It never fails. I’m selling honey at the farmer’s market, having a delightful conversation with a customer about the merits of my locally produced, unfiltered, raw honey. After we finish our exchange, the customer turns to leave, then pauses as if something else is on their mind. I wait with anticipation, but I know what’s coming.Turning back to me, they lean in, and in a low, secretive tone as if someone else might be listening, they share, “I’ve been thinking about getting some bees, myself. What can I expect?” This manuscript is a compilation of questions I have asked, and more than a few questions I wish I had asked myself in 1981 when I started keeping bees. These are the questions most beekeepers fail to think about, largely because they don’t have the experience to even think about what to think about. Beekeeping is more complicated than you can imagine, and not everyone is cut out to be a beekeeper. Asking intelligent questions might avoid a lot of wasted time, energy, and effort.My intent in this manuscript is to get you thinking about your plans and what preparations will bring those plans to fruition. I hope to give you realistic expectations without sounding like the proverbial wet blanket.