We have been contacted lately by several new beekeepers who have been worried about not being able to get their bees next spring. "There are lots of places taking orders right now for packaged bees, so if I wait, won't the packages all be sold out?" This is the question we have been hearing a lot. First of all, step back, take a deep breath and relax. We can not stress enough, please don't feel unnecessarily pressured into purchasing your packages earlier than January 1st. Most of the local suppliers around you will not start taking orders until after the first of the year; wait until after then to give yourself some options of local pickup and better pricing, and maybe even save yourself some hassle and stress from getting your bees shipped directly to your door.
There are many suppliers that sell packages and honey bee nucs. Read our article here about shipping honey bees and find out why it's a good idea to pick the bees up from a supplier close to you. Find them on the internet by searching for honey bees for sale near me or where can I buy honey bees, or you can even search for local beekeeping clubs. All of the members of the clubs hold a wealth of invaluable beekeeping information, and most of them are eager to share that info and help new beekeepers out.
If you are a new beekeeper interested in starting a bee hive, the best thing to do for the fall and early winter months is to read up on beekeeping books, and start understanding what beekeeping involves. Make a list of what beekeeping supplies you will need, and start watching the sales emails from various beekeeping supply companies. You can save quite a bit of money on the supplies you need with the Black Friday sales, and also with early spring sales. Join a beekeeping club and start attending their monthly meetings. If you find that you aren't learning much, see if you can find a different club to attend. Start to feel better about beekeeping, and then place your order for package bees or honey bee nucs in January or February. Some beekeeping companies have the ability to get in several thousand packages and nucs so that they will take orders through the end of March to the beginning of April, so relax, learn and start to enjoy the thought of being a beekeeper. You've got some time.
From all of us at Lappe's Bee Supply -