Sooner is better! January is not too early to order bees for the spring. Call up a local bee supplier to ask about availability and put down a deposit. Leave it much later and you could be out of luck. Of course, later in the season choices still exist. Nucs may be available and there is sometimes the chance of getting on a waiting list for a swarm. But whatever your plans and your timetable, don’t assume you can just pick up the phone in the spring and immediately buy your bees!