How To Install Package Bees Into A Hive
If you are thinking about taking up beekeeping this article will teach you how to add package bees to a new hive. Unless you have bees in the area or your own bees so that you can catch a swarm you need to get your bees from somewhere. You can either catch a swarm, buy package bees or buy a nuc (nucleus) of bees. A swarm is good because they all came from the same hive and the queen is their own so if you can capture and hive these bees you will start off with a hive that will get straight to work and the queen will begin laying eggs as soon as the workers build her some cells to lay in. A bee package it a mixture of bees from different hives and a queen that came from yet a different hive.
While it costs less to buy package bees you will need to feed them for months because that will first need to become family then the workers will begin to build comb and cells and finally the queen will begin to lay. While they are doing all this work it is spring and the bees only live about 6 weeks so by the time the queens first eggs are opening the original bees will be dying off. The new bees will take some time to begin collecting and so it will be summer before your hive of bees are well established. You will probably still need to feed them for a while. A nuc on the other hand is a family of bees on frames with the queen already laying.
So once these frames are inserted into your hive you already have an established hive with egg laying happening and new bees emerging right away. It costs almost double as a bee package but it does have a lot of advantages. If you are just starting out though you will have some pretty big expenses like the hive, protective clothing, smoker and the bees so package bees may be all that will fit in your budget. If that is the case Bees and Beekeeping will show you how to install them into your hive. Beesource has a list of honey bee vendors by state and I will add that link below as well.
Honey Bee Vendors By State>>>>>> http://www.beesource.com/bees-supplies/united-states/