Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat was established in 2015 by local Beekeepers Scott Denno and Amanda Collins. They manage both backyard beehives and a small number of migratory hives throughout Central Victoria. Scott and Amanda are both registered beekeepers, members of the Victoria Apiarists’ Association and foundation members of Ballarat Regional Beekeepers Inc.
The Accidental Beekeepers
Scott and Amanda became ‘accidental beekeepers’ when they were unexpectedly gifted a hive from a friend in 2013. This lonely hive sat in their back paddock among the sheep while they frantically researched about how to care for the colony. Since then they have both undertaken formal training in beekeeping and biosecurity and are qualified Emergency Beehive Surveillance Apiarists with the Victorian State Quarantine Response Team (SQRT).
Scott has actively pursued further education and training since discovering his passion for beekeeping in 2013. Most recently completing Certificate 3 in Beekeeping with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and being deployed by Agriculture Victoria to Port Melbourne to respond to the recent Varroa destructor interception as part of the State Quarantine Response Team(SQRT). Keen to impart his beekeeping knowledge and experience to others Scott is enrolled in Certificate 4 in Workplace Training and Assessment in to formalise his skills before delivering Beekeeping Courses and Workshops through Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat.
Scott is a foundation member, past President and Biosecurity Officer for Ballarat Regional Beekeepers Inc. and when not involved in Club activities was the Steering Committee Chair of the successful Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference 2018 in Ballarat.
Scott takes an active role in Geelong Beekeeping Club where he is also a member and is often involved in mentoring beginner beekeepers in ‘Beginners Corner’. Scott is also a member of the Central Victorian Beekeeping Association (CVAA).
The synergies between beekeeping, urban farming and food security were what initially drew Amanda to the craft of beekeeping. Since then Amanda has completed four units of Certificate 3 in Beekeeping with NSW Department of Primary Industries in addition to completing Provide First Aid and Food Handling units.
Like Scott, Amanda is a member of the State Quarantine Response Team (SQRT) with Agriculture Victoria and is a foundation member, past President and Committee member of Ballarat Regional Beekeepers Inc. Amanda is passionate about promoting women in beekeeping and is a member of the Victorian Rural Women’s Network and Australian Women in Agriculture (AWIA).
Amanda was instrumental in the success of the Inaugural Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference, is a member of the Victorian Apiarists Association (VAA), donor to Australian Honeybee Industry Council, member of Geelong Beekeeping Club and a member of Ballarat Permaculture Guild.