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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Burke County, NC
    Posts
    20

    Default How does collecting pollen affect the bees?

    I have a question regarding pollen traps and collecting pollen. If we collect the pollen, aren't we taking their food? If using a pollen trap, do you leave it on or open or whatever all the time or at during certain periods. I was thinking about collecting pollen to feed the bees in the fall this year and maybe next spring in patties, but don't want to hurt any honey production this year either. a little help about pros and cons of pollen collection greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: How does collecting pollen affect the bees?

    on and off, on 2 days and off for 2 days!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: How does collecting pollen affect the bees?

    In theory a good pollen trap should only remove half of the pollen. If you have doubts that it is, put a 3/8" hole in the trap as a bypass. This is large enough to let pollen in while creating enough of a bottleneck that most bees will still have to go through the trap.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
    Posts
    705

    Default Re: How does collecting pollen affect the bees?

    I had the trap on all season with no problem,...as Michael said, a trap should remove about half the
    pollen...by going through the wire meshing some will get knocked off. There should be one or two
    larger holes in front for drones to bypass. Bees will collect more pollen to make up the loss.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: How does collecting pollen affect the bees?

    I am using the Sundance bottom traps. I use them all year and have not noticed a difference in the hives with them as compared to the ones without them. I am unsure how some of the cheaper traps would effect the hive if you left them on all year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: How does collecting pollen affect the bees?

    Hi, we are the manufacturer of the Sundance Pollen Traps and I thought I would take a stab at the answers.

    Almost all of the pollen traps on the market copy our design. Some more than others...Our design incorporates over 20 years of constant improvement as we have used the traps on our own bees. Our design successfully address observations such as: slowing traffic into and out of the hives for foraging; pollen clumping in the drawer directly underneath where the bees enter the brood chamber; rainwater getting into the pollen; the need to do heavy lifting to get the pollen traps off the hive; angry bees when pollen traps are removed while bee populations are at their height; dirty pollen from debris falling from the brood nest; etc.

    As we encountered these situations, and more not listed, we made design changes to correct the situation. This has been a process of constant improvement, with such changes being made every couple of years, and the latest in 2010; incorporated in our 2011 designs. Mostly, beekeepers do not even notice the changes we make, but we do and the changes make beekeepers' life easier.

    The Sundance Pollen Traps collect approximately 50% of the pollen entering the hive. My personal traps go on in mid-May and come off in late September or early October. They are set to collect pollen at all times, unless I will be absent for more than a week so can't collect the pollen. As others on this list have said, hives with traps and hives without traps, side by side, have the same populations and collect the same amount of nectar. I will not take the time to explain 'how can that be', but the answers are clearly set forth in Tom Seeley's book "The Wisdom of the Hive". Read it, it is worthwhile.

    The principal reason the Sundance traps do not hurt nectar collection or brood production is because the bees do not have to go through the 'stripping screens' to both enter and leave the hive. Entering the hive, yes, but the time to go through these screens slow foraging and with the Sundance trap bees can leave the hive without going through the screens. ON ALL THE INEXPENSIVE TRAPS, THE BEES HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE STRIPPING SCREENS TO LEAVE THE HIVE!

    When buying a trap ask whether the bees have to go through the stripping screens in both directions. If the clerk does not know or says 'yes', run, do not walk, to another dealer! Of course, you should always insist on a SUNDANCE trap, and do not accept the inexpensive alternatives from those who have tried to copy our design...or who use an inferior design.

    All reputable dealers in the US carry Sundance Pollen Traps, so you will not have to look far for 'the real thing'.

    Hope I have helped.

    Lloyd
    Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc. Manufacturers of round section comb equipment and Sundance Pollen Traps.

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