Meet 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.

John Home – 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 2 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
Bisi is an Amateur beekeeper with over 10 years experience in the UK (Temperate climate with Apis Mellifera Mellifera & hybrids) and in Nigeria (Tropical climate with Apis Mellifera Adansonni). She is a member of Romsey (Hants), Gillingham & Shaftesbury (Dorset), Twickenham & Thames Valley Beekeeping Associations. Bisi is the Honey Show Manager for the Hampshire Honey Show and a member of Slow Food International and the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA).

Stuart Andrews, PhD, FIBiol
Stuart joined the Trustees where his 30 years experience in biological sciences gained both within the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the pharmaceutical industry will be a useful addition to the existing knowledge base.  His skills include project leadership and teaching, and his expertise is in parasitology and global research, development and registration of vaccines for livestock.  He has been a bee keeper since 2002 and is chairman 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 Waring
Claire has kept bees since 1980 with her first colony rapidly becoming four! She has been involved with a 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.

Peter Aldridge – joined Bees Abroad in July2016. Peter has a background in banking and finance with qualifications in stragegy forumulation and implementation. For many years Peter worked as director and trustee for the Railway Children, where he helped to change the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Stephen Bates – joined Bees Abroad bringing with him ubstantial experience as a Managing Director in a wide range of manufacturing industries in both public and private ownership. Stephen has made significant contributions to profitability and growth in all major commercial functions; marketing and sales, manufacturing, engineering and finance.  An experienced beekeeper Stephen is a Member, Warwick & Leamington Branch, Warwickshire BKA and a Member of the BBKA Shows Committee.


Our Patrons (now included in About Us – 20/7/17) can be deleted

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

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has agreed to become a patron of Bees Abroad, the charity seeking to reduce poverty in developing countries worldwide through beekeeping.archbishop JW2

“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.”

John Home, chairman of Bees Abroad said, “I am delighted that Justin Welby has agreed to become a Patron. His awareness of the challenges that are faced in the developing countries and his understanding about how the work of Bees Abroad can help small communities improve their lives is an asset to our organisation. He joins the team of our existing patrons whose support we much value in the work that we do using indigenous bees and techniques appropriate to the local environment”.

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.


Martha Kearney

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 Yorksh

MIchael Badger with HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex at the Great Yorkshire Show, 2014
Michael Badger with HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex at the Great Yorkshire Show, 2014

ire 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 Hartadam_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 and Angela Sherriff_75E2262Brian 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.

Maisemore Apiaries

Eric Hiam of Maisemore Apiaries has been a supporter for several years, and helps us out with, amongst many things, our raffle prizes.


Meet our Administrator

Hi – my name is Veronica Brown. I joined Bees Abroad in July 2008, and enjoy being part of a great team of folks who are passionate about helping people in small communities of developing countries world wide. I am the first line of contact, the person who receives the emails, administers the enquiries, reads the correspondence, answers the phone and liaises with the trustees and project managers to make sure your request is actioned or your questions answered as soon as possible. I also keep the web site up to date with the latest and greatest information.

Please bear in mind that Bees Abroad is a small charity who keep their administrative costs low. I try to keep my hours to around eight per week – which means that more money goes to the rural communities. However, I access e-mail every day, and am always available to receive phone messages. So, if you don’t get a reply straight away, please be assured you haven’t been forgotten, we will get there – it just may take a little longer.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Meet our Project Leaders

We have an expanding team of experienced beekeepers who work with small communities who require our help.  These include:

Brian Durk – instrumental in starting the Kom Beekeeping Project in Cameroon in 1997 prior to the setting up of ‘Bees Abroad’.  In his time with us he has been Project Manager and Fundraiser.  Presently he manages projects in Cameroon.

Julian Willford – an experienced Beekeeper who has taken his skills to Mwanze in Tanzania.

Adebisi New – works as our country manager with a focus on Nigeria

Roy Dyche – a retired teacher and teacher-trainer, spent much of his working life in Africa. He took up beekeeping fifteen years ago and has managed our project near Uganda’s Lake Albert since 2008. He is also quite familiar with beekeeping in Zambia, having recently travelled 2000 miles round that country collecting material for a BBC radio programme on its honey industry. He is a member of the Dover and District Beekeepers’ Association.

Richard Ridler – Uganda

John Home – Kenya

Martin Kunz – India

David Blower – Tanzania

David Bonner – Uganda

Mike Madgwick – Tanzania

Trisha Marlow – Ghana

Jo Hiscox – Cameroon

Stuart Andrews – Uganda

Dawn Williamson – Rwanda

Neil Brent – Sierra Leone