I'm an aspiring bee keeper in central MD (about 30 miles north of DC). I live with my wife on about an acre in the country. My next door neighbor (who is also my landlord) had purchased some bee keeping equipment at auction a while ago and he mentioned that he'd like to have bees around to pollinate the garden and just to watch them buzz around but he didn't care as much about doing the work. I told him I was kind of the opposite that I was interested in bee keeping as a hobby but did not have the capital to bankroll a project like that. He agreed to loan me the equipment he already bought and help with the cost of additional items if I would actually work the bees for him.
So far I'm not even sure what all I have to work with. We've got about 4 hive bodies with bases and lids but only enough complete frames to fill two of them. There was also a smoker and a mesh grate that I believe to be a queen excluder. [I hope I've got my terminology correct so far]
I'm still in the very early stages of researching this and I don't expect to have any actual bees until next spring at the earliest but I look forward to reading the many posts here and taking in some knowledge.