Companies such as Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and Bostic Hills Farm offer bee swarms for sale. The swarms of bees come packaged in their own hives to make the process of shipping and receiving easier on both ends of the transaction.
Some of the proprietors of bee swarm companies make their own hives; when the companies ship bees to customers, they come inside the hives along with a queen bee that has already been mated.
After customers set up their hives for the first time, there are some helpful tips to avoid getting stung when extracting honey or manipulating the hive in some way. For instance, visiting the hive between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. is ideal, as many of the bees are away from the hive at that time, foraging for sustenance. Applying hairspray or perfume brings an odor that can agitate the bees. Wearing white (or light) clothing is wise, as bees sting darker areas. Swatting at bees buzzing around makes them more aggressive. Smoking the hive calms the bees down, making the approach easier. Finally, always putting on a veil and hat is crucial because stings in the eye and face can cause more permanent damage.