The best time to set out a new hive, in which you intend to install a colony of honey bees next spring, is as early in the winter as possible. This is an advantage for many reasons.
- It allows the new smell of the wood and the glue to have time to completely gas off and for those odors to completely dissipate.
- It allows the hive to weather and therefore feel and smell more natural to the bees when they are installed the following spring. (I'm curious if this would reduce the chances of abscondence.)
- It allows the hive to even begin to smell like the surrounding area.
- It may give you the opportunity to catch an early swarm before you have a chance to install another colony.