JP, i understand what you're saying, and you're right, in the sense that all publicity is good publicity in terms of awareness.
At the same time, it's not as if the Obamalamas are having bees kept at the white house to promote beekeeping. Michelle reportedly wants the honey as part of her "healthy eating" message. It's considered a natural food/sweetener which goes hand in hand with er organic garden and push for that kind of healthy eating.
It, in all truthfulness, has nothing to do with intentionally supporting beekeeping.
all that does is make the Obamaramas like every other beekeeper household (cuz they are not beekeepers themselves) that are keeping bees regardless of local ordinances because they want the honey.
If they really wanted to promote beekeeping, they could help to make the necessary changes to local ordinances to allow it and then to be the first in line to get their hives legally registered showing people how the more people that legally have hives is a strong indicator of it's (beekeeping) importance and value in our society. (seeing as they are only paying someone to manage beehives on the white house property and are not beekeepers themselves).
THAT would be a strong message indeed. Letting people know that even if they aren't beekeepers, they can support beekeeping by hosting beehives.