Is there a shortage of bees?
From the calls I made, most suppliers in this area have fewer nucs and packages available this year than they did last year, they are available at a later date, and the prices have increased.
It's been a while since I took economics, but if supply has gone down, and price has gone up, with demand remaining the same, that's called (in economic terms) as a shortage.
Nationwide, I don't know. I'm just talking locally. I only want to buy local bees anyway.