What I have learned in my two years of beekeeping.
1. Before you decide to keep bees find someone who actually has/is keeping bees that has agreed to take you under their wing to answer your questions (ALL QUESTIONS) and will take a look at your hive every now and then if you need them to.
Local beekeeping clubs do offer classes at the beginning of the year. Before you sign up for the class and put your money down, be sure that they guarantee you will get a mentor to assist you with your first year of beekeeping. When I signed up with a local beekeeping club in 2008 they allowed more people in the class than mentors could handle. Consequently, the mentors were overwhelmed and couldn't handle the questions of the new beekeepers. This could have been prevented if the club had closed the class after it reached certain number. Fortunately, I had my father to assist me and I know of several members that got discouraged and quit.
2. You must be passsionate about keeping bees. The money, time, and research involved can be overwhelming.
3. Keep a journal. If you are a solitary beekeeper this is essential to learn from your successes and failures.
4. If you don't have the time to keep bees why not financially contribute to an organization(s) that supports beekeeping?
Help Save the Bees donates all net profits from the sale of products and services, via this website and through other activities, to 'The Bumblebee Conservation Trust' (BBCT), so that they can continue with their invaluable research and conservation work.
5. If you don't have the means or time to keep bees you can:
a. Plant a garden full of flowers that bees love! Invite pollinators to your neighborhood by planting a pollinator friendly habitat in your garden, farm, school, park or just about anywhere!
http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm (Type in your zipcode to find out what plants you can put in your garden for pollinators in your area.
b. Build Mason Bee House. You won't need to install them or feed them. Just build the house and they will come.
How To Build A Mason Bee Block http://vimeo.com/9236864 *very easy --
Make your own solitary bee house http://www.dry-ideas.com/2008/05/make-your-own-solitary-bee-house.html
The list will evolve as time goes on...