everything is done "for our own good". it's no doubt a good thing to have recommendations for best practices. i question the need for the state (government) ever being involved. you know that all the recommendations or rules in the world won't keep people from going nuts and asking for legislation if a couple of people get killed by bees and a beekeeper is anywhere around.
in the mean time, you have states spending money on recommendations and people to inspect, when state are broke and the advice may or may not be good. states are going to have to make some choices about this kind of stuff.
recommendations are only legislation waiting to happen.
While I agree on the effectiveness of "Inspectors", I also know that we as beekeepers also want bees to be allowed in every backyard in America. We cry that bees are safe. We state that all honey bee stinging episode deaths are attributed to AHB (true).
And yet, we balk at giving the public any assurances that we as a group, will be proactive, take commonsense approaches to ensure we have non-AHB colonies, and act in their best interest. Bees are not like other animals or agriculture commodities. A chicken never killed anyone that I am aware of.
Sorry.....I don't take the "Each should do what they want" approach to selling the public support of beekeeping in communities. The old "If I want to keep nasty bees in the middle of my neighborhood that is my right....and screw anyone else beyond my fence" attitude usually gets zoning with limitations and banning as soon as problems pop up.
This is not about the much used "It's for our own good" line that seemingly does get overplayed. This is about being supportive and understanding that the public may be far more effective in banning and pushing new zoning if not for the state agriculture department support, inspectors, and other aspects of assurances given to the public to at least try to limit impact in the future.
I've seen it a few times. A town wants to ban beekeeping. And who does the local beekeepers turn to right away. State agriculture department, state inspector, and university entomologists. So it's is kind of two-handed to on one hand say "Who needs these folks" and then also rely on them to garner support, stop restrictive zoning, and keep beekeeping a viable backyard practice for all to enjoy. And if you have bad inspectors...then write a letter and be behind making it better.
It's not about having them or not having them in this situation. That is another whole discussion. And if I had to vote to ban be inspectors in this state....I would vote yes. But while we do have the inspectors, it would at least be worthy to understand the purpose, and the intentions of such "Best Beekeeping Practices" being promoted.
I would venture to say, without such practices, and support of those deemed not worthy to have around any longer, there might just be a few less beekeepers out there. But I know.....it just as easy to think it will never happen to me in my little corner.
BTW.....if I was in the middle of AHB territory, I'd be suggesting in my classes that beekeeper also mark queens, clip wings, or requeen often. That is not bad advice. ;) But it does require an understanding beyond the first 3.9 seconds that it takes the normal beekeeper to figure out that he will be out twenty bucks, then get all excited about this "suggestion". :-D