Re: a) Overview, the big picture
The advice in here is right on track in my opinion.
1) learn all you can about honey bee biology and behavior. This starts with reading the many good books and sources listed in previous posts.
2) Find out if keeping bees is really for you. spend time with someone who has bees and see if you can get over your fears, see if you are allergic, gain some familiarity with bees before getting your own.
3) Know what you want to get out of working with bees. Is it to be a hobby, for the relaxation and health benefits of raw honey and the experience in general? Do you plan to sell honey and/or wax products? Is it a path to a full time income as honeyshack hopes? Knowing what you expect to get out of the experience before you get into it. It will help you prepare better for the methods and equipment you will need.
4) Be prepared to make mistakes. Bees are tougher than you think and will handle some mistakes. They will also contribute heavily to letting you know when you have made a mistake. Be Prepared to be stung. Accept it, own it, get used to the idea. once you accept that idea and are mentally prepared, you will find you can be more relaxed and calm thus better able to handle bees without rushing and being shaky, clumsy, etc... which also helps to keep the bees calm.
5) Respect the bees. These are living, breathing creatures trying to make their way in this world just as you and I are. Appreciate that these are creatures that we can collaborate with and that will tolerate being worked with as we do so that it comes out in a win/win for all involved. pollination happens, honey is made, wax is made, bees have a cared for environment to build healthy populations, the list goes on. This happens best when we have respect.
No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.