A freak attack by a swarm of bees has claimed the life of a gardener in Victoria's west.
The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Steven Tingate, a gardener who moved to the western district town of Dunkeld from Ballarat a year ago.
He worked for an agricultural company that runs the Royal Mail Hotel in town and was with a number of colleagues in a market garden on Wednesday morning when he was stung multiple times by a swarm of bees.
His colleagues attempted to revive him at the property on Macarthur Street and an ambulance was called, but Mr Tingate was unable to be saved.
The Dunkeld community was reeling at the news of the 27-year-old's shock death.
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"Absolutely devastated this local community, we are a tight-knit community here in Dunkeld," Victoria Police Sgt Kelly McNaughton said.
A restaurant in town has decided to close its doors on Wednesday evening as a mark of respect for the family and friends of Mr Tingate.