Can you make a living?
Of course you can. I can not think of one business that would not allow you to make a living. Restauranteur, worm farmer, ditch digger, candy maker, and anything else, I could probably very quickly be able to show you an exampe of a successful business owner in anything you could think.
Now, does that mean all businesses will succeed? By some estimates, 90% of all start-up businesses fail within 3-5 years. And that spans across the spectrum of all businesses, including the bee industry.
So the question really is not "Can you make a living?" It is, "do YOU have what it takes to be successful?" Do you have a financial plan, 3-5 year working plan, the resources, are you in the right market area, and a host of other questions will need to be answered. Are YOU willing to do what is needed to ensure success?
And you really need to seek guidance and expertise of others who are actually doing it. That may involve driving to another state, working a season for another person, and doing what you need to do to ensure the best chances for your own business. If you are going to consider this as a future career, you better be prepared to invest yourself into it. It's kind of similar to opening up a restaurant. It certainly helps if you actually worked in the profession for a period of time. "Making contact" is not as hard as you state. In fact, most are always looking for people to hire. I certainly hope you don't think you will be able to call up and ask "How do I do what you are doing?", and expect to have someone tell you everything they know. It does not work like that. And if you do think that, you already are on the wrong path.
And have some management skills, accounting, marketing, etc. We don't have a Chef Ramsey to come in and clean up things. Successful business owners know more, and invest more, than a person who thinks something (like bees) are cool, and dream of turning it into a business. In a book called "Millionaire Women Next Door" ISBN 0-7407-453208, it details the failure of many small businesses started by women because they based a business on a passion they had, and thought if they had enough passion, they could turn it into a successful business. Many pop-up "stamping" stores have come and gone on this idea. Bees are no different.
Asking a generic question on a forum I'm sure is helpful. But I'm not sure most responses are going to be from those that actually own, run, and are successful in a bee operation. So I would dig much deeper than this. An ols saying in business is "Copy a successful person. If one other person can do it, so can you." You just need to find that other successful person and learn from someone who actually is doing it.