I was watching Vanishing of the Bees, the other day. (Netflix streams it.) It was really interesting .. as much for the issues facing modern pollination in the face of Colony Collapse Disorder as for the view into the strange community of bee keepers. This is my kind of strangeness, so it got me to wondering what it takes for a hobbyist to get started.
There are bunches of apiary sites out there -- most, poorly maintained -- so it's hard to find a starter kit. I ended up with tabs open on the Pollinator Partnership, Knox Cellars, and Mann Lake LTD. Not exactly an exhaustive list, but hopefully it's a nice starting point if you've seen the movie and wanna try your hand at it. With a reasonable dose of research, would it be possible to create an open hardware project that uses rapid prototyping equipment to build hives on demand?