Thanks, all, for the welcomes!
Yes, Indy, I'm on the mailing lists for the 2 very active county bee clubs (Chatham and Orange) closest to where I live. Unfortunately I've had previous commitments that have not allowed me to attend the monthly meetings, but I plan to go as often as possible. Last Saturday, for example, I had to choose between a mountain dulcimer workshop and a field day about making splits; I chose the music because it was a unique opportunity with a fantastic musician, and I'm nowhere near doing splits yet!
There's a commercial apiary just down the road (which, in the country, means less than 15 miles) from me. They're very friendly, bee club members help them distribute packages and nucs, they resell at no markup Brushy Mtn. supplies and loan bee vacs for swarm captures. NCSU has a Master Beekeeper program. Since I've gotten into the bees I'm finding I have friends of friends who keep bees, so I'm looking forward to new friends as well. Lots of resources.
Cindi -- I've already received answers to my 2 questions -- and found out I'm not the only one who has left-handed bees -- better yet, how to help the bees re-center!
Joelin -- Yes, I've slowed down on the techie front in favor of the recent opportunity to move back out in the country -- 15 shared acres with a longtime friend, tractors, manure from my nearby sister's horses, dirt under my fingernails, weekly yoga class and, of course, the bees -- my kinda zen. No more 50 hour weeks driving a crazy commute; I'm building my own traveling tech support biz.
We also have something else in common: EQ. I'm a hopeless gamer, have been for many years. Leveled up my enchanter to the top, almost got the ranger there (Erichant and Eribow). Outside circumstances forced a change of lifestyle (thank goodness) so those many hours I used to spend in virtual reality I now spend in reality: witness the 2 bee stings I've had so far!
I really like the forums here. The friendly but serious atmosphere reminds me of the Internet community I first met long ago.
-- eri (aka Jane)