KYNETON could be home to Victoria's first beekeeping qualification, as an award-winning apiarist pushes for funding.
Beekeeper Claire Moore was named runner up in the 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award on Thursday night, for her work to breed a genetically diverse range of queen bees.
Ms Moore said any Victorian beekeepers wanting qualification needed to go to NSW or be taught by a mentor.
But she hopes to establish a Certificate III in beekeeping based in Kyneton, run through a training organisation.
Ms Moore aims to link a social enterprise with the program to help fund young and new beekeepers set up and pollinate a commercial number of hives.
This may be critical into the future, as the industry faces an ageing workforce.
And it would allow students to learn beekeeping techniques suited to the state's colder climate.
"We need to bring younger people into the industry," Ms Moore said.
"I have been studying in NSW, and the beekeeping they do there is different to the beekeeping we do in Victoria. Because It's colder here we need to beekeep in a slightly different way."
More than 20 organisations have endorsed the idea, Ms Moore said. She is now just waiting on news about funding to get the project started.
Read more: How a Kyneton woman plans to save the bees
It's been a big year for Ms Moore.
In March she received a bursary of $10,000 as winner of the Victoria 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award, which allowed her to study beekeeping in NSW.
This has given her the skills required to achieve her dream.
We need to bring younger people into the industry.Claire Moore
Ms Moore's plan is to breed a genetically diverse range of queen bees, to sell to commercial and backyard beekeepers.
The project may be crucial as the world faces declining bee numbers, which could lay waste to a range of food production industries.
Ms Moore hopes to begin breeding queen bees this spring.
All she's waiting on now is the weather. Daytime temperatures in chilly Kyneton need to be regularly above 16 or 17 degrees.
Ms Moore said she thinks her project was chosen because honeybees were becoming more and more of an issue in Australian agriculture.
2019 was the second year in a row a Kyneton resident has won the Victorian AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.
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