Re: Frustrated Beekeeping Mentor
I wouldn't blame the child for losing interest because children do, and beekeeping isn't something that you get to "do" or at least "practice" every day unless you already live in a beekeeping family with lots of hives - indeed, when a new hive is installed you have to specifically not touch it for an extended period of time so the bees can get settled, and this can bore a kid. Although I know some young children do take to beekeeping, I tend to think they're exceptional in that regard.
But going solely by your description, I am befuddled by the attitude of the parents. They spend significant money purchasing equipment and bees, and then are rather cavalier about essential tools and components getting lost. It reminds me a bit of my own parents; they'd take me to a meeting or game and pick me up when I was done, pay for photos or equipment; but as for what happened in between they really couldn't have cared less. It was really the other people in my clubs/teams/etc that kept my interest alive. In a mostly solitary activity like beekeeping...I try to imagine myself trying it at 11 with the parents I had, and I imagine it turning out very much like this.
Of course, I don't know these people and could have exactly the wrong idea of how they are based on limited information, but there it is.
As for being a mentor - unless you can move in with him, I don't think you're going to be able to reach that child right now, as far as interest in beekeeping goes. However, I would leave him all the equipment. Yes, the hive will almost certainly dead-out; but leave it. If his parents don't throw it out, he might happen to see it sitting there one day in a couple of years when parental support isn't as crucial to maintaining his interest, and then he may come back on his own initiative. When (if) he does, pick up from there.
Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!