Re: Mentor needed in East Central MN
Welcome to Beesource!
I agree that two hives is much better than one to start. And if you start with 2 packages, instead of 1 nuc, the savings from extra $25-$40 that the nuc would cost will help substantially towards the second package.
If you've got a tablesaw available, you may be able to make some of your own woodenware. And Michael Bush offers plenty of good reading for free. Here's a page that has some discussion about nucs vs packages:
USDA Zone 7a - elevation 1400 ft