Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I got my pollen trap this week and I have a couple questions. First time user for pollen traps.

Can the bees can really squeeze though those #5 screens???? Looks so tiny!

The hive I'm going to add the trap to has a bottom entrance. Yesterday I switched the lid to a telescope lid with notched inner cover, making sure plenty of room for bees to get in and out this way. The instructions with Sundance use a telescope lid which is why I decided to do it this way. All my other hives are either a piece of plywood, or migratory lids, due to cost.

I did not screen off bottom entrance yet. Should I wait a few days? Also there is another spot between 1st and 2nd box where bees use to get in and out. This is a hive of 1 deep, 1 medium, no queen excluder. Strong backyard hive so I hope for lots of pollen.
I thought close bottom in a few days, then the other opening a few days after that. 2 weeks after both of those closed, add the Sundance pollen trap.

When I want to give the bees a break from my collecting, rather than take off the trap can I remove the drawer and then it will fall into the hive instead?
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,041 Posts
I am putting on a couple traps and this is how I approach it. I move the hives that are being trapped off away form other hives. IMO trapped hives lose population to hives in the same group not equipped with traps. Close the bottom entrance some night and let the bees learn to come in and out a top entrance. When that is their norm after a week or so, I put on the traps and their is still a jam at the door as they adjust to going thru the trap. You have to just let that be and let them adjust. I put pollen patties on hives with traps on the brood box right over the combs with brood myself
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Yes, the bees can really fit though that screen! Easily, in fact. I'd follow Vance's notes, except it should not be necessary to move the hives. You may want to prop open your inner cover with two soda bottle caps at each front end of the inner cover. Seal that bottom board opening, and any others. Let the bees adjust for at least a week...2-3 weeks is better. Then put the trap on top, prop the inner cover up with the soda bottle caps, Don't look for at least 7 days, and then enjoy taking the pollen. The trap only takes about 50%, so dont' worry about the bees having enough. Enjoy!

lloyd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help everyone. I won't move the hives because the 2 hives next to these wouldn't hurt getting some drift population. I believe there is plenty of pollen coming in at this time. If it seems not, I will open up the traps. I will use the pollen patties and prop inner cover--makes me feel more comfortable.

Along with the Sundance II, I just installed a Brushy Mountain plastic pollen trap:
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Plastic-Pollen-Trap/productinfo/ND464/
I have not lowered the trap door yet, so that one also is an experiment.

So, on the Sundance II, can I remove drawer when not collecting to open it up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
I have a Sundance 2, and in my experience the hive needs to be well established to use a top entrance before you put it on. They do Not like it, and the sudden change will cause the hive to almost completely stop forraging. If you leave them even one 3/8" bottom entrance hole they will all use it instead of switching gears to go trough the trap.

If you really want to start using the trap right away you will probably have more luck if you move the hive more than a mile away to force a general re-orientation. Just a guess though.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,108 Posts
>an the bees can really squeeze though those #5 screens???? Looks so tiny!

Actually they can barely squeeze through a #6 screen, so #5 is actually pretty easy. I often use #5 to confine a queen and the workers have no trouble getting through it.

>The hive I'm going to add the trap to has a bottom entrance. Yesterday I switched the lid to a telescope lid with notched inner cover, making sure plenty of room for bees to get in and out this way.

You will have much better luck if all the current field bees have been using a top entrance all along. They will view the pollen trap as a blocked entrance and go looking for other ways in, and if they are in the habit or ever were in the habit of using the bottom, it will be difficult to get them using the top.

>The instructions with Sundance use a telescope lid which is why I decided to do it this way. All my other hives are either a piece of plywood, or migratory lids, due to cost.

The migratory cover will work, but you may need to duct tape it and staple the duct tape if it's warped at all. The bees only need 1/6" to get in...

>I did not screen off bottom entrance yet. Should I wait a few days?

If you are trying to convert to a top entrance, I would reduce the bottom to 3/8" for a couple of days and then close it off.

>Also there is another spot between 1st and 2nd box where bees use to get in and out. This is a hive of 1 deep, 1 medium, no queen excluder. Strong backyard hive so I hope for lots of pollen.

You need to close that off with either screen wire stapled or duct tape stapled or something...

>I thought close bottom in a few days, then the other opening a few days after that. 2 weeks after both of those closed, add the Sundance pollen trap.

Not a bad plan.

>When I want to give the bees a break from my collecting, rather than take off the trap can I remove the drawer and then it will fall into the hive instead?

Whatever falls into the hive goes to the bottom and gets hauled out for trash. No, I would not. Either leave it on (half the pollen gets through anyway) or take it off entirely.

>I have a Sundance 2, and in my experience the hive needs to be well established to use a top entrance before you put it on.

Absolutely. A pollen trap is viewed by the bees as a blocked entrance until they get used to it. If you don't have them well adjusted to the top entrance they will all go back to the bottom again...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
For best results I am going to get them orientated to the top entrance for no less than 3 weeks before adding the trap. I am not in a hurry and want to do this right. I want to add some entry to top though, because to me that inner cover opening looks too small, especially as they are just learning the top entrance route.
Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
For best results I am going to get them orientated to the top entrance for no less than 3 weeks before adding the trap. I am not in a hurry and want to do this right. I want to add some entry to top though, because to me that inner cover opening looks too small, especially as they are just learning the top entrance route.
Thanks again!
As to whether someone can just remove the drawer and let the pollen fall into the hive...

Maybe...below the drawer is an 8-mesh screen. The purpose of this is to prevent the bees from entering the pollen trap from the bottom, and therefore remove the pollen from the drawer. The difficulty with just removing the drawer is that not all pollen will fall through an 8-mesh screen. In particular, goldenrod pollen will often not go through 8-mesh. I don't know about pollen granule sizes in Florida.

But why not just take the trap off the hive when you don't want to collect pollen. The trap only weighs 7 pounds, so can easily be removed and stored on its side right beside the hive. Leave the inner cover propped up and the bees will barely notice when you next put the trap back on!

Lloyd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Loyd,

Have you ever considered making it so that you can take the pollen removal screens out? Then you could run one screen instead of two, or you could even use a larger mesh (1/4") as a "trainer" screen for a few days to get the bees used to it.

Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,196 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Lloyd. I got my Sundance from Dadant and they included lots of good info about pollen processing and usages, along with good instructions. I know I'm going to be happy with my purchase and will likely get more traps in the future.

Thanks to Michael for the good info in other threads that helped me decide on the Sundance II--and everyone else, thanks so much!
Beesource is great!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top