Sadly, the Vermont guy I was getting a couple overwintered nucs from had a tough winter and won't be able to supply me with bees. I may be out of luck getting more North Country bees, at this late date.
I do still have bees coming here in FL-- one nuc and one package. These were going to be for a couple of long hives, but now they might be the only bees I'll get this year, so I'm thinking about installing them in Langstroth equipment and hauling them north for the spring.
One question involves the length of time the new colonies would be in place before I moved them-- about a month for the nuc, just a couple of weeks for the package. Is this enough time to establish the new colonies in such a way that the move wouldn't do serious damage?
The second question is: how hard is it to transport a couple hives 1500 miles? I won't be able to do it all in one shot-- too old and feeble for that kind of driving anymore. I'll have an enclosed trailer to put them in.
I'd be grateful for any advice on my two major concerns. The trip would be in late April, so should be lots of nectar in the area I plan to set them up. I'll be getting there just about when apple trees bloom, and there are lots of neglected apple trees on the property. If experienced folks think this is a bad idea, I can leave them here, and try to trap some swarms-- I've built a bunch of swarm traps, and there seem to be a lot of bees in the area-- the blackberries were really thick on the canes when I was there last July.