Find your local beekeepers association (here's mine)
Apprentice under a master beekeeper, they will usually let you use and sell you their old used equipment. I worked for mine (providing free labor under his direction) for 8 weeks learning the ends and outs of bee keeping. During this time we worked up "my hive". The I bought the hive and he helped my move it to a friends of mines farm (about 3 miles from my house).
Total cost was around $600 and I am hoping to get another hive this year from my current one.