Thinking about trying beekeeping this year? Many organizations have already held beginning beekeeping classes this year, but it’s not to late to start.
If you are really serious about starting this year you need to get your bees on order because they will be likely sold out if you wait until the weather gets good in April or May (This will be sooner in southern states and later in the northernmost states and Canada). Some package bee distributors will have a few extra on order, but those will get snatched up quick as the delivery date approaches. Here in Ohio package bees typically arrive starting early April and Nucs (with Ohio Queens) can be available as soon as early May if the weather cooperates. This means you’ll need to act in the next several weeks to reserve a package as orders get finalized with the producers in mid March.
Even though you’ll need to order your bees very soon, you’ll still have some time to obtain any equipment you may need. There also still are some beekeeping classes and meetings being held by local associations or you may find another beekeeper in your area to help you. Some classes may be after your bees arrive, so be sure to study up enough to know what to do when they do arrive. Many distributors of package bees would be happy to answer your questions on how to install and tend to them for the first few weeks.
Note: While I do sell both package bees and nucs, I highly recommend you buy them from someone close enough that you can pick them up. This may mean a drive of several hours depending on your location, but the bees will be in far better shape than they would be if they were shipped though the mail.