Last weekend we got our first hive of bees. I've been keen to get bees for a number of years, both for honey and pollination of fruit and vegetables. For some reason there aren't alot of bees around in our area - certainly not on our place, and I can't really see any reason why that would be the case.
The hive we bought came with bees, and is just the ordinary Langstroth hive, very common in Australia. My ultimate goal is to have several hives, mostly top-bar hives (so the bees build natural comb attached to bars that you can individually move). We will build these hives, but with all the work that is needed here on the farm and building the house - building bee hives never became a priority.
At this stage we don't have plans to sell excess honey, we generally prefer to give away our excess produce, but it will all depend on how productive the bees are. We plan on leaving them enough honey so that we aren't feeding them white sugar as a (poor) substitute for the food they have worked so hard to produce. Many commercial beekeepers take most of the honey and feed them on sugar (or worse corn syrup from genetically modified corn), so it will be nice to have our own source of 'real' honey made from flowers!
Plus the bees are facinating to watch, I go and sit and watch them fly in and out, you could just sit there all day (obviously I don't have time to do that!). The kids like them, and our 4 year old already knows so much about bees and how they live - she loves the queen...