The aim of Bees Abroad is to provide education and technical advice in Beekeeping and suitable business skills. This is achieved by setting up and supporting field extension services, running training courses for local beekeepers and financing trainers. We are a non-profit making organisation giving help to beekeepers and families in developing countries. Bees Abroad projects are managed by designated project managers and run within a group structure. They are designed to become self-funding and terminate after a defined period of time.
Funds from Bees Abroad are utilised for the relief of poverty, which means that projects are bound by Bees Abroad legal, charitable requirement to reach the poorest sectors of society. We are particularly keen to ensure that projects are sustainable, so that they do not depend on constant financial input from outside of the area or one person’s input.
Bees Abroad promotes the use of sustainable and affordable intermediate technology and cannot support projects that use inappropriate bee hive technology or unsuitable or imported species of honey bee.
Introducing our Trustees
Richard Ridler Chairman
Richard joins us having completed a period of time as Chairman of Essex Beekeepers’ Association. He has experience in business development, marketing and projects overseas including beekeeping in Africa. His remit includes re-structuring and strengthening Bees Abroad to enable it to grow.
Project leader in Kenya has spent a life time in beekeeping which started when as a general agricultural student in 1956 a small amount of tuition was given on beekeeping. This started his interest which became a fascinating hobby until 1975 when his beekeeping evolved into a full time occupation. For the next 30 years he managed 350 hives for honey production including transporting hives for pollination of fruit and horticultural crops as well as in late summer moving the hives to the heather moor. Marketing of the hive products gave him much pleasure together with a profitable living.
John’s last 12 years in “retirement” have been equally busy. Over the years John has served on many beekeeping committees and recently had the honour of once again being elected chairman of the UK Bee Farmer’s Association. His skills in practical beekeeping and honey processing together with marketing are proving useful in the Kenyan beekeeping projects that he is looking after for the Bees Abroad charity. His beekeeping life has not been without its challenges but has always been enjoyable thanks to the support, encouragement and friendship of so many within the beekeeping fraternity both in the past and these present times.
Nick Bishop – Treasurer
Nick Bishop is our treasurer and heads up anything financial. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and holds a BSc Hons) in Biology. Nick’s interest in bees started during his Biology degree at Cardiff University where under the tuition of Professor Pickard he studied Braula coeca during his final year.
After finishing University Nick entered the accountancy profession and on qualifying in the late nineties, took up beekeeping. He is a member and treasurer of his local beekeeping branch (Cheltenham & Gloucester). And it is through his local branch he first learnt about Bees Abroad and the work that it does
Bisi New is a qualified Chartered Accountant who worked as a business/systems analyst in Investment banks in London, then retrained as a horticulturalist. Her skills include project management, governance, finance and education.
A keen beekeeper with tropical (Apis mellifera adansonii – Nigeria) and temperate beekeeping experience. Her first beekeeping club was Twickenham (BBKA Basic 2001). She been a member of local BBKA committees and show manager for local BBKA honey shows.
- Bisi joined Bees Abroad as a trustee in 2006 and is also a Project manager for Nigeria.
- What excites Bisi about Bees Abroad is the opportunity to use beekeeping as a tool for positive sustainable change, working beekeeper to beekeeper and seeing the impact projects make in people’s lives.
- Bisi is a dedicated ‘Slow’ beekeeper, a title adopted by beekeepers who are part of the international network of 1500 food communities that meet every two years in Turin, under the ‘Terra Madre’ (Mother Earth) banner, organised by Slow Food International. The slow food beekeeping group comprises 77 individuals and organisations from 50 countries. Website: https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/our-themes/bees-and-biodiversity/i-presidi-sono-unopportunita-per-le-economie-montane/
Stuart Andrews, PhD
Stuart is a biologist with over 35 years experience in biological sciences gained both within the UK government (Defra) and the pharmaceutical industry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and The Linnean Society of London. His skills include project leadership and teaching with specific expertise in immunology and parasitology. He also has extensive experience of the global research and development of vaccines for livestock, including poultry.
Stuart has been a beekeeper since 2002 and is a member of his local beekeeping branch in Canterbury, Kent, UK.
Nick Withers, BSc
Nick studied biology at Sussex University and has kept bees for more than 30 years. After a career in industry he worked for several years as a Seasonal Bee Inspector. He is interested in bee biology, evolution, ecology and has visited bees and beekeepers in many countries – most European countries, Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, China, Thailand, Nepal and South Africa. He is a member of the Kent Beekeepers Association.
Claire has kept bees since 1980 with her first colony rapidly becoming four! She has been involved witha number of beekeeping associations right from the start, the latest of which is Bees Abroad.
