stupid question but please answer

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justme 

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when uniting colonies, iv already established from this forum, thankyou all:.) that the bees are left with one entrance. Foragers will be out from both colonies, what happens when they come back in? I know that generally bees with spoils are let in but what about any that escaped during uniting? Thanks, di:.)
 

Hombre 

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They will submit to the guards and be permitted entry.
 

Rosti 

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The 'receiving' or host colony is the one at the bottom, this is the colony that still has it's queen and still has access to the outside (via it's normal entrance). The colony being united goes on top, separated by newspaper. It is trapped inside the hive by the news paper and has already had it's queen removed. It's foragers can not get out.
By the time the bees from the two colonies have eaten through the paper and combined you only have only the one colony and all foragers belong to that colony. They then all use the only hive entrance at the bottom of the original (bottom) brood box. Once this has happened you combine the two colonies back to a single brood box (or decide to keep them on double brood) depending on your intentions.
The paper slows down the combination to disorientate the colony being united and allow the united colony to take on the odour of the host colony, avoids fighting etc. This also means that when they do forage and then return to the hive they aare accepted because they have already been accepted into that hive, they won't 'fight' a second time (or shouldn't). It is usually enough time for the new foragers to emprint the new location, sometimes you can loose a few dye-hards to the old site though. A nuc at that location can catch them for re-uniting if the quantity is sufficient (sprinkle with icing sugar and bung'em back in the new hive!)

Hope that helps
 
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oliver90owner 

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One colony is going to be a small one, generally. I usually unite late in the evening when all I have to do is lift the small colony brood on to, or across to the other box.

The very few bees which might emerge simply have to gain entry to the bottom colony or....

One could go to great lengths to avoid any stragglers by modifying the uniting procedure if one really wanted to. The only extra kit needed would be a small eke with an entrance.

Regards, RAB
 

justme 

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rosti, thanks for detailed answer but i was asking about foragers that WERE out. I had already done the uniting and it was very busy at the entrance so unsure of end result. Keith, thanks:.) oliver90owner, wish id thought of late evening, but weather warning here for tonight anyway:.)
 

Rosti 

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Justme, as o90o has said, you usually unite late in the evening so that foragers still out are at a minimum. Then revert to the comment about a nuc box on the old site to catch stragglers.

If you have a weather warning then thats great! Shut them up whilst raining and unite as soon as it stops - or the next morning, either way the rain has worked to your advantage by keeping foragers in the hive you are targetting to unite, obviously you dont need to worry about the stronger 'host' you will unite them to.
 
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justme 

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Justme, as o90o has said, you usually unite late in the evening so that foragers still out are at a minimum. Then revert to the comment about a nuc box on the old site to catch stragglers.

If you have a weather warning then thats great! Shut them up whilst raining and unite as soon as it stops - or the next morning, either way the rain has worked to your advantage"
Thanks, now know for next time:.) just hadnt read that anywhere before, suppose commonsense really:.) been wanting to do it for a week but weather had been iffy when i had the time, hence fitted it in before weather went wet again. Sods law tho, suns shining now, gorgeous evening!
 

justme 

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They will submit to the guards and be permitted entry.
Apologies hombre, away from computer, working off of phone n didnt see your response. Seems you are correct tho, thats what appeared to be happening when i took another look:.) thanks:.)
 

louiseww 

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No it wasn't, I agree and I am learning so much reading these questions and answers - much more interesting than reading the books where most of the time I can't find the answers!
 
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