All the essential equipment, including hive parts, the smoker, and the hive tool, came in a kit purchased online from a mail-order supplier. It's best to start with new equipment to avoid any hidden problems.
Approximately 10,000 bees were provided by a local beekeeping supplier and transported in a wooden box -- slightly larger than a shoebox with a mesh screen.
The inner cover is set on top of the brood box. Feeding the bees with a 2:1 sugar-water solution is essential while they set up house. Tiny holes in the jar lid give the bees access to the liquid. Continue to feed them until they stop using the sugar-water solution and depend on the neighborhood's spring nectar flow instead.
A second deep box shelters the feeder. Once the top of the hive is set in place, it is time to leave the bees on their own for three to five days. Return then to make sure the queen has been released.