Join a bee group and get your name on the swarm list ( to retrieve swarms) and get a couple that way. There is the possibility of putting out swarm traps around your area and catch one. There is one other option, work with a local beekeeper and learn under them. See if they will give you a Nuc next year and then give them one back the following year or two. I had a friend give me a nuc to start with and I gave him one back 2 years later as payment. He lived about 30 miles from me, this gave him different genetics into his yard with the nuc I gave him.
In my area the local county park maintains some bee hives and lets people take them home. Call around and ask. Or, talk to any local beekeepers you can find on line and ask them if they know anyone who could help.
If you have basic tools it isn't hard to make beehives. I made a bunch my first year. Get that stuff done before you get bees!
On this website there are a lot of posts teaching how to catch bees. Read them. It really works. I caught three swarms the first year I tried it.
This is EXACTLY the right time of year to be putting out bait hives to try and catch swarms (for free).
Although I'm not an advocate of Top Bar Hives myself, they are without doubt the best way of making beehives if you're short of money.
Although the beekeeping supplier's catalogues are full of expensive gizmos, you don't actually NEED much to get started: a veil, a smoker, an old white shirt or smock, and maybe a pair of washing-up gloves for the first year or two. I've never owned a hive tool (and don't want one) - I very happily use an old knife and a large screwdriver for inspections. I used to own a bee-brush, but one day I mislaid it, and used a new 2" paintbrush instead - d'you know, now I actually prefer using that to a 'proper' bee-brush !
So - get reading-up on making Top Bar Hives and Swarm Boxes - and do ask around to see if there are other beekeepers nearby - and the very best of luck. Keep posting on here if you need help - there will always be someone willing to assist.
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