Hello and Welcome, BigM!
This is great place to learn more about bees and beekeeping. The tutorials on the main Beemaster page were among the first places I began learning about bees several years ago. Besides the wealth of information to be found on the web, check your local library for beekeeping books & videos. I also highly recommend getting involved with a local beekeeping club. Clubs are good places to find mentors and get connected with nearby beekeepers. Also, clubs often offer beginning beekeeping classes. The Illinois State Beekeepers website lists several local clubs, as well as State regulations, etc:http://www.isba.us/
Depending on where you're located within Illinois, you may want to consider taking some beekeeping classes with David Burns - I've heard good things about him:http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/2008/06/long-lane-beekeeping-classes.htmlhttp://www.honeybeesonline.com/classes.html
Also, there's also a beekeeping class in western Indiana coming up in a few weeks. Again, depending on where you are, it might be a possibility:http://www.indianabeekeepingschool.com/