188.8.131.52. Collection of bee collected pollen using pollen traps
A common method of pollen collection is the use of a trapping device placed at the entrance of hives. A variety of specific types of “pollen traps” are commercially available, all designed to force returning foragers entering the hive to crawl through small openings/ a grid (size of openings depends on the race of bees; African bees are known to be smaller than European races of bees (Johannsmeier, 2001)), which dislodge pollen pellets from their hind legs (see Fig. 41). The pellets then fall into a collection tray. Trap design varies in the size of the openings, installation location on the hive, and mechanism for accessing the collection tray to remove pollen. An effective pollen trap is easy to use, tightly fits the hive box, and can collect at least 60% of the foraged pollen pellets brought to the hive with minimum disturbance and climatic exposure to the colony and trapped pollen. Refer to the to the ‘Pollen trapping‘ section of the BEEBOOK paper on pollination (Delaplane et al., 2013) for a method to measure trapping efficiency and how to use pollen traps.
Fig. 41. Example of an Auger-Hole pollen trap with a front and cross sectional view. Source: E R Harp from Sammataro and Avitabile, 2011.