Scott Denno and Amanda Collins are accidental beekeepers.
Six years ago the couple found themselves looking after their first bee hive. Now they are managing more than 50.
In 2015 Mr Denno and Ms Collins started their business Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat, managing backyard beehives and a small number of migratory hives.
Since they have seen an increasing interest in beekeeping in Ballarat.
Ms Collins explained for some, the interest stems from a desire to help pollination, for others it is all about the honey, and many have simply had a lifelong curiosity with bees.
“We are so overwhelmed with the amount of interest in our hive hosting program that we have closed applications for this entire season,” she said.
Those interested in the program put in an application to host a hive in their Ballarat backyard, which is then installed and managed by Mr Denno and Ms Collins throughout the warmer seasons.
We truly believe pollination is for food security.Scott Denno, Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat
The couple teach participants how to manage the hive with the overall aim they will be able to continue beekeeping with appropriate knowledge in future years.
Honey is shared with the hosts and sold to Ballarat businesses.
On Friday the couple met with staff at Ballarat Tech School about putting a bee hive on their roof.
Mr Denno and Ms Collins’ passion for bees began when a colleague asked Mr Denno to look after a hive in 2012.
Ms Collins said research and meeting with other beekeepers snowballed into an ongoing interest and obsession with beekeeping.
They were both original members of the Ballarat Regional Beekeepers group which now has more than 80 members.
Both love pure honey, but their true passion lies in pollination and food security.
“The main function of a bee is to pollinate flowers and honey is a byproduct of beekeeping,” Mr Denno said.
“We truly believe pollination is for food security.”
Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat does some pollination jobs for farmers in the region. They will begin a pollination trial with Manna Hill Estate in December to see if it will increase their olive yield.
In response to reports of adulterated honey last month, Ms Collins said the message was to buy local.
“Know where your honey comes from and talk to your producer. It is not just about honey, be connected with your food.”