Catch a wild spring swarm.,
Purchase an established hive locally.,
Order bees by mail.,
Place the bees in their new home.
A wild spring swarm is a cluster of bees that have left their hive. You can usually find them temporarily hanging from a tree or bush during the springtime. During that time of year, the swarms will be relatively docile while they prepare to establish a new hive. This is the least expensive, but most dangerous method. With beekeeping gear on, you can gather the bees and their queen into an empty hive.
Place a box below the branch of a tree or bush the bees are currently swarming on. You may be able to shake the branch, causing the majority of the bees to fall in the box but this could anger the bees. Instead, simply cut the branch they are swarming on off the tree and place it in the box for transport.This method is not recommended without support from an experienced beekeeper.
, You may be able to purchase an established hive from a local beekeeper. This can be the easiest way to get started as well as a great way to provide you with a contact that has beekeeping experience.These hives usually only cost between $50 and $100.
Make sure the hive you purchase has been formally inspected by an apiarist or the state department of agriculture. Either test is free to have conducted and can prevent you from having to destroy colonies with communicable diseases.
, The easiest and most common way to make sure you can establish a hive of healthy honey bees is to order your bees through the mail. The U.S. Postal Service will actually deliver your bees right to your door. A beginner order would usually cost about $30 and entail the following:A 3-pound box with 10,000 worker honey bees
One mated queen that is ready to start laying eggs
Sugar water to feed the colony during shipment
, It’s surprisingly easy and safe to transfer your bees from the package they came in to their new hive that you purchased for them. This process is detailed in instructions that often come with the bees as well.Simply place the separately caged queen into the empty hive
Pour the bees out of the box onto the queen
The bees do not currently have a hive to defend and will be disoriented so there is very little risk of being stung during this process.
These colonies will take the first year to build up the number of bees inside and will not yield honey until the second year you have the hive.