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Uniting Honey Bee Colonies

This page provides a focus for methods and equipment that can be used to unite or combine colonies of honey bees, nuclei of bees or even add a single frame of bees.

There are many different circumstances when it is advisable to unite groups of bees. As circumstances, weather, as well as what is available, all affect the issue... Many different methods have come into use.

There is a common thread in most of the techniques:-
  • Allow the bees to mix slowly.
  • Disorientate the two colonies to be united.
  • Confuse the bees with strange scents or powdered contaminants.
  • Use a degradable barrier (newspaper)


The "newspaper bag" method is used to unite a frame of bees to an existing colony. Such an additional frame may have a queen for requeening purposes or not as the case may be.

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Originated... April 2000, Revised... May 2001, 08 January 2003