differently - I don't know.

Somewhat, but the principle is the same.  The advantages to the Sundance is that the bees quickly learn to use the drone escapes to leave which are much easier on their wings and quicker to exit, and Lloyd buys the best #5 he can get so it's smooth and consistent in size.

>I've read ( someone correct me if I'm wrong ) that the collection of pollen does not reduce or effect the honey crop in the hive.   

Hard to imagine that it wouldn't have some impact.  I have not done a lot of pollen collection but those who have suggest you do it after the main flow because the traffic jam in a major flow will impact the honey crop.

>** If this it is the case, is the only reason the bee collect pollen is for food and not for honey production..? **

The only reason they collect it is to feed larvae.

>I've also read where in come cases you can collect about 1 to 2 lbs. of pollen per day per hive.

Sounds possible.

> I understand it has to dried to stop possible mold and cleaned.

Or frozen to stop the mold and maintain the nutritional value.

> The strength of the hive obviously dictates the amount of pollen collected but anything near that rate X 10 hives X 30 to 90 days = alot of pollen.

Yes.

>**Has anyone here collected pollen with alot of success and what type trap did you use..? **

I have not collected a lot.  I have had a couple of varieties.  I have a Sundance II and I have some knockoff that works similarly except it uses a drilled plate instead of #5 hardware cloth.  I don't feel comfortable at all leaving the knockoffs on all the time.  They have a bypass and I bypass every third day or so.  They claim this is not necessary with the Sundance.  Perhaps that's true, but I am paranoid that I will be depriving them of pollen.

Other issues:

If you have a queen excluder the Sundance II will not work unless you block the bottom entrance AND you have some kind of drone escape.  You can either buy some of the ones like the Sundance traps have on them and put those on, or you can just drill one 3/8" hole in the brood box (or the entrance block) so the drones can bet out.  The bees will have a traffic jam at this hole trying to get in, but the drones and any queen that needs to mate, can get out.  Otherwise with an excluder on and the bottom entrance blocked, the drones will be trapped in the brood nest.

When you first put on the trap there will be a traffic jam.  If you have them used to a bottom entrance and you block that AND put on a pollen trap you will have chaos.  I would reduce the bottom entrance and provide a top entrance first.  When they have adapted to that, then block the bottom entrance complete.  When they have adapted to that, then put on the Sundance II trap.

It makes very good sense to trap enough pollen to feed in the spring instead of substitue, which is very inferior feed.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
SteveSC
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Location: Woodruff,South Carolina


« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2007, 09:44:50 PM »

Thanks for the information MB..  I was waiting for just this type of stuff from someone with alot more experience than myself. 

I'll get couple top traps and see how things go.  I'd like to have some hives specifically dedicated to pollen collection so I could compare the honey production and\or population curve to other hives not having pollen collected from them.  I'd think there would be a noticable difference in both catagories - honey yield and hive population.

Any others with input on these pollen traps and their effects on the hives is appreciated. 
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Steve in SC


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