1961, I think I was 10 or 11, we were tearing down an old barn on the farm and came across these wooden boxes and Dad said 'those were bee hives, but they all died out'.
Curiosity and the Public Library did the rest, at 12 I obtained a hive for a 4-H project, then another and another.
Gave them away when I graduated High School, then got one back a few years later, and gave it away again when I moved to MN from IL
Summer of 86 I started assisting an older bee keeper who was down with arthritis, he had tons of unused equipment and said 'help yourself', it was a banner year for swarms (black locust bloomed FOREVER that spring !! ) by the next summer the sons and I had over 40, rented them out for pollination.
Had to sell them all off when I moved, but got back into it last year, as have # 2 and # 3 sons.
Now at 4 that I think will make it thru the winter, have geared-up for cut-outs and trap-outs next year and will spread the word after Jan 1.
Plus I'm having the grand-kids (all 7) assist me when they can, have to get young blood into the business.
Sure has changed over the years, tho.