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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day from Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia, home of the Ligurian bee. We are brand new to bee-keeping and have made several hives (he is a cabnetmeker) from designs found in books. So far, so good. However, trying to discern the tiny diagrams for pollen traps has defeated my older eyes. Essentially, we require the MINIMUM and MAXIMUM size of MESH for the upper and lower mesh sheets. Either Imperial or Metric measurements are ok, though Metric preferred. With thanks, Louisa and Ilker
 

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Here they call it #5 hardware cloth. It's five wires to an inch. In Africa they call it coffee wire because it's just the right size for cleaning coffee beans. This is the size for the bees to squeeze though and lose their pollen. #7 (7 wires to an inch) is the right size to clean the pollen and regular screen door screen is the right size for the bottom of the drawer to let any water out and let the pollen breath.
 

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Thanks, Michael, the sizes are a big help. I guess the finer wire goes underneath to keep the bees out of the bottom of the trap. We are still needing a simple diagram which shows size of box and how bees can both access and egress the trap. By the way, where's NE (? Nebraska??) Regards, Louisa
 

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Yes, NE is Nebraska. Right in the middle of the USA. Slightly larger than Germany.


The basic concept of the homemade pollen traps I've seen is the bees come in and have to go up through two #5 hardware cloths or a plate with the appropriate sized holes, and then have access to the hive, either by going up, if it's a bottom trap, or by going to the back and down into the hive if it's a top trap. The space where the bees enter has the two # 5 hardware cloths (with a 3/8" or so gap between them) above them and a #7 hardware cloth below for the pollen to fall through into the drawer which has screen wire for the bottom. The bees can't get through either the #7 or the screen wire.

Sorry I don't have a picture. If you search on pollen traps on here there have been previous discussions and perhaps someone posted a link to a plan.
 

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Let me guess: KS = Kansas? Is that where the corn is as high??

Hubby couldn't wait to find exact sized mesh, and made up a small box, complete with draw using mesh that had a diameter of 5mm (about 4 to 1") and reports first use as successful. We are concerned not to break bees' legs. He put this pollen trap up against the corrugated iron wall of the shed which houses these wild bees as a sort of practice run for the proper hives he has constructed. We have daylight here until about 8.30pm now (Spring), and he waited until they were settled before adding the trap, but that didn't stop 2 bees dive-bombing his face and biting him. How many times to I have to tell him to wear protection??

Yes, I have found a couple of pics on internet pages but they simply haven't been clear enuf, but we seem to be muddling through.

Thanks BB and MB for your replies.
Louisa D on KI (the greatest unknown place in space)
 

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>Let me guess: KS = Kansas? Is that where the corn is as high??

No, that is one of those "I" states, like Iowa, where corn grows as high as an elephants eye. I suppose they have a lot of elephants there.
Kansas is the wheat state. We produce more wheat and beef than any other state.

When making your trap, be sure to provide an exit for the drones.
 

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I like a 3/8" hole somwhere for the drones and any virgin queens who need to mate and to make sure some pollen gets in.

#5 is 5 wires to an inch. #4 is four wires to an inch. I use #4 all the time to keep out mice, it won't strip pollen at all that I know of.

Funny, Nebraska is known for the "Cornhuskers" but it's actually the "beef state". We produce more beef than any other state including Texas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ta muchly, Michael, I'd read about the drone hole but really couldn't understand that concept - wotn all the other bees want to use the easy wasy, or do they not like waiting and use the smaller #5 gauge holes anyway? Hubby will attend to that asap.
We collected several 1/8" balls of orange pollen from one of the traps, and several more 1/16" white, crystal-like blobs, but no pollen from the 2nd pollen trap. What might that be?
KI is 150 miles long and about 45 miles at its widest. There are just over 4,000 people living here, but nearly 200,000 visit, many from USA. Big farms are 2,000 to 3,000 acres. Ours is only 620 acres. We grow mostly cereal crops in Winter and graze sheep in Summer.
Thanks again for your help,
Louisa D
 

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The idea of a drone hole is that some bees will use it. When not much of a pollen supply is available it may be that all the bees will use it. But when things are booming they won't all be able to crowd in one 3/8" hole so they will go through the screen. Also the drones have to be able to get out of you'll have a pile of dead drones blocking the exit (assuming it's on the bottom) and the house bees can't haul them out. Also if they supercede a queen, the virgin needs a way out and back in. IMO a 3/8" hole for all of this (or a notch somewhere) works pretty well to make sure they get enough pollen, the drones can get out and any new queen they raise can mate.
 

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Greetings . . .

You can use a pc of 1/4" plywood (about 16 x 19", size of hive) w/ a cut-out in center (7 x 7" works well). Along 4 edges of cut-out, drill 1/16" holes SPACED 0.02" apart (or 5 holes per inch). Using frame wire, weave wire through each hole across cut-out. Go across TOP of plywood from one side of cut-out to the other, then return w/ wire UNDER plywood. When finished, you should have a layer of woven wire on top and bottom of plywood (layer separated by thickness of plywood).

Works Great for just one or two traps, lots of traps would require lots of time

Better than having a roll of unused wire on hand.



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Dave W . . .

Hobbyist - 1 Hive
First Package - Apr 03
Broodnest - 3 Deeps
Screened Bottom Board
Apistan - Aug 18, 03
Grease Patties - All year
2003/04 Winter Loss - 0%
See Forum1/HTML/001304, for ongoing mite counts.
 
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