Fundraising and Operations

Katerina Prokopiou: CEO

Katerina is an Engineer by vocation and beekeeper by passion. She has lead innovation teams within the medical device sector as well as overseeing product development for the automotive industry in the UK. As an Engineering 4 Change Fellow, she has also designed key processes for the inaugural IdeaLab incubator, supporting innovators tackling global challenges.
 
Throughout her career, she has shared her passion for all things bees by volunteering in events, acting as Editor-in-Chief for her local Association, as well as setting up corporate beehives in her workplace. This has led her to become a volunteer Partnership Manager for Bees Abroad, a role she intends to continue supporting voluntarily.
 
As CEO, her vision is to ensure Bees Abroad continue working to enable communities to empower themselves through sustainable beekeeping.

Christine Ratcliffe: Fundraising & Comms

Christine has 6 years experience working on a £120m program providing grants to forest friendly businesses in the tropics. As a Geographer she’s deeply interested in both the human and natural world and believes they are one and the same.

Christine will be working with the Bees Abroad team to plan and implement Fundraising Campaigns and support communications and stakeholder engagement. 


Christine is excited to be part of the Bees Abroad team and community.

Rachel Monger: Campaigns and Projects

Rachel Monger has been involved for many years in community development while living in Tanzania. She came to know Bees Abroad when seeking training assistance establishing beekeeping groups in rural villages in the Mwanza region in 2016. She also trained women with albinism to make beeswax products and established The Hive, Mwanza, a honey processing centre and shop, an income-generating enterprise for women’s groups which linked beekeepers from groups across the region with each other and better markets. She is currently living in Bath and while continuing to support beekeeping training groups and income-generating projects in East Africa, is helping Bees Abroad with project fundraising.

Niki Backes: Supporter Care Manager

Niki Backes, a seasoned beekeeper with 20 years of experience, founded her own beekeeping business and created a natural skincare line from honeybee byproducts. She’s passionate about pollinator health and our connection to nature.

Niki holds a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Humboldt State University, focusing on Moral Ethics. She started beekeeping after assisting a honey harvester, learning global beekeeping practices and becoming skilled in beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, and honey. Her Clover honey earned her the 2018 Good Food Award in San Francisco.

For 15 years, Niki has run her small business, selling honeybee-based products online and in stores, participating in fairs and events. She’s a member of the American Honeybee Federation and has been featured in Bee Culture Magazine, actively involved in campaigns and events, showcasing her dedication to beekeeping and sustainability.

Niki is excited to share her enthusiasm and experiences with new and current supporters, whilst communicating with donors, volunteers, and others to build strong relationships and tell the stories of communities we work with. 

Hania Gudiens: Advisor

Advisor in Fundraising, Campaigns, Branding and Partnerships.

Hania has experience in developing and leading long-term strategic charity partnerships to drive both brand awareness and income for two leading UK charities (Cancer Research UK and The Prince’s Trust). Previously Hania was Head of Corporate Partnerships at The Princes Trust, who are a youth charity providing young people with access to jobs, education, and training.

She has been working on introducing new income streams to Bees Abroad, overseeing and leading campaigns, developing ways of raising awareness, and leading on the brand direction of the organisation. 

Our Trustees

Richard Ridler: Chair

Inspired by visits to a beekeeping project in Uganda with his wife Jane, Richard took over from John Home as the third chair of the trustees in 2015. Richard brings experience from a career in commercial project management, sales  and marketing which included a period in Central Europe where he learnt about the challenges presented by cultures and circumstances very different to those at home.  Both Richard and Jane are Master Beekeepers. 

 Richard_ridler@beesabroadorg.uk

Neil Brent: Finance Trustee

Neil Brent from South Gloucestershire BKA was already a Bees Abroad project manager in Sierra Leone when he joined the trustees in 2018. Recently retired from a career in business analytics and management accountancy for the NHS he is responsible for financial matters.

Neil has visited and supported development programmes in Malawi, Tanzania and now Sierra Leone.

John Daffern: Trustee

John Daffern is an experienced beekeeper and active member of Hertfordshire Beekeepers Association. His career spans several product management, marketing and commercial roles with FTSE 100 companies.

He has served as a trustee with local charities for several years and is now focussed on developing Bees Abroad’s fundraising and communications activities. John holds a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) from the University of Bedfordshire and Postgraduate Diploma in marketing (DipM) with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He was awarded Chartered Marketer status in 2003.

john_daffern@beesabroad.org.uk

Andrew Andrew MacCormack: Strategy Trustee

Andrew MacCormack is a former investment banker and renewable energy investor, principally in the biomass industry. Having specialised in developing markets whilst at JP Morgan, including four years living in India, he is interested in the development of social enterprises to alleviate poverty.

He has recently volunteered in India helping an NGO develop agricultural based businesses with forest tribes in Southern India, including developing the business infrastructure for traditional wild forest honey collection and harvesting. Andrew is currently reading an MSc. in Climate Change and Development at SOAS and is also a trustee of the Marr-Munning Trust. He hopes to explore ways in which he can help Bees Abroad develop further its social enterprise focus.

