I'm admin of a farming/homesteading back to basic forum http://edbama2.proboards101.com and I added a beekeeping section because when I think homestead, I think self reliant and natural, when I think natural, I think of things like honey. I know I know, I'm a bit of a scatter brain! I've also looked into beekeeping in the past but have not yet had the opportunity to get started. I was hoping for some members that could kind of fill in the blanks.
We just started bees this year. I got a complete hive kit from Mann Lake and then bought the bees from a local beekeeper. We now have two strong hives and a little honey this year. It's been interesting to work with them this summer and we are learning as we go. We are trying to go as organic as possible with them and so far have not needed any chemicals. We got a couple of good bee books, but I probably use the internet for information more. It's a lot more comprehensive information. If I get to much conflicting information, I usually post a question on Daves or ask someone with more experience around here.