Acknowledgement is made to Alistair Reid, who
originated the idea, but the development and design of the particular
board described on the
page was performed by myself whilst I was the proprietor of
It is an easy way of utilising the
"newspaper method" of uniting and it is particularly
well suited to use in back gardens as the minimum possible disturbance
occurs and the bees are exposed for only very brief periods.
Uniting Board, Newspaper,
Selotape (or similar adhesive tape),
Masking Tape (or Parcel Tape),
Pin or other pricking device
(plastic headed corkboard pins are ideal)
Hand held trigger spray bottle full of plain water
First prepare the board by fixing the newspaper. A little
care is needed, as the newspaper tends to stretch, first cut a square
piece of newsprint about 300 mm or 1 foot square, then using
4 small pieces of Sellotape (one at each corner) fix the newspaper
as tightly as possible to match the red line on the drawing,
leave for a few minutes for the paper to stretch. Once the paper has
stretched then re-position the Sellotape so as to take up any slack.
The masking tape, or parcel tape, can then be applied in
4 x 300 mm lengths keeping as much tension as possible
in the paper sheet. Once the paper is fixed fit the drop panel and
swivel the retaining toggles so that they are at right angles to the
board rim. Turn the assembly over and pierce the newspaper several
times at random over the exposed surface.
The method of use is simple and straightforward:-
Prior to the day of uniting, the colonies must be brought close
together by moving them 1 metre or less per day. When you have
them side by side, on a sunny afternoon, open one of the hives and
remove or kill the queen that is least desired and fit the uniting
board in place of the floor of that colony. The uniting board should
have the entrance wedge open and the drop panel held in place by the
A few hours later, preferably at dusk or even full dark,
close the entrance in the uniting board thus shutting all queenless
bees harmlessly away. Then gently and quietly remove the roof of the
queenright colony, put this safely out of the way, remove the
cover board (crown board or inner cover) of the queenright colony using
a gentle spray of water to repel the bees below the top bars. quickly
return to the other hive place your hands on the toggles, swivel them
in line with the rim and lift the whole hive, (the drop panel
automatically falls away), place this hive on the top of the open one.
Clear up the drop panel, spare crown board, spray bottle and
roof. Leave well alone for several days.
During this period the bees will eat through the newspaper
(starting at the pin prick sites) and unite.
After a day or so... Remove the uniting board and scrape
away the residue of masking tape and any brace comb and store until
required for the next use.
a, A quick and simple well organised method.
b, Very "neighbour friendly".
c, Can be performed even in the dark.
a, Requires an extra bit of kit to be made and stored when not in use.
By trapping the queenless bees at the crucial time of uniting, the
guard bees of the queenright stock are not alerted.
The drop panel is in close contact with the tightly stretched newspaper
and stops the bees destroying it until uniting is actually desired.
Original Psion 5 version... 19 July 1999, Revised... May 2001
Revised... 07 January 2003