Do pollen traps torture the bees? Is there a cruelty free design for a pollen trap that anyone can share? Thanks!
You could make the same argument for a queen excluder. Personally I've always liked avoiding having a queen excluder because the bees have to squeeze through it. I don't think the bees see it as torture. It's just an obstacle to get through and they get through.
A pollen trap is no more torture, than a small entrance the bees might use in the wild. Like stated, it is an obstacle, and it happens to knock some of the pollen off of them. Note, I said some of the pollen.
It was written earlier:
Do pollen traps torture the bees? Is there a cruelty free design for a pollen trap that anyone can share?
If you mean by stripping out too much pollen, yes they can torture the bees by depriving them of pollen stores (protein) necessary for ample (lots) of brood development and thus hive strength for honey and yes, pollen gathering.
By having a design that also eliminates drones and does not allow them back in you also stranglehold the hives for future reproduction. The same is true for allowing for virgin queens to go in and out and mate when necessary.
Reducing to 4.9mm reduces much of this stress, allowing for more pollen to naturally pass through the screens and into the colonies for use by the bees inside for brooding and stoarage for off season usage.
Also creating a front center opening notch the size of a small mating nuc hole helps to reduce stress here in the way of too much pollen shortage inside the colony also.
Far better to let the bees by pass up to 25% pollen and have healthy colonies then always be forced to feed pollen supplement in off seasons. Also creating a front center opening notch will allow drones and virgins to augment to the hole, besides workers for keeping stronger, colonies.
With more bees on 4.9mm foundation, you will make up for the bypass and have happier bees and stronger colonies in this day and age of mites/ scavengers.
Dee A. Lusby