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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I an interested in hearing about your experience with pollen traps. I put one on the hive entrance this morning. The girls do not seem to be going back into the hive. It's been in place for a full 12 hours. I now have an 8-inch round cluster of bees hanging at the front of the hive, at the bottom of the pollen trap. I am concerned and I'm thinking perhaps I should not have disturbed the girls. This is a very strong hive with no issues, and I don't want to induce any kind of stress. I don't know if the girls are going to accept it. How do I know if I should leave it on or scrape the whole idea. Thoughts, opinions, ideas, and shared experiences, please!
 

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Florida, I am very much in favor of pollen trapping, and have been doing so for several years. As such my authority in the matter is limited, but I will tell you what I have found workable. Those with more years in this activity may well be able to provide superior information.

I have used the front porch plastic traps, wooden front porch traps and the sundance top and bottom traps. I will be setting up 20 new hives next week and they all will be 8 frame sundance traps.

Early on I placed traps on strong hives in mid to late summer, and I had the same issues as you. Requiring huge numbers of bees to learn a complex entrance pattern was difficult for the bees and anxiety generating for one new to trapping. More times than not I would loose my nerve and remove the trap, however on the several I just closed my eyes to the congestion, things worked out fine.

Now-a-days I only place traps on new splits and hives coming out of winter. On the new splits with a new queen installed, the hive is producing a reasonable amount of pollen in 8 to 12 days.

One significant disadvantage to trapping is the requeening issue. With a trap on the hive will have difficulty generating a new queen. Close frequent inspection to acertain the status and productivity of the queen is important issue.

I hope this has been of help. Hopefully other pollen trappers will chime in, as I would like to learn from them.
 

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They will figure it out. No need to stress over it. I really like the sundance traps and find that it takes about a week for them to get it sorted out. For that reason I never shut the traps off. I agree with the above regarding requeening. If the hive swarms or you know it's superseding, remove the trap. Many colonies will bring in very little pollen without open brood.
 

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It takes a day for any of them to figure it out. It takes several days for most of them to figure it out. It takes a week for most all of them to be in a steady rhythm and make the most use of things like a drone escape to leave from etc. You're best bet is to just don't even look for a couple of days... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for responding. I did, however, remove the pollen trap after the 4th day when the size of the bearding was basketball size! It's been off for a number of days now and the girls have resumed normal patterns of behavior. That being said, I'm not giving up and I'm ready to give it another shot. This time, however, I will put the pollen trap on so they can get used to it, but I will hold the little front door of the trap open with a block of wood. This way they can fly to and fro with a reduced entrance, and then, my plan is to lower the pollen trap door a few days after that. We'll see. I sure would like to see if I can collect some pollen!
 

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One thing I have noticed in my limited pollen colecting activity is that each hive is different. I'm sure many factors are involved. Many hives adjust with only moderate disruption while other have a devil of a time dealing with the colector. The exact reasons for this are obscure to me. Has anyone else noticed this varyation in responce?
 
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