Oh you're in trouble now! Beekeeping has more rabbit holes than actual rabbit farming.
I'm sad to say there isn't much info out there for beekeeping in drier climates. Probably because it's not very profitable/rewarding I guess. Most of the Texas stuff I find is well east of the dry line. I was extremely lucky to get a new trainee at work who was a commercial beek at 15 years old! He sold everything off to pay for college, but his remaining hives are about 40 miles west of me, so he's been a great resource. I have cousins that have run a commercial apiary in OK for my whole life, so they're good to call too. You'll find some people, it just takes a little time.
You can do it without an on-site mentor, just go slow at the hive and make sure to at least cover everything up if you get nervous and have to walk away. And don't go in there more than once a week. I almost had a new hive abscond because I got anxious and messed around with some queen cells three days in a row - because I had internet information overload. Plan an operation, give it 7 days, if it didn't stick, new plan, 7 more days. Turns out bees are not fond of fussy humans.
You don't need to pay anyone
$600 a month, if you're going to do that, work on your Master Beekeeper Certificate from Cornell University
. I don't know what he charges, but David Burns (YouTube) has a thing called BeeTeam6, where you can subscribe to pay a fee to call him anytime. (I just looked it up, it's $30 a month. Beekeeping Mentor
) Watch his videos, I find most of them useful (some are just long advertisements for his courses, but he's got to pay the bills somehow). I think there's a recent one specifically on doing hive inspections. David is geared toward new beekeepers, Fred Dunn is a bit more scientific, Kamon and Bob Binnie are more commercial, and The Bee Supply is a mix of new beekeeper and general info/good reminders for advanced beekeepers. Their monthly livestream is basically a video version of their monthly magazine, which is free on their website. (They are more expensive, but have top notch service and include nice informational material in each order, like a printed pocket version of all the monthly beekeeping tips on their website.)
Here are some other great resources:
HoneyBeeNet at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Oh, and for stings - if I can safely walk away with my smoker and get to the bare skin where the sting is, I've found that basically touching it to the smoker a few times, just shy of burning but overcoming the leidenfrost effect, is amazing at stopping the swelling and itching. They sell sting wand things on Amazon that do the same thing, or you can use a bic lighter, but hey, the smoker is there, it's hot, the sting is fresh, and the bees obviously need a little break from me.