It is possible to start beekeeping without any lessons. It depends on your ability to learn on your own. For most people it's suggested that you take a beekeeping course to learn the basics so that you are prepared for the challenges that will inevitably arise when tending to livestock. For those wishing to learn more about bees and beekeeping I strongly recommend the online powerpoint production Beeology 101 by Dr. James Tew of Ohio State University. This will provide you with a knowledge of the basic anatomy of the honey bee. You should then watch Beekeeping 101 (Dr. Tew) to get an introduction to beekeeping. This will provide you with the basic knowledge required to start beekeeping. A Web-Based Introductory Beekeeping Training Program (Beekeeping Training Program) from the Ohio State Beekeepers Association (Presenters John Grafton & Jim Tew) is a great beginners resource. A good follow up to this introduction would be Hive Health Diagnostics by Barbara Bloetscher of O.S.U. Although there are many great books for the beginning beekeeper I recommend Backyard Beekeeping by Dr. James E. Tew and Basic Beekeeping by Penn State. Once you have completed this the most important aspect of your learning experience will be to find a local beekeeper/s and ask if you can hang out and observe. Although I have never taken a beekeeping lesson I cannot consider myself self taught as I have had the luxury of good beekeeper friends who have allowed me to observe and answered my endless questions with commendable patience.
The wonderful aspect of beekeeping is that if you are a beekeeper for 50 years you should still be learning something new every year. Feel free to ask us any questions regarding beekeeping. We don't pretend to be experts but are happy to share what knowledge we have learned through experience.
"There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance."