In 2013, I shared this "Easiest Package Installation Ever" with Rusty over at Honey Bee Suite. That was the last package of bees we ever purchased. Since then, we have been repopulating our hives with local bees who have swarmed. We gather the bees ourselves or get them delivered from our friend Marvin, who also does Poison-free bumble bee, wasp, and hornet removal.
There are several reasons why we have chosen to only install local swarms of honeybees in our apiary rather than buying packages of bees; part of this decision has to do with what a "package" of bees actually is, but mostly, it is because a local swarm is made up of a strong and vigorous queen and her followers, who have all made it through a northwest winter.
Where do bees go when they swarm? Here is a sample of swarms we have captured in our backyard:
small laurel swarm, double laurel swarm, stairwell swarm, and Argentina/motorcycle swarm