Preparing for first hive, thinking backwards
Hi, all. I am just starting out and do not yet have a hive. In addition to reading everything I can get my hands on and talking to (former) beekeepers, I will be taking a class toward the end of January.
As you know, there are decisions to be made early on (and into the future), and the number of decisions is quite large but manageable. The one for which I am seeking guidance in this thread is: "based on my location in zone 5b, when would be an appropriate time to get bees?" Simply put, I would like to be sure that a) I am not going to put a new colony into jeopardy just because I am excited and b) I can provide the colony enough time to grow and become established before next winter. Basically, I am seeking to identify a good date near which I might seek delivery of a package or a nuc, which will in turn help me plan on when to have the hive prepared (I plan to build from scratch or assemble unless a hive drops out of the sky).
Are there any out there who are also in 5b and who can relate to me when it is that you have established a new hive, first time or not? For me, understanding a good time will help me to plan backwards over the winter and be a good keeper into the future. Thanks very much in advance for your response.