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 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 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 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.