I am a first year beekeeper in central MA, and bought my hive kit back in November from Rick at New England Bees. He was very helpful, and I found out later, the price of his hive setup was very reasonable (given that it is all assembled, and given what you'd pay shipping from mail-order places). His operation is in Tyngsboro, MA, which is a fur piece from where I live (but only an hour from where I work). But that isn't his fault! :-)
I also ordered my marked queen package from him. He takes a big truck down to Rossman Apiaries twice each spring to pick up the bees. Then it is a straight through no-stops drive back to MA where people are waiting the next day to pick up the packages. They are wonderful bees - very gentle, etc. and I felt they were treated well during the trip (little trauma, etc.)
I just bought a 2nd hive kit from Rick yesterday, and it is the same high quality. Good joints, etc. He is also very helpful and answered a lot of my questions and listened to me as I was excited about all the things that a newbee goes through (that I'm sure he has heard lots of times!). He responds well to e-mail questions (but better on the phone).
I would heartily recommend him to anyone.
New England Beekeeping Supplies, Inc.