Welcome to the forum, always good to see others join in, and sort of a little bonus when they're a fellow Louisianan.
This is my first year as a Beek but I've jumped straight into the deep end.
I had intentions of starting with two or three hives. However, I purchased 2 Nucs in mid January but have caught about a dozen swarms, done a couple of trapouts and a couple of cutouts since then....So I currently have 9 hives and a few Nucs.
I absolutely love the hobby and this forum has been an immeasurable resource, lots of good folks willing to take the time to share their experience and knowledge whenever they can help someone out.