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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, All!
Been thinking about building a pollen trap lately.
The recommended size is a #5 (0.20") mesh cloth for a pollen trap.

I am not sure if the 1/4" (0.25") square wire cloth will allow the worker bees to pass thru the pollen trap while leaving some pollen behind.
The majority of my bees are a bit bigger. Do you think this size will work for a pollen trap? Too big or too small?
 

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When I first built my own entrance mounted traps, I used the #5 cloth and 80% of the bees got through easily without losing their loads. So, I changed it to a piece of thin stiff vinyl with holes drilled in it and it worked much better. Don't remember the size of the holes I drilled though. I guess your bee size could possibly matter on how well the #5 works for you, but I doubt it. With the store bought traps like the Sundance, the bees have to cross the #5 cloth twice before they get into the hive, so that probably helps in releasing more of the pollen.
 

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We are the manufacturers of the Sundance traps.

If you use 4 mesh wire you will collect very little pollen. Bees can actually fit through 6 mesh wire, but many years ago we thought that took too much of the pollen, so settled on 5 mesh. Yes, we use two layers, separated by about 1/4", but on the occasion when we have forgot the 2nd layer we have noticed very little difference in the amount of pollen collected. We estimate the two layers of 5 mesh collect about 50% of the pollen the bees are bringing in.

Drones can get through 4 mesh wire, and they cannot get through 5 mesh. Many home designs fail to work because there is no drone escape that the bees will not use to bypass the pollen trap. Think about it when making your design.

Hope this helps,

Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A double wire is a good idea. I'll definitely consider the drone escape. I am not sure about the
size of the holes. My research lead me to a number of sizes such as 13/64" (0.2031"),
4.5mm = 11/64" (0.177"), 3/16" (0.1875"), 7/32" (0.2188") and 1/4" (0.25") which is too big it seems.
I think the closest size that will work is around .17 or .18 inch. I'm not sure about the difference on using the round or square holes either. What do you think?
 

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At one time I had home made screen bottom boards made with #6 hardware cloth wire. The fronts of the hives were not facing the major nectar flows so they would come in from the side and enter through the screen bottom boards instead of flying around to the front bottom board entrance. They would get stripped of their pollen from going through the #6 wire and leave the ground under the hives covered in pollen that had been stripped off of them. So for me, I'd say #6 single layer wire is what works.
 
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