I think that NOW our big issue is the negative publicity we here in the press over CCD - to the uninformed, bees are likely carriers of unknow disease and parasites. It isn't bad enough that we suffer normal losses, but any loss to the uniformed is a CCD issue today.
This same thing has happened to HAM RADIO over the decades it has become a nearly dying art. The numbers of hams have dropped so dramatically that reducing minimal entry requirements have changed over many years and still it doesn't help.
I often wonder who is the dying breed (if indeed their is one) the honeybees or the beekeepers. I hope there is a turn around, recruiting newcomers isn't easy as you all point out, the only hope may be to keep it a generational family hobby/business until somehow our beloved beekeeping again gets the positive press it needs - fingers crossed on that one.
A final note: a local radio station is offering $300 to anyone willing to take up beekeeping to help get bees back here in the Garden State (a highly over rated name for this state - it has been 100 years since NJ had anything to do about gardening/food production) we are now a bedroom society trafficing between NY and PA. But this $300 is a nice effort, and although I cannot find any info on their website, here it is - it might be worth a call to some of you.www.k985radio.com
- they have a "Kontact" page (sic) that at least gives phone numbers and addresses. I just heard about this last night, so I don't know about any rules that they specify, but it may well worth be checking into.