This year we were lucky. We only had to buy one package of bees instead of 3 because 2 of our beehives survived the cold NYC winter. I truly believe it was because of two factors. The first being that last year, we bought our Queen bee from a NJ Apiary that raises Jersey Queens from wintered stock. Picking winter hardy bees will help your stock survive the winter. We also wrapped our hives for the first time. I think both of these factors contributed to the hive successfully surviving the winter. We picked up our package at the Beehive Barn in Cranbury, NJ. You can read all about our pickup here! Then we installed the package into the one hive that did not survive. Installing a package is pretty simple. Keep a water bottle with sugar water handy, you can spray the bees with it to keep them occupied and to calm them down before you pour the bees in. You remove the sugar water can and set it aside. You remove the Queen box, and then you literally shake the bees onto one of the hive boxes. I wrote a more extensive write up about installing bee packages here.