Following the establishment of a beekeeping project in Nepal in 1994, Claire was active in the foundation Bees Abroad. After leading a group to witness the spectacular honey hunting of colonies of Apis laboriosa from cliffs in the foothills of the Himalayas, she and Major Ramprasad Gurung established the Kwe Danda (now Beenpro) project. Back in the UK, discussions with Brian Durk and others involved in the Kom project in Cameroon let to the formation of Bees Abroad on the basis that joint efforts were more effective than individual ones. This has proved the case with Bees Abroad now operating in Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. In Nepal and Cameroon, the original projects are now operating independently and other projects have also been completed.
As part of the fund-raising efforts, Claire has been instrumental in establishing a number of beekeeping holidays to Nepal, Thailand, the Yucatan, Cambodia, Chile and elsewhere to raise funds and increase knowledge of beekeeping overseas.
Outside of beekeeping, Claire runs her own publishing and communications company and her other interests include photography (particularly bees!) and foreign travel. Two films about Honey Hunting and about Hive Beekeeping in Nepal won the gold medal for beekeeping films at both the 1997 and 1999 Apimondia Congresses.
Stephen Bates joined Bees Abroad in 2016 and brings with him substantial experience as a Managing Director in a wide range of manufacturing industries in both public and private ownership. Stephen was Senior Adviser to the Department of Trade and Industry, Automotive Unit, on public sector support at national and regional level, for productivity and world class manufacturing programmes.
Steve is a member of the Warwickshire & Leamington Branch, Warwickshire BKA and a members of the BBKA Shows committee.
Our patrons are very important to us, both in the personal commitments they make to our work, and also as “connectors”, who can get our message out to a broad range of interested people and potential supporters.
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
“I am delighted to lend my support to Bees Abroad by becoming a patron,” said the Archbishop. “Through its imaginative and wholly practical work, the charity promotes the skills of beekeeping in a way that empowers and educates the communities in which it operates. In investing in people in some of the poorest and under-developed areas, Bees Abroad creates opportunities for this local enterprise to flourish at a sustainable and manageable level. I am sure that those who are trained in beekeeping under Bees Abroad’s guidance and encouragement will find it an interesting and satisfying experience. I send my best wishes to all involved with the charity in whatever role.”
Master of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
We are very pleased to welcome the Master of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers as Patron. The Wax Chandlers date from in 1371 when trading in bee’s wax was big business. Today’s members are generally people of status and influence. They maintain a close link with the world of beekeeping.
BBC presenter of the Radio 4’s World at One and Newsnight Review. A dedicated apiarist herself, Martha fronted a BBC4 documentary about the desperate plight of the bee: Who Killed The Honey Bee?, which aired in April 2009. We are delighted and honoured that Martha Kearney has agreed to become a Patron for our Charity. Martha is Presenter of The World At One on Radio Four and Newsnight Review on BBC2, Martha has developed a reputation as one of the BBC’s most respected political journalists. Amongst many other activities, she blogs on the trials and tribulations of beekeeping for the Women’s Institute, and is a regular tweeter.
Michael Badger, MBE
Michael has been actively involved with beekeeping since a childhood. He has been involved in all spheres of beekeeping: he has been the National President of the British Beekeepers’ Association and its Chairman. He was Chairman (twice) of the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association and its General Secretary and is The Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s representative to the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association. He has been the Chief Honey Steward at the Gt. Yorkshire Show for over twenty years and a Senior Honey Judge for many years, participating at all the top agricultural shows in the British Isles. He was awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List for Services to the British Beekeeping Industry in 2003, and instigated the Bee Craft event at the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers, from which BA a donation.
Out of beekeeping Michael is a Director of an Environmental Management Consultancy and a publishing house. He his married to Hilary and they have three children.
Professor Adam Hart
Adam Hart is Professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire and an enthusiast of social insects – in other words he has a love for those insects that live together, like ants, some wasps and of course honeybees. He studied honeybee behaviour as part of his PhD at the University of Sheffield and has studied honeybees in Mexico and Brazil as well as the UK. He has long been involved in science communication, and as well as talks and festivals Adam has been a regular broadcaster, including recently co-presenting BBC2’s Hive Alive series with Martha Kearney, and presenting On the Trail of the American Honeybee for BBC Radio 4. Adam has been involved with Bees Abroad in the past, including a brief stint as a Bees Abroad trip leader, showing beekeepers the honeybees and stingless bees of the Yucatan.
Adam said:“I am delighted to become a patron of Bees Abroad. I have seen first-hand the difference that bees make in so many communities and I know that Bees Abroad makes a huge difference to the people it helps. I feel privileged to be a part of such a vibrant charity”.
B J Sheriff
Brian Sherriff and his daughter Angela are great supporters of Bees Abroad. When he is not orchestrating his business supplying beesuits, beekeeping starter kits, supplying books and honey cosmetics, Brian finds time to act as a Bees Abroad patron.
Eric Hiam of Maisemore Apiaries has been a supporter for several years, and helps us out with, amongst many things, our raffle prizes.