A few years ago, I started looking more closely at bees. First in my garden—counting their numbers, trying to identify their species, and noting the preferred “floral” visiting sites. At that time, I began reading about the losses that beekeepers everywhere were experiencing, and it soon became apparent that it was not only the honeybees that were in trouble, but all of our pollinators – the myriad of little insects, hummingbirds and bats that work unnoticed by most of us. Googling various sites on bees and beekeeping, I was taken aback by the industrial machine that beekeeping had become. I guess that I still had a naive image of cottage honeybee-keepers, each carefully tending their dozen or so beehives with care and attention, concerned first for the welfare of their charges, and second, tending to the artisanal products of the honey bee’s labor, sold at farm markets and local stores: honey, pollen and bees’ wax. I was embarrassed by my lack of awareness.