I have been wanting to do the same thing. Joined a few groups and the advice is to begin with 2 hives not 1. probably will cost you a good grand for start up if you don't do it on the cheap, which is frowned on.
Got a local honey guy but local honey aint cheap. His price is very fair but still a bit pricey for me to be using for mead. I would be looking at at least $15 for a gallon of sweet mead or around $10/gal of dry.
I add FermaidK for nutrients and prefer K1V 1116 for yeast. Its just as aggressive as EC 1118 but does better in low nutrient ferments.
Nice! I made some over the spring/summer using standard wine yeast. I used some oak chips in mine to add some barrel aged flavour and back sweetened with some maple syrup.
All in all I was pretty happy with how it turned out, took around a month to ferment and been bottle ageing it for around 4 months