>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.
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.
> 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.
>**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.
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.