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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed a package of Italians on April 19th. They are doing really well. About 4 deep frames of brood in various stages and bringing in enough nectar to have some capped honey already and lots of pollen too. They seem to be very gentle bees. so gentle in fact I think they're almost being too nice.

Two days ago I put a top mount pollen trap on my strong hive which is about 5 feet away from the new Italians. The pollen trap made quite a cloud of bees around the big hive. The Italians came out on the front porch and started fanning. I didn't really pay much attention to this, but today they were doing the same thing so I decided to go into the hive and it is crammed jammed full of bees. I did see the Queen and she looks happy and beautiful.

I'm not sure what to do or if there is anything to be done about this situation. I definitely don't think I should give them another box, I don't want to encourage this type of behavior.:no: The bees in the large hive seems to be learning how to use the trap already. There is twice as much pollen in it today as there was yesterday.

Any thoughts on this? Is it common for bees to take in strays?

Thanks! :)
 

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Not uncommon for one hive to take others bees if they want to come join from what i've seen. Same thing that happens when bees drift. They come to the doorstep with a gut full of necter or leggs full of pollen, come on in is the common thing to happen. lol..

Think of it this way, your new bees just got a good boost of help and may pull out comb a lot faster and fill it with brood quicker.
 

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when bees return to a hive and cannot get in regardless of the reason they have two options. Cluster at the old entrance, or beg their way into another hive, the new package is the perfect answer, a hive low on resources just begging for help getting started. it is a win win situation for both hives. Aren't the girls beautiful creatures? Beauty, without vanity! Dedication, without envy! Willing servants, yet no ones slave!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I sure hope they get this trap figured out soon. Today was very warm and there were bees all over the place! They were flying in every direction and making a lot of noise. If this was a regular entrance and the bees were making this much ruckus I would suspect robbing. I don't see any fighting going on and they are still somewhat gentle.

The package is still fanning and now overflowing with bees. I am going to put another box on tomorrow. I would hate to have it swarm from over crowding.

Aren't the girls beautiful creatures? Beauty, without vanity! Dedication, without envy! Willing servants, yet no ones slave!
Yes they are!
 

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If the hive is full of bees and they are working most of the frames I wouldn't hesitate to add another box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Please, I have a follow-up question.

It's been one week since I put the pollen trap on. I think the Borg, I mean Italians are done assimilating their neighbors. Resistance was futile! I added one more 8 frame deep box of foundation two days ago, the Italians were still assimilating on that day. Today I checked in and they were packed again so I added a 8 frame medium box of foundation. The Italians have stopped fanning in new bees.

My question is, should I feed?
There are a lot of bees in there. What are they going to eat and use to draw out all that foundation?
On the other hand they are mostly experienced foragers from the other hive, they know where the good stuff is.

I looked in the pollen trap hive today too. There is still a huge number of bees. I saw the beautiful Queen and lots of eggs.
Looks like this hive is doing great too!

Thank you!
 

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Curious, you are running a pollen trap for a week solid?

I am under the impression that you shouldn't have the trap on for more than 2-3 days, then remove it for some days to allow pollen to be stored in the hive (unless you are feeding pollen inside the hive).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is a Sundance II top mount. Its suppose to only collect about 70% of the pollen.
Before I put the trap on I made sure there was a lot of stored pollen.
Today when I was in the hive I saw a lot of pollen.
 

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I have one of the same traps, and I think it would be a tremendous improvement if you could run it with a "trainer" screen for a while - 1/4 or 3/8" mesh that the bees could easily go through to get them used to it or to leave in place when you aren't harvesting pollen.
 

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>I have one of the same traps, and I think it would be a tremendous improvement if you could run it with a "trainer" screen for a while - 1/4

That's a brilliant idea. If you could do #4 for a while before going to #5 they would be used to the idea of it and they would believe they could get through...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Should I be feeding this hive? How can I tell if it needs feed? Any help would be greatly appreciated.:)

>I have one of the same traps, and I think it would be a tremendous improvement if you could run it with a "trainer" screen for a while - 1/4

That is a great Idea!

I was questioning the size of the screen in this trap myself, I have never seen a pollen trap before. The screen is not consistently square, every other hole is square. In between the squares the holes are rectangular, too small for a bee.
Is this the way it should be or did I get a bad section of screen?
 

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>Is this the way it should be or did I get a bad section of screen?

It has become increasingly difficult to get consistent hardware cloth in recent years. It all seems to come from China now and the consistency has suffered a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
>It has become increasingly difficult to get consistent hardware cloth in recent years. It all seems to come from China now and the consistency has suffered a lot.

What is the actual ideal measurement suppose to be?

I am going to feed now.

Thanks for all your help!
 

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>What is the actual ideal measurement suppose to be?

#5 is five wires to an inch or 1/5" on center. In other words not taking into account the thickness, so from the center of one wire to the center of the next is 1/5". In other words the actual opening is the thickness of one wire less than 1/5".
 

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>I have one of the same traps, and I think it would be a tremendous improvement if you could run it with a "trainer" screen for a while - 1/4

That's a brilliant idea. If you could do #4 for a while before going to #5 they would be used to the idea of it and they would believe they could get through...
Why thank you.
 
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