I've always been aware of bees, and what they do to help us. When I was a kid, we had a lot of clover in our yard. One of the things I used to do is go "bee catching" - I'd take a tupperware bowl and lid, and sneak up on a bee on a clover (I thought I was so clever to do that!). Then I'd drop the bowl over the bee. The bee would suddenly be aware of her predicament, and fly up, which would be to the bottom of the bowl. Then I'd slide the lid under the bowl to capture the bee! On a good day I could get 3 or 4 bees that way (any more, and one would usually escape during another's capture). Then when I was bored with them (maybe 5 minutes later), I'd toss the bowl and lid into the yard and run like heck away!! I've also had my share of bee stings, usually due to walking barefoot on said clover in the summer (when there happens to be a bee between my foot and the ground).
As an adult, I learned about Colony Collapse Disorder (which I'll discuss in a future post), and a little about what it means to the food supply. I also started noticing a few beehives scattered around the places I'd drive. I checked out some books, did a lot of web reading, and the interest just grew!
I found out there is a local club, the Worcester County Beekeepers Association. I went to their November meeting, which happened to include a big meal with an auction (incidentally, I won a nice pair of rubberized elbow-length bee gloves there, so it must be karma!). I spoke to a few people, and it just slowly materialized that I was going to actually do it.
I'll talk later about what it took to convince my wife of the wisdom of keeping bees...