The pollen trap is used to gather bee-collected pollen for a variety of reasons, both for honey bee and human consumption. A number of traps are sold commercially and there have been many more that have been designed on an informal basis.
A study by Canadians A. Tellier and U. Soehngen, reported in the Cook-Dupage Beekeepers’ Association Newsletter, Vol. 39 (5), June 1984, evaluates several traps. According to the authors:
“The efficiency of pollen traps varies from approximately 10% to 50%. Efficiency is influenced by the uniformity of the openings in the trap, differences in body sizes of the foragers (which may be considerable both between and within colonies), and by the sizes of the pollen loads. In addition, the number of openings in a trap influences the degree of crowding within the trap, and consequently, it efficiency in collecting pollen. It is apparent, therefore, that each colony-trap combination is unique and that an accurate determination of the efficiency of trap design, derived from observations made on one colony-trap combination is impossible.”
A number of examples of traps and how they are used can be found on youtube.com.