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.
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. email: Stuart_Andrews@beesabroad.org.uk
James Taylor has rural development experience from Mozambique, Nepal and Thailand and holds an MSc in sustainable agriculture and rural development. In recent years he has worked on various European rural development programme evaluations and enjoys developing strategy and project planning. He is based on his family’s traditional mixed farm in North Oxfordshire and has introduced weekly care farming activities for adults and support staff and hosts regular school visits. e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dominic Rhodes PhD MBE describes himself as a beginner beekeeper with 40+ year experience. A third generation beekeeper, he was hooked at an early age by bees and has had strong support from his family. Nowdays he is an active member of the Penrith and District Beekeeping Association in Cumbria and runs their teaching apiary, located at the National Trust property at Acorn Bank, as well as his own 30+ colonies. Original trained as a Mining Engineer, Dominic started his career mining gold and diamonds in Africa, where his love of bees continued with his love of Africa. After completing his doctoral research he pursued a career as a subject matter expert at a National Laboratory supporting a major industrial plant in Cumbria. A strong scientific background and keen interest in STEM education has driven Dominic to pursue science and engineering in both schools and beekeeping. He is a common lecturer, originator and lead on many unusual beekeeping courses in Cumbria from pollen analysis all the way through to thermal imaging. Despite this strong scientific background, and passion for new projects, Dominic is equally at home keeping / teaching more natural beekeeping techniques in skeps and KTB hives as he is with polystyrene or wooden national hives. Today he is the technical director of a specialist environmental based consultancy firm in Penrith and he brings his enthusiasm, drive, strategic thinking and new ideas to his role as a trustee at Bees Abroad as one of the charities he supports. Appointed by the Queen to the Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 (MBE). This was in recognition of the work in the designing and delivering innovative and inspiring science in all walks of life.
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.
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.