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.