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My daughters 1st-grade class took a field trip to our house on Monday to see our bees. Its been consistently rainy here, so rather than getting into the hives, I made a small observation hive. It was storming on the day I pulled frames for the OH, so I wasnt able to find the queen - I just grabbed 3 frames with brood, honey, pollen, etc.

Now that the field trip is over, I want to move the queenless bees out of the OH back into their original hive. I know that bees are aware of a loss of their queen within a matter of hours. Any idea how long before the lack of pheremone makes the queenless bees in the OH appear to be strangers to their original hive?

It looks like the rain will let up tomorrow. If I reintroduce the bees tomorrow, it will be 4 days after removing them from the original hive. Should I separate the bees by newspaper, like Id do to merge two hives, or will they still recognize each other and get along if I just put the frames directly in the original hive?

Thanks,
~Dean
 

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Why wait? Just plug them back in during a lull in the rain. The nurse bees will key in on the brood.
If you're really worried, there's no harm in doing a newspaper combine.
 
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