OGDEN -- With his main profession being a plumber, Vic Bachman never thought he would get into beekeeping.
But a few weeks ago, as he helped a Roy man remove bees from his couch, he set up the man with his own hive.
Bachman recently opened Deseret Hive Supply, a beekeeper supply store at 1516 Washington Blvd. with his father Michael Bachman and friend Nate Hall.
Their mission statement is to keep bees alive and keep them pollinating, Michael Bachman said. They also want to guide new beekeepers, like the Roy man, into the hobby by offering beekeeping classes.
It's an opportunity that comes as a proliferation of private beekeepers stand to help the declining bee population.
Alan Wheelwright, a local beekeeper, sees a lot of would-be beekeepers in Weber County get into the hobby but quickly drop out.
"We've lost a lot of the people who have multiple hives over the years," said Wheelwright, who is a member of Weber County Beekeepers. He acknowledged that there might be a larger number of veteran beekeepers out there, but if so, he is not aware of them.
Wheelwright started out eight years ago as a novice and had to learn the lessons of beekeeping the hard way, with plenty of stings to show for it. Those same self-taught lessons discourage others from getting into it, he said.
Beekeeper Micah Goodman has seen a similar trend. People also get into beekeeping without knowing the time commitments and have to give up their hive, he said.
Goodman feels fortunate that he had a friend introduce him to the hobby and advise him along the way.
Vic Bachman wished someone had guided him when he started beekeeping two years ago. He hopes Deseret Hive Supply can be guides for newcomers to the beekeeping business.
They plan to offer beginner, intermediate and advanced classes to mentor people on how to keep bees. People who complete the classes will get their beekeeping license from the state.
The honey extraction room and classroom portions of their store are still works in progress, but Vic Bachman said they expect to have the rooms finished by the end of the month.
Besides taking a course, Goodman also advises beekeepers to join a local club, such as The Wasatch Beekeepers Association or The Weber Beekeepers Association, where they can find a lot of information and support.
The more beekeepers that are out there, the better it is for a disintegrating bee population, Goodman said.
Box Elder County bee inspector Martin James is happy to see more backyard beekeepers helping out a species he cares about and is invested in.
James runs his own honeybee business, in which he rents out the bees to farmers to help them pollinate their crops. Friday night, he was preparing a shipment of bees for an onion seed farmer in southern Idaho.
Pollinators, such as bees, play an important role in agriculture and forestry. In the U.S., bees pollinate more than 150 different types of fruits, vegetables and nuts that provide a third of the nation's food and beverages, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
But bees face major threats from disease and a decline in genetic diversity. Populations have declined from colony collapse disorder, though researchers have seen an uptick in population in the Logan area, due to a mild winter and dry spring.
The owners of Deseret Hive Supply share Goodman's hope that more beekeepers, who have the guidance to stick with the hobby and love it, can keep the bees healthy and pollinating.
"We want to protect and serve the bee population of the U.S.," said Michael Bachman. "That's our mission statement."