Any ideas or helpful hints would be appreciated.
You have several options. As other have posted, making splits & collecting swarms are some. Are you involved with a bee club? Clubs often make a group order of packages with someone making a run to bring the bees back, e.g., they'll pick up bees at Kelley's in the morning and have them ready for local pickup that afternoon. Might be worth making some calls to nearby clubs:http://www.michiganbees.org/whoswho.htm
Nucs are another option. If you're calling local clubs, ask about who sells locally-raised nucs. They won't be available as early as southern package bees, but I believe that local bees are a better option, especially for northern climates.