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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First let me say that this is a well built, thoughtfully designed piece of equipment.

However, I seriously think that installing it has caused most of the foragers to drift to other hives.

I converted the hive from bottom entrance to a top entrance, and then waited over 2 weeks as directed before installing the trap.

At the same time I installed the trap I did also install a med super below it - which was probably a mistake, because it raised the entrance up even higher than the trap alone would have.

Anyway, that was only 4 days ago, but so far there has been a little, but only very little traffic at this hive. Virtually no pollen so far in the trap. I am absolutely sure there is no other way into the hive BTW.

Maybe it's pre-mature, but I think it might be very helpful if the stripping screens could be removed until the bees get used to the new path into the hive.

I'm sure it's going to work great once the hive gets used to it. I hope.
 

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I have 2 of the bottom traps. One hive figured it out in 2 days, the other hive never did, 3 different trys. I moved it over to a third hive and they figured it out. They work great once they get going.
 

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I purchased 1 this spring, properly preped the chosen hive and opened the box containing the pollen trap only to find an incomplete product. The board containing the escape cones was missing. When I returned the trap to the retail store where it was purchased they also pointed out a small blocking board that was installed incorectly. No problem, heres your new and carefully inspected trap. The weather turned very wet and I never got it on so no idea how they work.
 

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I got a sundance II for christmas. I put it on according to instructions this spring. After 3 or 4 days the bees had not figured it out. A friend suggested gently blowing in the top to get bees out so I did but then they just hung out around the bottom waiting to get back in so I gave up and took it off.
 

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The Sundance 2 works well when you have top entrances already. I would not change to a top entrance and a pollen trap at the same time. They will never figure that out. First they have to adjust to the top entrance. Then they have to adjust to the pollen trap. They will not do both at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's not what I did. They had been using the top entrance for well over 2 weeks - as directed in the instructions that came with the trap. If that isn't enough time to make the transition, then fair enough. But then that should be what the directions say.

Actually now that it's been about a week there's beginning to be a bit more traffic through the trap, but I stick with my original guess - all of the old foragers drifted to other hives, and these are new ones that have oriented through the trap. It might have been helpful to pump up the hive with some emerging brood 2 or 3 weeks before adding the trap.

Anyway, it looks like it will work if I let it. :D
 

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Lesson learned. When running traps on pallets we have found you have to run traps on all the hives on the pallets otherwise the bees will go to a hive that has no trap and are readily accepted with their loads by that hive. We learned the hard way when we installed traps on the strongest hives only to find them without forgers a week later and struggling to keep their brood protected. The bees will naturally move to a hive that they don't have to navigate the pollen trap to get into. Not sure how your layout is but it's something to consider...like placing the the hive with the trap a bit away from the others. If you are running pallets only fix is to run traps on all of them.
 

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You might have gotton one that was flawed.

I called Ross last spring and he said that I needed to add an L shaped piece of hardware cloth/screen because the bees were by-passing the trap.
It worked fine after I stapled the strip of hardware cloth.
Ernie
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dang, this hive is sitting on a stand with 4 others, and 6 feet from another stand full of hives as well.

The bees are definitely not bypassing the trap. I think it might be better if there was a way to let them do that for a few days so they could kinda ease into it.
 

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Dave, alfa6 (if I remembered the name correctly) is right! We have found that b'kpers who run their hives close t'gether do not have good success with any pollen trap (including ours) unless all their hives have the traps. We will amend our instructions to incorporate that.

If you want to return the trap to us and replace it with another bottom mount we will do so without charge (except for the postage to get the trap back to us). Just send it to my attention (Lloyd Spear) to Ross Rounds, 1309 Rugby Road, Schenectady NY 12308. If you prefer a check for $50, we will also do that...but I hope that is not your alternative.

I run hives on hive stands made from 2 x 12's. Two hives to a 6' stand. I currently have 10 top-mount traps in a yard with 16 hives. I put the traps on only the strongest hives, but sometimes have a trap on just one hive of a two-hive stand. I am getting abt 2.5 lbs. a day from early goldenrod (not much) plus knapweed. Full goldenrod will start withing 2 weeks and productions should double!

Lloyd
 

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My hives are on stands made from six foot pressure treated 4 x 4's. So I have (roughly) 2-3 feet between hives. I can have one hive with and another without on the same stand with no difficulty.

On a pallet, with perhaps 6" between hives, there is lots of difficulty if they all do not have traps.

Hope this helps.

Lloyd
 

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Off-topic...

Lloyd, a quick question about ordering. (Sorry for the thread hijack.)

I've keep reading that Betterbee carries the Sundance II. Their online catalog lists a Top Mounted Pollen Trap but has no picture nor does it list the manufacturer. I emailed their customer service giving them the item number and was told that it is a bottom mounted trap that they manufacture, better than the Sundance and at a fraction of the cost.

Obviously the rep didn't look at the listing to see that it indeed a top mount and I received no response to my second email. So could you tell me if Betterbee is retailing the Sundance II? I'd like to order one but with Betterbee, it's like buying a pig in a poke.

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Check this out. I decided that the best thing to do for now is to remove the trap - when I opened it up I found a new queen on top of it. So either they swarmed, or superceded and the virgin got out through the drone cones, and then couldn't get back in through the trap.

I know this is a new queen, because the previous one (only about 6 weeks old) was big and golden and this one is kinda small and striped.

I just took off the trap and wished her luck.

Always something.
 

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I will comment on both Wayne's comments and Dave's.

Betterbee seems to be getting worse; if that is possible. See Consumer Review for many comments about 2-3 months ago. They have pretty much copied the Sundance bottom mount trap. They made a modification, perhaps because I threatened to sue if they came out with a straight copy. The modficiation makes the trap much less functional. Their customer service people do not know beekeeping at all, so are just repeating what Justin is telling them. Justin thinks he is an expert because he helped his father some summers (his father was a REAL beekeeper) and because he ran bees in the Peace Corps! It takes a whole lot more than that.

They do not have a top mount trap...yet. We have the traps they are advertising as way better than the Sundance and will put them on hives in the next few days. They are not even close to being equal. You get what you pay for. Their traps are selling for some $10 less than a Sundance trap. A Sundance trap will last at least 10 years. Is it worth $1 a year to get an 'almost' trap...you decide.

Dave, I suspected your hive swarmed or lost their queen but didn't want to say anything. Yep, a queen can easily get out the cones, but will not go back in. A 'sure sign' (if there is such a thing in beekeeping) is when a hive is producing pollen well and suddenly stops. Because I use hive stands I often find the mated queen on a small bit of comb underneath the hive. I scoop the entire cluster into a box and turn the box upside down on the top bars. Happens about once in two years, when running 30 traps. I'm sure there are also those I never find...and the hive just gradually dwindles.

You did the right thing, and your hive should shortly return to normal.

Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's not a big deal I guess. I'll give her a few days to get settled in before I bother them again - if then. I've done quite a lot of experimenting this year and I've picked on this particular hive quite a lot. But since I've been dabbling in queen rearing too I have several nucs with good queens to fall back on if I need to.

It's all a learning experience. Next year I hope to learn to make a little money.:D
 
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