JASON Delaney may be allergic to bees, but that doesn't stop him from wanting to save them.
The Warrnambool amateur beekeeper has started up the Warrnambool and District Beekeeping Club for anyone and everyone interested in learning more about bees.
"I started beekeeping a couple of years ago and when I needed help there was no-one around in terms of groups or clubs," he said.
"It was a bit of a help yourself sort of situation.
"With something like 60 per cent of the world's bees dead I wanted to get involved.
"I have a couple of hives in my backyard, my folk's backyard and my uncle's farm - they're spread around the place.
"I've got one at everyone's place that will have them.
"I'm allergic to bees too.
"It's not going to stop me, I just bought a better bee suit."
The beekeeping club meets every Monday at the Jim Robinson Shearing Pavilion at the Warrnambool Showgrounds at 7pm.
It's a club to promote beekeeping practices, share knowledge and to help other members.
"Get on down so you can learn about it," he said.
"There's all different sorts of people, from beginners like myself all the way through to semi-professionals.
"If there's any commercial bee keepers out there reading this I hope they come along too, their experience would be awesome."
There are more than 12,800 beekeepers with almost 135,000 registered hives in Australia, which contribute to the $17.5 million apiary industry.
According to National Geographic, colonies of bees have been disappearing over the past 15 years and the reason remains unknown.
Referred to as 'colony collapse disorder', billions of honey bees across the world are leaving their hives, never to return. In some regions up to 90 per cent of bees have disappeared.
Tower Hill Beekeeping's Tim Martin encouraged people looking to get into beekeeping to join the Warrnambool club.
"I'm a beekeeper in Koroit, I've got 40 hives at the moment and want to get to 50 next year," he said.
"I've only been beekeeping myself for six years.
"I think the club is a great idea. Beekeeping on a domestic or hobbyist scale is becoming more mainstream.
"It's a complicated field in the sense of knowing how to look after a hive.
"It's important people keeping bees are making the time and effort to be a responsible beekeeper.
"The club will bring like-minded people together to share their knowledge of beekeeping.
"If you're a beekeeper and feeling a bit out on your own and not sure what you're doing this club will be a great thing to go to.
"There's no judgement or criticism, it's just a way for keeping in the area to connect."
Mr Martin's business offers beekeeping supplies, beehives, protective wear and specialises in bee hive relocations and swarm captures.
"I'm a one-stop shop for people to come to get fully set up with bee hive and ongoing mentoring and support," he said.
"When someone gets a hive from me they're not left on their own.
"In saying that, people who want to get into bee keeping have to be responsible and aware of their legal and moral obligations."
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