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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, do any of you guys collect pollen from your hives? I've heard of equipment problems with pollen traps of yore, but have heard that the latest pollen trap from Mann Lake is pretty good. Any opinions? And when does collecting pollen become detrimental to the bees?

Thanks! :wave:
 

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I bought a couple of the Sundance I (bottom) pollen traps but I haven't used them yet. Once I get settled in I may try but it may be too late in the year. Oh well, always next year (spring).From what I gather, they are really efficient, collecting nice clean pollen. They say they allow enough bees to get by without harming brood rearing, however I think I would still keep a close eye on them and if neccesary drop the door down and open up the regular entrance.
The Sundance II is a top mounted pollen trap that does not require lifting your hive to put in place and supposedly is ultra efficient as well. I would think it would take the bees longer to figure out where the new entrance was located so I opted for the bottom model.
These are extremely well built but not for the faint of heart price wise. I would want to have a ready market for the pollen before I got into it in any big way.
 

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I used the sundance bottom traps with good results, also used the cedar ones from dadant. I havent collected pollen for a couple of years or since i quit keeping hives at the house. I found that there was a market for pollen for first time buyers but didnt have much luck with repeat customers like i do with honey. has anyone else had any luck with repeat buyers?
 

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I have the Sundance ii and it works well. It is recommended to be left open until the bees reorient to the upper entrance and then close it for a week or so at a time, reopening it for them to resupply the hive from time to time.

I just collect enough for my own use, making patties.
 

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And when does collecting pollen become detrimental to the bees?
I heard someone from Detroit speak about collecting pollen yesterday. His name is Rich Wieske. He packages his products under the name Wild Detroit Honey. He uses Sundance collectors, emptying them every second or third day. The Sundance collector he used as an example can be easily closed, allowing the bees to enter into the regular hive entrance when not needed. If I understood him correctly, he watches the drone brood to determine the nutritional need of the hive. He explained if the hive has around 3 frames of drone, the hive has all it's nutritional needs met. I'm not sure that statement makes sense, but that's what I wrote down in my notes. In Detroit, he collects pollen from mid-May to September, not continually, but for a few days a month.
He had everyone green with envy when he described how much health food stores and a "raw food" restaurant customer will pay. It's quite lucrative. Wieske also makes and sells Beebread, which brings an even better price.
A note of interest: he says to freeze the pollen as that retains more of the nutrients.
 

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I think srvfan that Mr Wieske spoke at last year bee convention in Galveston and touched on some of the same points (and yes the price he quoted got a lot of interest from the crowd). he had some pictures of his bee bread.

I haven't used them in a year or two but I have had some good success with those very inexpensive plastic traps sold by BetterBee and others. I think perhaps the traps were made in Korea. They work quite well and unlike bottom traps (of the Sundance design) catch very little hive debris. At least based on theory such traps are designed to remove only one pollen pellet from one pollen basket as the worker passes thru the grid. One pellet remain to be used by the hive. I personally never like to keep such things on a hive for very long (maximum perhaps 30 days) since invariable they do seem to limit the growth of a hive no matter what the theory suggest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks you guys. Very interesting. I am trying to decide if I want to do this or not. It would be for my own use. Buying a small jar at the Farmers' Market is a little steep, but the guy brings it in a cooler which I like. I've tried to order it from Mountain Rose Herbs, and it was all dried and crunchy! I like the stuff from the F. Mkt better, very soft.
 

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Pollen does require some care to get it to keep (freezing and/or drying). Like a lot of food type products (at least for me) fresh is better. Pollen I think is a somewhat acquired taste since it's essence is pretty earthy. Pollen added to just a bit of honey and mixed into a creamy paste is the food of the gods.
 

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I have had some good success with those very inexpensive plastic traps sold by BetterBee and others.
Is this the trap you are referring too Tec? This product sounds like it is easily removed. That sounds good to me. What about varroa? Is a varroa screen the same as a screened bottom board?

Also, didn't I read somewhere that a good time to collect pollen is in the fall?
 

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I am not certain what you are 'referring too' srvfan?

They are kind of brown and yellow and seem to me to have cost somewhere between $12 and $14. They hang on screw hooks which have to be just in the right spot, but after that taking on and off is real easy.

ps... pollen trapping pretty much requires that you close off, tape or seal all the other possible entrances.
 
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