Kay Williams: Trustee

Kay currently heads up a team of international negotiators, policy experts and scientists for environmental policy at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK. She is passionate about protecting the planet and working with communities to build on local capacities to improve human health and the environment.
An enthusiastic, albeit novice, beekeeper, the work of Bees Abroad inspires her because it works directly with in country partners, has a focus on developing sustainable, long lasting projects and is run and managed mostly by volunteers.
Kay is a scientist by training, with a PHD from Imperial College, and worked in research for 8 years before moving to wide ranging policy roles based both in the UK and overseas.
Image of a Bees Abroad Trustee

Jeremy Forty: Trustee

Inspired by the idea of beekeeping as an engine of sustainable social and economic development, Jeremy joined Bees Abroad as a trustee in 2023.

He is a management consultant with many years’ experience in strategy, business development and organisational effectiveness, mostly gained working for a global consultancy on large projects with international clients. He previously held senior management roles in the financial services industry. Since 2015 Jeremy has worked as a freelance management consultant, working with companies across the size spectrum on a wide range of growth and turnaround projects.            

He has kept bees since 2009 in various parts of the South East of England. He is a fluent Spanish speaker. 

Our Patrons

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.”

The Wax Chandelers:
Master Candle Makers

During their annual term of office, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers becomes a Patron of Bees Abroad. The company dates from 1371 when it was formed in the City of London to regulate the trade in Bees Wax. At that time bees wax was highly values, its main use being in church candles that were burnt in prolific quantities particularly at funerals.

To this day the company presents candles annually at a ceremony to nearby St Paul’s Cathedral. Today the company maintains close links with the world of beekeeping.

https://www.waxchandlers.org.uk

Max Badger: MBE

Michael Badger has been actively involved with beekeeping since childhood. He has been involved in all spheres of beekeeping and has been Chairman and President of the British Beekeepers’ Association.

He was General Secretary and Chairman (twice) of the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association (YBKA) and and is The Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s representative for the YBKA. Chief Honey Steward at the Great Yorkshire Show and a Senior Honey Judge for many years.

Michael was awarded the MBE for Services to the British Beekeeping Industry in 2003.

He instigated the Bee Craft event at the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers, from which Bees Abroad receives a donation. Michael is a Director of an environmental management consultancy and a publishing house.

Adam Hart: Professor

Adam Hart is Professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire and an enthusiast of social insects.

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 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. This includes 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. This included time 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”.

Fundraising and Operations

Katerina is an Engineer by vocation and beekeeper by passion. She has lead innovation teams within the medical device sector as well as overseeing product development for the automotive industry in the UK. As an Engineering 4 Change Fellow, she has also designed key processes for the inaugural IdeaLab incubator, supporting innovators tackling global challenges.
 
Throughout her career, she has shared her passion for all things bees by volunteering in events, acting as Editor-in-Chief for her local Association, as well as setting up corporate beehives in her workplace. This has led her to become a volunteer Partnership Manager for Bees Abroad, a role she intends to continue supporting voluntarily.
 
As CEO, her vision is to ensure Bees Abroad continue working to enable communities to empower themselves through sustainable beekeeping.

Christine has 6 years experience working on a £120m program providing grants to forest friendly businesses in the tropics. As a Geographer she’s deeply interested in both the human and natural world and believes they are one and the same.

Christine will be working with the Bees Abroad team to plan and implement Fundraising Campaigns and support communications and stakeholder engagement. 


Christine is excited to be part of the Bees Abroad team and community.

Rachel Monger has been involved for many years in community development while living in Tanzania. She came to know Bees Abroad when seeking training assistance establishing beekeeping groups in rural villages in the Mwanza region in 2016. She also trained women with albinism to make beeswax products and established The Hive, Mwanza, a honey processing centre and shop, an income-generating enterprise for women’s groups which linked beekeepers from groups across the region with each other and better markets. She is currently living in Bath and while continuing to support beekeeping training groups and income-generating projects in East Africa, is helping Bees Abroad with project fundraising.

Niki Backes, a seasoned beekeeper with 20 years of experience, founded her own beekeeping business and created a natural skincare line from honeybee byproducts. She’s passionate about pollinator health and our connection to nature.

Niki holds a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Humboldt State University, focusing on Moral Ethics. She started beekeeping after assisting a honey harvester, learning global beekeeping practices and becoming skilled in beeswax, propolis, royal jelly, and honey. Her Clover honey earned her the 2018 Good Food Award in San Francisco.

For 15 years, Niki has run her small business, selling honeybee-based products online and in stores, participating in fairs and events. She’s a member of the American Honeybee Federation and has been featured in Bee Culture Magazine, actively involved in campaigns and events, showcasing her dedication to beekeeping and sustainability.

Niki is excited to share her enthusiasm and experiences with new and current supporters, whilst communicating with donors, volunteers, and others to build strong relationships and tell the stories of communities we work with. 

Advisor in Fundraising, Campaigns, Branding and Partnerships.

