There are several different ways of getting started in beekeeping: buying package bees; purchasing a nucleus (nuc) colony; buying established colonies; collecting swarms; and taking bees out of tree and/or wall cavities. We recommend novices start with either a package(s) or nucleus colony(ies). However, you should be careful when purchasing nucs (and established colonies) because you might be buying other beekeepers’ problems such as disease or non-standard equipment. Collecting swarms and transferring bees is more difficult and not recommended for the beginner without the assistance of a more experienced beekeeper. The best time to start with bees is in the spring or early summer.
Just getting started? Learn more about buying packages, equipment, and how to care for the hive.