Mike, oops, missed your opening post here. Got busy over the holiday celebration. I will bring your post back to the forefront, and you will get many new welcomes from the "welcoming" committee, as we have been aptly called, hee, hee.
You'll love to spend some great and quality time here, you will learn lots and lots, you will hear from all ranges of skill of beekeepers, right from the new beekeepers so those that have been at it for eons. Welcome.
JP has it said right in a nutshell. Start with no less than 2 hives. With that, if you have a failure in one colony, you have the other colony to help a fallen colony out. You will read more about the importance of this. Anyways, welcome, enjoy your visits here, you will meet some very good friends. Have the best and most wonderful day, Cindi