Hania has experience in developing and leading long-term strategic charity partnerships to drive both brand awareness and income for two leading UK charities (Cancer Research UK and The Prince’s Trust). Previously Hania was Head of Corporate Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, who are a youth charity providing young people with access to jobs, education, and training.

She has been working on introducing new income streams to Bees Abroad, overseeing and leading campaigns, developing ways of raising awareness, and leading on the brand direction of the organisation. 

Our Trustees

Bees Abroad Patrons

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.”

During their annual term of office, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers becomes a Patron of Bees Abroad. The company dates from 1371 when it was formed in the City of London to regulate the trade in Bees Wax. At that time bees wax was highly values, its main use being in church candles that were burnt in prolific quantities particularly at funerals.

To this day the company presents candles annually at a ceremony to nearby St Paul’s Cathedral. Today the company maintains close links with the world of beekeeping.

https://www.waxchandlers.org.uk

Michael Badger has been actively involved with beekeeping since childhood. He has been involved in all spheres of beekeeping and has been Chairman and President of the British Beekeepers’ Association.

He was General Secretary and Chairman (twice) of the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association (YBKA) and and is The Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s representative for the YBKA. Chief Honey Steward at the Great Yorkshire Show and a Senior Honey Judge for many years.

Michael was awarded the MBE for Services to the British Beekeeping Industry in 2003.

He instigated the Bee Craft event at the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers, from which Bees Abroad receives a donation. Michael is a Director of an environmental management consultancy and a publishing house.

Adam Hart is Professor of Science Communication at the University of Gloucestershire and an enthusiast of social insects.

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 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. This includes 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. This included time 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”.

Inspired by visits to a beekeeping project in Uganda with his wife Jane, Richard took over from John Home as the third chair of the trustees in 2015. Richard brings experience from a career in commercial project management, sales  and marketing which included a period in Central Europe where he learnt about the challenges presented by cultures and circumstances very different to those at home.  Both Richard and Jane are Master Beekeepers.  

Neil Brent from South Gloucestershire BKA was already a Bees Abroad project manager in Sierra Leone when he joined the trustees in 2018. Recently retired from a career in business analytics and management accountancy for the NHS he is responsible for financial matters.

Neil has visited and supported development programmes in Malawi, Tanzania and now Sierra Leone.

John Daffern is an experienced beekeeper and active member of Hertfordshire Beekeepers Association. His career spans several product management, marketing and commercial roles with FTSE 100 companies.

He has served as a trustee with local charities for several years and is now focussed on developing Bees Abroad’s fundraising and communications activities. John holds a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) from the University of Bedfordshire and Postgraduate Diploma in marketing (DipM) with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He was awarded Chartered Marketer status in 2003.

Andrew MacCormack is a former investment banker and renewable energy investor, principally in the biomass industry. Having specialised in developing markets whilst at JP Morgan, including four years living in India, he is interested in the development of social enterprises to alleviate poverty.

He has recently volunteered in India helping an NGO develop agricultural based businesses with forest tribes in Southern India, including developing the business infrastructure for traditional wild forest honey collection and harvesting. Andrew hold a MSc. in Climate Change and Development from SOAS, University of London and is also a trustee of the Marr-Munning Trust. He hopes to explore ways in which he can help Bees Abroad develop further its social enterprise focus.

Kay currently heads up a team of international negotiators, policy experts and scientists for environmental policy at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK. She is passionate about protecting the planet and working with communities to build on local capacities to improve human health and the environment.
An enthusiastic, albeit novice, beekeeper, the work of Bees Abroad inspires her because it works directly with in country partners, has a focus on developing sustainable, long lasting projects and is run and managed mostly by volunteers.
Kay is a scientist by training, with a PHD from Imperial College, and worked in research for 8 years before moving to wide ranging policy roles based both in the UK and overseas.

Inspired by the idea of beekeeping as an engine of sustainable social and economic development, Jeremy joined Bees Abroad as a trustee in 2023. 

He is a management consultant with many years’ experience in strategy, business development and organisational effectiveness, mostly gained working for a global consultancy on large projects with international clients. He previously held senior management roles in the financial services industry. Since 2015 Jeremy has worked as a freelance management consultant, working with companies across the size spectrum on a wide range of growth and turnaround projects.            

He has kept bees since 2009 in various parts of the South East of England. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.  

The Team Managing Projects

Ghana

Partnership Managers

Trisha Marlow, Brian Durk
Read about our projects

Kenya

Partnership Managers

Geoff Redwood, John and Mary Home
Read about our projects

Nepal

Partnership Managers

James Taylor
Read about our projects

Nigeria

Partnership Managers

Adebisi (Bisi) Adenukle New, Brian Durk
Read about our projects

Rwanda

Partnership Managers

Paul Bloch, Dawn Williamson
Read about our projects

Sierra Leone

Partnership Managers

Neil & Kathy Brent
Read about our projects

Tanzania

Partnership Managers

Emyr Jenkins, Rachel Monger
Read about our projects

Uganda

Partnership Managers

Richard & Jane Ridler, Katerina Prokopiou, Abdul Miah, Dave & Cathy Bonner
Read about our projects

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