It appears we can get completely outfitted for about $300, then spend 30 minutes a week on maintenance, and hope that none of the many sad fates that befall honeybee colonies (diseases, mites, skunks, drought) befall ours. Eventually, if all goes well, we will have a happy garden, happy bees, and absurd amounts of honey.
I'm only worried it's too late to order bees for this spring. Calling tomorrow. Next: chickens.