Yes, get the bees. They will fly farther than you think, but most profitable distance for forage is 2 miles in a straight line in all directions from the hive, and they will fly 3 or 4 miles or more if needed, but that distance is not nearly so profitable for them.
See if you can hook up with that beekeeper a day a week or every two weeks to help him for a few hours with his own hives. You'll learn so much so fast that you'll be quite competent by next year.
Best of luck to you!
"A good day is when no one shows up and you don't have to go anywhere." - Burt Shavitz (Burt's Buzz)