I started almost two years ago with a free hive removed from a house that was going to be destroyed and the owners didn't want to kill them. One of the local beeks called me and asked if I wanted them. I said yeah but my equipment was on order. I was told no problem I would pay back the equipment later. So I got them and they are very resistant and this year over populated.
Others I know of here in Arkansas get theirs from Kelley Bees Inc. (Italians) in Kentucky. But there is at least one beekeeper I know of, around Damascus, who is getting at least one breeder queen and will have queens for sale. I don't know if bees or nucs will be available for sale. Your best bet is join a local association and get your name out there for swarm or someone may have a removal that you can help with for experience. Who knows, they may reward you with a gift of bees from that hive removal.
The point is were there's a will there is a way.
Anyway we started swarm season last Wednesday with a swarm at our school campus. My kids told me they saw it and wanted to go check it out immediately. They were not allowed to, even though they tried to explain the bees were not a threat and normally quite tame during a swarm.