The backyard beekeeper does have a voice in people like Ross Conrad. Ross wrote the book The Natural Beekeeper and keeps his bees in Vermont, but in March, he is offering a workshop in Florida about 26 miles from the Georgia line. Here's the description he sent me:
Getting Started With Beekeeping: Organically with Ross Conrad
This two-day intensive class provides and introduction for folks interested in small scale and part-time (hobby) beekeeping. The workshop will present a balanced view of natural and organic beekeeping topics and practices including: location and equipment requirements; basic honey bee biology; swarming as an expression of the bees vitality; presence and mindfulness in the beeyard; non-toxic pest and disease control; and an appreciation for the role that pollinators and beekeepers play within the Earth's ecosystem. The class will be punctuated with visits to the bee yard weather permitting, so bring a veil.
Where: Caney Branch Farm, Monticello, FL
Register: 850-294-61626 email@example.com
I can't go then, but I'd love to see Ross again. I heard him at Young Harris a few years ago and posted about that then. I also learned to make bee tea from him.